I’ve been a bit lacking on my posts recently. This is purely the result of no time. I’ve had a lot of great workouts recently, but will try to catch up on some events that I’ve done recently. Last week I did the TCSD 20K Time Trial on Wednesday and the Camp Pendleton Sprint Triathlon on Sunday. These types of events create opportunity for hard efforts that I can look at to measure my current fitness. I’ve been doing a lot of high volume workouts lately, hoping to rely on that for a successful race at Kona, but the ability to generate speed is key for a fast race. Fortunately measuring and comparing efforts of shorter events is easier than longer distances.

The TCSD Time Trial is a great way to test your Functional Threshold Pace. Some of these “tests” that are prescribed in training plans or recommended by most cycling and triathlon coaches can be quite a challenge. They require focus to get such sufficiently high intensity that you actually are testing your threshold pace. These tests are best done it fair conditions, and when you aren’t overly fatigued. I have been fatigued for a while now, trying to get a lot of mileage in. The Wednesday morning my workout consisted of a 2.5 mile run to the Toby Well YMCA where I did a one hour spin class, and then finished with a 2.5 mile run home. This was a good workout for me that I plan on continuing on Wednesdays when it isn’t easy for me to get to the pool. Then it’s a full day of work, followed by a rush to get out to Fiesta Island. Last month I just couldn’t make it to the time trial despite really wanting too. Trying to rush home, throw the bike in the truck and getting changed, to barely arrive in time to start without a warm up would have been worse than staying home. This week, recognizing I’d have the same time pressure I prepared a little beforehand and arrived in time to do short warm up. I got in about 10 miles for a warm up, which was less than I would have liked. I certainly did not feel fresh, and had some trouble even bringing the power up.

When the time trial started I jumped on it, and the power came up nicely. I was a little surprised (my warm up must have been better than I thought), and became a little concerned that I would blow up. I actually held the power pretty steady, and never felt much burning in my lungs. My legs felt tired, but were working surprisingly well. The time trial took about 27 minutes, and 22 seconds, and my peak 20 minute Normalized Power was 360 watts. FTP can be estimated to be about 95% of a 20 minute test, so that would be 342 watts.

The last club TT I did was in June. I had done some prior to that, but was on my road bike instead of the TT bike. Comparing the two efforts:

 

8/4/2010

6/9/2010

Difference

% Change

Time

27:22

28:40

-1:18

-4.5

CP10

368

356

32

9.0

CP20

360

345

15

4.3

Avg Speed

27.0

25.8

1.2

4.7

 

At the Camp Pendleton Sprint I was hoping to get a good warm up in so that I could start the bike strong. It was a 30K bike, so I figured I should at least be able to maintain my new FTP of 342 watts. I got a short 15 minute warm up in on the trainer, and a 1 mile run warm up, which was about ½ of what I was hoping to get in.

The swim had a strong current that was pushing north, so I tried to start a little south of the buoy and swim a little bit left (south). The surf actually turned me so that was swimming more parallel to the beach (in the wrong direction) instead of swimming out through the surf. I saw a lifeguard yelling at me to swim the other way, so I turned and realized that I hadn’t been going through the surf, just churning in it. I thought that this was a bad replay of the Encinitas Triathlon. Once I got back up to the bouy, I didn’t actually see any red swim caps (from my wave) ahead of me, so I figured I recovered well enough. On the way back in the waves appeared huge. I was about a body length behind the first wave, which pushed me forward a little, but it wasn’t a successful ride. The next three or four waves just tumbled me, keeping my head underwater much longer than I would have liked. When I got through enough to dolphin my way out of the water I saw Steve Hazlett ahead of me on the beach ripping his wetsuit off.

Onto the bike! I felt okay on the bike, but never fell into the groove that I was looking for.

I was a little concerned about the run, because my running still hasn’t started feeling as good as I’d like. I’m seeing some improvements every week, but I definitely haven’t recovered my running speed yet. With about 1 mile to go John Hatala blew by me. I tried to latch onto his pace, but couldn’t come close to holding it.

Here is some summary data, comparing the efforts of this year with last year.

 

2010

2009

Difference

% Change

Total Time

1:18:26

1:18:48

-0:22

-0.5

Swim Time

10:27

11:54

-1:27

-12.2

T1 Time

1:08

0:50

0:18

36.0

Bike Time

47:01

46:13

0:48

1.7

-CP10

331

332

-1

-0.3

-CP20

321

324

-3

-0.9

-CP30

316

320

-4

-1.3

-NP

315

317

-2

-0.6

-Avg Speed

23.7

24.1

-0.4

-1.7

T2 Time

0:36

0:51

-0:15

-29.4

Run Time

19:14

19:00

0:14

1.2

-Avg Pace

6:20

6:13

0:07

1.9

Although my power on the bike wasn’t as high as I would have liked, I am still very pleased to see my performance to be so similar to last year’s race. The time trial and race are giving me some confidence that my fitness is returning, and that in two months in Hawaii I should be ready for a great performance.

Congratulations to Phillipe Krebs (1:16:07) and Sean Silberman (1:17:08) for taking first and second overall, and to John Hatala, first military overall (1:18:09).

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