This morning I headed out with the Canari-Navy Cycling Team for the usual Saturday 50+ miles of cruising mixed with races on the climbs. There were three flats in the group, which tore up our momentum, and after each repair I felt that was trying to warm up again. The group started breaking up a lot too, so it was just one of those days where we weren’t riding very cohesively. Anyway, on the return along the coast we hit Torrey Pines. Usually the group prefers to ride on the inside loop where there are some steeper pitches, but I actually prefer the outside loop. The outside loop has fast traffic next to it, but is free of runners, walkers and dogs. Also, the outside loop has a nice steady grade, averaging 5% for 1.5 miles. I hit the base of the climb with Brad, and I thought he would go with me but I found myself chasing the crowds alone. There were a lot of people out on their bikes, and it must have been energizing to surge past them because when I did my power would jump up about 10%. I was trying to hold close to 400 Watts. Early in the climb it would drift down to about 360, so I would do a jump and then be able to hold the power where I wanted it for a while. When I passed some large groups I was pushing about 440 Watts, and one female rider yelled “Go Navy!” since “NAVY” was plastered across my ass on my bibs. I heard another rider laugh about this, but no comment or gestures from me because I was panting trying to push through to the top. Near the finish of the hill my power dropped a couple times so I had to do a couple jumps again to keep my momentum and power high.

I knew it was a good effort, so when I got home I loaded the file into The split is automatically pulled out and compared to my previous efforts, as well as the times of other strava users.

My time was 6:35, average power was 391 Watts, average heart rate was 147 BPM. My previous best was 7:01, 376 Watts, 154 BPM on March 12, 2011. The higher power with lower heart rate is a great indicator of my improved aerobic fitness. I am excited to see such an improvement in power as well – a good indicator of my fitness improvement.

I was also surprised to find who the current leader is: Adam Bickett, with a time of 5:30 and 420 Watts. Adam is a 508 rider (Rock Rabbit), who I’ve ridden with and ran with before.

Okay, after posting this I figured out that I matched my best 5 minute effort of 404 Watts and set a new 6 minute effort of 398 Watts, previous 395 Watts. Those previous bests were set back on 9/6/2009. It’s exciting to see that I’m putting up some numbers again that were similar to what I did right before IM Arizona 2009 when I qualified for Kona.