16 February 2014

In the Thick of it.

We arrived back into Wollongong on a very stormy rainy day. Our first night in our rental was....ok. The quarters are a bit tight and the walls are a bit thin but Brianna and I are doing our best to make it feel a bit more like home. Music always helps.

Two days after our arrival was Australia Day! To celebrate, we all entered into the Australia Day Aquathlon. A very popular event gathering huge crowds and something like 500 competitors. Given that my swimming has been limited and my runs have been pretty much all base I was not sure what to expect. As a wetsuit swim, we took the 900m swim out fast. I moved to the front and lead the majority of the first lap. Considering my current state of swimming fitness I conceded the lead and swam comfortably 2nd or 3rd feet for the remainder of the 2 lap swim. Out of the water the run hugged the beach on the grassy fields and did a loop through Puckeys park and back along the shore to the finish line. With no speed work under my belt I am pleased with my effort and it was a fun way to kick off our time in Wollongong.

Since then, training has really picked up. After a few days recovery from travels and the aquathlon my swimming went from 3 sessions a week to 6. Cycling frequency has gone from quite little to frequent with efforts and the runs have become more structured and intense.

With about 5 months of solid base running and logging more miles than I have every ran in my life my recovery from run to run feels shortened greatly. Also my ability to sustain efforts increased.
A weekly effort includes a straight up 16km tempo effort with the final 2km faster. We do this run as a straight out and back along the shoreline. Which in Wollongong around 3pm in the afternoon means Head wind on the way out tailwind coming home. The pace is sustainable but tack on 2km at the end no faster than 3.05 pace... and it wraps up the run nicely.

This year with a power meter, I am learning quickly how many watts a certain "Rate of Perceived Effort" requires. It has made me conscious of my cadence, gearing choice and the damaging effects that being in the wrong gear out of a corner in a race situation can have. However, knowing this and through the nature of WTS racing we do have to train for this. We have to have the ability to manage the low-cadence/high torque efforts as well as the preferred high-cadence/low torque accelerations at 7.5-8 watts/kg. Through studying the number of turns and the nature of the course we can train pretty specific to the task at hand. This year, instead of 'feeling' ready, I will know I'm ready.

Sorry to pick out Matt Chrabot's file, but here is the San Diego WTS Race. I have a lot of respect for his riding abilities and think this is an accurate example of what to expect in a WTS such as San Diego. Ideally I would like to know his weight but he is lighter than I am and so 400watts sounds like it would be his 7.5/8watts/kg. He has had to ride above 400watts 50 times. Which sounds accurate due to the nature of the San Diego WTS.
San Diego is no longer a WTS event but if I were to train for San Diego, I would prepare myself for 50+ 8w/kg efforts with a higher than normal base line wattage due to the long straightaways and wide open corners. The big efforts you can see are either a breakaway or the numerous 180 turns on the San Diego Course.
My next Job is to try and find a file from New Plymouth and begin wrapping my head around what the demands of the course will be. For visualization and training purposes.  

Hope all is well,
Ciao for now,

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