Saturday, March 01, 2008

Time Trial.3.1.08

When I learned earlier this week that the Tompkins Hill Time Trial was scheduled for today, March 1, a depressing thought occurred to me – there was a good chance I would be slower than I was during my first time trial last October.

It’s not a matter of being out of shape. I’ve been doing a lot of riding, just not the right kind of riding to build speed.

Being that my weakness in cycling is speed, last September I started a special training regimen involving short, fast rides. They were my own personal time trials. I’d ride 10, 15 or 20 miles as fast as I could. The technical term I came up with for this kind of riding is “balls out.”

The training paid off when I competed in my first time trial at the end of October. I completed the 11.5 mile course with a time of 33:26. My computer showed an average speed of about 20.5 mph.

That’s not fast enough to be remotely competitive in cycling around here and if I were racing in a criterium at that speed I’d probably get lapped by the pack. But it was my fastest ride to date, so I was tickled pink.

Then the holidays came. Then the rains. And my riding habits changed. I’ve climbed a few mountains and zipped up to Trinidad at a decent pace, but no “balls out” riding.

On Thursday afternoon I decided to do a pre-time trial test. I pedalled to Trinidad and back as fast as I could. My average speed was 1 mph less than what I recorded for the same ride last October. Yep, I was slower.

That slower pace continued at today’s time trial. I had a time of 34:45, with an average speed of 19.3. (Note: I haven’t done the math to determine whether the average speed indicated by my bike computer jives with the official times. It really doesn’t matter. It’s all relative.)

I attribute my slower pace to a lack of training and, to some degree, pure laziness. When I finished the race, my legs felt fine and I was hardly huffing and puffing. Had I given it my all, I would have felt some pain.

I’ll just have to use today’s experience as an excuse to ride more, and ride smarter.


Blogger Paddyo said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. This is the time of the year that people are just starting to get back into "racing" form after hybernating. Also, think about the Tuesday night rides. I heard someone saying that they're going to start shortly after daylight savings starts. Couple of tips. Start 5 minutes before everyone else at first and don't think about who you're riding with/against. Think of it as a weekly time trial. The course never changes, so it's a good measuring tool. Will let you know the exact start date when I know more. Cheers.

8:39 PM  

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