Entries For: September 2010
I won't be there
To any of you who've seen the Blackburn Saturday the 9th of Sept 'sprint night' (apologies for the PDF, not my fault ...) at DISC, and seen my name there as part of the team running it. I'm not. I won't be there, not in any capacity.
That is, until my shoulder's sorted, I have to be careful
I've got a tricky shoulder injury I've had for about four months now. Had a few things done to it by doctors and physios, and on the whole I'm confident that it's on the mend. Can't say I recommend having a hydrodilation done for fun, but it did seem to work!
Anyway, one of the issues with it at the moment is that it's somewhat unpleasant to ride hard out of the saddle. Ie: jumping to accelerate is not a good thing to do. Given that there's something else I need to be concentrating on in my own riding more than I have, this is somewhat of a silver lining to the cloud. I've restricted myself to tiny gears and am concentrating on spinning like the clappers. As well as tweaking my position on the bike a bit (up higher, out further at the front) due to a bit of body shape changes (not as much guts in the way!) I can get into a better position which has helped my spin.
Yesterday evening at DISC Em and I teamed up and did leadout entries. She'd done some big gear K1 work on Saturday and was dog tired so we just worked together on leg speed in little gears. I got up to 159rpm doing one of them, at around 58km/h. That's not super-fast by any stretch of the imagination (the kids go faster!) but I'm pleased with it. I was putting out around 640 watts at that cadence, so also a good sign. We were only doing entries plus 50 metres, so there was no endurance in the picture, all just a dive off the bank on the flying 200 line and then hold speed for 50 metres, but I don't think I could have done that this time last year. On all but two of my efforts (we did 6 in total, 1 E+100, 3 E+50's and 2 E+150's) I hit over 150rpm, also an improvement from last year.
My best flying 200 time at DISC is a 12.916, which was done on 98.4" or so with a disk wheel and all the fancy aero fruit, that's 119rpm and 55.7km/h, if I can get that tiny gear going at 58km/h, I reckon once I'm recovered from this shoulder problem I should be able to go a bit quicker than that. My goal for this summer is 12.5s at DISC (57.6km/h) which would be 131rpm on a 92" gear. That's not outside the possible. We'll see ... Long term I want to be able to break 60km/h at DISC (12.0s flying 200). Again, we'll see ...
How many revs?
Some simple maths today.
A 500m ITT, on a 6.5m rollout (J17 gearing) is 77 revolutions, or about 39 pedal presses per leg. On a 6m rollout (J15), it's 83 revs, 42 per leg. Not much difference!
If the 500m is ridden in, for example, 39.8 seconds on a J15 gear, the average time per revolution is 0.48s, or 0.24s per each leg stroke. The average cadence is ~118rpm. These averages are nonsense, the rider accelerates from a standing start which totally blows the average cadence calculation.
So, how about the flying 200, where the rider will mostly maintain speed for the distance (with some losses in the last 50m or so). Let's take our J15 rider, and a sample time of 13.455 seconds. 200 metres at a 6m rollout is 33.3 revolutions, or about 17 pedal strokes per leg. In 13.455 seconds that's 0.4s per rev, or 0.2s per pedal stroke. If you consider that the leg only produces useful power in a short range of the pedal stroke, let's say about a 60 degree arc, that's two thirds of the pedal stroke that contributes useful power, so our J15 has about 0.13s to push as hard as they can per leg, 34 times (not including the windup, of course). It's even less time if the rider's going faster, of course. The Australian JW15 record for the F200 is 13.310s (Imogen Jelbart) and for JM15 it's 11.968s (Mitch Docker), Immy was spinning at around 150rpm, Mitch at close to 166rpm. At those cadences each leg has around 0.1s to produce power and about 0.15s to recover before doing it again. That's less than the blink of an eye.
I wonder how close the girls can go to the boys as juniors? If the female talent pool was larger would we see JW's keeping up with JM's, at least in the J15 and J17 groups? At these cadences on little gears it's not a strength game, it's how fast you can fire your triple extension and recover to repeat it.
Got to get 'em spinning when they're young ... The game changes in J19 and above, but we've already discussed that here!
While many bitch about their rivals ... the Llama shows real class
In the Llama blog ...
I think a lot of us who call ourselves racers can learn a lot from how Shane describes his main rival. True Class, Shane. I'm impressed but not surprised.
Or how I dropped 13 kg and never felt hungry!
Last winter I'd ballooned out to around 113kg (I was pretty strong, I ground out a 205kg squat, but I was way too heavy ...)
Then I read Taube's Good Calories Bad Calories and Joe Friel's paleo food book. I'd been eating like an enduro but training sprint, and the animals are different. Enduros need junk carbs because they're (if they're training enough!) burning them off and are chronically glycogen depleted. Sprinters aren't (quality, not quantity, we have to train fresh), and therefore don't need anything like as much junk carbs as enduros. The food you eat as a sprinter must be different or you get fat, very fat ... As I found out through personal experience!
So, out goes pasta, potatoes, grains (bread) and rice. In goes more eggs, meat and green veggies. I'm aiming for ~2g/kg of protein, so for me that's around 210 or so grams of protein a day (4 chicken forequarters, a load of bacon and eggs, lots of steak, chops etc).
It's worked. I'm now ~100kg and still reasonably strong. Due to an ongoing shoulder injury I can't squat but I can deadlift and front squat and my numbers for that aren't down too much and I'm down about 50 watts on the ergo but 13kg lighter. This should translate into better acceleration, and I'll get that 50 watts back once my shoulder's working properly.
Also posted to the aboc mailing list
It's the second last Spin for winter of 2010 tonight. We've had a bumper year with big turnouts and lots of 'fun' (if you can call being flayed on a trainer fun....) through the winter. Lucie and I have cooked an enormous amount of the aboc bolla over the year. There will end up with a total of 25 sessions this winter, 4.5kg of beef in each session, that's 112.5 kg of beef!
Details of the session are, as always, here
Thank you to Nicole Holt who initially suggested we publish the program online way back in mid 2009, we've done so ever since so you can see what we're doing (there are no secrets at aboc!) and we're always open to questions and suggestions for improvements to the spin program.
We've also had a pretty good winter in at DISC, in the past Spin has subsidised DISC to a significant extent. This winter that wasn't necessary, again, we're doing something right because you keep coming back. We can always do better and I always want to hear suggestions for improvements to the sessions at DISC as well as Spin. We introduced an early warm up for the sprint stream midway through this winter which has worked well and our enduros, under Nathan's guidance, have learned skills and become more confident on the track.
We're running the Summer Sprint Series again this summer at Blackburn, the details are on the series website
That will be a lot of fun and some pretty good competition. Andrew Steele from Avanti Plus Croydon and Gary Jackson from Riviera Cycles are sponsoring the series again and we'll have some good prizes. Sue Dundas and the team will be back to make it work seamlessly and efficiently again.
What else is coming up?
We're going to run fortnightly Spin sessions over summer, probably again on Thursday evenings. Last year these worked well and a small core group of you kept coming to them, maintaining the rage, so to speak. We'll also run fortnightly DISC sessions or Blackburn track sessions on Sunday afternoons. I am yet to set a date for our Hotham trip, the calender is so full this summer that it's quite difficult to squeeze anything in.
Personally, I've moved to more specialisation with the sprint squad and Nathan's looking after more of the endurance program that we run so everyone's getting well looked after, but as I mentioned earlier, we can always do better. We do best when we receive feedback, so please, if there's something we can do better, let us both know!
It's getting very close
Sunday the 10th of October is round 1. Gulp. I am NOT ready! 3 months or so of next to nonexistent training in the gym means I'm down on strength and power, but the racing will still be fun!
The team is pulling together, Sue's back, Pat Dougherty is keen to be involved and our timing wizard, John Lewis, is ready to do the wiring again and Lucie's got her camera ready to take more excellent photos. I'm hoping that Jodie Dundas will be happy to be our videographer again, she does a great job at it. Also, of course, Anne Apolito looking after the entries and we'll see who we can rope in to commentate (rumour has it Fast Eddie Wilson is keen for that job) and cook the BBQ.
Not so successful after all ...
A week or so I wrote about using skateboard deck tape to stop wheel slip on my Kurt Kinetic with the Uberflywheel.
To cut a long story short, the deck tape on the roller is now two bits, with a worn-to-the-roller tyre-wide gap. Ie, it's worn out the tape, in 2 weeks.
Back to the drawing board ...
Doing big gear starts on a Kurt Kinetic Pro with the big flywheel
We do a lot of high strength work on Kurt Kinetic Road Machine trainers. I'm a big fan of these, they work, they're (compared to the BT and Wombat etc) affordable while not being cheap and nasty and there's an option to have a very heavy flywheel. We use the big flywheel for strength work. It fits on the "pro" version of the KKRM. With the Uberflywheel, the total flywheel weight is 18.25 pounds, or a bit over 8 kg. This takes some effort to get going. The Computrainer that all the enduros rave about would blow to bits with the sprint stuff we do, it's limited to about 1500 watts of electro-magnetic braking and I doubt it can cope with high torque applications. The only other thing that comes close is the WattBike, but that's not a cheap bit of kit and it's got its own flaws, most glaringly the wrong Q factor for starters, and yes, that can be fixed, but a $3000+ bit of gear should be right from the start!
Like everything, the KKRM is not perfect. For strength work, we load up with a big gear, for example we sometimes use 53x12 (119") for some efforts. This isn't really what the KKRM is designed for, but it is the best simulation of a standing start I've been able to find. With the superflywheel, it's harder than getting out of the starting gate. Ie: it's good specific strength training. BUT the rear wheel of a bicycle, no matter how tight we do up the tensioner, slips.
Until now ...
When I was over in Adelaide at the NTID sprint camp a couple of months ago, I had a look at what the AIS guys use, one of them has a KKRM, but he'd modified it, presumably for the same reason I have now modified mine. Skateboard deck tape around the roller. This might shred tyres, but it now means next to no wheel slip and a much better initial first three pedal strokes, as the roller starts turning rather than slipping ,which was the big advantage of the BT and the Wombat etc which are directly chain driven. I ducked up to Ringwood and bought a sheet of glorified sandpaper from Ballistyx (which is all deck tape is, it's a sticker combined with sandpaper), cut a bit to wrap once around the roller, stuck it on and trialed it last Tuesday at Spin. Wow. It works really well. We'll happy cope with more tyre wear for this improvement in resistance.
So now my kilo and 500m ITT riders (and team sprint starters, ie: me!) have a harder session when we do big gear standing starts on the ergos.