Do or Do Not – Lessons Learned

10 09 2014

The race season for 2014 is over. My first full season as a Cat 3. Did my results match my expectations? Somewhat. At the start of the season, my job in the squad along with a few other teammates was to serve as a domestique for a couple of our teammates. Did they upgrade to Cat 2? Yes, they did. In doing so, I had to shift my focus from my goals to get the work done for them. I think our élite squad will benefit from their upgrade.

What about the rest of the season’s effort? Well, I was able to do two stage races, the Tour de Bloom Omnium in Wenatchee, WA – 2nd place GC, and the Mutual of Enumclaw stage race (MOE) in Enumclaw, WA – 13th place after stage 2 (I blew up during the climbing part of stage 3 and DNF’d.) I was also able to do a number of criteriums and was able to record/sample the power intensities therewith. Lessons learned? Absolutely—here’s some of them:

  1. Don’t under-eat so much that your body goes into a catabolic state
  2. Consume at least the number of carbohydrates to manage the stage racing schedule
  3. Learn what the specific power requirements are for the events for which you intend to compete
  4. After the target event intensities are learned—do the proper back-planning and train for them
  5. Quality rest is important. Without it, subsequent race days are already at a disadvantage

I was so successful that I managed to screw all five of these up at the same time. This happened to coincide with the MOE stage race. The first tenet is likely a consequence of the second. When you don’t re-fuel properly, your body basically tears itself down to create fuel. At the time, I knew that a lot of the race courses would have grades of various pitch, and at race pace, they could be brutal. I rationalized that if I could lose the excess body fat, my power to weight ratio (and my race performance) would improve measurably. I lost the weight just fine, about 6.5% in January alone. In the midst of this body weight crash-dive, my body fat caliper readings ranged between 5% to 8%. The crux of the problem was that I wasn’t eating anywhere near the amount of carbohydrate that I should have been. David Morris, physiologist at the Olympic Training Center from 1992 to 1996, states in his book that I should have consumed 8 to 10 grams of carbohydrate on racing or heavy training days, and 5 to 6 grams on lighter days. Got to pay more attention to the instructions next season.

Concerning the third point, I did manage to measure the racing intensities of a couple of criteriums, the Ballard Criterium, and the Joe Matava Criterium.

38 surges 602 W to 753 W each.  Surge duration ~22 seconds

91 surges in the Joe Matava Criterium (data not backed-up—another lesson)

so I need to shape next years crit training to accommodate these intensities.

Shall I continue the rant and self-beatings? Nope. On to the next post—David Morris’ four-phase, off-season training plan, phase 1.

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