Friday, July 07, 2006

In Search of the Sweet Spot

Uphill time trial tomorrow: The Mill Mountain Time Trial of the Commonwealth Games. Man, those boys at Roanoke Cycling sure can put on some good events. Their promotion and web pages are the best around. Great information, directions with map links to all the events, Topo maps of the courses. Very well done. They are returning mountain bike racing to the area with some gusto.

This will be an approx. 20min time trial climb 75% single track 25% road.

These are so tough. The tendency is to actually go too hard. Ironically, the thing that nags at me is that I won't go hard enough. There is a stigma of races especially time trials of "Going as hard as you can"

One thing I've learned is that Going the hardest doesn't always equate to going the fastest. Invariably, holding back leads to a better time.

The goal is the sweet spot. That razor's edge where you are going at the fastest speed that you can actually sustain. Where your speed and momentum feeds upon it self. Too slow and you aren't riding to your potential. Too fast and the legs start to bog, the breathing goes up and you end up going backwards.

This is my goal. If I can control myself enough to hold the sweetspot through to the finish I'll be happy. It is just so easy to go out too hard. Especially in an event like this. And especailly on a climb.

20mins. Big deal, sprint the whole way. Yeah right. That is a recipe for disaster. Maybe I'll sprint when I can see the finish.


At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a goal of mine as well. In group rides and can run a pace that makes people drop off. I can hold it for a long time, but in a race it rarely happens. Perhaps it is the complexity of the race situation.
In my experience, I always do better when I hold back a bit in the start.
I have come back from near last to top ten in some races, but If I could ride top 5 early and find my tempo then I could do well.

I have a race next weekend (if it's not too hot). I am torn between the Sugar and the Hollowpoint. The Hollpowpoint has felt real slugish lately. But it might be from the heat. I think it rides fast when I'm strong, but I really feel it when I'm weak or overheated.
I think I have dog day legs right now. A cold front on race day would be great.


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