Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Of PR's and Speed Barriers

Hit Old Farm today. On a mission to break the PR or blow sky high trying.
3 second improvement to 17:05. The feeling of utter agony at the top was almost over the top. It took a good 1/2hr -45minutes to feel halfway decent after that. With some planned dismounts as opposed to the try to ride till you come to a dead stop type of approach and some better pacing it will fall again.

This is what training needs to be like. The old adage when you go hard go really hard is how you get better. But man is this easy to say but hard to do.

Now here's the cool thing. My friend broke his own PR as well. by 3 minutes.

That is a 3 minute improvement over a 21minute climb. Which is huge.

This is an example of what I call breaking a speed barrier. There was a great article written by the man Johnny T in an MBA years ago about speed barriers. Basically there are these certain speeds at which it actually takes less energy to maintain than if you were just underneath the speed barrier.

You reach a speed where you can float over stuff and hold momentum more consistently. It is what allows some people to look effortless across sections and how the experts/pros can maintain such phenomenal average speeds over courses.

Once broken, these speed barrier will create big time gains. The cool thing is you don't need to make the equivalant gain in fitness. It's hard to put into words. But in certain situations you can improve your time by 10% due to a smaller gain in fitness that allowed you to break a speed barrier.

These are also why it's oftentimes easier to go faster. Counter intuitive, but it takes less energy to go faster sometimes.


At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting info on speed barriers!
I will try and practice that method.

I have been in a certain flow zone when things seem to work well and effortlessly. I also move better at a certain speed and work harder when I am behind slower riders on climbs.

notes to self:
Move faster when I can, pace myself on steep climbs. Pedal faster when I have urge to coast.

Finally felt strong after a few weeks of lackluster performance (coming off a cold, allergies).
I guess it's time to race that Azure next week.



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