Variable Pacing Strategy for specific TT

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Lucy_Aspenwind, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

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    I've been thinking about TT's and how to properly pace onself. It seems to me that short of a perfectly flat, no-wind course, that the best strategy is some sort of changing or flexible pace instead of a constant one. Now I know that's hardly an original thought by any stretch - what I want to do is figure out the best way to break down the course I'm interested in.

    Basically it is a climb I do every week which is about 13.3 miles & roughly 3800 ft of climbing @ 5.3% (which includes a short downhill section). Speaking of which, the downhill section is near the base of a ski area on the mountain, about 6.25 miles into the course, which dilutes the overall grade (though it does give a 30-60 second respite). So before that you have roughly a 5-5.5% grade, after the downhill it goes nearer to 6.5% which some spots higher than that.

    What I've noticed invariably is that I go faster and feel stronger in the first half, then have to really grind out the second half. In part fatigue sets in but also it feels like the altitude becomes more of a factor (at 9,000 ft and higher).

    My intuition tells me it makes sense to do the first half at slightly less power than the second half - based on the premise that given a finite AWC and FTP, extra power on a steeper grade would yield a high speed than using higher watts on a less steep section.

    What would be the best way to approach this climb i.e..., what percentage of FTP would you ride the 1st half vs. 2nd half? And no, I can't just hammer and ride the entire thing at FTP as it takes me well over an hour!



    [​IMG]
     
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  2. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    Well that might not answer all your questions (and maybe not even one of your questions), but I find there's a entertaining flavor to this one here (I made a fool of myself ;) ).. http://www.cyclingforums.com/t-360008-15-1&highlight=grade.html

    I must add that the expert in TT power based pacing strategy (using math. model) in my opinion is RapDaddyo. He might show up on this thread soon if we're lucky enough :)
     
  3. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

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    Hi - thanks for suggesting that thread, I had read others about VP TT's but not the this particular one. Yes, RD, from the threads I read, would be a good resource for this subject.

    The main complications I see with this TT vs. the one discussed above is a) length and b) altitude (as it affects my ability to generate power).

    The more I think about this, the more possibilities I see and moreover, questions keeps coming up. I'm certain that the highest power should be applied to the steepest sections, which I know where they are in this course.

    However, deciding how much power to apply and budgeting it out to last the entire climb is tricky. It almost feels like planning matches in advance, rather than seeing where I used them in retrospect!
     
  4. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    Seems to me the main question is one of what %FTP (or IF) you can sustain for the duration of the climb at that high altitude.

    What is your baseline altitude, i.e., the one where you tested/set your FTP?

    http://www.midweekclub.ca/powerFAQ.htm see #17 for power loss with altitude

    hope that helps.
     
  5. asgelle

    asgelle New Member

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    I know Lucy's feelings about group rides have been shared here, and I don't want to get into that discussion again, but I think here is another example of how group rides can have value beyond what is shown in the IF, power distribution, workout efficiency, etc. data from the ride. The ride Lucy shows is well known locally and there are at least 20 riders who do the ride weekly during the spring and summer, in addition about 60 local riders participate in the annual race that finishes up that climb. There is a tremendous wealth of knowledge available from those riders which is readily available by talking to them, but the easiest way to do that is during group rides. So while an occasional group ride might not be the optimal workout for that day, there are many benefits beyond the training which are available.
     
  6. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

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    I agree with you about % FTP and it, along with divying it up smartly, to be the key.

    Confirmation of my FTP I actually do as a hard 60-min TT on this mountain - between the base and just under 9000 ft - as I like to do those tests on steady climbs.

    The article you mention is one I've actually posted, and a good one I think. So I'm trying to keep in mind the slightly but definite loss in power encountered at the higher altitude.

    I was looking at the Mt. Charleston VP thread and my power files from these rides look eerily similar to those - strong first half, slower on the 2nd.
     
  7. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

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    I don't question that there is wisdom in having these kinds of discussions with local, experienced riders. Actually I have talked to the PedalQueens about some rides and plan to partake in some of those (at least the ones held in ABQ rather than SF). I know some of them race the local crit series so I see that as an opportunity to get more insight on that too.

    The crest ride is well known, and I'll be doing it later today, but I see maybe one or two riders at most now rather than the dozen or so I'd encounter 2 months ago. I won't even mention the encounter I had with a threatening motorist 2 weeks ago! :eek:

    I suspect I'll resolve this whole VP issue the old-fashioned way: trial and error! :rolleyes:
     
  8. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    What is the course? Be as specific as possible (i.e., starts at the intersection of x and y, hwy xx to hwy yy, left on zz street, etc.). Or post the turn by turn directions from a mapping program. Then I can take a look at the course with topo software. What drives a VP pacing strategy are the specific segments of the course (grade, elevation and wind) and not just the overall grade. For example, Mt. Charleston has about a dozen individual segments (due to grade changes) that translate to power changes. If wind is a factor, there are even more segments. What is your predicted FTP and total weight (rider + bike + bottles, etc.)?
     
  9. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

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    No problem!

    [​IMG]

    Also: http://www.hlhap.com/azroadclimbs.html (Sandia Crest Climb)

    Directions:

    From ABQ, NM head east on i-40
    Exit North on Highway 14 aka Turquoise Trail
    Turn left on 536 (Sandia Crest Road)
    536 is the climb route

    FYI: highway 165 splits from 536 about 7.5 miles into the climb.

    Another map for you:

    [​IMG]

    Alright, I'm off to ride the course - cheers :D
     
  10. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Arrgghh! Sure, rub it in on the flatlander. :mad:
     
  11. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

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    LOL - hey now, I always play nice and would never rub it in. You should know these two things quite well by now. Otherwise the 'flatlander guys think a 100 ft overpass is a mountain' jokes would start flying :D

    Anyway, got back a short while ago, and am honestly, still shivering! Today was nothing less than dreadful, beginning with my legs just not being all there. It took me about 5 minutes to realize I didn't have as much in the tank as last week. :mad:

    Further difficulties included: I dropped the chain just before the descent at the ski area, then got caught star-gazing at an impressive group of 7 deer that crossed the road about 25 feet in front of me, and finally, I lost a bloody contact! Ack it was 36 at the summit and I arrived in all of a s/s jersey and shorts. Even putting on my jacket, arm warmers, knee warmers, and helmet cover w.asn't enough to keep me from being near frozen on the way down.:(

    Next week ought to be better :):)
     
  12. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Sorry to hear about your ride. I guess you don't want to hear about my ride. Well, I'll tell you anyway. Departure at 7:00AM with temps in the mid 50s. Rode down to Lake Mead and down to the Hoover Dam and across to the other side to an observation point ~2 miles up the road. Pretty spectacular sight. Made the return trip at 9:00AM with temps in the low 70s. The climb out is 8 miles at ~6% avg grade (34.5 mins). But, I never did catch my riding buddy. Of course, he weighs ~150lbs, so he had ~13kg advantage on me (for now). I had him in my sights the whole way, but couldn't close the gap. Just wait until January.;)
     
  13. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

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    Wow, temps in the low 70's? Snap, I would love to ride in that kind of weather!

    Not sure why you thought I'd pass on hearing about your ride - in fact, I had no idea what ride you did! :eek:

    Too bad your riding buddy escaped, but I suspect that is merely a temporary problem? Is there an engine room upgrade you are secretly planning?

    I could have used one today in that dept. but it seems the crew were all on holiday :(
     
  14. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Because he's just rubbing it in! See what I have to deal with? :D
     
  15. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Rap, can you e-mail me some pics of the overpass construction next time you do that ride? If carrying the digital camera in your pocket won't put you at too much more of a weight disadvantage, that is. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

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    Ha - clever!

    Yes, yes, woe is you for nobody has seen the troubles (overpasses) you've seen....;)
     
  17. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    I knew there was a reason I ride track....
     
  18. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Actually, we haven't done that ride in a long time due to the construction, but everybody enjoyed the ride so much today that I've been asked to post it regularly. I'll take a little digital camera next time and get you some pics. It is one impressive bridge! Might qualify as a hors Cat climb in KS.;)
     
  19. Pureshot78

    Pureshot78 New Member

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    Come on Frenchy, I got out of Madison to SCAL! All you have to do is put up with freeway log jams and suspend any notion of owning a house. Of course the real estate bubble is prime to burst so maybe i'll have a chance yet. :cool:

    I've attached a spreadsheet of local climbs in my new abode. Highlighted in yellow are the ones we did on today's 40 mile group ride.
     
  20. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

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    You're just way too smart! :D

    Something amusing, and it never fails to happen, are all the people who come up to me at the top of the mountain. Declaring that I must be a marvel of endurance or whatever, when I tell them I'm a sprinter they don't believe it :eek:
     
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