Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Anatomy of a Blow Up (Then I Ate Some Clams)

Since I have a new SRM Power Meter lets use it to examine exactly what happened to me on the group ride Saturday. The ride is a rolling 28 mile loop for the 1:45, with one hill effort of 5 minutes and a few town line sprints. First 50 minutes until the hill effort are a social "waking up pace" 155 w avg, 185 w normalized.The hill effort is 5 minutes at mid to high VO2 max pace. The second half is a bit more active. 177 avg w, but 250 w normalized with a variability index of 1.41... so by those numbers the pace is anything but constant. All of this is simply setting the stage for the last hour. There are six climbs, all 3 to 5 minutes in duration with avg grades ranging from 6 to 8 percent. Nothing crazy, but its the company that makes these hard. This graph shows the total effort for the hour. 207 w avg, 273 w normalized. VI at 1.31.
Now we can get into the comical part of the day. I had some 'issues' on the second climb. I am a climber, and usually do pretty well on anything with a positive slope, but I screwed this one up. The first hills effort was more constant and we had a 9 minute ride to the next hill so I entered the climb pretty fresh. Unfortunately somebody jumped hard at the base. I followed. Examining the effort afterwards shows in pretty simple form what I did, I went hard... my legs simply couldn't respond to the initial move and I would have been better off not trying to match the pace as when I blew up, I went sailing backwards through the group being forced to ride at Z2/ Z3 pace for the last minute. This is similar to what I did at the Manayunk Wall TT in 2008...
Obviously I have identified a weakness, my ability to jump at the base of a short steep climb. I wasn't really worried about it though because I already knew how I was going to remedy my newly reminded fault. Drink Captain Lawrence beer and eat my body weight in clams. Genius.

No comments: