Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ready, Set, Taper!


With just over 30 days till my next race, I am transitioning into "taper" this week. I am going to dial down the distance on most of the disciplines, with the exception of running. Right now that is my biggest hurdle to clear (which is funny since it is the smallest amount of time I am trying to reduce, 2-3 minutes from last year's race). I believe I am going to incorporate some intervals into my workout, as well as I need to find a local track to do those. The course is not hilly at all, so doing the Chastain loop works out well for me (rolling hills and false flats galore).

I would like everyone to know that my averages seem to be down on my Tue night Sandy Springs Loop! Last year I was averaging about 1hr 45-50min (~26 miles), this does include stop lights and stop signs. This year I broke 1hr 40 at the beginning of the season (just after the time change), and I am averaging about 1hr 35-36 minutes for the same distance. After taking some advice from Sheila, I have been trying to keep up with the main group for a longer period of time, and so far I have gotten out to about 20-30 minutes with them, depending on the day. The groups have been smaller lately, due to the heat I believe. Usually we would have around 50-60 people riding on Tuesday nights, but yesterday I think we had around 30.

Outside of the running, I believe I will focus on developing my intensity at race pace, attempting to mimic the distances of the actual race. If I have any base workouts, I will just add a little extra distance, rather than doubling or doing my current training distance (i.e. riding 25-50 miles on my Saturday or Sunday rides). I feel pretty positive that I am going to be able to finish the swim in 8:00min, and I think that if I am riding on a tuesday night ride in traffic, stoplights, and total elevation change of a few thousand feet averaging 1:35, then I should be closer to 1hr 30 during the race.

Something I have not been practicing that I need to work on is my transitions. I am thinking 2-2:30 max in T1, and NO LONGER than 1:30 in T2. This is of course not taking into effect that I have to run about 75 yards from shore to bike racks in T1, and that I have to walk in the transition area in T2 (what kind of crap is that?? If you are on the wrong side of the transition area, you can lose 30-45 seconds just walking!).

I have been trying to clean my bike so I can get it up to the shop. You should see my chain and cassettes. They are well lubed, but BLACK!!! I mean I think I am probably using more energy due to all the GUNK that is on the chain and the gears!

Question: Does anyone know how easy it is to convert a regular road bike 3 ring in the front, to a 2 ring. I am assuming that there is an easy way that works. I have a specialized allez, and most of the allez models that are 2 or more generations ahead of mine have the 2 ring system (I think). Any feedback or suggestions on this matter would be greatly appreciated. I might have more to post later, I spent alot of time looking at everyone's blogs today. It seems that people had lots to talk about.



Jessica said...

So I don't really know the answer to your question, but I think you actually need a new crankset for that to happen, and it's not particularly cheap. I did a dumb thing: I have a compact double (Specialized Ruby) that came with a 50/36 in front. I decided I wanted a smaller small ring, so I swapped the 36 for a 34. Now I have trouble shifting to the big ring and I can't use the small in front, small in back (not that you should, but still). So, um, my advice: get your bike professional to tell you what to do, and to install the new crankset if that's what you go with.

Question back to you: Why do you want a double, and do you want a compact or regular?

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