Tuesday, November 26, 2013

100km Putrajaya Ride Training Report

It was an unlikely weekend of a longer distance cycling for myself and two other seniors from RMC. I took the decision to go out and try pedaling on the road as opposed to sit in for a 30-mins trainer session. One of the challenges of having a family is to do as much as I could and try to be home again for normalcy - and with the other two seniors having the same commitment outside of sports, it was easy to agree to meet up as early as 6.30am on a Saturday morning in Putrajaya - which meant each of us have to be up by 5am and commit to the training.
The Plan
100km. 4hours. Powerman Loop. Start P16. I arrived the morning at about 6:15 and kitted up. We were out pedalling by 6:45 and we took a slow warm up towards MOF before starting to crank up the pedal. It was a good day with little cloud and it coincide with the Team PACat 50KM Ultra. I salute the PACat members for organising a non-competitive ultra run where the main aim was to complete the 50km as a personal achievement. No medal and no finisher t-shirt, just sunburn and the achievement of having done a 50km!
Part of the reason for the ride is "real road feel" as riding on the trainer forces you to maintain the cadence, but doesn't allow you to feel the speed. For that single reason my workout on the trainer were geared towards maintaining the cadence (of pedaling) and it would be good to see how it play out in real life cycling.

Lap 1 30km
Getting off the trainer and onto the road provides sudden surge of power to the pedal as the leg muscles are accustomed to heavier gearing on higher resistance. However without wind resistance and real road-feel, the speed on the trainer are often over-estimated and unable to achieve on the real situation, including the elevation changes that no entry or mid-level trainer could provide (non-computerised). However, the training on cadence does pay off to a large extend as the muscle tries to push for 80 to 90rpm on the ride. The first 30km was completed in a decent 1:01:12, which gave the average of 30km/h. The pace was very do-able over the course and we did spend a bit of slow time on the traffic light before hitting the highway. At the PICC, we stopped to fix a flat, which took us about 10minutes (not inclusive in the timing recorded).
never too late to learn how to change tires
Lap 2 60km
The second lap of 30km was taken at a faster pace and done in 56:50. Average speed of 33km/h was an increment of 10% from the previous lap and that added up to almost 50% higher intensity to complete this extra. It is unbelievable just how much the extra 10% of average speed eats up on the energy level. Of course, to get this increase meant the effort to maintain a high 35km/h++ was done. The average "top speed" divided over the second 30km was a cool 40km/h. What this meant is that the intensity to maintain the speed over the same elevation gain of about 500m per loop. A mark of how the training should be shaped in the months to come - higher intensity to support the speed burst so to maintain the better average. The cadence training on bike trainer came into play big time as I hammered the bike and pushed through the 30km.
Lap 3 90km
Lap 3 was taken easier as we wind down and clock up the mileage. It was time to concentrate on the cadence as the legs started to be fatigued by the hammering. at this stage, the 90km was completed in a pretty decent timing of 2:58, which return a moving average of 31km/h. Average per km pace was 1:51min/km. Looked like the last 30km was also done in a rather "hard" manner to catch up on the timing. 
Catching a breather
The balance of the ride was a slower spinning to shake off the lactic acid and as a form of recovery as we have other activities planned for the weekend. With almost a cool 4000kcal burnt over elapsed time of 4hours (3:45 if you take away the stop time fixing the tires and stopping at traffic lights over 3 laps), it's a pretty decent workout for a Saturday. We intend to use the next few outing to improve and this 100km ride is certainly a "benchmark" as to check on our own improvement over the period of time. 
More to come as we enter T-43weeks to Ironman Malaysia 2014. Bring on the mileage!

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