Watt Matters is a blog about training and racing with power and other related musings.

Aside from writing items here on occasions, I also provide cycling performance improvement services via coaching, aerodynamics testing and host a cycling tour.

If you'd like to ask me a question or suggest a topic you'd like my take on, then just head to Ask Alex and let me know!

3rd in line

I've been a bit busy of late, so my posting rate has slowed somewhat.

I was supporting some clients and buddies at the World Masters Track Cycling Championships last week as well as doing some other stuff. I'll write a bit more about that another day (it was a very successful championships for my club, my buddies and clients). Despite the "busy-ness", my training continues and so today I took myself down to Heffron Park for a criterium race.

Signed up for D-grade and it seems there were enough for a separate D-grade bunch today. Not sure how many we started with, maybe 12-15 riders. A moderate North Easterly wind kept the pace down on the back half of the circuit. It was a nice afternoon (race starts at 5pm), sunny and ~ 23 C.

Race is 14 laps of Heffron's 2.04km circuit.

Something new today - I bought a new leg liner during the week - that's the compression liner that goes over my stump and has the metal pin at the base that secures my stump into the socket. My existing one is tatty, worn and with holes appearing and getting bigger. So I swapped the pin over to the new liner and wore it in the race today. It would seem that cycling is quite tough on the liners.

One liner @ $1000 thank you very much. Ouch! So my first one only lasted a handful of months. It would seem the strategy is to have multiple liners, so that you can rotate them and allow each one a chance to recover properly before using it again. It looks as though I better save a few more pennies and get some more liners. That also means some getting extra pins sorted as well.

We keep learning....

So with the new leg liner on and a 20-min warm up on the circuit out of the way, I head to the start line and off we go for a 14 lap adventure.

I finished 3rd. Didn't want to leave you in suspense now, did I :)

Not entirely sure what to expect of myself, basically I was just there to see how I would fare. Pace was fairly steady, which was fine by me. A few surges by some enthusiastic souls who seemed to like riding into the wind. That was OK and at one point a lone rider put on an effort down the main straight. Seeing that nobody was going to go pull them back, I decided to try myself and it wasn't that hard to close the gap. They didn't last long anyway and soon we were together again.

So I just kept my nose out of the wind, noggin side up and never really had to work all that hard. Indeed at times I was just seeing how much soft pedalling/coasting I could do at various times, practicing basic race skills.

I unintentionally unclipped my prosthetic leg from the pedal a couple of times and I'm not entirely sure why, so I'll need to look into that. Since the pace wasn't on, it never really was a problem - I was able to calmly clip back in, but in a harder race it sure wouldn't help matters.

There weren't many left by the end, maybe a half dozen.

Stats:
Duration: 50:19
TSS: 83.7 (intensity factor 0.999)
Average / Norm Power: 220 watts / 240 watts
Distance: 28.566 km
Cadence (max/avg): 109 / 86 rpm
Speed (max/avg): 50.5 / 34.0 kph


So given I didn't rate that as a super hard race and I had an IF of 0.999 for 50 minutes, then it would suggest my fitness is going along OK.

I'll probably have another crack in a couple of weeks.

My cycling leg

The Thin Blue Line