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.

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little things matter

little things matter

This weekend I’m on Australia’s “Sunshine Coast” in Queensland where the national paracycling road championships are being held. Sunshine Coast? It’s pretty much been raining since I got here yesterday after 15 hours of driving from Sydney.

Today was the individual road time trial. The races were run over a flat 4km section of road that was closed for the event, making an 8km out ‘n’ back course, the number of laps depending on race category. All paracycling categories, including handcycles, were competing today. Those handcycle guys and gals are pretty amazing.

My race (Mens C4) was a 24km ITT which was three laps of the flat S-shaped course. That meant five U-turns. There was a decent southerly wind blowing today (20 km/h) making for cross winds mostly, but short sections of near block head and tailwind. Here’s the course map:

2011-04-09_Para Nats Course Map.jpg

24C, 1024hPa and 85% relative humidity.

And below is the power, speed and cadence trace (click to see a larger image). As you can see by looking at the speed line, the wind really had an impact.

2011-04-09_TT Para Nats.jpg

So how did I go? Well the power was OK and about right for my current form. I pretty much just tried to keep a 3 in the hundreds column on the power display and let the legs tell me if that was about right. As is typical legs felt way too good early, plus pushing into cross-head wind, resulting in a solid start.

Average for the 35 minutes or so was 304 watts. Normalised Power 305W.

At halfway I started to struggle and power dropped a bit for the next section. I was focusing on keeping a rhythm as much as I could and use the short tailwind section for a very slight recovery, knowing that I would probably be able to find something for the final leg.

I just needed to hang in there.

Hang in there I did, and I lifted for the finale (ouch – that was hard) but it was worth it.

I took Silver, 1:13 down on the winner (Ryan Hughes) which is what I expected given the gap between us in the Individual Pursuit earlier this year. I thought about a minute or so would be about right.

But I only took silver over bronze by 1/100th of a second! That’s the equivalent of the width of one’s hand over 24km. 0.00045%. Now that’s what I call a slim margin.

Sometimes the little things matter.

Road race tomorrow.

Bon Anniversaire IV

Anaerobic Stuff - Mr Peabody's WABAC Machine

Anaerobic Stuff - Mr Peabody's WABAC Machine