Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I got hooked on time trials a few years ago. It is a great exercise and allows me to be competitive without having to jostle for position with a bunch of other cyclists coming to the finish line. I found that I was better than a lot of guys, but not even close to the top. I have a few gold medals, but only because the fast riders skipped the race. I keep saying I'm not in it for medals, but because medals are an indication of fitness, then by default, I really am in it for the medals. I chose the Senior Games because they divide the competitors into 5-year age brackets and us older guys really cannot compete head-to-head with the good younger ones. Even so, I realize that those who are more physically gifted than me will be faster. That being said, they serve as a carrot to my training. Over the last few years, my training has intensified as I try to cut their margin of victory. It may be finally paying off, in that my third place finishes no longer look like I rode in a different county. No longer are they off their bikes and chatting as I come across the line, but instead are still in their warm-down pedalling. As stated, this is a great exercise. You need to be explosive off the line, keep an aero position for a long period, keep a high heart rate for much longer than you would on a touring ride, and stay mentally in the race by constantly monitoring your body, your bike, and the road. For heart rate, I do spin classes, especially in the winter, and use the Chris Carmichael Time Trial method (I used to run the tape, but it finally wore out) weekly, putting my bike on a trainer in the kitchen. But the qualifiers are completed (silver and bronze last weekend) and for the summer I will concentrate on climbing, since Alpe d'Huez is on my horizon in July.