Now that I've had a chance to review Saturday's racing, both in my head and the computer data, it is clear what needs to be improved. Whether or not these achieve the results I envision will have to wait until the proper time has been spent on the various activities.
My friend, Clif (the overall fastest guy at the National Senior Games in 2013), is quite a bit faster than me, but happily shared some of his training regimen. I averaged 22.6 mph with a cadence of 85 rpm in the 5k and 21.9 mph and 82 rpm in the 10k. I need 90 rpm with a higher gear to get where I'm wanting to be. In the past I've concentrated on 90 rpm in practice so that should not be a problem. What I'm missing is (in the legs) what 24.5 mph actually feels like for any distance. A lot of it is mental, in that for the 10k I protected myself in the early going to be sure I had enough at the end. Well, I had enough at the end; but had lost too much at the beginning. That's what my TT training will be for the next several months: first find out what 24.5 mph feels like (not just getting up to speed, but holding it so the legs and cardio can recognize it), then extend the distance until I can be comfortable for the whole race.
Next, it really rankles that I continually get dropped in the last quarter-mile of a road race. True, time trials are my concentration, and I just get into these road races for the training and to have fun. But I still want to let them think I can hang. So, I'll be incorporating some sprint practice at least weekly. In 2010 I actually was state champion in the 40k road race. That came about when the guys had a tough 20k the day before (I didn't compete) and the 40k had a tough wind for the last couple of miles to the finish. They took it relatively easy most of the race, so when it came down to the sprint I had fresh legs and had averaged about 70% of my max heart-rate. AND, there was a big guy in front of me most of the way. My weakness is getting a jump when I'm at 80-85% of max. I know I have an additional 10 bpm, I just need to be able to use it. Hopefully, the training will work.
Regular readers know that my main cycling activity is touring ( http://acyclistpublishing.com/ ) so my race-training is not quite as serious as it sounds. I have two touring adventures in Europe this year that are cycling disruptions plus two cycling adventures in Colorado and Georgia. Racing is a side-line, I just want to be the best I can be under the circumstances. If I don't get faster, so be it, I'll still be having fun.