The previous post was bare-bones reporting. But in re-reading, I stopped to ruminate about the lack of speed going downhill with the wind. I also postulated that I didn't utilize the much-needed 11 cog. I have a spread sheet going back ten years. Occasionally I actually go back to see what I've done, but mostly I ignore the stats. The bulk of my riding is recreational, so there isn't much to be gleaned by poring over them. I did pick up a nugget this afternoon.
But first a pearl of wisdom: If you know what you have to do to achieve a goal, but don't do it and don't achieve your goal, then you have no one but yourself to blame. I've known for years that to get faster I need to up my cadence from 80 to 90. Yes, Todd and Dan, you've told me time and again. I've also procrastinated, starting in fits and spurts to spin, but always coming up with an excuse to fall off that wagon. With the addition of a cadence counter (Garmin GS-10 donated by Jason Wright, thank you again) to my trainer bike, I'm getting serious about the cadence. I've had to come up a gear as I get used to it, but can achieve 90 rpm for three five-minute stretches. I've yet to train outside using cadence to control the effort.
Which brings me back to Saturday's races. Besides recording on my spreadsheet, I also upload the data to the Garmin Training Center. This creates a nice graph with multiple lines, in this case I graphed speed and cadence. I also utilize Sheldon Brown's gear chart, having made charts for both 80 and 90 rpm. It clearly shows in the 5k time trial I followed my game-plan of 90 rpm for about three-quarters of a mile. Then, rather than shift to an easier gear I dropped rpm. Sheldon Brown shows you can maintain or go faster at 90 rpm even in one smaller cog. Ok, maybe the wind in my face was a factor.
Then I got the wind at my back. I was going up the incline in a big gear. The relief I felt at getting the wind helped push me off my game-plan. I took satisfaction in going faster: 26 mph at 79 rpm. In looking at the chart, I apparently was in the 13 cog. Had I been in the 14 at 90 rpm, I would have been doing 27.4.
The downhill was worse. I remember feeling the exhilaration of speed. But my top speed was 29 mph at 83 rpm. I had plenty of oomph left to ramp it up to 90, which would have put me at 31.9 mph. I don't know if I could have, but the 11 cog at 90 rpm would have come in at 34.8 mph. It concerns me that I was satisfied at 83 rpm. My heart-rate graph looks like I flat-lined at 143 beats per minute (which is only 84% of max). Perhaps the long waits to start had something to do with it.
In any case, I have a good game plan, I just need to stick with it, keeping my mind on the race at all times. Surely I can do that for eight minutes, or sixteen.