Liz Randall's Cycling Blog - a life behind bars

"With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable"



Friday, 13 February 2009

Killer Session

Yesterday's session was in the wee hours of the morning..before sparrow fart is the expression, although of course I would never be so crude.....

At 2am I woke up suddenly realising that I had an article to write before the end of the day and an overloaded day with no time to think. So up I got, wrote the article and 2 hours later had brekky. By 6am I was at DISC ready to do a test on what sort of gears I should be using for my various races since my Performance Management Chart has indicated a significant increase in wattage at shorter distances.

So the deal was to do 10 min efforts at what is my current race gearing and repeat at gradually increasing gear inches all at the same RPM, which was pegged at 90... with adequate rests between, naturally.

I think I was a bit tired to begin with...hey! what do I mean "think"..I know I was..4 hrs sleep just ain't enough for this old chook! The major sign of fatigue...decreased dexterity... each time I changed gear I managed to drop something..Allen key, little linky things, cogs, spanner..you name it.. luckily I was alone in the place so no-one was able to witness my rapidly deteriorating language.

Anyhow I did the session with 4 different combinations starting off with 53/15 and ending up with 52/14..yup BIG gears for a short 65 year old but as already confessed I'm a grinder not a spinner. A couple felt more natural than the others but my thoughts at the time were that there wasn't much difference but I had to wait until the end of the day to download the powertap data to be sure.

The conclusion...they were pretty well mirror images of each other and if you factor in the increasing fatigue/ boredom as the session went on, then I need to up my gears. The next task is to work on starts to see which of these combos I can start best with.....ah! the fine balance between the ability to grunt out the first quarter lap from the standing start and what you are most comfortable with for the rest of the race! In the 500m TT I always feel I've spun out by 375m.

I was very tired by the end and dragged myself into work for a killer day..warn staff I am stressed/tired, ward round, warn staff I am stressed/tired, treat patients, warn staff I am stressed/tired, meeting, treat patients, TRAC, treat patients, home, eat, bed....!

Check out one of my all time favourite blogs The Science of Sport which has just started a series on exercise and ageing, its based on running but well worth a read already.

I've managed to persuade the Clinical Psychologist at work to give a talk at the next TRAC get together, which will be mid March. The topic will be on strategies to keep one's motivation going once the initial euphoria/excitement has passed....

8 comments:

Buttsy said...

102 is impressive gear. I am working up to bigger gears this year for my pursuit, rumour was last year the girls were on 96 and I was on about 92.6 48/14 and I am also a grinder although getting better at spinning, might do some track stuff next week, at the local outdoor track and get my track legs going.....

Colin Griffiths said...

"Sparrow fart": never heard that one before! 52/14, crikey Liz! My biggest gear at the moment is 53/16. but there again I'm not a multi-world champion!

asfastasicanforaslongasican said...

Ah, Colin..I used to be a proper English lady, but in 1972 I came to Melbourne!!...if you can't beat 'em you have to join 'em!

So now you have a new phrase which you can toss into the mix check out this website for more colourful Aus language http://www.aussieslang.com/

re: the gear..somehow I don't think I'll be going for the 52/14 option,it didn't feel the most comfortable and I'm sure the standing start test will eliminate it.

asfastasicanforaslongasican said...

hey Judith...keep at the spinning practise..I've managed to up mine but I have to concentrate still or it slips back to a more natural grind...

Penny said...

Hi Liz,
Gee - I can't imagine a 52/14 gear ... as I'm still very happy on 48/16 = 81 gi (i.e. U17 gearing, even though I'm not a junior).
I tried 48/18 at DISC in January - which was too small for racing, but excellent for accelerating from a standing start (with starting gate!)
Penny

asfastasicanforaslongasican said...

keep it going Penny..horses for courses..I couldn't spin a junior gear if I tried..warming up on 49/15 is as small as I go.

My 2 charts say 52/14 is 100.3 but hey, what's in a number..you can only compare yourself to yourself and we all have a tendency to get stuck on a gear we have become accustomed to rather than sizing up the situation on the day.

I've been told that temperature and barometric pressure should have a bearing on what gear we use, but I'm too dumb-I too get stuck on 1 gear!

Buttsy said...

I just checked my chart (I used to have one that was wrong and thought oh no I have thrown the wrong one out and 53/14 is 102 and yep 52/14 is 100.3...I am still impressed though.....it would take me two laps to wind it up!

asfastasicanforaslongasican said...

hey Judith...I'm fairly sure that it will take me that long too..I suspect 50/ or 51/14 is what I'll end up using. Although the results were pretty much the same the "feel" of each gear was quite different. It was a worthwhile test..