Race Report: Red Kite Criterium

The effort alternated between recovery (zone 1) and anaerobic (zones 6 and 7).

Last Sunday, I competed in a criterium event put on by Red Kite Racing in Livermore, CA. The race consisted of 12 laps of a 1-mile course, which was dead flat and contained four turns. I was competing in the Category 5 race, which had approximately 40 athletes.

The start of the race was actually quite relaxed, and there weren’t any serious attempts to break away. The only efforts were being put out on the corners, each of which required an anaerobic effort (120+ percent of FTP). I made my way to the front 5-10 riders as soon as I could in order to minimize the impact of the accordion effect. However, I made sure to never let myself be completely exposed to the wind.

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The beauty and pain in power testing

Peak power from test

Not many things in life feel as satisfying as an honest test of my aerobic engine. There’s obviously a high level of physical stress and discomfort that go along with it, but that is an important aspect of the overall experience. The simultaneous feeling of physical fatigue and mental clarify (via endorphins) is one of the things I love about this sport.

I’ve had fairly consistent training on the bike over the last few weeks, and I was eager to see how my fitness had progressed. I was coming off a decent training load over the month of March and into Spring Break, but I ended up taking the entire weekend off from training (unscheduled recovery). This led my legs to feel really fresh on Monday when I decided it would be a good time to do a power test.

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Race Report: BBC Criterium

I had an absolutely humbling experience today at my first criterium. I was entered in the mens category five race, which was 30 minutes around a 0.8 mile, P-shaped loop. This meant there were six turns on each lap, and approximately 60-70 in total (over the whole 30 minutes).

Unfortunately, I had high blood sugars for most of the 24 hours leading into the race, including the morning of the event. It’s pretty frustrating to be so meticulous with my blood glucose but still have unpredictable glucose spikes. Still, I reminded myself that I had nothing to prove in this race, and thus I proceeded to go into the event with approximately twice as much glucose in my blood than I would’ve liked (225 mg/dL).

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Race Report: Tri for Fun #2

After months of illness and rebuilding my fitness, I was finally healthy enough to get back into competition! For my first race of the season, I chose a local sprint triathlon that I was very familiar with: the Tri for Fun summer triathlon series in Pleasanton, CA. I did all three of their events last summer, so I thought this would be a good event to gauge my current fitness (with respect to last year).

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any specific fitness coming into the event. It was not since October of 2014 that I had last ridden in a time-trial position, or swam in the open water. Nonetheless, I had a solid amount of general fitness from the last few months of training. Thus, I decided this would be a good race for me to shake out the cobwebs and to provide insights into where I should be focusing my specific training. Continue reading

Training Analysis: May

My training in May certainly had its ups and downs.

To start off the month, I ended up getting sick AGAIN, for the third time since February. This certainly brought up a big concern, as I haven’t gotten sick this frequently for as long as I can remember. Additionally, I had four finals over the course of a week, which certainly lowered the priority of my training at that time.

Regardless, I am continuing to see solid gains on the bike. Through repeated threshold efforts and a long tempo ride, my power numbers have kept going up. I’m actually quite excited to see what kind of splits I can ride in a full time-trial setup next month!

A summary of my training is outlined below:

Total: 33 hours (7 hours/week)
Cycling: 19 hours, 261 miles (6 hours/week, 82 mi/week)
Running: 52 miles (12 miles/week)
6 days off, mostly due to finals. Continue reading

Training Analysis: April

Although I’m not thrilled with the training volume I produced in the month of April, I can’t be disappointed with the intensity I’ve recently been able to train at, given the circumstances.

Within the first few days of the month, I got sick once again. I found myself shivering during the last 30 minutes of my 50-mile ride on April 4th, and when I got home my temperature was 93 degrees Fahrenheit. I did my best to get my temperature up, but within 6 hours my temperature shot up to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. This rapid change of body temperature (hypothermia to fever) was extremely taxing on my body, and put me out of training for four days. It took more than two weeks for my body to feel normal once again, and I was able to start integrating more intensity in the latter half of the month.

A summary of my training is outlined below:

Total: 29 hours (7 hours/week)
Cycling: 19 hours, 261 miles (5 hours/week, 61 mi/week)
Running: 72 miles (17 miles/week)
11 days off, mostly due to illness at the beginning of the month.  Continue reading

Training Analysis: March

I ended up making a few breakthroughs in the month of March! Most importantly, I FINALLY got over my five-week-long illness that destroyed my fitness and training in February. This means I’ve been able to start building up my fitness again, and I plan to start racing again as early as late April!

Cycling was undoubtedly the least difficult sport to train whilst I was sick, and thus it received the most attention this month. In contrast, swimming under the weather felt almost impossible, and thus I decided to spend that effort elsewhere. I’m starting to rebuild my running base and am already seeing some improvements in my speed. 

A summary of my training month is outlined below:

Total: 33 hours (7.5 hours/week)
Swimming: 1200 yards
Cycling: 22 hours, 317 miles (5 hours/week, 72 mi/week)
Running: 76 miles (17 miles/week)
10 days off, mostly due to illness at the beginning of the month. Continue reading