Example of a light race plan (written by Coach Clare) and a light post race report (written by James Vernon after winning first place Cat 4 men in his 40K TT)

Light Race Plan

Hi Jim,

For tomorrow’s race, 178-182 would definitely seem like a challenging heart rate as you rose to 172 on the 118% FTP intervals 8/16.

Here’s what I would suggest for tomorrow, come up to what you feel is 250 watts, your FTP as of last test.  Hold that for at least the first 5’ and check in and ask yourself, 1) What’s my heart rate; 2) How do my legs feel; 3) How is my breathing?  For the 40K TT your legs should be working, i.e. you have to focus, but the burn that feels like acid shouldn’t start until the last 3’ or so as you’re pushing that last bit.  I would use a negative split strategy tomorrow.  You are stronger on a rolling course than a pure flat based on what you have to train on, so if there are any rollers use them to smoothly ride up and back off a hair down hill to let your legs recover.  Does that make sense?  I.E. If you’re over 35 mph going down hill, then easy spin down to flush the legs, but not any “effort”.

Make sure to drink before hand, and have at least a half a bottle for the effort (heat and humidity would require more) and plan to take a gel shot at 30’, and possibly again at 50’ if you’re struggling.  Be hydrated going into this.

I think we will have to Monday morning quarter back the heart rate because we don’t have a similar one in these conditions that’s recent.  You’ve worked hard to find be a more efficient cyclist by finding power in the dead spots of your pedal stroke, and you’ve also head solid state intervals on the dreaded trainer which are good simulations for this.  As you go through the course, your heart rate would rise some due to dehydration, so it’s not 100% reliable.

Most of all, have fun, and focus.

Good Luck!
Coach Clare

Jim’s Light Post Race Report

An interesting event yesterday.

I finished first in Cat 4 Men.  I was able to keep my heart rate around 170-175 the entire time and did not suffer too much, I may have been able to go higher than that.  I am having trouble with the TT bike setup and I’m going to have that looked at this week – I had a hard time staying in the aerobars for long periods (partly because I’ve not done it since last October at all, but I think they are too low).

In addition, the conditions were rough.  The course was a go north 20K and then come back south 20K, and there was a 20 mph south wind gusting to 28 at times, so the inward bound leg was brutal.  In addition, at least 16 miles of the course was chip-sealed last week, and there was a lot of gravel in the road, so it slowed everyone down and I had to be very careful not to get out of the tire tracks that had moved some of the gravel.  Sketchy.

All in all, I was pleased with the effort, not the time, but I think the conditions made everyone’s time worse, so I was not alone there.  I am getting the power meter on that bike soon, and I’ll be ready for the Oklahoma state TT in a few weeks with that.

The pre- and post-ride protocols were good.  I have no soreness today, and I felt like I started well with good energy and fluid motion. I ate and drank as you suggested, I believe that helped as well.  I appreciate the help!

Have a good day, Clare!