I’ve written the race report for my recent 70.3 distance race already, but I wanted to go further into detail on my bike ride. I’ve mentioned already that even though it was supposedly a B-race I was still hoping for a solid ride. I finished far below what I was secretly hoping for and I’d like to figure out why exactly.
Let’s start with my subjective impression of things that went well. My position was spot on. I felt reasonably comfy for most of the ride and did not cheat, I held my position like a champ even on the uphills and through most corners. My bike and gear were perfect like clockwork. I had enough fuel and water. Mounting and dismounting went very well. And I did feel okay on the run.
But there are also plenty of things I can improve on. For example, while I had enough fuel on board, I felt like it wasn’t dialed. Contrary to my training rides I wasn’t entirely happy with my highly concentrated Tailwind, which felt too sweet and gooey and had to take on additional water to stop my mouth from being glued shut. So next time I’ll try a lower concentration and add gels instead. The good news is still that I was able to ingest about 300 cal per hour, which got me going to the finish line.
Secondly, slight tweaks on position. I could hold my position for the 90k bike leg, but as I got closer to the end I was looking forward to the run. See my position to the left? What can I say, I’m pretty happy with how I sit, even though the bike is on the bigger side. But I am reasonably low without breaking my neck or killing my shoulders. It weren’t so much my shoulders this time, but more my crotch and hamstrings. I believe both can be addressed by racing in a two piece suit which allows for an occasional shuffle of the gentleman sausage, along with an occasional sitting up in corners or on the inclines to should help.
Lastly an most importantly, pacing. Check out my power file
So naked number first. Average 92 cadence (great!), average power 172 watts, normalized 177 watts and a variability index of 1.02. AP and NP equal 0.66 and 0.68 of my FTP (based on an indoor trainer assessment using the 20-min testing protocol on my road bike). Clearly on the lower side and had I taken this race more seriously I’d probably have pushed harder, but given the circumstances I rolled with what felt reasonably easy.It is still difficult to imagine how the race would have panned out had I pushed 5 or ten more watts, but I believe my run would have been worse. Interestingly, I was very constant over the first two of three laps, but with some surges and only on the last lap I dropped my power by more than 5 watts and became even more even in my power output. I am not sure what the reason for this was, I guess the prospect of an upcoming half marathon made me want to take some stress off my legs and I also figured there wasn’t much to gain anymore anyway. One things I’d also like to highlight is that I gave my best to stay on the power even on the downhills and corners. It is where I caught a fair bit of faster riders back, especially in the few tight corners. So for the next 90k TT I really should gather my courage and push myself closer to 0.72 or 0.73 of my FTP and see how that pans out. For my upcoming full distance race however I think I’ve got it nailed!