Monday, May 14, 2012

Final Prep for World Cross Triathlon Championships

A quick update on my Father.....After 11 days they finally were able to remove the breathing tube from him.  He remained in ICU for another couple of days fighting an infection before being moved to rehab which is the final step before he comes home.   How you get an infection in a hospital?  Apparently this is common.  That is why I do not like hospitals.  They make you sick :-). 

The big week has arrived.  This weekend we will be heading to Alabama for the 2012 ITU World Cross Triathlon Championships.  I really wish this event was later in the summer.  Form is no where near to what it needs to be. Training as been limited and I am still about 10 lbs short of my racing weight.  My goals for this weekend are just to try my best and have fun.  If I get top 10 in my age-group I would be very, very happy.   Top 15 is what I expect given my current form and level of competition - it is the World championships.

What is a cross triathlon?  No it is not a triathlon using a cross bike (that would be cool if it was).  Those Europeans call off-road triathlons Cross Triathlons instead of the licensed Xterra brand which has become synonymous with off-road triathlon here in the USA.

I got in my Team USA uniform while I was down in Florida.  I never like to race in something new.  This has not always been the case however.  I used to bring out new jerseys for big motocross races as I felt it was good luck.  Seemed to work really well for me as I seems to always bring my "A" game to big races and great results.  That or crash my brains out.   Anyways, I did my final test workout up at Smithville wearing the kit. Several people in the parking lot did double takes while I rode by.  They looked  at me like "who the hell is this guy"?    I guess I would look the same way if I someone was out training in a essentially a swimming suit.

I mentioned a testing working above.  When I am training seriously, which is not much anymore, I usually do aerobic (sub-max) test workouts to see how my fitness is improving.  I do these monthly test for running and cycling. The test is done at my aerobic (L2) heart of 150 bpm for a set distance.  The course is one complete lap at Smithville (basically the old BB36 course).  This is about 10.5 miles.  Although some may feel performing this test off-road my lead to pour results, I believe it is more of a real world test of your aerobic fitness level.  An added benefit is I can also test equipment.  For example, which is more efficient a 26er or 29er?   In theory I would be able to turn a faster time at a given heart rate on the most efficient bike.  Yes I know that course conditions and things such as weather and other trail users will impact any test.  I performed the test on "fresh" legs and similar course conditions for each monthly test.  Luckily I was able to get most of my test on clean trail and only had to stop once to help a fellow rider after she crashed.       

Below are the results   As you can see my form has steadily improved over the last four months.  At the same hear rate (effort) I got steadily faster.  Part of this was due to a decrease in weight, but I would like to think I am getting in better form as the season progresses.  O.K. so which bike am I bringing to Pelham?  Which is more efficient?   Efficiency to me is the name of the game, especially in a multi-sport event such as triathlon.  I want to be able to ride within my self at the fastest pace possible and still have the energy to run fast. 

2011 Giant Anthem X w/10spd XT, Fox Fork, Nevagal UST and Ritchey Shield Tires @ 28 psi.
2008 Turner F/S 29er w/9spd XTR, Manitou fork, Nevagal Tires, Ritchey Shield & Crossmark (ust)  @ 25 psi.

  • February on Turner (Ritchey Shield): 1:02:56
  • February on Giant (Ritchey Shield): 1:02:23
  • March on Turner (Kenda Nevagal): 1:01:43
  • March on Giant (Kenda Nevagal): 1:01:30
  • April on Turner (Maxxis Crossmark): 1:00:21
  • April on Giant (Kenda Nevagal): 1:00:03
  • May on Turner (Maxxis Crossmark): 58:30
  • May on Giant (Kenda Nevagal): 58:49 (stopped to help fallen rider)
What did I learn?  I learned that it is mostly the rider and not the bike that matters.  I did carry more speed on the flat sections on the 29er, but made up time on the 26er on the tight sections.  I was able to go around corners faster and with more control on the 26er.  I contribute some of this to the UST tires. I felt faster accelerating out of corners on the 26er.   I was able to navigate the rocky sections slightly better on the 29er.   It comes down to what am I more comfortable on?  The answer is the Giant 26er. On runs after each test I had better running times on the 26er.


rob jones said...

Hey I just saw results, good job Chris!! Congrats! I know you would have liked to been top ten, but you were close!


rob jones said...

Your bike test is pretty interesting. Who woulda thought. I'm trying to sell my 26" anthem, going for the 29er.