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)