I think I just failed to think of a meaningful, search engine friendly title for this blog. All that SEO training, wasted.
Rudy Project 2 is done and dusted, and it was better than Rudy Project 1. I finished in the same position (3rd) but I beat Colin Robertson, who beat me in the first round. I would have been fourth had not Hutch punctured after one lap.
Ben had pretty reasonable ride for 7th. He injured his knee in Mallorca and is just getting over that, so is not 100%. He will be back, I'm sure.
I thought Sybrandy would edge out Bottrill and I was right. But I doubt whether he'll ride all the rounds, so Bottrill is still the outright favourite to take the series. Ignoring regional points, which won't count if you ride 5 national rounds, I'm effectively equal second at the moment. That ain't bad.
I was mostly happy with my ride last Saturday (photog here). It was lovely and warm and there was a light but steady NE blowing. The course had almost no traffic on it at all, even on the dual carriageway section (because everyone was on the M3) - that's ideal for everyone. It didn't have any potholes either, but it was for some reason a very slow course. I think because the road surface for most of it was dead and we head a headwind for two of the three gradual uphill drags.
I made a couple of errors: 1) putting 130psi into my tyres because I thought the road surface would be better. 115-120 would have been better for rolling resistance, instead of being bounced around everywhere. 2) I didn't have my helmet on properly, so it kept moving around and tilting down. Not enough to impair visibility but enough to tip the tail up, which is bad for airflow. It felt it, anyway.
On the other hand, my pacing was absolutely perfect. I averaged the same power and speed for both laps, although the second lap felt a lot harder! Funnily enough Dean Robson, who won the RP series last year and started 2min behind me, was 30sec up on me after 16km. But by the end of the race (57km) I'd pulled that back and put another 1'18 into him. He said to me afterwards he'd tried to rein it in on the first lap but obviously not enough.
I was also happy that I averaged the same power that I did for the first round, but for 22min longer. I think getting rid of the cough has helped.
Round 3 is next week in Cumbria. 5 hours driving each way for a 1hr race! Oh well, it's good to have a fling occasionally. With Hutch (who is using it to try to gain Commonwealth Games selection) and Bottrill both down to start, the best I can hope for is third. And I'll still have to ride well.
Training-wise, the PowerTap is a useful teacher. It tells me how fit I am without me having to worry about whether a time A around a certain course or up a hill is better than time B for a given heart rate. Which is what I've relied on until now.
I still train on how I feel, but the power meter allows me to objectively assess how good the session was (or is). And that allows me to fine tune things, which is desirous when one is trying to be careful about one's training. 'One' being me in this case.
For example, over the last three weeks I've managed to add 12W to my 1hr training pace, extend that to 1hr20, as well as add 20W to my 4min intervals, plus get a decent idea of my 5min power. Admittedly I was ill for a bit so most of that is returning to fitness rather than building on what I had. But I'll keep plugging away over the next few weeks to see where I get to by the fourth Rudy Project round on May 9.
Then there's a break before tackling a few more races in May and June, including the National 25 and 50. I'm looking forward to the 25 after last year's OK but not stellar performance.
At some stage I'll need to think about a 12hr. I'm putting that thought to one side.
Off to Sevenoaks this weekend to watch Liz do her first race of the year!