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07-01-2020, 21:29   #1
CramCycle
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This is the way...

So I had planned to start last week but a bout of food poisoning over the weekend has set me back quite dramatically. Even though I felt like sh1t I decided to give a max ramp test today a go, just because it would soon be another week wasted and I thought a bit of an effort might force my insides to behave themselves.
Best guess at the minute is my FTP is around 3.1 to 3.2 W/kg. Considering I have been unwell, that's not too bad but I plan to do a full 20 minute test next week to get a true reflection.
Weight is 84kg, up from 78kg at the end of November but I am hoping that tighter eating controls and an increase in training time will take care of that in short order.

Main Aims
- Upgrade to A2
- Actually meaning it this year

Target Races - Definite underlined
Dublin Wheelers - lovely opener for the year and that sharp bump at the end is my type of finish
Seamus Kennedy Memorial - if I am allowed out two days in a row
Ras Naomh Finian - if I am allowed out two days in a row
Newbridge GP - another favourite, would love if they moved the finish to the top of Boston Hill, far safer and a bit of craic IMO
Lucan GP - nice wide finish and a good tester for getting your true fitness as there are not real hills in it, so you can push it from start to finish without blowing up
Des Hanlon Memorial - Definitely, it has climbing, tough with two days in a row
Gorey 3 day - 1st stage race of the year, family are near by so should get out for it
Waller Cup - should be OK, it will be a two week break from racing
Frank O'Rourke Memorial - very near family again and a great race
Dunsany GP - Depends if I have made A2 or not by now
Shay Elliott - Hooray for suffering
Kilmessan - family allow it
Orwell 2 day - second stage race of the year
RTulach Mh unlikely but will try
Paddy Flanagan - Newbridge GP again so that is a yes unless the next weeks plan have upset the family too much
Ras - most likely as a driver/mechanic
Roundwood GP - if I am not allowed to the Ras
Eddie Tobin Memorial Road Race 2020 - near family again
Mullingar GP National Road Series Rd 4 - not too far down the road
Galway Classic - loved this race last year
SERC GP - near family again
Laragh Classic - Club race so if I am not marshalling
Leinster Road Race Champs - if I am marshalling the Laragh, I will be heading here
2020 Cycling Ireland Masters & A3 Road Race Championships -In Mayo somewhere so will wait and see
Mick Lawless - one of the organisers so definetly there
2020 Cycling Ireland Hill Climb Championships - I love hills (and it is in Leinster)

Alot to do, and hopefully I won't take long to pick up the form from last year. I certainly lost it close to the end of the year as I promptly gave up the effort after the Galway Classic. I have a few training routes that incorporate as much climbing as possible on the way into and out of work, so that should help. There is a gym at work as well so will start on flexibility work and core strength, hopefully finding the right balance. Club league is starting end of March, and is one of the longer ones in the country. I am not aiming to do anything in it this year except use it for training.
Diet wise, I am really struggling after a glorious amount of feasting over Christmas, I found myself very hungry in work over the last few days, even though I was eating more than usual, this should hopefully settle down as start to eat healthier again. Will keep it simple this year, not a breakfast person, so just a cup of coffee in the morning, Shake for lunch, with a homemade salad to top up if needed. Dinners will be lots of veg, a bit of meat and a small amount of carbs. Not a pasta or rice fan so should be simple enough. no eating after 8pm or two hours after I get home from work, whichever is later.
Currently riding my commuting bike and slowly moving it over to match my race bike in regards gearing and fit, so hopefully that extra few kilos will also be handy come the start of the season.
It's gonna be a tough season as I am back in college for work, full time work on top of that but I am still just the right side of forty and that isn't going to last much longer.
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17-01-2020, 10:27   #2
daragh_
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Use the Force Gandalf!

Newbridge GP - another favourite, would love if they moved the finish to the top of Boston Hill, far safer and a bit of craic IMO

+1 on this. Not doing Open racing myself but we do this one in the Vets. A change to this finish would really change how the course is raced.

Anyway - Bonne Chance for 2020
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17-01-2020, 10:45   #3
CramCycle
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Newbridge GP - another favourite, would love if they moved the finish to the top of Boston Hill, far safer and a bit of craic IMO

+1 on this. Not doing Open racing myself but we do this one in the Vets. A change to this finish would really change how the course is raced.

Anyway - Bonne Chance for 2020
A pity though, that sprint at the end always has some sort of issue in one of the races. It is nice and open but that seems to invite people to go nuts. If you used outside the Quarry, you could have extra marshals on the far side and at the slight bends before it. People are less likely to sprint for 20th on a hill finish and simply roll in like they should. Or the last turn for Kildare before the finish, it is a climb for a few minutes, a few 100m of over 4%, a bit wider with better sightlines than the quarry.
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17-01-2020, 13:47   #4
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Biggest issue with the NGP course is the time of day it's raced at in CI open races, I live half way up Dunmurry and every weekend the traffic volume increases greatly from 11ish, it's been bad enough the few times we used it for our league at 7.30 in the evening and even the 9AM Sunday Vets starts have had their hairy moments.

I'd agree that the best racing finish would be at the Quarry gates on Boston, but I doubt there's enough parking there for officials and all the people who come out to view the proceedings. You might have more chance with the finish on Dunmurry, there are a couple of side roads close enough by that might suffice.

Anyways, I hope you smash it there CC, where ever the finish is.
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30-01-2020, 17:27   #5
CramCycle
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So the weight has come down a bit without much effort, under 82kg, no dieting, just no stupid eating. Still riding my winter bike, which is 4 kg heavier than my race bike, brakes are rubbing so it provides a good workout because I have been too lazy to sort them out. Downside s are though that yesterday evening, I crashed out on the way home from work, like no enthusiasm, legs would struggle to turn and walking up the stairs at home was tough, hopefully it is just a sign of a busy week at work. Might take a rest weekend.

Also got a Strava KOM which is the first i have seen in years
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22-02-2020, 22:00   #6
CramCycle
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Good news, I have another two KOMs with little effort and getting used to seeing PBs on the way home, although this is helped by the wind.

Bad news, I was feeling great, muscles were sore on Friday so decided to rest over the weekend. Went out to do some gardening today, right knee done something funny, almost popped out and I am hobbling. Hopping it is just a stretch rather than anything to worry about it.
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07-03-2020, 22:00   #7
CramCycle
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So back on the bike from Monday, little pain on the knee cap but nothing bad. Went out to the DW race with no aim other than get around. Race started fast for a few minutes but I held in and then it settled down, and I mean settled, nothing more than sportive pace for the next lap. I stayed at the front into a mild headwind on the Trim road, everyone following me but I stopped putting in an effort whe I realised no one was interested in a break. Round the corner and the headwind hit. I then realised my only issue for the day. Apparently my legs have forgotten how to climb a hill, I went from the very front to the very back in 1km. We turned back onto the summer hill road and I made my way uptot the front again, round the next turn and people started maing a go of it. My teammate came around so I slowed up. There were two up the road already and he had went with what appeared to be 6 strong riders. I started to slowly drop the pace but apparently bit too quickly, I was copped instantly and a chase began. Not much of a chase, only 3 of the 10 now up the road were working and it was doomed to fail. I messed around going up the front a few more times but no interset in chasing the two getaway riders was evident, nor was any attempt to make a breakaway really rewarded as every one that tried was met with someone else who didn't want too. Second time up Doreys forge and I went from the top 5 to the back 2. I grabbed on again and slowly made my way up the group. I got near the top and few lads came round, a strong attempt and I hadn't the legs to grab on. I settled in but as they went away my mind broke and I slowly dropped back coming through Culmullin until I eventually felt my legs say it was time to rest up. I rolled the last 10km at a snails pace.
Happy I could give a few digs and stay up near the front of it, if I hadn't went up the front so much I would hae rolled in with the bunch. A3 is a different kettle of fish. A4 is more craic with people willing to try to do interesting things. Time to get the head down and start training properly.
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08-03-2020, 16:10   #8
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That race yesterday was short & i wouldn't expect the same in most A3 races. I had good fun last year in alot of races trying things at various races, most failed but jumping off a stall 2km out worked 2 or 3 times though the bunch did nab me for higher places at the end.

We might club together someday after the mad rush eases off early doors.
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10-03-2020, 13:29   #9
CramCycle
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That race yesterday was short & i wouldn't expect the same in most A3 races. I had good fun last year in alot of races trying things at various races, most failed but jumping off a stall 2km out worked 2 or 3 times though the bunch did nab me for higher places at the end.
I shall keep trying

Quote:
We might club together someday after the mad rush eases off early doors.
Deciding between the Newbridge GP and Tommy Sheehan this week myself, what are you aiming for?
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10-03-2020, 15:51   #10
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I shall keep trying

Deciding between the Newbridge GP and Tommy Sheehan this week myself, what are you aiming for?
Tommy Sheehan for me, long standing aim but i would expect some top end juniors to be there. I have a plan but will see how that goes on the day.
I'm. Also headed to Clonard for a gallop to open the legs for Carrick.

Last edited by dahat; 10-03-2020 at 16:49.
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02-04-2020, 21:33   #11
CramCycle
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Well things have changed rapidly since I last posted here. So I signed upto Zwift. It is weird and not like real racing but it is good craic and a real sufferfest if you go all in. First race I dropped out after I accidentally locked my phone in the bunch and when I unlocked it I was 200m off the back and took the excuse to pack it in. I had a cold shower for 10minutes and still had a face like a strawberry. Second race I hung in there, set up outside to keep the heat down. Was a tough slog, ended up mid pack and crossed the line around the 300 mark out of 700, but according to the CI league table I was 17th in C. Done a third race last night. Specifically targetted a short race so as I wouldn't drain myself to much for the commute. Doing well and learned alot about drafting in Zwift, very hard too not overshoot when trying to stay near the front. Was doing well but then we got swarmed by the As and Bs as it was a Handicap, they ran through us like a hot knife through butter. I got into the middle for a few km but let the group slip and ended up in 2nd place. I eventually got caught by the rest of the Cs but one had gotten away with the bunch. We stayed together, a tight knit bunch with 5 clear contenders, shelling off the excess riders over the next lap as I buried deep to try and catch the As and Bs but my big effort just made my heart explode. Settled in and focused on going for the bunch sprint. I had no idea what the guys with me were like other than they seemed to know Zwift better than me and from what I could tell were talking to each other. One guy made an attempt to jump with 900m to go and his mates slowed but I dug in and caught him at 700m, settled in, pace started to creeep as people started to try and break us up at 400m. My power was climbing steadily but it was goignt o be tough to beat them and hold this power. At 200m to go I thought to hell with it, out of the saddle and hammer time. Sprinting on a bike that doesn't move is weird and unnatural. Next time I am just goign to spin like a mofo rather than up the gears. The little arrows to say they were right behind diappeared with 90m as did my energy and I just forced it over the line to claim 2nd by 0.068seconds

Later that evening I would find that Zwift Power DQd the 1st place rider (he was clearly an A in disguise) for me to claim 1st. I also then earned an upgrade to B for Saturdays CI race. This may or may not be good news.
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05-04-2020, 21:56   #12
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Zwift is great fun but be careful you dont overdo it on it! The races really are relentless and take a lot more out of you than you'd think, especially if you are overheating also. Have you managed to get a big fan? The bigger the fan the better! I had been using a Dyson the last few months as wasnt bothered taking out my massive fan but dug it out for yesterdays CI race and it helped a lot!! HR a lot lower for the power than the previous week. If you use trainingpeaks and setup workouts you'll see you can import them to zwift if you have them in the calendar. I'm aiming to get back on track, treat this period as winter and perhaps do 1 race a week on zwift. I remember starting it first I was racing fsr too much and ended up not really getting any better!
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05-04-2020, 22:26   #13
CramCycle
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So far I am doing it outside, the one night inside nearly killed me. This may change now based on the weather tonight. Anywhere still delivering decent fans or any recommendations. I had a fan but it done nothing. First time outside I recovered alot quicker, that bit of a draft was a god send although I fear what my neighbours think about what is going on. Form this week on i will be doing two races a week, one on thursday for my club league and one on Saturday for CI. Gonna get back into my stretches and basic exercise routine that i used to do last year when I was in good form but my main aim will be the fake club league from now on and then hopefully CX in October.
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10-04-2020, 00:45   #14
CramCycle
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First club league race done. Managed to pick an unpopular race so over half the field was part of our league. Miss timed my warm up but ended up just north of 30th in the first few 100m. Unfortunately I dropped a wheel on the first climb and couldn't muster the will to bridge over. Ended up around 35th after the climb but doing well the whole way round. Second time up the climb and I was a bit closer to 30th and I could see a few slowing ahead. I felt good so thought, let's do it, let's bridge over. Upped the gears, felt the bike strain, but ignored it. Out of the saddle and then I got thrown off as my bike got thrown from the trainer. I got sorted but had dropped from close to 30th to close to 40th. I settled in with 3 others but one wanted rid of us so I decided to let them go. Ramped up the power and seen a clubmate was only 25s ahead. I stopped paying attention to anything else and rode to bring that number down. I caught him and rode through. There was an American just up the road and I dragged the two together. We would remain together for the most part but we were all trying to break each other. With a few km to go we were starting to slow and watch each other. Club mate and myself upped the pace to burn off our American friend. Two km to go and we were back to watching each other, he took a few fake digs to draw me out but I held back. 300m to go and the pace changes were hard to counter, 200m to go and he opened up, I let loose, far too early but I had come round so just started mashing. 100m to the line and I could see his head on screen, 60m to go and we where beside each other but I would not yield. 40m and he had a wheel on me, 20m and he had a bike length. 0m and he had me bet. He would later WhatsApp me to apologise. I have yet to accept
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16-04-2020, 23:08   #15
CramCycle
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Amateur hour in the club league zwift race. All there, ready to go and my blood sugars start to drop. I run upto the kitchen to get some sugar, sit back on the biek and starting spinning. Then I realise it has dropped my HR. 2.5 minutes to start. I try to reconnect, no luck, 1.5 minutes to go. I close zwift, reopen, reconnect. It opens somewhere else

Race starting in 12 seconds, do you want to join?

I click OK, jebus it is taking an age, it opens, the race has started. I go to move and realise I have clicked out in all the faffing. I am now 89th out of 89 and haven't even crossed the start line. No point hammering it, I ain't catching the main group unless they tire. I put the head down and let the steady state racing begin. I average over my FTP for the first 20 minutes, and then don't really drop below it for the rest. I slowly reeled in a few people, out of the 80s in the first 5 minutes, tipping out of the 70s after 15 minutes. hitting the low 60s after the big climb. I finally made 57th, the guy ahead of me just kept matching me evertime i dug in. Despite my excuses, looking at everyone elses power, even if I had started right, I would have only made two places so not much to complain about.
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