On to phase three of my season now that Pikes Peak is done.
Masters Track World Championships in Los Angeles, CA from October 8th-14th.
My events will be the Scratch Race on Sunday the 8th, 2,000m Individual Pursuit on the 10th, Points race on the 12th and 3,000 meter Team Pursuit on the 14th. All four events will have a qualifier in the morning session and final in the evening session except the scratch race where both races will be in the same session. Here is a quick explanation of the events at Master’s Track Worlds.
I have a lot of experience on the track, just not recently. From about 1995 up through 2002 I spend a lot of time racing on the track and going to master’s track nationals and even the 1996 Olympic Track Trials. Then I started racing less and scuba diving more. I sold my track bike to buy a dry suit! In 2008 they held master’s track nationals at Hellyer Velodrome in San Jose so I stripped down my TT bike (Specialized Transition) spent some time on the track and had a good nationals, winning the Individual Pursuit, Points Race and Team Pursuit along with 4th in the kilometer and 2nd in the Best All Around.
And then promptly didn’t get on the track again until last fall. In my lead up to the hour record I of course spent a lot of time on the track, but all of it doing steady state efforts. And pretty much all if it alone.
After Pikes Peak I finally got down and raced in the last two Wednesday Night races at the velodrome. Again, back on my Transition. The results were spectacularly mediocre. I had forgotten just how hard a 10 lap race could be! I was able to get into some late race moves in the longer races, but my ability to follow sharp attacks, much less sprint around somebody needs a LOT of work. I was initially pretty uncomfortable riding in close quarters on a bike with no brakes, but got fairly used to it pretty quickly.
From now until Worlds my focus will be on sprinting and short, HARD efforts. When I say I’ll be focusing on sprinting I don’t mean that I’m looking to come out of the bunch and win the Scratch Race in a group sprint. That just isn’t going to happen. But I do need the snap to follow and make hard attacks. In my first two outings if somebody hit it hard I would generally get gapped by a couple of bike lengths and then have to claw back as I got up to speed. Coming around somebody in a sprint wasn’t really in the cards. Granted, it was mostly young guys I was going against, but some of the guys in my age group (Larry Nolan for instance) are pretty damn fast. With that in mind I’ve started doing standing start sprints in my 52×15 once a week. Starting from a track stand I do a full sprint up to 25-28 mph. This will not only help my explosiveness, but as a side benefit it will improve my pursuit and team pursuit starts.
The other thing I’m doing is short VO2 max efforts. Say 4×3′ @ VO2 max. My opportunity to do well in the mass start races will probably come from covering moves and then counter attacking and then either staying away alone (hopefully) or in a small group, or taking a lap on the field. As a bonus, those 3 minute intervals are of a similar duration to my individual and team pursuits.
Another change is that I acquired a set of 167.5mm track cranks. That’s a pretty big change from the 175mm road cranks I’ve been using on the track. Besides protecting me from tagging a pedal on the 45 degree banking and going down in a heap I think they will help my speed and acceleration. I’ve taken to riding the rollers on my track bike a few mornings a week, working on steady cadences of around 120rpm. Along with that I’ll also do a few “spin ups” where I am able to get my cadence into the 180 rpm range briefly. The 167.5’s make that MUCH easier than my 175’s. I feel much smoother at super high (for me) rpm’s and don’t feel like I’m milliseconds away from flying off the rollers. I hope that over the next few weeks both my stead state and peak rpm’s will increase. BTW, I will still use the 175’s for the individual and team pursuit events.
Another important thing will be to get together with my team pursuit team mates as often as possible to train together.