Power summary of Will and I’s second attempt.
The champions from last week didn’t return to defend their crown, but Will and I still lined up to race the clock. I had done 60 miles the day prior but had skipped worlds and wasn’t absolutely depleted at the end of Wednesday. I had a good sleep and while my legs didn’t feel perfect on the ride in to work on Thursday morning by the time mid-afternoon rolled around I was feeling quite excellent. That really got me excited and by the time I made it to the start line I was buzzing with adrenaline. I also did a better job hydrating all day and when en-route to the course after I warmed up I downed a bottle of about 150 calories of brown sugar and 12 grams sodium citrate.
Race recap from last week, 37:15 duration, average power 327 Watts. Normalized Power™ (Peaksware method) 336 Watts, and Normalized Power* (my method) 335 Watts. I’ll just [link] to the discussion rather than re-hash it. Oh yeah, and we lost the race by 7 seconds.
This week: 36:25 duration, average power 339 Watts (+3.6%). Normalized Power™ (Peaksware method) 351 Watts, and Normalized Power* (my method) 354 Watts. V.I. increased from 1.027 to 1.035 which is aligned with my sense that I felt the recoveries were easier this week. Pacing across the race was really good, maybe even excellent. The only real critique of our pacing last week was that after a good solid start to get up to speed we kept that “start effort” going a bit too long. The first couple trades after the traffic circle U-turn are a bit low, but the speeds were incredibly high, I was locked into the 11-cog for a long stretch there and we got up past 40 miles per hour. Being a shade low on power when the speeds are that high is strategically ok.
The power split between leading and drafting is a bit larger than last week. This plot shows I was doing 50-150 more watts on the front than when in the draft, depending on where we were climbing gradually and also where the headwind/tailwind portions are. The two lines come closest together on the most climbey-portion of the course. Last week Will led over those climbs and I was hurting in second wheel. This week I led over those climbs and I presume Will wasn’t hurting in second wheel because that chunk of the course was more of a headwind than last week.
Summary of this plot is 372 Watts average while on the front, 287 Watts average while in the draft. The “on-the-front” Watts are higher than last week by 4.5% and the drafting watts were lower by 3.4%. The wind conditions affected this, there are actually 37 seconds of coasting compared with 19 last week. The u-turn and corner accounted for almost all of last week’s coasting. That would be replicated again this week so the extra 18 seconds of coasting are while drafting on some downhills. 18 seconds might not sound like much but that’s 2% of my time spent drafting was spent coasting. I attribute the remainder of the lower drafting watts to a concious decision by myself to do more of a “sprint” to get onto Wills wheel when dropping back to 2nd position than I did last week. Last week I sped up with maybe 10 pedal strokes, that capped the peak power of those efforts, but it made for more time when I wasn’t sat in the “sweet spot”. This week, my mental goal was totally focussed on getting to the sweet spot as fast as possible. As a guess, that strategy change is worth maybe a 1% drop in my drafting watts. #MarginalGains
Same as last week I broke up the efforts showing the discrepancy between front and back position. The power variability while drafting was higher in the part of the course where the power discrepancy between front and back was the highest (from 50-80% of the course). One possible interpretation is that when you’re going *really* easy in the back position, I am getting a good recovery and therefore don’t pay much mental attention to doling out my effort. When the 2nd position is working harder, I have to pay more mental attention to metering my effort there.
This shows who was taking longer efforts on the front. My turn 5 was longer as a result of me deciding not to try and swap until we had passed another athlete on course so that we didn’t need to go three wide on the shoulder. Then on the way back I did some way longer pulls when the speeds we really high. I was feeling good and maintaining really good power and so I just stayed up there and kept driving the pace. Swapping does cost some momentum and so if there’s no need to swap, I figured I could keep going.
Sumtotal – quite a bit more imbalanced than last week. I did 7m44sec more time on the front
Final plot is cadence. I got a bit bogged down just prior to the U-turn when we were fighting a headwind (~1100 sec). That was perhaps exacerbated by me not keeping my cadence up while in the draft behind Will almost all the way through the second quarter. The one really high spike in cadence I was spun out on the 53×11 cog. Overall, I executed better on cadence last week, perhaps out of necessity. My legs felt like crap last week so I needed to optimized. This week I felt good and so wasn’t as careful on optimizing cadence, it just played 2nd fiddle to focus on effort/power.
(Coasting is excluded from the trend lines)