Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Light Bulb In My Head

Just went on.In Steps. Progressions. OK, I finally put two and two together. Higher cadence equals more endurance. I read a Joe Friel article in Velo News on the 3 main keys to better riding and racing. Basically, work on your weaknesses, you'll be faster. No kidding, Joe. But what I did realize after reading this, was that I pedal too slow. I seem to be in that 80-84 range, lower on grades, relying more on power than efficiency. I always have used that "torque feeling" judge how well I am riding. That was fine when I was young and strong as a bull, but not any more. Jan Ullrich could get away with grinding it out as he was a genetic freak, I am not.

So Sunday morning I set off on a 30 mile ride from the camper south on the state trail. I tried to up my cadence to the 85 to 90 rpm range. My speed was the same as usual, but the effort seemed less. Pretty soon, a guy on a bent pulled up along side. He obviously was an experienced rider, well conditioned and fast. I asked why the bent? He said he had a serious back injury many years back and couldn't ride a normal bike, so he tried a bent, and can tolerate it. He was a Cat 2 at one time and it showed. We went through the hilly twisting area behind Rutledge, and he put 200 yards on me in no time. I was amazed at how quick he could corner and climb. Fun times.

He stopped to meet his wife in Finlayson, so we chatted a bit before I went another 5 miles south. I asked what his thoughts about cadence were. He said one of the big things he works on with younger riders is spinning faster than you think you should be. I mentioned I was working on that, and he agreed I was still to slow. Concentrate on the 90 to 100 rpm range and you'll ride faster longer. I headed on south to my turn around point, as I decided to do 40 miles instead of the planned 30. Concentrating on upping my cadence was tough, but after a few miles, it started to feel normal. After I got back to the camp ground, my legs felt much fresher, and the inner thigh soreness I normally get after a long ride never set in. An 18 mph average for 41.36 mile was a good effort for me. Combined with 2 hours of hard MTB riding Saturday and 1 1/2 hours Friday night, it was a good weekend for me.


Biking Duluth said...

Interesting, I have no clue on my cadence, I don't have that on my computer. I need to get a new one I think :)

I get upset that I can't pull more then 15.5 ave on my way to and from work. I got that up from low 14's. I think I should be able to go faster. Seems whenever I look at my mph I'm in thie mid 20's. The slows are much slower and I think it has a bigger impact.

We need to go on some more rides. Maybe Lester River road sometime?

Boz said...

love to, we'll have to get our secretaries to clear our schedules some time. my climbing needs work, more from the weight loss end than anything.

Doug said...

Hey, can I invite myself along on your ride?

Boz said...

Doug - we'll set something up next week. I've got a side project this week and weekend that's taking up all my time, but next week should be free.