Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Riddle me this......II

At this moment I have several posts planned with things I want to commemorate like an analytical look at some numbers, a check in on my 2011 goals, a review of the race suit I used last weekend, and a look at my diet. However, I have had some questions on my mind I thought I would post here and hope that you- THE EXPERTS- would help me out.

I did this same thing in a post last year, Riddle Me This , and got some great help in understanding some of the basic concepts of multisport. I am going to do it again but with what I feel are some more intermediate questions (mostly bike focused). The more I train, the more I want to learn. I am also going to ask a few questions again because I have new followers and am curious about there answers.

How do you pick out a cassette?
I started collecting the pieces to change from 105 to Rival (or force mix) at Christmas. I am still short a cassette and cranks. I do not know how to pick out the right size cassette.  Last year I had a 12-25 and it was a little tough climbing and too slow out in the open. Now I have a 11-26 but since I do spend so much time training on large climbs (to me) it would be nice to have something I can spin easier on and maybe get a little more speed coming back down. BTW- I don't know how they compare to other peoples rides but my three most notable climbs are 250ft in .4 mile, 100ft in .5 mile, 160ft in .5 mile, and 205ft in 1.5 miles. All but the shortest one are on the local tri course.

What is the difference between a double and a compact double?
I have read articles on this and do not exactly understand. My Rival shifters are double and they have two sized to choose from.
Nutrition wise, at the 70.3 distance what do you carry with you on the bike leg?
On a long training ride (+45 miles) I carry 40 ounces of water, an uncrustable, and one gel. depending on the weather sometimes the water isn't enough some time it is more than enough. I plan to use nuun when I race. I use the uncrustable as a carrot for my halfway point and the gel for near the end to tide me over.
Gear wise, what do you carry on the 70.3 bike leg?
I have been carrying 2 tire levers, a pump (now a co2 pump), and a tube. I used to carry a multitool but ditched it since I only ever used it to make adjustments and I never do that on the road. In fact, I typically don't stop on my long rides at all.
When do you start thinking about having two set of wheels? Where should a rookie start with a second set?
Coming out of last week with a new confidence (that will be squashed next month at my 70.3) I have started pondering things that will make me faster. An Carmichael/Armstrong book I read a while back said that the most fair racing is the pros, because they have equal playing field with equipment and it comes down to training and skill. This comment was being compared to age group racing where equipment can set you apart from your opponents. In fact, I saw a ton of people slower than be with carbon bikes, tri bikes, and aero helmets. I also had fun passing them (and thought about a comment Patrick left me a while ago). Since a tri bike or something carbon is not in my near future, as I am lucky to have gotten my current bike this year, I thought wheels may be something I could consider upgrading (I have carbon forks and seatpost).
Got any secret swimming tips or workout to help build speed?
Would like to get a swimming coach but can not afford it and there is no local masters class/team. Swimming is the area where i am making the least headway. When looking at my training logs it appears that my 100m time is not getting any faster, however my long distance time is. My last TT in the pool was 200m in minutes. I have had long swim with the same average pace. I have swam about 69,000 meters this year to date (about 75,000 yrds) but no significant gains and I do form drills at least once a weak and sometimes twice. I have considered going rogue on my training plan by adding more swimming, but why pay for something and not follow it?
What is your favorite distance to race?
I am racing spring, oly, and 70.3 this year I THINK I know what my favorite will be but we will see in the end.
Any suggestions for healthy sweets?
Favorite health food?
Favorite cheating food?


Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Damn, lots going on here Luke!

Cassettes - i rock an 11-25 on both bikes. Lets me hammer on the flats and downhills. Your terrain is mush hiller so a 12-25 should be good. If you want to get stronger at climbing hills, go climb more hills. I've learned this first hand over the last 6 months.

Nutrition 70.3 - Water or PB Perform in aero bottle. Infinit in downtube - 600 calorie bottle. Also carry an EFS Liquid Shot (400 cals, 1500mg electrolytes). During a 70.3 I try to take in around 300cals per hour. Keep it simple. On longer training rides I carry extra bottles in my X-lab rear hydration unit.

Gear - 2 levers, xtra tube, 2 CO2 cartridges, 1 co2 cracker. All fit in a Bento box (tube stuffed up under my Adamo saddle).

Wheelsets - Deep carbon wheels won't make much of a difference unless you are averaging over 20mph and even then the difference is very little. Work on the engine. If you really want a wheelset get a used front (404, HED60, SRAM 60) and by a disc cover from for the rear.

Swim speed - INTERVALS. Can't stress this enough. Make your swim workouts very uncomfortable and kick your own ass. Get the Swim workouts Binder Book and do those sets. Lots of triathletes think you need to go swim 1x4000yds if you are long course training. I've learned if you practice swimming slow you will race slow. Do Intervals.

Patrick Mahoney said...

I'm thinking of switching to an 11/28 myself. That granny gear will come in handy once in awhile, especially on my tri-bike.

A compact is typically 50/34 where a standard is 53/39. I have a standard on my tri-bike and and compact on my road bike. My guess is you'd like a compact with an 11/28. Except for screaming downhills, my engine dies before I run out of high gears with the 11 against the big ring of the compact.

Also do you have an aero helmet? I'd say that's your best bang for the buck in terms of incremental speed gain.

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

oh my goodness. all really good questions!! i have so many things i want to answer here but i'm at work and to answer everything would take me a few hours for sure.
i let my hub's make the bike decisions so although i know a few things about the different sizes of cassettes and compact vs. standard, i can't advise. that is not my expertise. i do have some things to say about the nutrition and hydration in a 70.3 and have some tips for the swimming, however, i will have to leave you hanging for a while. I will email you on FB and answer as much as i can later.
oh, and yes, the 140.6 race that i did last October was part of the comeback plan. go figure! I'm all or none Luke!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I use an 11/27, I ride in the hills, I recommend anything in the 27/28 range for hill riders

Compacts are usually 50-53/32-35, standards are 53/39-43 depending on the brand

Gear, I ride the same but with 2 tubes and the multi tool, never know when you will need it

Wheels, soooo many on the market and to choose from, best option, dont waste your money on Zipps

Oly is my fav


Homemade wraps


Anonymous said...

I run an 11-23 unless I'm climbing big stuff (like Mt. Mitchell). I'll then switch to my 12-25, but a friend has an 11-28. That would be nice...

Looks like the double q has already been answered.

Robin said...

Nutrition: Experiment with what works for you on your long bikes and runs. Don't do anything in the race that you haven't done many times in practice. For me, it's one Powerbar and 4 gels on the bike for a 70.3, plus drinking Accelerade to thirst.

Wheels: Are about as expensive as a bike, seriously. Also, unless you're averaging over 20 mph consistently, they're not going to buy you much. Aero helmet is more bang for your buck, but depends on whether or not you feel comfortable wearing one, they are kinda silly looking.

Swimming: Take the money you were going to spend on wheels and hire a good swim coach. They're more reasonable than you might think. I'm a coach, and in four :30 minute sessions ($100 total) I can usually help people cut their 100m splits considerably and increase their endurance by leaps and bounds. Not only that, but poor swim form will often lead to overuse swimming injuries. Better to correct it now.