This is the third race that I'm racing where I'm investing over 10 hours a week in training. The investment in hours is significant and I expect results to come my way because I'm also training smart and being coached.
This time around I focussed in strenghtening the bike and see if I'm able to keep in touch with the front of the race. So, 3500km (or thereabouts) later I was suprissed to find something that I'm not sure I like:
I am climbing well.
It may have been the Saxo Bank jersey, or the porridge, or just a good day out. The thing is that the legs were OK to go up and up and up and then a bit more. If I was a TdF rider it wouldn't be a problem. The matter is that I am a triathlete. And more often than not, I am not able to transfer this power thing to time trialling. These two are two different types of riding and I don't know how they influence each other for good or for bad.
This data is from my personal experience, but I bet is the same what's out there.
TT Cadence 90 to 100
Climbing Cadence 70 to 80
TT gearing: 53/14-19
Climbing Gearing: 39/19-25
One good way to develop strength is by doing hill repeats on big chainrings, I've done it in the past and it makes some difference. Note that these hill reps are not trying to go up the hill in a smart or fast way, it is going up the hill in a high gear. I don't think that doing a lot of TT training helps to be a better climber. I would bet for NO.
I haven't been doing hill repeats a lot this time (only two or three times that I remember) and I did that series of TT and efforts in the lab in April. But most of my training has come from being out there and doing the long rides on the Sunday.
Let's take an example: 2010 Tour de Fance winner Andy Schleck is a brilliant climber, but comes TT time, he won't be at the top due to his lack of ability to go fast against the wind. I think I am faced with the same problem here, I can't seem to be able to transfer climbing power to TT power. It shouldn't take long to figure out, but I am still to see.
In brief, I'd prefer to be a poor climber and be able to stay within the top 10% of the bikers on a traithlon race. I just have to make it happen.
On a side note I was cought off foot yesterday. Some weeks ago I came back home from a ride and did a 1min cleaning of my bike (fork, break, derraileurs and downtube) with one of Nat's socks. I hid it in the "bike stuff" drawer and forgot about it until yesterday. Natalia was nosing through my things and found the infamous cloth. I was prepared to lie when she came and confronted me, but nothing came out of my mouth and I had to admit my crime. It was silly-embarrasing and I lost all credit in front of my wife. I hope with time she will understand how important it is to have clean derraileurs and forks and be able to forgive me.
Date 19 July
Sport Swimming / Running
Time: 60min / 60min
Dist: 3.2km / 8km
Comment: Cooperst test. I topped my previous mark by 20 metres! (leg is not 100% though)