*mental note*  Learn how to shift smoother…

Well, for crying the frick out loud – was actually a pretty good stage and a far cry from bonkfest last week.  However, rather than capping off a fairly well executed ride with a good strong sprint finish – I blew the chain off the front big ring just as I was coming out of the saddle to hammer down the home stretch – niiiiiice!   Thanks to Mike and Brad (aka Peak Centre Peak PitStop Crew), with some greasy fingers they managed to get me rolling again and back on the road (albeit virtually) in exactly 2mins and 5secs.

So aside from the mechanical failure / rider shifting stupidity – the lesson to be learned is to ride within your wattage and do it as smoothly as possible.  Heart-rate is one thing, but the problem with heart rate is your heart rate can be up or down 20 bpm and the actual OUTPUT you’re doing could be the same.  With wattage, you know that 250 watts is 250 watts – it’s not “I think I’m pedalling hard based on my perceived rate of exertion.”  Unlike last week where I went out WAY above my z3 wattage (tried to stay above 300 right out of the gate which is way beyond my fitness level right now), this week I just stayed under 250 for pretty much the whole time and tried to “smooth” out my output.   Even with my 2 minute pitstop where I was obvously outputting zero watts, I finished with an avg watt output of around 220 which is about where the top of my zone 1 should be.   I figure in about 6 to 8 weeks, I should be back up in the 260 to 270 avg watt range for the stage so that’s going to be the goal for the next month.  Keep up with these Saturday or Monday races for some intensity and hopefully some trainer time during the week with a run mixed in.  I don’t intend on training for more than 4 to 6 hours a week until the new year as I’m all about training ROI which is what Rich and Patrick at Team EN are huge advocates of – and so am I !

300watts here I come!  Stay tuned…

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