This is my first race report with the Trip.
I have made going under 30 minutes as my primary cycling goal for 2010. I spoke with Russ on Wednesday and said my goal was for the first Swanton was 30:30 so I am quite pleased with 30:19. This is 2:39 faster than my previous best.
I attribute this improvement to many factors.
1. I made this my top goal cycling goal for 2010 and told others. A little pressure is usually good for me.
2. I lost about 30 pounds last year. My previous best time was set near my current weight but not carrying all that extra weight has got to help.
3. I purchased a pair of cheap Nashbar clip-on’s and an Aero TT Helmet with visor (spent less than $200 on both, so happens that the only aero helmet that will fit my very large head is also the least expensive). Wore a skinsuit, shoe covers and was comfortable with my stem fully lowered- no spacers.
4. Practiced the actual course the previous 3 Thursdays. I believe this really helped with pacing and knowing the holes/curves in the road. I believe most of the time I was losing on this undulating course was due to going too easy on the downhill/downwind sections and going too hard on the uphill/upwind sections.
5. Used a heart rate monitor. I had previously found this very helpful for flat TTs but was uncertain for undulating courses since the data lags the efforts. This was the first time I found it useful at Swanton- it did help keep me from overcooking myself.
6. Used earplugs. These gave me the sensation I was going slower so it’s a psychological trick but seems to work. Also keeps me calm and more focused on the effort.
To shave off 20 seconds and achieve my goal, these are some of my ideas.
1. Nasal decongestant. When I go hard I produce a lot of nasal mucus and clearing it is distracting.
2. A bigger taper. I had a fairly easy week before this event but with an even easier week maybe I can squeeze out a few more watts.
3. Loose a few more pounds. This is questionable since my wife has forbidden it and I might lose power.
4. Different wheels. I used very light, deep dish wheels. I have been offered to borrow some extremely aero wheels (super deep front/disk) so I will probably give it a try.
5. Remove bottle cages and tape small vents on helmet. These are tiny changes but free and I am “only” going after 20 seconds.
6. If all these shenanigans don’t work it occurred to me that much of the time saved with by having a dedicated TT bike is having the shifters at the end of the aero bars. It would be a big hassle but I could do this on my road bike- if I miss my goal after a few more tries I will consider this particularly if I can borrow some 10 speed Shimano bar ends.