Sunday, July 16, 2006

My First Sub-5:00 Solo Century

Last week after going about 70 miles solo at a 20.5 mph pace (a first for me) I asked for advice on from those who have done a solo century in under 5:00 and I got some good responses. I'm currently using an online training plan to get ready for a an epic (read: famous and hilly) century ride/race in September in which I'd like do well. It's not officially a race but racers come from all over the country and it's competitive, complete with chip times and results posted.

Anyway, yesterday I had a long ride scheduled with a rest week next week so I decided to see if I could do a solo century in under 5 hours without aero bars. I have a power meter in the hub of my rear wheel so I was able to gather some data about the ride. Here are my results:

Distance: 100.546 mi (loop course)
Duration: 4:52:56 saddle time
Avg Speed: 20.7 mph
Climbing: 4049 feet

Work: 3966 kJ (essentially calories burned)
Avg Power: 226 watts
Norm Power: 242 watts
Avg Heart rate: 158 bpm (threshold is 169-170)
Avg Cadence: 95 rpm

Notes: I made it in under 5:00 but I ran out of water due to the heat and had to make a quick stop at mile 85 or so to refill my bottles from a drinking fountain. My bike can carry 4 bottles so I had hoped to not have to stop but the 95 degree heat at 10:00am (yikes) made that problematic. I ended up going through 7 bottles of liquid but didn't end up eating as much as I thought I would.

I wanted to average 230 watts for the ride but during the last hour it was extremely hard to maintain that wattage for several reasons: (a) it was hotter than he!! out there, (b) there were lots of stoplights as I made my way back into town, (c) it was hilly so I couldn't keep a rythmn, and (d) oh yeah I was tired!


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