I just did my first Cat 5 Criterium last night and had a great time. I stayed with the peloton for 4.5 laps (15min) before coming out the back and I am both very happy with my performance and just a bit disappointed at the same time.
I’ve been using TR for about a year and am pleased with my FTP of 233 and w/kg of 3.2.
When I look at the race analysis it looks like the difference between the time I was in the group and the time I was on my own came down to how peaky it was in the group. For the time I was in the group NP was only 237 with an average W of 216. Both of those seem like I should have been able to maintain the pace for the entire 45 minutes. Last month I did the hour power challenge and completed an hour at 216w.
After getting dropped I continued at a hard pace for the next few laps at 220NP 210w before a crash neutralized the race.
Those look close enough to me to be a bit disappointed that I let the gap open up in the climb (20 sec at 425w) and came out the back, and also that I didn’t give it one last HARD dig to get back on the group. I know if that was a TR workout and i could SEE the effort coming I could have completed it.
I am currently doing the mid volume short power build plan which feels like the right fit to help me adjust to the peakiness of the race, and I have to work on my mental game to stay focused on keeping the gap closed and smoothing out my power delivery while in the group.
Does anyone have ways to train the mental toughness for when you don’t know how long or hard the effort needs to be, or when the next one is coming?
The 425w for 20sec is telling, so far all my TR workouts have only gone up to 320 for 20s. Should I be doing something specific to train this or stick to the plan? I’ll be racing the same course for the summer.
My next race is in two weeks, and I am looking forward to it!