Hey all – would love to grab your opinion on this.
I’m heading into my last 4 weeks of General Power Build and have seen a nice bump in FTP over the first 4 weeks. I’m going to take a few weeks off after that, do a brief re-build – and as I look to head into specialty for my “A” race of the year I was planning on doing Rolling Road Race as a specialty. Since this event I target every year is a 60 mile road race with a bunch of short, steep climbs.
But the more I look at this – the more I think Rolling Road Race is not the right plan to simulate the specific demands of my event. The race isn’t surge-y, as much as it is selective. Meaning you have to hang with the A group on the hills, or you’re riding to the finish by yourself …, or with a bunch of other small groups that form in the wake of the leaders.
I’ve said this here before, but this event is a 60 mile race with ~4000 feet of climbing, but the climbs are only 2-5 mins long and between 12% - 18% grades at their steepest. It is a mini Tour of Flanders.
Nobody attacks on the flats – and the hills are so steep that there aren’t really attacks there either, it’s just the folks that can get over fast enough hang together until it is whittled down. If you’ve never done a race with that much climbing, but where no climb is longer that 5 mins - I promise you, it’s a special type of challenge. Here is the profile of the race:
And here is the segment/hill that we hit at about 27 miles where I was dropped:
Don’t pay attention to the power data - I didn’t have a power meter on my bike for this race. But you can see that it was only 2:50 seconds – and this actually represented a PR for me on the hill. But the leaders went over in about 2:20, and just like that I was off the back.
If you are a fan of De Ronde – as I am – you will recognize these types of efforts. They have names in Flanders . . . the Paterberg, the Oude Kwaremont, the Kapelmuur, the Koppenberg, etc.
If you were training for a race like this – I don’t thing you’d look at that profile of the efforts and choose Rolling Road Race. These are Vo2 efforts between 2-5 minutes. This isn’t surge-y short burst attacking. It is 130% of FTP survival.
I’ve been surveying the plans for the last few days, and I think the plans I’d choose for specialty – based solely on the type of effort are:
- The Cross Country Marathon MTB plan
or, more controversially…
- Using Short Power Build as my specialty plan – which is a master class in Vo2 work.
Am I nuts?
I love hypothetical situations like this – and I think some will agree and some will disagree with me, but I’ll probably learn something and think about things a little differently.
(Also, I’m just really pumped that the Spring Classics start this Saturday!)
Also – for those of you who made it this far . . . I give you Peter Sagan dropping every last rider on the Paterberg in 2016