Last Saturday was my next big time trial – 27.6km along the coast of the Zeeland province. I didn’t have much time for some real quality training since I also raced last weekend , however, I did do the weekly training group ride on Tuesday and my 5x5min FTP+ session on Wednesday. I felt strong and although fatigued I could do 370W+ on my 5min intervals.
The weather was cold and sunny with a very strong cross-tailwind coming down the winding coastal course. I still do not have my TT bike, however, I did get a nice long sleeve skinsuit so I was more ‘aero’ than last weekend.
Waarde is a VERY small picturesque village, which is all nice unless you need to get money for your starting number!!! I was very much on time but still had to go to the next town to withdraw cash – read unnecessary stress. My warmup went pretty OK, all the adrenaline for sure helped speed things up.
What I learned from my last race is that I should start harder or in numbers: 345W average on the opening leg of the course and 350-355W after the turnaround. As soon as I eased into rhythm I could feel the tailwind doing a lot of the work for me. That’s where the problems started. I could see I was going FAST without doing much. My average pace was sitting around 340W, however, in my head I started thinking: “If it is that easy now, how hard would it be after the turnaround?!?!?!” My legs were feeling strong, my head was telling me to preserve myself for the headwind. And so I did…my average power was 338W. Right after the turnaround I was buffeted head on by the strong wind and controlling the bike down the winding course was challenging. Holding 350W+ was not a problem and I finished strong. I was 5th in my category and 28 out of 63 riders overall, 5minutes behind the winner. I could have made gains in the first part of the course by just pacing harder so that was a bit of a letdown. This race is a staple in the calendar of a lot of time trialists from the Netherlands and Belgium so the field was strong. Expensive TT equipment was the norm. I am improving fitness-wise so for a C priority race I did OK. With a solid week of training and hopefully with a real TT bike I should be able to do some personal bests at the District Championships.
Coming Tuesday is a time trial organized by my club. The distance is only 19.8km and the course is the same as the District Championships the week after. I am planning to test my limits, regardless where I place.