Spring has sprung! The seemingly endless hours of closely following your TrainingPeaks schedule via either cold or stationary rides are finally going reap some hefty rewards…..or will they?
Your coach has carefully written a schedule that you’ve followed and so you now have some sinister tools at your disposal. Thing is, you have to know how and when to unleash them on the unsuspecting bike racing public. Take inventory and identify their target:
CP.02 (12 seconds, explosive power): This is your money maker, the finishing sprint. Know what distance suits you best – usually 150-300 meters. When you get to a race course make note of a stationary object that is your sweet spot distance away from the finish line and key in on it as a place to launch yourself into the promised land in the final sprint. This type of effort will also get you over short hills and, if necessary, short gaps.
CP1 (1 minute, lactate clearance): Jam up short hills, close small gaps, lead a teammate out for the sprint or go into “cling-on” mode when things really get tough. If you’re feeling a bit cheeky then go ahead and let it fly from a kilometer out from the finish. Can you imagine? To win like that!
CP6 (6 minutes, velocity at VO2MAX): Bridge up to a break, attack!, grind up a long and steep hill or make it through a difficult and long cross wind stretch.
CP12 (12 minutes, aerobic capacity (VO2MAX): See CP6, but with twice as much misery and pain! Also consider this as a way to help make a break stick. It is those key moments while off the front alone or with others that will determine the success or failure of a move. Often times executing a hard 10-15 minute effort is enough to solidify a gap and demoralize the players behind.
CP30 (30 minutes, lactate super threshold): Aside from the suicide time trail type moves half way through a criterium, these are best suited for road races. The field is made up of those that have this type of muscular endurance and those that don’t. Make sure that you keep your head up so that when the person in front of you quits 20 minutes into a cross wind section you are there to pump out the CP.02 to get across the gap.
Use your tools to build a good result. Bridge up to a break, attack at THE critical point of a race, maintain good position……these are all necessary evils in the pursuit of happiness (winning will make you a happier person). Don’t do anything unless it is a direct benefit to you or a teammate. Pulling at the front of a race just to flex the legs is like running sideways at a marathon. Have a plan, know what you have going for you and use it to win!