How to Qualify - Kona Threshold Bike Fitness
by Gordo Byrn
“Go fast when the race is slow”
Once you’ve demonstrated a deep understanding of my Principles of Pace, the next step in your development is considering how and where to apply additional effort into your event.
With California 70.3 just completed, I’m going to share a case study that will help illustrate strategic hammering!
Below is a chart of my ride from last year [click to expand] -- to keep things simple, I’m displaying speed and elevation. The purple shading is my best 60-minute power output for the race (about 300w normalized). My best 60 minutes were 8% higher than the hour that led into that key part of the course. I didn’t go crazy but I shifted one full intensity zone upwards through a hilly and “headwindy” section of the race.
In reviewing files post race, Alan noticed that the athletes with the faster bike splits were the ones that were able to lift strategically. It’s nice to be able to access really fast AG files.
I coach a speedy athlete that consistently runs very well off the bike. He raced Cali this year and wanted to close the gap on the bike split. Now, one way to improve the bike split is ride the course a lot. However, that’s not an option for my guy so we needed to figure out another way to prepare him. Before I drew up his plan, I used TrainingPeaks to produce a chart of his best efforts from 2011.
Does anything jump out at you from that chart?
Perhaps the 16% reduction in season best power from 30 to 60 minutes? That sure caught my eye -- especially because I was laying out the training plan for 2011!
Specific prep is a multistage process:
Collectively, we “knew” what was going to be required a year in advance. However, it wasn’t until I did a season review that I discovered a physiological “hole” in his preparation. Adjusting the focus for 2012 has produced a very different chart.
Tips specific to this case study:
Summing up, the overall process can be described as:
Hope you have a great 2012.
Gordo is the founder of Endurance Corner. You can find his personal blog here.