Sunday, November 6, 2011

115 miles on the Computrainer - St. George bike course

Now I know a little about the famous/infamous St. George bike course.

All I had to do was drive to Scottsdale to see the St George, UT course. Joe Courtney of Sonic Fitness has the system. It is a great setup.

According to the Computrainer system the course is mostly uphill. Sometimes gradual (1% to 4%) and sometimes ridiculous (6% to 12%). There is a little bit of downhill at the back of the loop. I believe it is about 80 miles of uphill out of the 112 total miles. It took me around 6.5 hours to complete. Not as fast as I would like, but it was training and not race day. I approached it as such.

The trainer might be tougher than the real course. Here's why. Reason #1: There is no coasting. If you stop pedaling the resistance on the trainer stops the back wheel very quickly. Reason #2: If I am outside on a 6%+ downhill my max speed is around 52 mph. On the trainer my max speed in a full-out sprint was about 40mph.

The trainer might be easier than the real course. Here's why. Reason #1: The road surface is consistent and smooth on the trainer. There is no added resistance due to changing pavement conditions while you are on the trainer. Reason #2: Wind. If it is a windy day in St. George on May 5th 2012 ... this will add a giant dimension to this already difficult course.

Either way, I pedaled for 6.5 hours solid yesterday (literally no breaks) and that cannot be bad training. It gets my cycling back up to the mileage I was riding in the summer and it was a good prep for the Tour de Tucson ride (111 miles) coming up in a couple of weeks.

I have long week ahead with both training and work. Wish me luck. I have lots of swimming to do to prep for the splash and dash coming up next Saturday. 3000 meters in the water + a 3.1 mile run.

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