Mike Nosco Memorial Ride – PR’s YAY!


On November 3, 2018, George Vargas participated in the Mike Nosco Memorial ride, 10th Anniversary edition. With increased focus throughout the year on diet and weight loss he was able to attain new Personal Records (PR) on two of the three timed climbs.  The three timed climbs are: Deer Creek Rd, Mulholland Hwy, and Latigo Canyon. The weather was excellent, albeit a little warm towards the end.

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Left to right: George Vargas, Jack Nosco and Lori Hoechlin

I wish to share with you my excitement of having a great day on the bike.  Since I am a nobody, really, I will share my power data with you.  Some of my posts are about the ride and the sights and sounds and the struggles of completing endurance events.  This post will be more about data.  Don’t tune out because it won’t be THAT heavy, or maybe it will, but it is important for me to show a few examples of why training and racing with a power meter is essential.

First things first, I wish to thank Jack Nosco for creating and putting on this great event every year on November 3rd. In Jack’s words,

As I work to preserve my brother’s memory through the Michael P. Nosco Foundation, Inc., my main goal is to provide financial relief to families and/or individuals in our community. The emotional support that comes with 700+ people showing up in their honor is incredible! Your support means a lot to them and goes a long way in providing inspiration and strength to our recipients and their families.”

Each year the foundation will provide financial relief to a handful of recipients.  You can read about this year’s recipients here.  If you are ever free on November 3rd please consider making a donation and riding this great ride for a great cause.  It is held every November 3 regardless of what day of the week it falls on since that is the date of Mike’s untimely death.

The Ride

The course is 80 miles with about 8,000 feet of climbing.  You will climb three defined climbs but there are plenty of rollers and steep-ass kickers throughout the course.  The featured climbs are Deer Creek Rd, Mulholland Hwy and Latigo Canyon.  Each of the climbs are distinctive and offer their own unique challenges.

 

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The Climbs

Climb #1

Deer Creek Rd — the steepest climb of the three is also the shortest of the three, at 2.25 miles.  It averages 11% but the ramps, oh my the ramps are over 15%+.  Every year I see so many riders hit the bottom of Deer Creek, which has to be over 15%, so hard that within minutes they are pedaling squares and barely moving forward and upward.  More on that later… In previous years, my enthusiasm has also gotten me into trouble even before the base of this climb.  I have tried to stay in the pack that leaves the memorial site and then hammers towards the coast and then south on the coast to the bottom of the Deer Creek.  This year I told myself I would not do that and just let the pack/s go.  The reality is I would just get in the way of faster riders if I was up near the front.  Besides, I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell to place in the top 3 riders of the day.  I am only racing against myself using my power meter as my training/racing partner.

A little more on the riders that blow up because they have gone too hard at the bottom of the Deer Creek.  They quite literally are going so slow and weaving so much they block the path of riders coming up behind them.  At least if they were doing the “paperboy” up the climb that would be better.  As a rider coming up behind one of them you can at least see a pattern to the weaving but most are not weaving in any discernible way. My suggestion to them is next year bring a larger range cassette.  I had an 11-28 with a 53/39 crankset.  My cadence is slower this climb than what it is normally but it’s only 2.25 miles and I don’t see a need for a larger cassette than 11-28.    I would also suggest they stay to the right of the road and within their lane since the roads are not closed to vehicular traffic.  Every year I see riders crossing over the centerline which is a definite no-no and very unsafe.  Additionally, as faster riders come from behind they need to get by the slower riders on their left and THEY also need to stay inside the centerline.  Years past I have seen rear derailleur hangers snap right in front of me.  I have seen many chains drop as well.  This is probably the most common rider mishap I see on this climb.  Last year or the year before a rider dropped the chain to the inside and it got past the chain catcher all the way to the frame.  The chain was then lodged behind the chain catcher which was attached to the front derailleur by 2 mm or 2.5 mm  fastener.  You will be hard-pressed to find a multi-tool with that small of an Allen wrench on it.  Most multi-tools a 4 mm is usually the smallest Allen head found on a multi-tool.  This poor rider was dead in the water until a SAG vehicle could come up with a full set of tools to help them get the chain catcher out of the way, get the chain out, and then re-adjust the chain catcher.  Personally, I don’t use a chain catcher for that very reason.  I don’t have one installed on any of my high-end bikes. A properly tuned bicycle shouldn’t need a chain catcher or a dork-disc on the rear wheel.  Just my two cents…

 

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I had a PR on the Deer Creek climb of 21:38 my previous best was 23:16.  I have heard somewhere before that 1,000 VAM is the minimum for elite climbers.  As you can see I didn’t achieve that in 2016  with only 833 VAM. I doubt I could hold 1,000 for an hour lol!

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As I mentioned in my introduction I have been focused on weight loss this year.  I have mentioned in previous posts that I have been using Intermittent Fasting (IF) and a diet that is low in carbohydrates and higher in fats and protein.  Basically, I now have a reason to eat all the yummy healthy fats now such as Avocado, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and much more 🙂

I digress, this year I was 63.57 kg or 140 lbs down a few pounds from last year. You will note the Strava numbers show me averaging more watts for the Deer Creek climb in 2018 than 2017, 257 w and 254 w, respectively.  The numbers are actually flip-flopped  when you look at my Training Peaks data below.

Normalized Power (NP): 258w for 2018 and 259w for 2017.  But remember the weight loss?  I was a few pounds lighter this year so even though my NP was 1 watt lower this year than in 2017 I was actually 1:52 faster for the same wattage with an increased power to weigh ratio or watts per kg or w/kg.

w/kg 4.06/kg 2018 and 3.87 w/kg 2017

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2018

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2017

Regarding 2017 – notice how there is a big spike in power (pink line) at the base of Deer Creek and a slow degradation of power throughout the entire climb.  I took a look at the 2017 climb at split it into thirds.  My power was: 1/3 291w NP, 2/3 253w NP, 3/3 229w NP — that is poor pacing on the climb.

2017 NP for the 23:37 was 259w

1/3 over by 32 watts

2/3 under by 6 watts

3/3 under by 30 watts

Now let’s look at 2018 – 1/3 268w NP, 2/3 259w NP, 3/3 248w NP

2018 NP for the 21:45 was 258w

1/3 over by 10 watts

2/3 over by 1 watts – negligible really

3/3 under by 10 watts

I paced myself much better in 2018 and felt better because of it when I hit the summit.

 

Climb #2

Mulholland Hwy – 6.9 miles stair step climb with a few dips along the way up with no memorable ramps. The dips lower the overall average grade down to 4% but the climbing portions are more near 6-8%

I increased my NP from 226w (2017) to 229w (2018). But more importantly I increased my w/kg from 3.38 w/kg (2017) to 3.60 w/kg (2018) my time improved from 36:17 in 2017 to 35:25 in 2018 — a 52 second improvement

 

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2018

 

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2017

 

Climb #3

Latigo Canyon  —  another stair step style climb with dips on the way to the top of the 9.2 miles gaining nearly 2,000 feet.  I was 1:37 slower in 2018 than in 2017 (PR). I remember last year being with a group of stronger riders like Rahsaan Bahati and Neil Shirley.  They set a good tempo for them but I had to ride outside my comfort zone just to stay in contact.  I feel I could have gone just a little harder in 2018 but I was alone with no wheels to stay on or chase up the climb.  Everyone was so spread out that I just used my power meter to get up the climb.  I did pass riders along the way but it would have been nice to work with a few riders that were stronger than me to see what else might have been possible.    Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 1.49.13 PMScreen Shot 2018-11-05 at 1.49.59 PM

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2017 remains my PR on Latigo Canyon

POWER PROFILE CHART

Let’s put this data in context.  Below you will find the Power Profile Chart.  Earlier, I said I am really just a nobody, a hack, trying to do my best at endurance events and climbing events such as the Mike Nosco Ride.  I do these events for personal challenge and foolishly seek gains even as I get older every year lol!  When looking at the Power Profile Chart you will see four columns.  The column headings are duration in time.  On the left side you will see ranges for each of the categories of cyclists.  To use the chart you select either 5 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minute or FTP (60 mins) of time and then find your watts per kilogram. So for example, it is said that the power you hold for 20 minutes is closely related to your 60 min power.  It is supposed to be about 5% higher than the power you can hold for 60 minutes.  In my coaching practice, I tend to use 10% instead.  Let’s use my numbers, 259 watts for 20 minutes translates to 233 watts for 60 minutes.  233 watts divided by 63.57 kg = 3.66 w/kg under the FT column you look for 3.66 w/kg and it falls in the low Cat 3 high Cat 4.

For an endurance cyclist you would think my FT (60 min) power would much higher wouldn’t you?  So would I.  Maybe I should be doing shorter events right?  Lately, my focus has been on getting my 1 and 5 minute power higher through the Wednesday night shop ride, The REV NIGHTER!

Attached are screenshots of my 1 minute power 9.24 w/kg and 5 minute power 5.0 w/kg

1 minute power 9.2 w/kg is straddling the high end of Cat 2 and the low end of Cat 1

5 minute power 5.0 w/kg is straddling the high end of Cat 3 and the low end of Cat 2

Now just for fun look at what a world class athlete holds for FTP — 6 w/kg for 60 minutes!! That would be me holding 380 watts for 60 minutes … um … no!  4-5 minutes tops lol!

 

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SUMMARY

When all is said and done, I had a great day on the bike.  I PR’d 2 out 3 climbs.  I was close on the third climb.  I never felt like I was going to blow up.  I feel like I chose the right intensity, power, to start and finish the climb at the same intensity.  Maybe I could have gone harder here and there but I am happy with my results.  I am hopeful to improve my times again next year.  I don’t think I can lose any more weight and still maintain the same power output.  So that means more interval training … ugh! At times, I am thinking the marginal gains I have made over the years will lessen going forward.

The weather was fantastic.  No one crashed near me which has happened twice in previous years. Only one SUV buzzed me too close for comfort.  I just don’t understand why motorists are in such a hurry when they say hundreds of cyclists on a twisty 9 mile climb they really aren’t going to get anywhere that much faster.

I hope to see you next year in attendance.  November 3 will fall on a Sunday next year see you there.

What’s next?

If the week goes well I am planning another Everest for November 10.  It is the Marine Corps.  I am a former Marine and wish to honor not only the Corps but veterans that suffer from PTSD and/or ultimately take their lives via suicide.

Lastly, if you have questions about power meters or power meter coaching feel free to drop me a line at revcycling@gmail.com or you can make comments on this post.  I am currently accepting a limited number of applicants for coaching.  Let me know how I may assist you.

Cycling Camps San Diego CCSD St Paddy’s Palomar Punishment Plus and more


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I had a great training ride on March 16, 2013.  The St Paddy’s Palomar event has two options A.  68 miles with 6800 feet of gain B.  92 miles 8500 feet of gain but what does an ultra cyclist choose?  Option C none of the above 131 miles with 11,600 feet of gain.  I brought my REV Cycling teammate Lori Hoechlin, and met a few other endurance cyclists Jim Knight, Bob Bingham and Bob “Rock Lizard” Andrews at the Starbucks in Del Mar.  We rode to and from the event and added a few extra miles.  Lori had two slow leaking flats and probably worked harder than she needed to on such a long day.  I had a great day on the bike. I had great legs and felt like I was holding back all day.

A quick word about the event. It was a fun time with more low key people showing up.  No organized start just a steady rolling out of riders.  Left to themselves riders know that a wave of 100 riders wouldn’t be safe 5 miles down the road as you climb Lake Wholford.  You crossed your name off of a roster at the checkpoints and at the finish. Huge spread of pasta dishes salad and bread at the finish.  I would do this event again!  Thank you Jo and Rob of CCSD!

I used my SRM power meter to keep my power within preset ranges on all climbs.  A power meter is ESSENTIAL for proper pacing in endurance cycling events.  I felt great all day having paced my self properly.  I am an authorized SRM dealer shoot me an email– revcycling@gmail.com if you wish to discuss purchasing an SRM Power Meter and pursuing a personalized power based training program from from me.

Calories burned 5,500 Calories consumed 2,100 calories in 10 hours

Below is a great shot taken of my by Mike Kurtz

In this picture Skins CY400 compression cycling jersey bib shorts SPY Performance Pink Screws Swiftwick 7″wool socks Serfas Helix tires, Serfas Pro Series cycling gloves, Serfas pink bar tape and Suplest Supzero cycling shoes SRM Dura-Ace power meter and PowerControl 7 – thank you to all of REV Cycling sponsors!

This was also the longest ride in my new Suplest Supzero cycling shoes supplied by REV Cycling sponsor Serfas. I have a full product review coming soon.  For now I’m putting in the miles and the hours.  This was a long ride of over 130 miles with over 11,000 feet of climbing and lots of time in the saddle and my feet were quite comfortable.   Shoot me an email with “Suplest Shoes” in your subject if you have any specific questions.  Stay tuned for full product review on Suplest Supzero cycling shoes.

Below are screen shots from Garmin for the map and summary and screen shots from Training Peaks WKO 3.0.

Entire training ride

Lake Wholford great climb bottom half then ran into friend that was having gearing issues and paced her up a bit and then pulled over to adjust her rear derailleur.

Palomar Mountain Lower Section Goal maintain 3 – 3.5 w/kg

Palomar Mountain Upper Section- Goal maintain 3 – 3.5 w/kg

Cole Grade at 90 ish miles into our day I holding back and pacing my REV Cycling teammate Lori Hoechlin who was fading-  she recovered nicely for the last 40 miles of the day.  Goal maintain over 3.0 w/kg but had to hold back

Week in Review December 5 – Dec 11, 2011


Week Four of Base Miles (Recovery Week)

Performance Management Chart last 28 days

Ending—Dura—–Dist—- Weight— HR— TSS—- kJ——1min—-5’w—-20’w— 60’w 

12/11—–14:24—–237——-155——-143—–516—-7577—-347—–281—206—-179

12/4—— 11:18—–207——-155——159—–529—-7167—-337—–279—-239—–204

11/27——8:39—–151——–155——-157—- 427—-4970—- 466—- 317—-211—-188

11/20——6:14——-99——-155——-154—- 292—-3458—- 468—- 286—-213—-180

This concludes my fourth week of a three-week build and one week recovery period.  This week the focus was on maintaining the fitness gained in weeks one, two and three.  I rode easy this week so that I would achieve full adaptation from week three.   While my hours and mileage were more than last week the intensity was still low.  You will notice a significant portion of my hours was spent in the Endurance Zone (lighter Green).

Notice in the graph above how week four has a significant portion of the overall training time in the lower two categories (Blue and lighter Green) My endurance zone is between 165-223 watts.  I feel comfortable riding at that intensity.

Above is a graph depicting hours ridden with Bars and mileage ridden by the Line.  The increase over the last four weeks has been moderate and consistent.

Above you will see how even though I did more mileage on my fourth week my IF (Intensity Factor) is much lower than any of the previous weeks. This type of building takes discipline and training with a purpose. My SRM Power Meter is the best tool for proper pacing.

Nutrition and rest are two very important components of a successful training program.  I use AminoPure after every workout.  It ensures I maintain good health as it boosts my immune system and helps me recover quicker.

I also increase my protein intake to ensure good muscle recovery for the next day’s training effort.  Interphase from Sportquest has 34g of protein with only 190 calories.  If I have been training really hard I make a smoothie before bedtime so I can sleep through the  night.

I rode five straight days with no rest days for a total of 14 hours 24 minutes and 237 miles. A little more than three additional hours and 30 more miles than last week.  Training Stress Score was down from  529 to 516 and kilojoules was up from 7167 to 7577.  Remember the kilojoules is closely related to calories expended.  Notice how on the Performance Management Chart my Acute Training Load (stress over 7 days)  is up from  72.6 to 79.5 and the Chronic Training Load (stress over 42 days) was up from 39.2 to 47.9.  Two items of notable mention:

1.  A good 4.5 hour endurance ride in San Diego

2.  Followed by another good 3.5 hour endurance in San Diego

Just for fun how about these statistics for the last four weeks of training:

I rode 737 miles burned 24,000 calories,  43 1/2 hours and averaged just over 17 miles an hour.  

Thank you for reading my blog.  Please pass it to a friend!

SRM 7900 Wireless Power Meter for Felicia


Thank you to the good folks over at SRM for their great support of my Epic Adventures.  Shaun you rock– thank you!!   After five years of riding a Power Tap I am finally free to ride any wheel I want.  My days of building race wheels with a Power Tap are over!  What’s more is I can finally use my Zipp ZEDTech 2’s that have been sitting collecting dust in my garage.

The SRM Dura-Ace 7900 wireless power meter was a breeze to install.  It literally took all of 10 minutes to install the SRM onto my 2010 Felt F2 with Di2.  I have a spare magnet and handlebar clamp for my TT bike.  I haven’t decided whether I will take two bikes to the Furnace Creek 508 this year because I don’t know if I want to have my crew members swap the crank out …but I just might.  It will take less than 5 minutes because the head unit mount for the handlebar and the magnet on the bottom bracket will already be installed. Just the crank has to be removed and installed on the other bike.

Tomorrow will be my first training ride with the SRM.  It will be a long ride (century plus) on a hot day (100F) with lots of climbing (15,000 feet).  I’ll blog about it tomorrow.

2010 Felt F2 with Di2 and SRM 7900 wireless power meter with Power Control 7

Saturday Hill Work on Newport Coast


Elevation Profile from Garmin
Entire Activity
Entire workout (157 watts):
Duration:..   1:50:14
Work: ..      1036 kJ
TSS: …       126.1 (intensity factor 0.832)
Norm Power: 233
VI:….         1.48
Pw:HR:       n/a
Pa:HR:       n/a
Distance:..   27.785 mi
Elevation Gain:     1447 ft
Elevation Loss:   1414 ft
Grade:     0.0 %  (30 ft)
              Min Max Avg
Power:       0 803 157 watts
Cadence:     30 139 78 rpm
Speed:       0 42.2 15.1 mph
Pace         1:25 0:00 3:59 min/mi
Altitude:     -1 1028 290 ft
Crank Torque: 0 1136 179 lb-in

Newport Coast wattage

Newport Coast with w/kg 

Newport Coast Dr:
Duration:   7:34
Work:       133 kJ
TSS:.        14.2 (intensity factor 1.061)
Norm Power: 297
VI:…         1.01
Pw:HR:       n/a
Pa:HR:       n/a
Distance:   1.535 mi
Elevation Gain:     427 ft
Elevation Loss:   0 ft
Grade:………      5.3 %  (429 ft)
                       Min Max Avg
Power:…….        1.9 5.6… 4.3 w/kg
Cadence:…..      63 106… 89 rpm
Speed:…….        9.5 14…. 12.2 mph
Pace ……..         4:16 6:19.. 4:55 min/mi
Altitude:……     147 576… 365 ft
Crank Torque: 136 389… 280 lb-in

Thursday 031810 Coffee Crew


Peak 5min (308 watts):
Duration:   5:00
Work:       92 kJ
TSS:       9.9 (intensity factor 1.091)
Norm Power: 305
VI:         0.99
Pw:HR:       n/a
Pa:HR:       n/a
Distance:   1.252 mi
Elevation Gain:     275 ft
Elevation Loss:   0 ft
Grade:     4.2 %  (280 ft)
                   Min…..Max……Avg
Power:       149…..403…..308 watts  (4.61 w/kg)
Cadence:     85…..110……..93 rpm
Speed:       12.9….18.2…..15.0 mph
Pace         3:18…4:40……4:01 min/mi
Altitude:     256….535……..398 ft
Crank Torque: 135….358…….281 lb-in

Weight today 147lbs 
Garmin player for today’s ride here 

031610 Tuesday Coffee Crew


NEWPORT COAST FROM BONITA CANYON

Entire workout (133 watts):


Duration:   …..3:11:33 (3:26:50)
Work:   ……    1531 kJ
TSS:    …….    142.2 (intensity factor 0.679)
Norm Power:.. 190
VI:      ……….   1.43
Pw:HR:  …..     63.7%
Pa:HR:   ……    64.51%
Distance: ……  54.98 mi
 
                     Min….. Max….. Avg
Power:       0….. 806…… 133 watts
Heart Rate:   0….. 188……. 95 bpm
Cadence:     30…. 239…… 85 rpm
Speed:       0 ……43……..17.2 mph
Pace         1:23.. 0:00…. 3:30 min/mi
Hub Torque:   0…. 340…… .54 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0…. 1019…. 132 lb-in

Newport Coast Dr:


Duration:   7:23
Work:       131 kJ
TSS:       14.9 (intensity factor 1.099)
Norm Power: 308 ( 4.5 w/kg)
VI:         1.03
Pw:HR:       n/a
Pa:HR:       n/a
Distance:   1.852 mi
Elevation Gain:     383 ft
Elevation Loss:   0 ft
Grade:     4.0 %  (388 ft)

Min…..Max…..Avg
Power:       0…. 463……. 298 watts (4.4 w/kg)
Cadence:     38….225…….. 92 rpm
Speed:       2.4….19.1….. 14.9 mph
Pace         3:09….24:46…. 4:02 min/mi
Altitude:     231… 622…… 427 ft
Crank Torque: 0….. 452…… 275 lb-in