After accumulating road cycling power training data over a five year period, the numbers don’t lie. I am now clearly a time trial specialist based on my phenotype. Outside of one anomaly, the 2014 calendar year, where I fit into the phenotype of an all-rounder, the data is pretty consistent.
Perhaps, I need to take this information more seriously and continue to emphasize training more specific to time trialling this year. In some ways this does not surprise me, as I have always been more able to pace myself in the 15km and 40km road cycling time trial distances. Of equal interest (at least to me) has been my natural ability to train and race well in the 15km and 30km cross country skiing distances in both classic and skating disciplines.
My recent experience last Tuesday at our regular group ride with members of the Regina Cycling Club confirmed this. I am at my best over a set middle distance when I can control my own pace rather than the pace being dictated by other riders. How this fits in to the variable group dynamics of road racing is a question yet to be answered.
It’s funny how our bodies change over time, as do our abilities to excel at different aspects of road cycling. In my twenties and early thirties I was clearly a climber (70kg), based on a slight, but muscular body build. As I got older, I continued to gain muscular body weight (85kg) and ended up being more talented as an all-rounder cyclist. Today, in my late 50’s, I am even heavier (103kg) and struggle to keep the body fat to muscle ratio down, yet tend to be at my best in time trials now.
Go with the flow is my motto today. There is no point in trying to do battle in the realm of road racing in the area(s) of our weaknesses. Granted, one should continue to train their weaknesses (i.e. climbing) but focus their time and attention at what they are better at (i.e. time trialling).
The good news is that our cycling club has four time trials planned for the season and a few shorter criteriums and sprints that might better suit my morphology and phenotype.
The lesson one can learn from my own experience is that the process of aging and bodily changes do not necessarily have to hold us back from the sports we love. As human beings we are highly adaptable to change.
Where there is a will, there is a way 🙂
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