General Discussion Triathlon Talk » How should I ride IM Wisconsin? Rss Feed  
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2014-08-08 7:23 PM


Subject: How should I ride IM Wisconsin?
I am curious if anyone can help me with a race day strategy for IM Wisconsin. I have a power meter and have read quite a bit on effort and pacing, but I face unique challenges in that I cannot follow the general guidelines. So I am looking for advice.
I am 5 ft 3 in on a good day and about 119 lbs. My functional threshold power is only 190 watts. Based on my reading I should aim for an average wattage of maybe 135, probably less. The two main concerns I have relate to hills and the TSS. I pre-rode the course this past weekend so I got some numbers. First off, in my lowest gear going up hills at 6 mph my wattage is 240-270. There's just no way I can keep my wattage to within 10% of 135, which is what is recommended. This in turn, results in a variability index of 1.22, way beyond the recommended VI of 1.06. Looking at the TSS, I've read that I should budget a TSS of 280 for the bike leg. Again, there's no way I can do that with my abilities. I rode 80 miles of the course, the 2 loops, with an average power of 118 watts, NP of 144, and the TSS was already 301.
Does anyone have sage words of advise to assuage my anxiety? To my credit, I do have excellent endurance, just not a lot of power.

Edited by plastic boy 2014-08-08 7:37 PM

2014-08-08 8:14 PM
in reply to: #5037210

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Subject: RE: How should I ride IM Wisconsin?
The key is how you felt after the loops. If you felt great, then thats how you ride. If you felt beat, ride easier or be ready to walk a lot.
What is your gearing like? I am about 60lbs heavier than you, and I can keep my power around 280 on those big hills. I run a compact crank (50/34) and an 11-28 cassette. My FTP is around 250, with a racing weight around 175.
2014-08-08 9:02 PM
in reply to: plastic boy

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Cypress, TX
Subject: RE: How should I ride IM Wisconsin?

You need more appropriate gearing.

What chainrings and what cassette are you using?

2014-08-08 9:08 PM
in reply to: plastic boy

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Subject: RE: How should I ride IM Wisconsin?

I did IMLP  and IMC with very similar FTP as you closer to 195 but I weigh more than you. I tried to keep my watts below 130 closer to 125.  My first IM IMLP I rode a compact 50/34 with a 11-28 but for IMC I switched to a 11-34 cassette. It made a big difference at keeping my watts more even and my vi was much improved for Canada  I think my vi for LP was about 1.2. IMC my PT died partly through the race so I don't have good data plus I had some significant issues with vomiting. I suspect you can get up the hills with less than 240 watts at your weight if you have proper gearing. What gearing do you have?

What do you estimate your bike time will be? Or what was your avg speed on your ride and use that to estimate your bike time.

EN talks about folks with bike splits over I believe 6:30 you need to sort of forget TSS due to the fact your on your bike so long TSS just accumulates and if you lower your IF to keep TSS under 300 you will just be on your bike longer.  But do focus on keeping your vi as low as possible. Anything over 1.06 you are negatively effecting your race and wasting your energy. 

Those spikes really hurt your TSS.

2014-08-16 4:29 PM
in reply to: GMAN 19030


Subject: RE: How should I ride IM Wisconsin?
Compact and 11-25, which should be ideal for me.
2014-08-16 4:41 PM
in reply to: KathyG


Subject: RE: How should I ride IM Wisconsin?
I think a 6:30 bike split is still very doable for me. I just raced IM Steelhead 70.3 this past weekend and finished in 4:53:15, with a bike split of 2:30:41 and a run split of 1:33:41. My average watts were 154, NP 163, and TSS 216. That course, of course, is much easier than Wisconsin, as I only measured 1142 ft of elevation gain compared to Wisconsin's which is well over 5000.

I don't know much about different cassette sizes, but I think I recall that when your rear cassette has a 28 or greater ring that you need a special derailleur with a longer arm. That may be something worth looking into. Thanks for the suggestion.

2014-08-16 8:19 PM
in reply to: plastic boy

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Subject: RE: How should I ride IM Wisconsin?

Originally posted by plastic boy Compact and 11-25, which should be ideal for me.

Not ideal for Wisconsin, probably.  I'd suggest a 12-27 or 11-28.

2014-08-16 8:39 PM
in reply to: spudone

Subject: RE: How should I ride IM Wisconsin?
First what age group are you in, if 40 - 44 male I woudl say you need to use a 11-25, and stay in the big chain ring the entire time, preverably you stay in the 11 cog. For all other age groups I would say do the 11-28. I personally use a 53/39 crankset with 165 mm cranks, I can did the first 56 miles in 3 hrs and the second 56 did 3:12. I am planning on doing a 6:30 on the bike.
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