9.28.09 Tucson, Arizona


Saturday was my first and only shootout ride during this short training camp in Tucson prior to Kona. I wanted to make this shootout count and get in a great workout. I know the “race” section of the shootout is about 45 minutes, so I had planned on going hard then recovering for a bit (but not stopping) then heading to Madera Canyon to do another 45 minute interval closer to race pace. I would then cruise home on Old Nogales Hwy.


Stuart and I left home about 6:15 and picked up the shootout group on the west side of town at the Quick Mart on Mission Rd. We strolled through town and had a nice chat with Jimmy Riccitello who was on the ride with his big Estonian athlete, Ain. Ain had the fastest bike in Kona last year and he is a true monster at something like 220 pounds. That guy can really lay down the power. I knew straight away I would be in breakaway with Ain today but I didn’t know who, if anyone, else would be able to make it. Once we hit Valencia Road the action started and I hit the first interval on my SRM. I went to the front pretty quick and started a 3 man rotation with Ain and Stuart. A few others jumped into the rotation occasionally and then there were a few guys who tried to throw out a solo breakaway attempt. I was not scared by any of them. I knew nobody was going to stay away from a group with both Ain and me. The plan was to attack after the bridge. I was the first to the top of the bridge and was in front really pushing the pace hard just trying to get guys in a single file line. It was working and soon Ain pulled up beside and reach his arm over my whole back, scooping me up alongside him like a huge silver back gorilla scooping up his young child. There was no sprint, no out of the saddle acceleration, just hard sustained wattage for a while. My max power was only 680 watts but I was never out of the saddle so that was plenty hard. I held close to Ain’s wheel as we rode everyone straight off. Stuart was able to make a really fast acceleration out of the saddle and catch on (seems to be his speciality) but once he was on the back, he stayed on the back for the remainder of the ride. Ain and I took turns taking monster pulls on the front in our aerobars while Stuart did his best just to hang on. I could tell I was riding a bit better than Ain since I started taking longer pulls than him and he apologized a couple times for it. I was fine with his riding and just glad I had company on a breakaway. I took a little break on the first downhill part as it didn’t seem to take much effort to stay on Ain’s wheel going downhill. After the break I was back at sharing pulls with him as we rapidly approached the bottom of the sprint hill. I always make sure to do work into the sprint hill. While most of the cyclists will never put in a hard pull going into the sprint hill, I always put in the work to make the sprint truly worthwhile. I started the sprint in front and it didn’t take long to ride away from Ain. Stuart dropped his hand pump and stopped to pick it up (I was a bit worried Stu was sandbagging on me and going to try to outsprint me up the hill, but I was prepared for that too). I was out in front and up the sprint hill with a commanding lead to take my 5th shootout victory. I haven’t won a shootout since April of 2008, two weeks before Ironman Arizona. I am now two weeks before Kona with another shootout win and a win over the man who had the fastest bike in Kona last year. Things are setting up nicely for me.


I continued my ride solo towards Madera Canyon and started my second interval just after mile marker 2. Madera is a 13.5 mile climb that just gets steeper further into the climb. You start in your big ring and finish wishing for a triple. I would have 11 miles and knew it would take me about 45 minutes to get to the top. On the rare occasion you don’t have a headwind you can do it a bit quicker but for my effort today (about 300 watts) it was perfect for 45 minutes. I did most of the interval in my aerobars which is another challenge in itself because the rpms start to really drop and you have to call on your core strength to stay strong and stable. I do admit I didn’t finish the interval in my bars but tried to stay there as much as possible. It was a great interval. I casually headed back down the canyon then stopped in Green Valley for a bite to eat at the Chevron station before heading back to Tucson on Old Nogales Hwy. It was a great ride with solid power output and the perfect preparation for Kona. I plan on bringing the same big gun to Kona in a couple of weeks. This is Tucson, home of the shootout. If you train here bring your gun and come out shooting, this is one tough town.


Work Hard,




SRM #1:

Duration:                44:32

Work:                     937 kJ

TSS:                       74.7 (intensity factor 1.003)

Norm Power:          361

VI:                           1.03

Pw:HR:                   4.72%

Pa:HR:                   -3.96%

Distance:               17.445 mi

Elevation Gain:      1099 ft

Elevation Loss:      128 ft

Grade:                    1.1 %  (971 ft)

Min Max Avg

Power:                    0          680      351      watts

Heart Rate:            118      172      158      bpm

Cadence:               29        117      87        rpm

Speed:                    8.6       37.8     23.5     mph

Pace                       1:35     6:60     2:33     min/mi

Altitude:                  2608    3602    3133    ft

Temperature:         64.4     78.8     71.1     Fahrenheit

SRM #2:

Duration:                45:01

Work:                     829 kJ

TSS:                       54.7 (intensity factor 0.854)

Norm Power:          307

VI:                           1

Pw:HR:                   2.71%

Pa:HR:                   50.15%

Distance:               11.005 mi

Elevation Gain:      2198 ft

Elevation Loss:      7 ft

Grade:                    3.8 %  (2192 ft)

Min Max Avg

Power:                    184      425      307      watts

Heart Rate:            129      161      151      bpm

Cadence:               50        103      78        rpm

Speed:                    5.5       31.6     14.7     mph

Pace                       1:54     10:58   4:05     min/mi

Altitude:                  3136    5328    4087    ft

Temperature:         75.2     84.2     80.5     Fahrenheit

Entire workout (215 watts):

Duration:                4:34:31

Work:                     3544 kJ

TSS:                       253.5 (intensity factor 0.744)

Norm Power:          268

VI:                           1.25

Pw:HR:                   14.98%

Pa:HR:                   -6.8%

Distance:               94.512 mi

Elevation Gain:      4045 ft

Elevation Loss:      4098 ft

Grade:                    -0.0 %  (-52 ft)

Min Max Avg

Power:                    0          680      215      watts

Heart Rate:            0          172      135      bpm

Cadence:               20        117      78        rpm

Speed:                    0          45.9     20.7     mph

Pace                       1:18     0:00     2:54     min/mi

Altitude:                  2523    5348    3202    ft

Temperature:         64.4     113      84.2     Fahrenheit