Nationals 2013 versus 2011

baby seal_0

A nice picture of me on the 3rd last lap

A few people have commented to me that the race looked and seemed easier than previous years, so I thought I’d dig through WKO+ to get some answers.

By some weird twist of fate (or repetitive mediocrity, I’m not sure which) I finished in exactly the same position in 2013 as I did in 2011 – 46th.  In both cases I was with the main bunch until I got into a slight spot of bother with about 30-40 minutes to go.  I’ve got the power files for both, which provides a somewhat useful mode of comparison.

2011

  • 4 hours 24 mins
  • 162km
  • 36.6km/h average
  • Average Power: 266w
  • Normalised Power: 314w
  • 4223 kJ

2013

  • 5 hours 9 mins
  • 195km
  • 37.7km/h average
  • Average Power: 254w
  • Normalised Power: 318w
  • 4717 kJ

As you can see, the AP was 12w higher in 2011 but the NP was 4w higher in 2013. Both are fairly comparable through, especially given I (and my bike) were a few kg lighter this year.

bike1

This bike, with those wheels, and the 25mm FMBs – just a ridiculously good setup.

Now let’s look at the peak power demands of 2011 vs 2013 by duration.  2011 is listed first.

  • 60 min:  292w vs 301w   (2013: 9w higher)
  • 10 min: 379w vs 364w   (2011: 15w higher)
  • 5 min: 409w vs 421w   (2013: 12w higher)
  • 1 min: 525w vs 554w   (2013: 29w higher)

These peak numbers don’t tell the whole story though – they’re pretty unimpressive in isolation and most club level A graders could easily achieve those numbers in training.  What these numbers don’t tell you is the repetition and variability of doing them over and over and over through 4-5 hours.

What does all this tell us? Not much…other than the years are fairly comparable. This year was certainly much easier in the first two hours than the last couple of years (as long as you weren’t in the break…)

Hopefully this provides another means by which to compare the two courses. Personally, I prefer the old course (including the Fiskin descent) and hope it returns next year 🙂

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