Comparison of Classic Time Trials

Yesterday afternoon I repeated the 15 kilometer classic roller ski time trial that I did with my teammates two weeks ago. I did the same course on the same roller skis in similar temperatures. It was an individual start race last time, so it worked well to repeat it even though I was alone yesterday.

The race was at Soldier Hollow and I was supported by U.S. Ski Team coach Matt Whitcomb.

In the first effort I did a great job of using my aerobic capacity, but I did it with tempo based skiing. I did not effectively use my power. Here is the heart rate graph from that first effort:

15k-classic-time-trial-soldier-hollow-october-2016

Video from the first effort is here:

My goal for yesterday’s effort was to ski with way more power and to focus on the flatter parts of the course that require more power. I successfully executed those goals. Consequently, I went almost 20 seconds faster. Interestingly, as I changed my focus, my aerobic effort looked and felt much less impressive. Here is a look at the heart rate data from yesterday’s race:

15k-classic-time-trial-soldier-hollow-november-2016

The heart rate profile does show that I have much better intensity based fitness than I did during the last effort because I am recovering much faster when the terrain permits. Here is the video from yesterday’s race:

(The text in the video is repeated several times. It is not correct until the last time it appears.)

With the change of focus, I also had better pacing. Here are my lap times from the first race:

Lap 1: 10:07

Lap 2: 10:08

Lap 3: 10:22

Lap 4 (half lap): 6:38

Total: 37:15

Lactate: 13.9 mmol

And here are the times from yesterday’s race:

Lap 1: 10:10

Lap 2: 10:11

Lap 3: 10:06

Lap 4 (half lap): 6:30

Total: 36:57

Lactate: 10.0 mmol

I am very happy with the changes I made from the first race to the second. I want to carry the lessons I learned through to the season, and I am excited to test it on snow against a World Cup field.