Thursday, November 12, 2009

Double pole time trial

Due to a lack of big hills on which to do a double pole time trial, CSU uses Annursnac Hill, and just goes up it four times, then adds the uphill times. Rest is kept at an exact 5 minutes. Frank just loves designing tests, although I think he isn't so psyched that the top kids have started to beat him... Anyway, I feel like any test you can repeat consistently has value, even if there is less value than a 12-min hill, which is debatable anyway. As far as I can find, here are my times from previous double pole tests, starting in 2006. I didn't do any tests in 2007 (the scientist in me is screaming WHY?!?!?!?!), and just one test in 2008. Ideally, I'd like a spring test and a fall test each year, but I hardly live in an ideal world.

August 2006: 17:36
November 2006: 15:41
September 2008: 12:46
June 2009: 13:31
November 2009: 12:39

As you can see, yesterday's time trial was a new personal best, but only by 7 seconds. I was sort of hoping for more improvement than that, but I guess any improvement is good. My technique has definitely changed since 2006, incorporating more time rocking back on my heels - this works really well for applying power in anything other than all-out sprint situations. The temperature was hovering around 55-60F yesterday, so pole tips didn't have any problem gripping, and last November it was 63F, so luckily the conditions were similar, leading to more confidence in this PB.

I started fast, we were all in a group and my star J2 (Corey Stock) took off like a rocket. I thought I'd keep up with her, but she did it in about 3min flat, and I came past the first set of mailboxes in 3:05. Still fast, but I didn't anticipate getting faster. The second rep I started just behind Rob and Bob, and reeled them in by the top, still feeling pretty good, although I felt like my gloves were falling off, which makes holding the poles hard. All in my head, of course... the second hill was 3:08. Slower. Could I keep it under 3:10?

The third hill I started with Rob, and pulled ahead on the flat section near the top, but it was starting to hurt. It was my upper thighs that were feeling tired, of all things, I guess its true that lactic acid accumulates in your legs when you double pole. My arms just didn't get that tired, it was my legs protesting. Not fair! 3:11 for that third one, losing three seconds per rep, I needed to stop the hemorrhaging of seconds. We started the fourth, and I could tell my snap was gone. I pushed hard, and was pleased that my form held together nicely, but I just couldn't go any faster, and Rob pulled away on the steep part. 3:15 this time. Yarrrgh! I'm still happy with my result, but I just wanted to go faster. I guess that's always the case...

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