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  1. #1
    Senior Member billh's Avatar
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    I'm a cat 4 who hasn't trained or raced for over a year. I suddenly got the urge to do a local crit in 4 weeks because it is literally 2 miles from my house. Hard to pass up. Only thing, I have not done any bicycle-specific training for a year. However, I am in decent cardio shape due to daily commuting 16 miles and also martial arts training which includes some high intensity sparring. I know I would get dropped in a crit if I raced today. Question: is it realistic to expect that I could train hard enough in 4 weeks time to get in shape for this crit? Or should I not even bother and just do a slow buildup for next season.

    Another factor: the course is completely flat, no climbs at all.

  2. #2
    Elitist Jackass Smoothie104's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billh
    I'm a cat 4 who hasn't trained or raced for over a year. I suddenly got the urge to do a local crit in 4 weeks because it is literally 2 miles from my house. Hard to pass up. Only thing, I have not done any bicycle-specific training for a year. However, I am in decent cardio shape due to daily commuting 16 miles and also martial arts training which includes some high intensity sparring. I know I would get dropped in a crit if I raced today. Question: is it realistic to expect that I could train hard enough in 4 weeks time to get in shape for this crit? Or should I not even bother and just do a slow buildup for next season.

    Another factor: the course is completely flat, no climbs at all.


    Start doing sprint intervals, today. up the training intensity on your commute, keep training hard for the next 3 weeks, take a couple of days off before the race, you should be able to hang. But you raced before so you should know this. Nothing much has changed in cat 4 crits in the past year etc..

    it still is going to go like hell from the ***, and get slinky out of the corners.

  3. #3
    Back in the Sooner State
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    Train to do it and if you get dropped turn it into a training race if you can. I did a crit this last weekend (first one in a long time) and got dropped after a couple of laps, but the course was pretty painful and was a good training course anyway. Now, if it's flat as a pancake, might be a different story.

  4. #4
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    probably not what you want to hear, but you'll get smoked. that is, if crits are run anything like they are down here.

  5. #5
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    Your ability to hang in a crit has to do with many factors. No one knows you so no one can give super acurante advice on if you can hang or not. It depends on how you are as a rider. The only way to tell is to go out and run a crit and see how you do at this stage. You could very well suprise yourself and hang in or even win, it is hard to say.

    I personally would get in some good interval LT workouts and some sprinting. You should have a rather good base on your side. All the race will tell you is how to improve.

    Another factor: the course is completely flat, no climbs at all.
    These can be the toughest because the pace is super high. Each course is different though, I have only raced one course that was "super flat".

    Good Luck!
    Just your average club rider... :)

  6. #6
    sundy hopeful berny's Avatar
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    How old are you? As you haven't raced for some time, they would maybe allow you to race car5?
    It's only a bike race and however you go, if you want to do it and you think you'll enjoy it, just go for it. I'm sure you'll go ok.
    The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

  7. #7
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    Why not. You may not to "well" but at least your out there.

  8. #8
    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
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    Intervals. Make them as hard as you can. Don't kid yourself.

    Also, try some motorpacing on a cornered course. If you can replicate a race situation in practice, it'll be so much easier on Race Day.

    Most Roadies make the mistake of training on rolling country roads. That's great if your crit is held on a country road. None are.

    My vote: prepare and do.

  9. #9
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filly
    probably not what you want to hear, but you'll get smoked. that is, if crits are run anything like they are down here.
    You really don't know that. Some people can sit on a bike and go. Some people train by going out for joy rides and smoke people who are coached. Granted probably not at the 1/2 level.

    16 miles a day (70 mile week) commute is pretty decent imo to at least maintain a minimal base. Take the long way home from work and start on intensity training. It cant hurt to push a few big rides too like 50 this weekend, 80 the next, back to 50 and taper to the race. btw I aint no coach I just know how my body works and this would probably work for me.

    Report back how you did...

  10. #10
    Senior Member billh's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement. Guess that is all I was looking for. Of course, I will do it. What's to lose except $20 and side effect of getting in better shape. I mapped out my 4 week training plan last night with a peak at week 3 and plenty of intervals. I've never been on the podium, more of a pack fodder diesel engine, so hopefully can grind it out on a flat course for 40+ minutes. Just don't want to get dropped on the first attack.

  11. #11
    Senior Member billh's Avatar
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    Arghh. Discovered my fancy 4-week training plan was too ambitious. Found it difficult to get up at 5:30 am M-F and do 30 min of interval training, which is really 60 min by the time I ride to and from where I do the intervals. Might have to rethink my plan and shoot for a late Aug race instead.

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