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"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

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Old 08-14-06, 11:38 AM   #1
Patman1776
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3rd Race in the Books!!!

Although I don't plan on listing my results for every race I do, being it's my first season of racing, I felt it might be beneficial to those other newbies out there to see how improvement comes as you gain experience. I can tell you that my progression through three races (CAT 5) has been significant, and that I find myself falling deeper and deeper for the sport as I improve. Here's a comparison of my first three races:
  1. Housatonic Hills Road Race: 27 miles - 1500+ ft of climbing - 40 of 56 - dropped on first major climb - finished solo
  2. Union Vale Road Race: 44 miles - 4900+ ft of climbing - 51 of 64 - dropped midway through 2nd of three laps - finished solo
  3. Capital Region Road Race: 50 miles - 4000+ ft of climbing - 16 of 53 - did NOT get dropped!! - finished in group of 4 - outsprinted fellow rider by one wheel length

Key point here, for me, is that my results improved each time out. I could easily have become discouraged after getting dropped early in the first race, but I kept with it, and it's starting to pay off. My advice to any new racer out there is to realize that chances are you will have a difficult initiation to the sport, but that is just a part of the learning curve. Whether you DNF or get dropped, use it as a learning experience.

I started using a heart rate monitor to structure my training since the Union Vale Road Race in July. I have noticed a marked improvement since, and find it controlls my efforts much better than by percieved exertion.
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Old 08-14-06, 12:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Patman1776
I started using a heart rate monitor to structure my training since the Union Vale Road Race in July. I have noticed a marked improvement since, and find it controlls my efforts much better than by percieved exertion.
Good job and congrats on sticking with it and realizing the value of structure.

Few things to consider as you keep going:

1) HRM's have a lag between effort and HR. If you're doing really intense crit/sprint type efforts during a race you'll need to go back to percieved exertion to keep from blowing. Now's the time to learn what it feels like at LT using the HRM, file that away for future use.

2) Improvement in results shouldn't be your only measure of progress. Field strength and races vary greatly in the lower Cats, you'll get guys who are passing through quickly on their way up; this can really change the pace/complextion of the race. And you'll have the "perpetual 4's", or the Baggers O' Sand.

By time you start racing Cat3 and above the fields will be uniformly strong with some guys peaking (read: really really strong), this is especially true in the Master's 1/2/3 if you get there. That's when you'll really get a feel for your strength and endurance, because the race will be faster from the get go.
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Old 08-14-06, 01:05 PM   #3
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nice job! races get a whole lot more interesting when you don't have to worry about getting dropped.
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Old 08-14-06, 02:09 PM   #4
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Nice progression. That looks like allot of climbing for a road race. Have you done any crits? I have not done a road race, Just crits. I'm definatly in the mood for a road race.
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Old 08-14-06, 02:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
Good job and congrats on sticking with it and realizing the value of structure.

2) Improvement in results shouldn't be your only measure of progress. Field strength and races vary greatly in the lower Cats, you'll get guys who are passing through quickly on their way up; this can really change the pace/complextion of the race. And you'll have the "perpetual 4's", or the Baggers O' Sand.

By time you start racing Cat3 and above the fields will be uniformly strong with some guys peaking (read: really really strong), this is especially true in the Master's 1/2/3 if you get there. That's when you'll really get a feel for your strength and endurance, because the race will be faster from the get go.
+1

I mean the races can still be different at the other levels but yeah most of the field is capable of dishing it out. In 4/5 usually there are just 5 or 10 guys capable of winning. At higher levels that number goes up.
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Old 08-14-06, 08:48 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Vinokurtov2) Improvement in results shouldn't be your only measure of progress. Field strength and races vary greatly in the lower Cats, you'll get guys who are passing through quickly on their way up; this can really change the pace/complextion of the race. And you'll have the "perpetual 4's", or the Baggers O' Sand.

I agree with you here. I did notice my avg speed increased each race, even with added climbing. Also, although CAT 5, I didn't run across any "dangerous" riders in my races, which is what I hear often happens in CAT 5. Most of the riders I encountered seemed pretty comfortable in pack/paceline riding. Only once did the peloton have to chastize a rider for riding a little "loose" in the pack. Overall, I think the competition in all three races was fairly consistent being that all three were in the Connecticut/New York area, and I noticed many of the riders doing the same races.
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Old 08-14-06, 08:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiromian
Nice progression. That looks like allot of climbing for a road race. Have you done any crits? I have not done a road race, Just crits. I'm definatly in the mood for a road race.
No Crits yet. I'm holding out for a better crit bike (I race a Trek Pilot 5.2) before I jump in there. For road races, my Pilot performs fine........As far as the climbing goes, it seems like all the road races up in this neck of the woods have lots of climbing and a finishing hill. To succeed here, it seems climbing has to be a major part of your training.
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Old 08-14-06, 10:19 PM   #8
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Patman,

Congratulations. I'm in Central CT and have been following your progress. I'm too out of shape and suck at hills to try the races, so I'm living vicariously through your reports.

When is your next race?

Good luck and keep the reports coming.
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Old 08-15-06, 02:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patman1776
Also, although CAT 5, I didn't run across any "dangerous" riders in my races, which is what I hear often happens in CAT 5. Most of the riders I encountered seemed pretty comfortable in pack/paceline riding. Only once did the peloton have to chastize a rider for riding a little "loose" in the pack.
You must ride crasheteriums to truly appreciate the difference in cats

http://kckphoto.smugmug.com/gallery/1699635/1/83597677

I've been running an up and coming junior rider back and forth with me to some of the races...this was his first Elite event. He survived...
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Old 08-15-06, 05:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Panic
Patman,

Congratulations. I'm in Central CT and have been following your progress. I'm too out of shape and suck at hills to try the races, so I'm living vicariously through your reports.

When is your next race?

Good luck and keep the reports coming.
Thanks for the encouragement!!

As for my next race, both my sons are now into football season which means 5 days a week at practice until school starts back up. Since my wife works 2nd shift, and I have a 4 year old daughter to babysit, it will be difficult to do many more races this season. If I can put in enough time on the turbo trainer at night, and do some quality (distance, climbing, intensity, group) rides on the weekends, I might be able to fit one or two more in before calling it quits for the season. My big priority is to make sure I ride through the winter and weight train 3 days a week to build up my core strength. I took last winter off (wasn't planning on racing), and got a late start. This year, I want to get to the spring with a substantial base so I can hit the early season races. I really want to see what this 43 year young body can do

Thanks again for the support!!......I'l definitely keep you posted..........just maybe it'll give you the motivation to get in shape and join us old farts
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Old 08-15-06, 09:01 AM   #11
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I've got the old part, but the problem is I have the pizza belly in the way.

If I could lose 40 lbs... well I'd like to do the Housatonic next year. I guess I should put down this slice now
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Old 08-15-06, 06:25 PM   #12
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Housatonic will probably be my first race next year as well.....I'm about 5'7" and will be around 145 pounds for that event, and I am hoping not to get dropped. My other goal is to not get tangled up in a crash. Fortunately I live in a somewhat hilly area (with access to a great hill for climbing repeat workouts), and spend weekends up in the southeastern Berkshires, so I have a ton of climbing available to me if I want it. I really wanted to get a good 2 years' worth of riding back in my legs before racing, so that I have a decent base to work with. Fortunately, a guy I work with is a Cat 3 and has "taken me under his wing" so to speak.

Congrats and keep up the good work!
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