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Old 05-01-07, 03:42 PM   #1
hiromian
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Flat crits for ever?

I got dropped on my first two road races and one crit with hills (cat 4/5s). last weekend I did one of them road races. The hills clobbered me. DNF. I'm so bummed about it that I can't even write a report. But wait, there's more: I'm built like a climber.

I have more hill work to do. Yay. I will be doomed to flat crits for ever if I can't hang in on the hills. Boo Hoo.

Seriously thinking of doing triathalons. No. Seriously.

One cool thing I can report, On the second big hill about 10 km into the race, a real steep grinder, everyoune out of the saddle in the 39/25, this guy in front missed his shift and stopped dead in front of me, I swerved neatly around him and a couple of guys behind had to stop"Sorry, crunch, oh, ah,". I imagine they had a hard time getting going again on that hill. It was that steep.

The front group wisely attacked on cresting the hill. I and a bunch made up the second group. We ran a fast pace line to catch up. At km 15 a now splintered group and I finaly caught up to the pack. Just on catching up, more hills did me in.
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Old 05-01-07, 04:01 PM   #2
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Many people get dropped in their first few races. I did. Keep training. You'll get faster.
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Old 05-01-07, 04:42 PM   #3
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You have the build of a climber now you need the heart of a climber. You will find it on your training hill...every day. Racers are not made on the flats. They are forged in the mountains or on a track.
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Old 05-01-07, 04:44 PM   #4
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Flat races are just as hard... sometimes harder... If races were easy they would not be fun.
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Old 05-01-07, 05:03 PM   #5
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I'm built like a climber too, with about 10 pounds of extra fat on my ass....and got handily dropped on a sprint up a "power climb" this past weekend in my second ever race, first road race. Don't feel bad....the ensuing massive amounts of pain you are about to experience while trying to chase will make you stronger.

At least it seems to be working for me. I went from getting dropped off the back of the peloton in my first race in 10 minutes, and in the second race, I was in the group for nearly an hour.

It's discouraging....hell, as I watched the peloton slowly drift away from me on Sunday, I seriously thought about the fact that maybe I'm not quite cut out for this, but I kept my head down and kept hammering, and actually did better than I thought I did.

I guess the trick now would be to identify your weaknesses, now that you have an idea what you would need to "zero" in on in order to hang, and work on those.
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Old 05-01-07, 05:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiromian
Seriously thinking of doing triathalons. No. Seriously.
Stop it.

Now that you're over that passing bit of silliness we can get back to the topic

It just sounds like you need to work on your overall fitness a little bit more. I'm a bigger guy, but my VO2 system is my best trained system, and thus I don't get dropped on anything save for truly epic climbs.

I'd give the 3-8 minute VO2 lovin' a shot for a few weeks. I think you'll be happy with what you see.
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Old 05-01-07, 05:10 PM   #7
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I really need to work on my VO2 system as well....been doing that the last 2 weeks, and am again debating on blowing off the group ride tomorrow to kick my own ass on the trainer with a very high intensity VO2 workout...
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Old 05-01-07, 05:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
I'm built like a climber too, with about 10 pounds of extra fat on my ass....and got handily dropped on a sprint up a "power climb" this past weekend in my second ever race, first road race. Don't feel bad....the ensuing massive amounts of pain you are about to experience while trying to chase will make you stronger.

At least it seems to be working for me. I went from getting dropped off the back of the peloton in my first race in 10 minutes, and in the second race, I was in the group for nearly an hour.

It's discouraging....hell, as I watched the peloton slowly drift away from me on Sunday, I seriously thought about the fact that maybe I'm not quite cut out for this, but I kept my head down and kept hammering, and actually did better than I thought I did.

I guess the trick now would be to identify your weaknesses, now that you have an idea what you would need to "zero" in on in order to hang, and work on those.
I have to zero in on climbing. I will get a chance at that once a week if my training plan continues uninterupted. So far my hill work has helped alot. I have managed about 10 climbing days this year. by the end of summer I can add another 20 climbing days I hope.
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Old 05-01-07, 05:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmotoguy
Flat races are just as hard... sometimes harder... If races were easy they would not be fun.
This has not been my experience yet. I can hold on in the peleton in a flat out pace and pull out to sprint. The shelter of the pack is all it takes. The hills offer no shelter.
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Old 05-01-07, 05:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuffleupagus
Stop it.

Now that you're over that passing bit of silliness we can get back to the topic

It just sounds like you need to work on your overall fitness a little bit more. I'm a bigger guy, but my VO2 system is my best trained system, and thus I don't get dropped on anything save for truly epic climbs.

I'd give the 3-8 minute VO2 lovin' a shot for a few weeks. I think you'll be happy with what you see.
Can you describe what that is in laymans terms. Seriously. Do I go all out for 8 minuets once a week on the flats, cause thats all I have in my commute, or what? I want to be happy with what I see.
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Old 05-01-07, 05:37 PM   #11
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3 to 8 minutes, as hard as you can go. I like 5 minute intervals. 4-5 sets per workout should be plenty. Do them where ever you can pull them off. A long hill, a flat, ...the trainer...

You should come close to, or hit your MHR.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:08 AM   #12
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Ok thanks Snuf. I have done plenty of 6 X 1 min intervals 1 X per week.. Now I will do 3 X 8 min intervals, 2 X per week, a weekend hill climb and the flat crit Thursday nighter. That'l lern me.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:21 PM   #13
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And the next hilly race you do, be sure to be right near the front at the bottom of the hill so you can "drift" back a bit going up the hill without getting dropped. Every little bit helps.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:34 PM   #14
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The VO2 work is a good idea. However I'm wondering if the hills are exposing a more basic weakness. As you point out you can sit in the pack with less effort than it takes to climb hills. So the climbing problem may indicate that you're working too close to your limits just to stay in the group on the flats, and when things turn uphill there's no margin left.

Are you doing any LT threshold work? By raising your FTP, you won't always be working at or above FTP, and there will be more margin (i.e. less need to go anerobic) when it gets really hard. So I would also do some long LT work as well (i.e. 5x10 at LTHR, 2x20 at LTHR).
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Old 05-03-07, 09:40 AM   #15
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And the next hilly race you do, be sure to be right near the front at the bottom of the hill so you can "drift" back a bit going up the hill without getting dropped. Every little bit helps.
That is a very usfull tactic. This race was crowded and I was looking for a way up to regain position on the long downhills but was stimied. I started the second super steap hill mid pack so a front group got away. On the pace line chase group to reattach to the front group I was second to do a pull. When I pulled over and the line went buy I was near the back of the chase group. Then more hills and I was done. I failed in that tactic of being right near the front for the begining of the hills.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
The VO2 work is a good idea. However I'm wondering if the hills are exposing a more basic weakness. As you point out you can sit in the pack with less effort than it takes to climb hills. So the climbing problem may indicate that you're working too close to your limits just to stay in the group on the flats, and when things turn uphill there's no margin left.

Are you doing any LT threshold work? By raising your FTP, you won't always be working at or above FTP, and there will be more margin (i.e. less need to go anerobic) when it gets really hard. So I would also do some long LT work as well (i.e. 5x10 at LTHR, 2x20 at LTHR).

This is my big fear. Say I did these longer workouts once a weak. Would that bump me up to the next level of fitness to be able to hang? The catch. I do not have a schedule where I can fit in a work out like that except for one day on the weekend.
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Old 05-03-07, 11:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuffleupagus
I'm a bigger guy, but my VO2 system is my best trained system, and thus I don't get dropped on anything save for truly epic climbs.

Yo Snuffle, even top tier pros feel the droppage now and then. Wait until that first NRC crit or Belgie kermesse. You'll remember real quick what it's like to be pack filler. Cat3's are just a little puppy toys to play with when you finally decide to step up.
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