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Old 05-08-07, 05:13 PM   #1
baiskeli
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O.K Help me pick out my first race

I probably change my name to pack fodder or off the back. However, after watching the Jiminy race I think I would like to try my hand (or legs) at a race.

Now the damning stats

Unfortunately, I have not been riding a lot this year. I've only ridden about 150 miles so far. I have a 22 mile commute to work (9 there and 12 back) and I've been riding in twice a week and in a couple of weeks I begin riding in every day along with a 40-60 mile ride on Saturday (group ride). My pack riding skills are somewhat decent (though I have not done it for almost months). I have ridden in group rides where people sprint for city lines, try to drop each other (all in fun) etc but I know that is not a real race.

Speed

I've never been a speed demon, I can sprint pretty well but my average speed solo is 16-17 MPH. Last year I was back up to 17-18MPH but in all my rides this year I've only seem 16+ on one ride.
I could conceivably see raising my average by 1-2 MPH over the next two months. I can maintain 18-20mph on flats but as soon as a hill shows up that comes way down. Also, it seems to take my legs forever to wake up. I will be struggling to maintain 16 and then 30 minutes into the ride I am cruising over 20.

Endurance

I've got the endurance of a gnat, but I'm working at it. I currently also weight 175 pounds and would like to get to 162 pounds (and will because every year as soon as I start riding I drop 10-15 pounds with no problem in 2-3 months).

So, I'm looking to target my first race for end of July or early August. Am I over-thinking this? and also, for those in the NE area, what would be a good introductory race (with distances in the 25-40 mile range)?

Equipment

I have a Jamis Quest Frame with Ultegra/DuraAce and Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels (so essentially, I cannot blame my equipment )

So, any advice would be highly appreciated.
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Old 05-08-07, 07:14 PM   #2
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OK? In a TT you can't go OTB, but you probably aren't going to do very well. If you go crit or road race, you're probably going to go OTB.

My advice would be to do as many intervals as you can between now and August.

Good luck.
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Old 05-08-07, 07:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ElJamoquio
OK? In a TT you can't go OTB, but you probably aren't going to do very well. If you go crit or road race, you're probably going to go OTB.

My advice would be to do as many intervals as you can between now and August.

Good luck.
Cool. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 05-09-07, 09:38 AM   #4
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1) get back out and do the group rides between now and your first race. Try to mix it up in the sprints, attack the group, run down people who attack.

2) use your commute to do intervals, i.e. go all out from one stop light to the next, then easy to the next light. Sprint to beat the Yellow light, etc. "informal" intervals, or fartlek, can be good workouts, and a little less mentally taxing.
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Old 05-11-07, 09:59 AM   #5
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1) get back out and do the group rides between now and your first race. Try to mix it up in the sprints, attack the group, run down people who attack.

2) use your commute to do intervals, i.e. go all out from one stop light to the next, then easy to the next light. Sprint to beat the Yellow light, etc. "informal" intervals, or fartlek, can be good workouts, and a little less mentally taxing.
I had not thought of doing intervals on my ride to work, that is a good idea.
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Old 05-11-07, 12:26 PM   #6
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At this point, the best race is the closest race. Like my daughter's travel v-ball team coaches said when the parents were picking tournaments, travel just as far as it takes you to lose, no further.
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Old 05-11-07, 12:58 PM   #7
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At this point, the best race is the closest race. Like my daughter's travel v-ball team coaches said when the parents were picking tournaments, travel just as far as it takes you to lose, no further.
correct, but think about closest in time, not distance. as in when's the next race in the general area?

IMO it's best not to over think things, just get stuck in.

on top of that, i'll repeat a previous posting:

1. Find some group rides, fast group rides. Sit in the back.
2. Don't get discouraged if/when you get dropped from those group rides.
3. Go back the following week and do the fast group ride again.
4. If you're dropped a 2nd time, repeat steps 2 & 3
5. Once you're comfortable with the group and pace (and vice versa), take some pulls.
6. Once you're comfortable taking pulls, try some attacks (if it's that kind of group ride).
7. Once you're comfortable with steps 5 & 6, it's time to enter a race.
8. At you first race, repeat steps 1-6, but substitute 'race' for 'group ride'.
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Old 05-11-07, 02:17 PM   #8
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First of all, judging by the speeds that you are throwing out there, you are probabaly going to want a pretty flat race without a lot of accelerations if you are going to hang in with a pack. In this area I would suggest:

Wells Ave. Sunday Races (bostonroadclub.com)- The C race here is about as easy as it gets, but you still will end up with an average speed of 24+. I think it has been cancelled most of this month, but may be back in the middle of the summer.

Kennebunkport Memorial Day Race (http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=4731) - I did this last year, it is the flattest road race I know of, the B group was a very tame pack until the last 4 miles or so. It is a small unsactioned race however, so the orginization is not too formal or strong. The thing is that the hills in most road races might get you dropped quick, and make it a boring day.

New England Velodrome (leadcycling.com) Midweek Nights - It does not get any flatter then a track. They will loan you a track bike for the night, the C and D groups are not too fast. Plus, you get a lot of experience running many differnet races a night, it is not like if you get dropped in the first mile you just ride alone the rest of the day.

Also, I hear that there is a weekly midweek crit down in Hingham, but I have never been and cannot recommend.

You also kind of say that group rides are not the "real" thing, but they are a pretty good guage of fitness, ideally to be pretty sure you are not going to get dropped quick in a race you should probabaly be able to hang on with the first couple fast groups (21+ MPH average in the rolling hills of MA) at a big ride. In a lot of ways a real fast group ride is harder then a race, since most try to do their share of the work rather then just hiding out in the middle of the pack the whole time.
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