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Old 03-07-09, 07:04 PM   #1
MrCrassic 
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The criterium mentality.

I made a brief reference to this in my race report, but racing today seemed to show me that I really, really dislike criteriums.

To avoid making this long: I raced a criterium today, and was really against continuing it at around the 4th lap. It wasn't how I was physically feeling; I was a bit spent (above AT, but not by that much), but otherwise okay. It was just the fact that I had to go around the course again, and again...and again. One of the big reasons why I like time trials is because of its lack of this, but I'm unsure if this is an initial feeling beginner racers have when first starting out.

I plan to do many more crits when I start going to the nightly series here, but is this a feeling that I should fight, or a feeling that I should live with? I really want to do better in time trials, but considering that there are many more crits than time trials or circuit races (which I also dislike for the same reason), I may have to live with it if I want to really do anything this season.

Your thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-07-09, 07:13 PM   #2
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Aghast? Well then, I would avoid the Criterium race altogether.

This is America. Communism never caught on. You're free to do what you want to do.
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Old 03-07-09, 07:18 PM   #3
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remind me to use the dictionary.
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Old 03-07-09, 07:19 PM   #4
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Going around the same circuit is an issue for you??!! Seeing as that's the case, I predict track racing is something you probably won't take an interest in...

Anyway, if you ever become successful at crits, I'm sure you'll enjoy them more. If you continue to suck at them, you'll continue to dislike them. I know, nothing earth-shattering in that deduction...

Keep doin' em. You will get better at them. Relative to your competition? Maybe...Hopefully...Regardless, you will get better...
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Old 03-07-09, 07:47 PM   #5
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Well, motivation is an issue, and it's as important as fitness. But, hey, you're talking about the Princeton race that goes around the parking lots at some minor league baseball stadium, right? Take it from me, as crits (they called it a circuit race last year) go, that race is particularly mind-numbingly boring. It's just a total drag of a course. If you are feeling more aggressive and the course is more interesting, it can be a lot more motivated. I'm not a good crit racer on paper, but I love a fun crit course, and I tend to do pretty well in technical crits, not because I'm necessarily a good bike handler, but because I'm psyched to be riding around such a fun course. That, and all the pain from accelerating out of the corners and up the sharp little risers.
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Old 03-07-09, 08:09 PM   #6
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Well, I'll probably be more stoked about doing a crit if I come across a really cool course. Courses with risers on them tend to kill me, since my climbing needs a lot of work. However, the lack of motivation doesn't really stem from my state of fitness, but from the idea of having to do the course repeatedly. I'm going to do a lot more crit-specific practice and training to improve my skills there, but I don't think it will make me any more excited about waking up super duper early to race at Prospect Park.
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Old 03-07-09, 08:22 PM   #7
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Well, I'll probably be more stoked about doing a crit if I come across a really cool course. Courses with risers on them tend to kill me, since my climbing needs a lot of work. However, the lack of motivation doesn't really stem from my state of fitness, but from the idea of having to do the course repeatedly. I'm going to do a lot more crit-specific practice and training to improve my skills there, but I don't think it will make me any more excited about waking up super duper early to race at Prospect Park.
Well, maybe you're thinking more about the course and less about the competition. A good course helps, but when I race I'm thinking about the competition. The course is what it is, and in a sense the terrain changes every lap as your position changes, the pace changes, etc.
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Old 03-07-09, 08:25 PM   #8
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I like crits. They're not long, you can often race twice or three times in a day, they're much more family friendly than RR's (which is good for us Dad-racers who need to keep the spousal esteem up). Plus they reward good bike handling while not penalizing poor climbing. So, they suit me. I realize they don't suit everyone, but they suit me.

And I'd love to give track cycling a shot, as soon as someone builds a velodrome less than 3 hours drive away....
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Old 03-07-09, 08:27 PM   #9
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I hate crits but they are a lot more common than road races so I suffer through them. I do better when they are harder/faster... if they are easy I either go to the front and kill myself or zone out in the pack.

I summed it up well today, I think, describing a road race as a race of attrition, and a crit as a race of agression.
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Old 03-07-09, 08:48 PM   #10
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I love crits! It's a chess-match on wheels pitting your mental acumen against your competitors'. I rarely care what kind of course it is, it's the other guys and who's in it that makes it interesting. And seeing what kind of tactics they're gonna use and how many steps ahead I have to think to stay on top of them. And the last 5-10 laps of the crit are the BEST! It's when the really good teams start pulling off their strategies and then you gotta figure out how to counter it. That's actually how I got into track racing, just to do the last 5-10 laps of a crit! Why bother wasting an hour of riding in circles when you can get to the good stuff right away.

Actually I thinking of ways to gauge and measure crit performance and I think I've hit on %above/%below FTP as a good metric.
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Old 03-07-09, 08:49 PM   #11
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If you're paying attention to the scenery you're doing it wrong.
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Old 03-07-09, 08:49 PM   #12
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if you're paying attention to the scenery you're doing it wrong.
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Old 03-07-09, 08:59 PM   #13
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Actually I thinking of ways to gauge and measure crit performance and I think I've hit on %above/%below FTP as a good metric.
Today was 29.1%/70.9%

Actually looked at a few others that were about 30/70 split as well.
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Old 03-07-09, 09:00 PM   #14
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The only thing I noticed about the Princeton crit today was that it hurt going up that rise by the end, I spent most of my times in the drops. But the most important thing I noticed, was that the right turn right after the hill was sketch because of the curb, and the turn before the finish had gravel on the outside.
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Old 03-07-09, 09:00 PM   #15
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Today was 29.1%/70.9%

Actually looked at a few others that were about 30/70 split as well.
How do you get that metric on WKO?
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Old 03-07-09, 09:04 PM   #16
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How do you get that metric on WKO?
I created a power distribution with my FTP as the increment. The first bar is 0-FTP and it tells you the %. The upper % is just 100-lower%. I did a race about a month ago that I did well in that had a power climb every lap, where I spent about 31% over 300, and about 7% over 600
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Old 03-07-09, 09:17 PM   #17
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The only thing I noticed about the Princeton crit today was that it hurt going up that rise by the end, I spent most of my times in the drops. But the most important thing I noticed, was that the right turn right after the hill was sketch because of the curb, and the turn before the finish had gravel on the outside.
What about the headwind on the back stretch? The general flatness? The crappy dead-level finish line?

God, I hated that race last year. And being back-to-back with Grant's Tomb made it an even bigger buzz kill. "Classic." What a joke. Oh yeah, and the race was too easy and boring, so I attacked and burned all my matches for the sprint.

Bitter? Me? No way.
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Old 03-07-09, 09:19 PM   #18
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I created a power distribution with my FTP as the increment. The first bar is 0-FTP and it tells you the %. The upper % is just 100-lower%. I did a race about a month ago that I did well in that had a power climb every lap, where I spent about 31% over 300, and about 7% over 600
At my currently set FTP of 250. I spend 67.5% below it and 32.5% above it. So I guess that the 70/30% might actually be something. Heh.

I think I need to raise my FTP though. I'll know for sure by the end of this two week stretch. Ugh, sometimes I wonder why I'm deciding to go abroad. I'll be so weak when I get back. I might actually take a ss cross bike with me, so I can keep the legs moving and not lose everything.
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Old 03-07-09, 09:21 PM   #19
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What about the headwind on the back stretch? The general flatness? The crappy dead-level finish line?

God, I hated that race last year. And being back-to-back with Grant's Tomb made it an even bigger buzz kill. "Classic." What a joke. Oh yeah, and the race was too easy and boring, so I attacked and burned all my matches for the sprint.

Bitter? Me? No way.
Flatness? There was a hill on the course. It took up the entirety between the first and 2nd corner. There was a slight uphill and headwind on the finishing straight. I liked the course.

I could have done without the calf cramps though. I hope my leg doesn't hurt tomorrow because I really want to do well at rutgers. I'm breaking out the soul wheels
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Old 03-07-09, 10:35 PM   #20
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When I first started I didn't like crits either, but have grown to like them a lot.
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Old 03-07-09, 10:51 PM   #21
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I love crits, but there are too many road races around here to focus solely on them.
First, you have to walk into the race wanting to race. After that, success will find you and everything will be right in your little world.
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Old 03-07-09, 10:57 PM   #22
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I always try to get in a break, that way I don't have to race beside a dumb arse.
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Old 03-08-09, 01:15 AM   #23
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What nightly crit series do you plan on doing?
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Old 03-08-09, 01:29 AM   #24
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I loveeee crits.
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Old 03-08-09, 02:52 AM   #25
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We have a lot to choose from here. With Crossroads Classic and all, crits are plentiful. I say this because some courses just tax you in the mind. One local race is a .5 mile rectangle. When the speeds are high it's just: turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, turn ..... And if you aren't feeling up to at the start, well just forget it. There's hardly a chance to move. And it sux.

But that's just me and I'm not a commie.
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