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Old 03-16-09, 08:34 PM   #1
ft_critical
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Training Transition - Crits to Road Races

Please post any links if this has been covered.
  1. Can you provide some training plan thoughts for transitioning out of crit season into road race season?
  2. Do you just add some longer base rides at E2/3 and try to build up endurance? Same for hills, lots of long slow hills to re-base?
  3. Can you re-base - assuming you agree that high intensity work slowly errodes that base you have built.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 03-17-09, 10:58 AM   #2
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I didn't know that there was a crit season and a road race season... the road races here are sprinkled around over the calendar. There are more crits that road races but they are both all the time. Anyway, I think you will get more responses in the road bike racing forum, but I'll give it a shot. First, I'll say that I'm good at road races but I suck at crits. Maybe it's my training but I think more it is the mental aspect of it. I guess there are two important differences for road races vs. crts: 1) they are longer, 2) they tend to have less cornering and more elevation change. I raced a circuit race on Sunday that was long enough to be a road race but felt more like a crit because there was very little elevation change and lots of corners, relative to the length of the race. Do you usually get dropped when you transition from crits to road races? What do you think is your limiter? Obviously you should train whatever that limiter is.
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Old 03-17-09, 07:29 PM   #3
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I didn't know that there was a crit season and a road race season... the road races here are sprinkled around over the calendar. There are more crits that road races but they are both all the time. Anyway, I think you will get more responses in the road bike racing forum, but I'll give it a shot. First, I'll say that I'm good at road races but I suck at crits. Maybe it's my training but I think more it is the mental aspect of it. I guess there are two important differences for road races vs. crts: 1) they are longer, 2) they tend to have less cornering and more elevation change. I raced a circuit race on Sunday that was long enough to be a road race but felt more like a crit because there was very little elevation change and lots of corners, relative to the length of the race. Do you usually get dropped when you transition from crits to road races? What do you think is your limiter? Obviously you should train whatever that limiter is.
Thanks mods for moving this.
Thanks Umd. I am not a great climber (long climbs) but this isn't really what I meant. I am talking about whether starting to do more long endurance rides will give me back and endurance base?
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Old 03-17-09, 07:33 PM   #4
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Thanks mods for moving this.
Thanks Umd. I am not a great climber (long climbs) but this isn't really what I meant. I am talking about whether starting to do more long endurance rides will give me back and endurance base?
That's why I was asking what your limiters are. How long are your races?
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Old 03-17-09, 07:46 PM   #5
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That's why I was asking what your limiters are. How long are your races?
Only 75km. The crits I do are 45km at present. They don't have any real hills.
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Old 03-17-09, 07:52 PM   #6
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Those don't seem so long that endurance is going to be a huge issue; such that you would have lost a significant amount of your base. I do think it is possible to "rebase" as you said, I mean many people do it every season... I was getting frustrated with my performance near the middle of last season and stopped racing and restructured my training, I guess you could say rebuilding my base, and came back much stronger for it.
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Old 03-17-09, 08:10 PM   #7
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Those don't seem so long that endurance is going to be a huge issue; such that you would have lost a significant amount of your base. I do think it is possible to "rebase" as you said, I mean many people do it every season... I was getting frustrated with my performance near the middle of last season and stopped racing and restructured my training, I guess you could say rebuilding my base, and came back much stronger for it.
How did you do it? my programme is:
  • Sun Race or Hard Club ride: 85 - 110km
  • Mon Recovery 40km (commuting)
  • Tue Medium rolling hills 60km
  • Wed Off
  • Thur Hills (this is really hard power climb repeats of only 800m or so) followed by fast rollers. 60-80km
  • Fri Sprints 30-40km
  • Sat off.
Ideally, I would switch sprints to Thur but can't because of family commitments. I can't really increase the distances too much either due to my young family and work and.... I was thinking that if I changed Thur to rebasing this might help.
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Old 03-17-09, 08:12 PM   #8
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I don't think you can really continue racing and "rebase", if that is what you are trying to accomplish, at the same time.
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Old 03-17-09, 08:15 PM   #9
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So it is not possible to Transition then?
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Old 03-17-09, 08:30 PM   #10
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If you're focusing on a road race, I'd do more steady state efforts(i.e. 2x 20, 3x20, 4 x15)

In place of speed and power intervals that you'd do preparing for a crit (i.e. 15 seconds on 15 seconds off, 1-3 minutes all out, etc)

You still need to be working all your systems, but its a matter of what type of work you do more of, and I'd do more steady states focusing on a RR.
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Old 03-17-09, 10:29 PM   #11
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The power meter has the potential to have a much bigger impact than anything else on that list. I made it out of Cat 3 into Cat 2 on a steel bike with 32h aluminum clinchers (other than my last eight points, which were on a CF frame, same wheels). The changes I made to my training were due to info I learned from the power meter.
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Old 03-18-09, 02:28 PM   #12
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If you're focusing on a road race, I'd do more steady state efforts(i.e. 2x 20, 3x20, 4 x15)

In place of speed and power intervals that you'd do preparing for a crit (i.e. 15 seconds on 15 seconds off, 1-3 minutes all out, etc)

You still need to be working all your systems, but its a matter of what type of work you do more of, and I'd do more steady states focusing on a RR.
Not sure I agree 100%. FT is great if you're off the front or have long climbs or some other sustained effort. But you have to close gaps, power over small hills, take wheels, bridge up, etc. That's all VO2. I agree with the second point. Long standing efforts in and our of corners, 30x30s, 5 minute efforts, etc. should be a staple of the "crit diet".

Also, at least where I live, we definitely have a "crit season" and "road season". Not sure why that is but spring and early summer are littered with RR's and late summer and fall are crits... Oddly, our state championships for crits is in spring and road is in almost fall...
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Old 03-18-09, 03:22 PM   #13
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Not sure I agree 100%. FT is great if you're off the front or have long climbs or some other sustained effort. But you have to close gaps, power over small hills, take wheels, bridge up, etc. That's all VO2. I agree with the second point. Long standing efforts in and our of corners, 30x30s, 5 minute efforts, etc. should be a staple of the "crit diet".

Also, at least where I live, we definitely have a "crit season" and "road season". Not sure why that is but spring and early summer are littered with RR's and late summer and fall are crits... Oddly, our state championships for crits is in spring and road is in almost fall...

If one raises their FTP they may not have to dip into their VO2 bucket as often or as deep than before..... This is why raising your FTP should be every road and crit racers #1 priority.
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Old 03-19-09, 06:39 AM   #14
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In theory I agree. And in mountain bike races, cyclocross, and time trials I absolutely agree. But for whatever reason people get focused on whateverx20's to the exclusion of all other levels (not saying that about merlin, just in general). Its all anyone talks about. But how many race reports end with "and then I went off the front and soloed for 30 minutes FTW!!!"?

Maybe its better stated that 2x20s and whatnot are great if FTP is your limiter. I did the tuesday night worlds the other night at 26mph average at roughly 75% of my FTP. Basically sitting in. Then we went up that last hill... The case could be made if I was riding at 50% of my FTP I'd have been fresher.

I see both sides. Horse dead.
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Old 03-19-09, 08:17 AM   #15
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I agree, and I think this is a case of "do both" in terms of training. Raising FTP will allow you to sustain harder efforts and what will become less taxing on your system. However, FTP changes can take a some time to develop, so I would also focus on 1 min and 5 min power as noted. I am an "all rounder" who really enjoys both. However, I notice a distinct advantage in rolling hill road races and crits due to a very high 1 min and 5 min power. When I race against others with higher FTP's, they don't seem to have the top end to really go hard when necessary. I'd suggest focusing on both areas while trying to make some immediate improvements in your 1 min and 5 min peak which I use most in road races unless I'm off the front which I try to avoid given my somewhat lower FTP relatively speaking (Cat 4: 5 min peak = 400 watts & FTP = 310 watts....weight unfortunately high still at 184 lbs.).
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Old 03-19-09, 08:26 AM   #16
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I agree, and I think this is a case of "do both" in terms of training. Raising FTP will allow you to sustain harder efforts and what will become less taxing on your system. However, FTP changes can take a some time to develop, so I would also focus on 1 min and 5 min power as noted. I am an "all rounder" who really enjoys both. However, I notice a distinct advantage in rolling hill road races and crits due to a very high 1 min and 5 min power. When I race against others with higher FTP's, they don't seem to have the top end to really go hard when necessary. I'd suggest focusing on both areas while trying to make some immediate improvements in your 1 min and 5 min peak which I use most in road races unless I'm off the front which I try to avoid given my somewhat lower FTP relatively speaking (Cat 4: 5 min peak = 400 watts & FTP = 310 watts....weight unfortunately high still at 184 lbs.).
FTP is great if you want to ride on the front the whole race and have everyone come around you at the end... but seriously a high FTP is good for not taxing you too much during the race, as people have said. But to really be competitive, in the lower cats anyway, you have to be able to handle surges. In crits it is accelerating out of corners and dealing with the eb and flow of attacks. In road races it seems to be more about longer high-power efforts to rip the field apart, especially if there are rollers. Road races seem to rip fields apart more than crits, I think because the high-power efforts are longer and the races are longer so if someone is just hanging on it eventually takes it's toll.
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Old 03-19-09, 08:40 AM   #17
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My 1m power sucks but my 50sec power is off the chart
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Old 03-19-09, 11:46 AM   #18
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Focusing on limiters seems to be key. It's like basketball, if you're amazing at layups but can't free throw, why practice layups all the time? For a given amount of time spent training your game will get much better by practicing free throws instead of more layups.

Likewise, my FTP and 5 min are high relative to my 1 min and 5 second, so I'm focusing on them but still doing some SST and tempo work to maintain my FTP.
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