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Old 05-17-09, 10:07 AM   #1
nahurry
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First CAT 5 Crit...Not my finest day!

Well I tried my first CAT 5 Crit in Wake Forest NC today. Let me put it this way, I got my *** handed to me. I don't know exactly where I placed, but I was near the back. I know there were a couple of riders behind me, but don't know how many. Plus I think a couple of guys dropped out due to wrecks.

My average speed was only 21.xx mph. I know I could have gone a LITTLE faster but it was raining and I really didn't want to wreck. There were already 3 wrecks without my help

The whole experience was very fun, tiring, and VERY humbling. I have a lot of work ahead of me before the next race I try.

In retrospect I know that I made several mistakes:

1) I started out like I would on a normal weekend ride (nice and easy think it would pick up later), just about everyone else stood up an stomped on it. So in essence most of the field got the jump on me. I got behind so fast at the starting line that I didn't have the legs to catch up to the main group.

2) I didn't warm up enough. I personally take a little while to warm up and "stretch" my legs.

3) It was raining and I was a little too cautious in the turns. (maybe not a bad thing as there were 3 wrecks in the corners during the CAT 5 race)

4) I didn't train enough - my legs/lungs were not ready for all out effort for 20 minutes. I am used to longer slower rides.....40+ miles @ 18.xx mph

5) I didn't train enough!

6) Did I mention that I didn't train enough?

I wanted to post this to hopefully help someone that has never raced and is considering trying it. Maybe this will help a little.

I also wanted to post because for quite some time now I have been just a lurker and wanted to give back to the community that has helped answer so many questions.

Troy
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Old 05-17-09, 10:28 AM   #2
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just gotta keep racing.
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Old 05-17-09, 10:37 AM   #3
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Drop the tire pressure if it's wet. Be ready to drop the hammer at all times. Drop 5-10 pounds. Drop some intervals into your training. Drop some more money on entry fees, you will improve.

Congrats on your first race!
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Old 05-17-09, 10:57 AM   #4
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Drop the tire pressure if it's wet. Be ready to drop the hammer at all times. Drop 5-10 pounds. Drop some intervals into your training. Drop some more money on entry fees, you will improve.

Congrats on your first race!
Then you'll be dropping others and not getting dropped yourself.
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Old 05-17-09, 11:01 AM   #5
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congrats. You finished your first race and didn't crash. Thats a good day. Keep it up, and learn from your mistakes. Pretty soon, you'll look back and be amazed at where you came from
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Old 05-17-09, 11:04 AM   #6
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When you line up for a crit you should be so warmed up that you're sweating and a little out of breath.

When the whistle blows hit it hard, get clipped in and go like hell.
Try to stay with the pack, that's your race.

Do some interval training.
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Old 05-17-09, 11:06 AM   #7
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Well you started and completed the race, so that is always a positive aspect. First races are more of a learning thing. You get a feel for the races, learn some of the lengo, realize there are some people to stay away from, ect. In either case you got out there and now its time to do another race. Plus it has also given you a good indicator as were your training is.
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Old 05-17-09, 01:26 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the input. As was said, I got to race and finished safely...I couldn't ask for much more. I definitely have the racing bug now.

Troy
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Old 05-17-09, 01:54 PM   #9
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Nice going Troy. Not only am I an idiot, but a puss as well.
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Old 05-17-09, 02:11 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of the input. As was said, I got to race and finished safely...I couldn't ask for much more. I definitely have the racing bug now.

Troy
Yep that racing bug will get you. Watch your calendar slowly fill up with a race every weekend. It gives you a excuse to get out of the normal weekend morning routines.
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Old 05-17-09, 02:43 PM   #11
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+1 to those who've said to do another race. The second one will be better than the first, if only because it's not the first time.

Congrats on not getting dropped. That itself is an accomplishment.
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Old 05-17-09, 03:29 PM   #12
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+1 to those who've said to do another race. The second one will be better than the first, if only because it's not the first time.

Congrats on not getting dropped. That itself is an accomplishment.
A huge +1
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Old 05-17-09, 03:33 PM   #13
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+1 to those who've said to do another race. The second one will be better than the first, if only because it's not the first time.

Congrats on not getting dropped. That itself is an accomplishment.
Yep I agree with that, you wont be worrying so much about it being your first race, and will have a chance to enjoy it.
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Old 05-17-09, 04:52 PM   #14
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Wanders, your not an idiot, I live in wake forest and almost did the same thing!
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Old 05-17-09, 10:21 PM   #15
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Congrats, well done, and keep going...for many, what you experienced is normal and almost akin to a right of passage...maybe hard to believe at present, but, if you like it and want to keep riding, you'll be surprised at what you will do/accomplish within a year...
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Old 05-18-09, 07:28 AM   #16
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I got a nice taste of the bug as well, but fell off the back in short order. It was a cat 4/5. Left with the group well, was rolling strong in the group at about 32 ( ), and then through the hairpin I was in totally the wrong gear and slid back through the group and off the back. Lesson learned. I definately need more training before I attempt that again. I'm sure I can't maintain that pace for the full 50 minutes.

Teeleton
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Old 05-18-09, 07:35 AM   #17
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I got a nice taste of the bug as well, but fell off the back in short order. It was a cat 4/5. Left with the group well, was rolling strong in the group at about 32 ( ), and then through the hairpin I was in totally the wrong gear and slid back through the group and off the back. Lesson learned. I definately need more training before I attempt that again. I'm sure I can't maintain that pace for the full 50 minutes.

Teeleton

Neither can anyone else!

You must train your short term power so that you have enough juice to roll out hard in the start and then recover back to a moderate speed without blowing up.
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Old 05-18-09, 07:37 AM   #18
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Good work on finishing.

As for intervals, short intervals, on limited rest will help prepare you for crits. Such as one minute on, one minute off. There are all sort of variants, but intervals to prepare for a crit, need to be intense.

As for warming up, what works varies from person to person, but to the extent there is any consensus, you need to suffer a bit in the warm up for a crit.

My coaches program: 15-20 minute easy spin, 5 minutes tempo, 5 minutes easy, 2 minutes steady state, with the last 30 second going allout, (repeat 2-3 times) spin 5 minutes easy, go race.
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Old 05-18-09, 11:40 AM   #19
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OP I'm pretty much where you are in crits. Always have been a distance person and Im still trying to learn the best way to train for crit racing, as it is far and away the more common race where I live.
Hey where in NC are you? I grew up in Greensboro but live on the west coast now. The triad always has had a good racing scene for the south.
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Old 05-25-09, 07:07 PM   #20
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OP I'm pretty much where you are in crits. Always have been a distance person and Im still trying to learn the best way to train for crit racing, as it is far and away the more common race where I live.
Hey where in NC are you? I grew up in Greensboro but live on the west coast now. The triad always has had a good racing scene for the south.
Wake Forest
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Old 05-26-09, 08:36 AM   #21
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The winner recently cat'ed up to 4 early based on his mtb racing experience and consistent top 3 finishes in crits. That guy is young and no stranger to bikes. He'll be a cat 3 soon.

Just saying...we got our *****es handed to us by pretty good rider. He knows how stay off the front until the finish line comes into sight.
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Old 06-01-09, 06:13 AM   #22
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The winner recently cat'ed up to 4 early based on his mtb racing experience and consistent top 3 finishes in crits. That guy is young and no stranger to bikes. He'll be a cat 3 soon.

Just saying...we got our *****es handed to us by pretty good rider. He knows how stay off the front until the finish line comes into sight.
Is that the guy that joined the race late? Because I thought I heard someone say that he was about to go to CAT 4
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Old 06-01-09, 06:43 AM   #23
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+1 to those who've said to do another race. The second one will be better than the first, if only because it's not the first time.

Congrats on not getting dropped. That itself is an accomplishment.
Pretty sure the OP said he DID get dropped, right away.

To the OP: it's not that you aren't training enough. If you can actually do 40 miles at an average speed of over 18 miles per hour (not your cruising speed, your average speed at the end), then you have the fitness for a Cat 5 crit. What that says to me is that you aren't training right. If you only ride at a steady pace, you might be unprepared for the surges in a crit, especially at the beginning (the worst part of most crits I've done). Incorporate some accelerations and recovery work into your training routine and this will get a lot easier.
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Old 06-01-09, 12:24 PM   #24
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Sounds exactly like my first race about a month ago (except mine was a road race). Congrats on the first one!
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