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Old 01-25-10, 03:22 PM   #1
Athlete, Joe
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The Art of the Breakaway

Iíve been pleasantly surprised by the magnitude in which my body seems to be responding to sub-LT work this off season. Iíve been nailing some personal bests within 20-40 minute ranges with less effort and Iím 5 lbs. lighter! I'm steadily climbing the Power Profile Chart (tm) and assuming this trend holds up, this has me fantasizing about solo breakaways and 5+ minute finishes over the peloton in some of the longer road races Iím planning to sign up for this season.

While Iím sure that reality will be a somewhat less glorified version of this pipe dream, Iím still left wondering if adhering to an overall strategy of ďracing my strengthsĒ isnít such a bad idea. More specifically, working towards an outcome that gives me the greatest chance of success despite running the risk of a potentially lower average placings throughout the season. An extreme example: Podium twice and the rest at the bottom 10 vs. Average of 10-20 place finishes (field size of 50-75).

Iím toying with the idea to commit to an extended late base and build period with a lot of focus on FTP development, but recognize that I have precious little race experience (especially with longer RRs). So in fully acknowledging the fact that racing is as much about timing/smarts as it is about fitness, what are some ďbest practicesĒ for maximizing a decisive breakaway effort (when, how, under what circumstances/conditions, etcÖ)

Also, has anyone else trained with this type of specificity in mind and what were your results?
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Old 01-25-10, 03:35 PM   #2
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Knowing the competition helps.
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Old 01-25-10, 04:23 PM   #3
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hmmm I think doggus needs to respond to this thread. he knows a bit about winning a road race with 5 minutes to spare.
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Old 01-25-10, 04:32 PM   #4
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Knowing the competition helps.
Big time. Saturdays race, teammate 1 jumps 2miles into a 54mi race..nobody cares...5min later teammate 2 bridges up...nobody cares....54miles later teammate 2 takes third after two other guys finally bridge up to him...that was around mile 49. Everyone was who is this guy? Doubt if it will happen for him again...big target on back.

FWIW it really helps to have teammates back in the pack willing to work to disrupt the chase...I did that for an hour and forty minutes...
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Old 01-25-10, 04:39 PM   #5
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i focused on becoming a breakawy artist all of last off season (tons of LT work: SST, TT's RWI's). It worked.
I got in 7-8 breaks and although i couldnt finish these races with wins, I finished in the winning break each race.

I had so much fun it was crazy. go for it.
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Old 01-25-10, 05:12 PM   #6
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What's a breakaway?
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Old 01-25-10, 05:15 PM   #7
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What's a breakaway?
The place sprinters go to die.
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Old 01-25-10, 05:21 PM   #8
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^
+1
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Old 01-25-10, 05:23 PM   #9
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The place sprinters go to die.
Or to sit on and win by 3 bike lengths...
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Old 01-25-10, 05:29 PM   #10
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Or to sit on and win by 3 bike lengths...
If the guys in the break took him that far they deserve to lose by 3 bike lengths.
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Old 01-25-10, 05:41 PM   #11
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FWIW it really helps to have teammates back in the pack willing to work to disrupt the chase...I did that for an hour and forty minutes...
Everyone knew you were doing it, too - the AT&T guy wouldn't let us forget it! I'm surprised they didn't get something going, since they had so many guys in that race.
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Old 01-25-10, 05:47 PM   #12
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You know when that racer attacked but you too tired to go with him, so he just rides off into the distance? That was the right time to go.
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Old 01-25-10, 05:59 PM   #13
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Or to sit on and win by 3 bike lengths...
Awwwwww yeeeaaaaah
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Old 01-25-10, 07:25 PM   #14
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While I’m sure that reality will be a somewhat less glorified version of this pipe dream
You are methodical in your training and planning.
Bike races are methodical in their ability to be chaotic.

If your extensive computations lead you to a conclusion that puts you in a winning breakaway one week, I promise the other riders will know your trick the next week.

It's bike racing. Don't treat it like a math problem.
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Old 01-25-10, 07:27 PM   #15
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in fully acknowledging the fact that racing is as much about timing/smarts as it is about fitness...
It isn't even close to "as much about".
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Old 01-25-10, 07:30 PM   #16
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It isn't even close to "as much about".
I'll never have smarts but I have had timing once. Too bad it didn't count.
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Old 01-25-10, 07:54 PM   #17
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similar discussion here. i posted 4 or 5 breakaway "scenario" posts last year too that got some good feedback, search away and hopefully you'll get some good things to consider.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ighlight=break
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Old 01-25-10, 08:25 PM   #18
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I've recently been successful in several breaks, initiating a few of them myself (which is new to me in the last year). I would say that the key is to fully commit. If the pack starts reeling you in, you just have do dig deeper. Until they actually catch you, you're off the front.

One time I was off for about 5 minutes solo, two guys bridged up to me and we worked well together for 10 minutes or so, but the pack reeled us in. My partners sat up, and I drilled it from 15m off the front of the pack. They let me get away for another 5 until two different guys bridged up, and we were freaking gone.

Note that I'm not a time-trialist, and there were probably 15 guys in that pack would would beat me in a TT. I just went nuts, dug deep and didn't give up.

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Old 01-25-10, 10:46 PM   #19
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I just went nuts, dug deep and didn't give up.
OP, apply.
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Old 01-25-10, 11:08 PM   #20
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What's a breakaway?
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Old 01-25-10, 11:35 PM   #21
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What's a breakaway?
it's like a time trial, only you all start at the same time.
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Old 01-26-10, 06:31 AM   #22
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Also, has anyone else trained with this type of specificity in mind and what were your results?
In Training and Racing with a Power Meter, Allen and Coggan lay out what they call Race Winning Intervals (ironically for Athlete Joe).

They noticed what the winning move typically looked like. Typical profile was short intense burst to get away, sustained work at or above LT to stay away, then another burst to take the sprint.

So Race winning interals train this. The interval is a 30 second burst, with the first 15 seconds out of the saddle, average 200% FTP. Then 3 minutes 100-104% FTP, then 10 seconds 200% FTP.

5 minutes rest repeat 5-8 times.

You might try doing these as you get close to the start of your races.
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Old 01-26-10, 07:52 AM   #23
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What's a breakaway?
When Bonnie says "go," it's the thing you're doing with your first hour of racing where you go faster than everyone else. Then usually the second and third hours too.

I think for you it would just be called "racing," but back behind you there's this peloton thing where people ride in a big group and yell at the front guys to go faster.
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Old 01-26-10, 07:54 AM   #24
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never. look. back.
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Old 01-26-10, 07:57 AM   #25
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I was a part of two breakaways. They were both as a Cat 5. Does that count towards my upgrade?
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