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Old 03-04-13, 07:13 PM   #351
hank0604
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I hear you about cramping. I've had problems with that my entire life, and it's rough. During a tennis match last summer, I started cramping so badly during the last set that I couldn't unclose my hand enough to take the racquet out of my hand. The cramping problems followed me to cycling, to the point where I once fell off the bike because my quad tightened up when I stood out of the saddle, and wouldn't bend again when the fixed gear forced the pedal back around.

I've taken to spiking my bottles with a teaspoon or so of salt. It makes the water or sports drink taste weird, but maybe it helps. Also, Clif makes a margarita flavored Shot Blok, which is spiked with a lot more sodium than their other blocks, which they call a "cramp buster." I've started eating these on my rides in addition to the salted water. But I haven't had a chance to try these two out during summer. Although I'm not sure there's anything to prevent cramps when Louisiana's summer starts really rolling.
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Old 03-04-13, 07:44 PM   #352
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<thread drift>
Camelbak sells tablets that are similar to Nuun tablets, but have much more sodium in them - 410 mg/bottle according to the tube I have. They're cheaper than the Nuuns too, and are designed for one tab/24 oz. bottle.
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Old 03-04-13, 07:45 PM   #353
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I've been taking magnesium pills, drinking coconut water and pedialyte pre race and skratch labs during plus eating plenty of honey stinger bars and chews

but crits are no problem for cramping since they're too short

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Old 03-04-13, 09:02 PM   #354
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Ronde de Bethel, March 3rd, Cat 4 field

My team had decent attendance. My job was to go with moves, attack if I could, basically try to get the other teams to waste some energy chasing. I felt unexpectedly good, spent a few laps off the front with one other guy (apparently we had up to a 30sec gap, at one point). Then from what I hear, one of my teammates started chasing us down (??)...a couple of other guys bridged up to us, but in another lap or two we were caught.

After recovering in the pack for a lap, the prime bell rang as I was re-positioning myself back up front. I felt good so went for it, and got it. I'm not a good sprinter, and I've never won a race, so winning primes is a nice little confidence boost for me.

2 to go and I was in good position, and the peloton was putzing around a bit. I found myself drifting off the front and no one seemed to care, so I went with all I had left. Stayed away through the bell, and with half a lap to go, I took one last look behind me - I had maybe only 5 seconds but it didn't seem like they were charging hard yet. I told myself to stop looking and just keep $@&*ing pedaling. Inevitably, of course, I got caught and swamped at the bottom of the hill. I was completely gassed. It felt fantastic

My teammate got 4th, so it wasn't a total bust results-wise, but I'm just stoked to have had a ton of fun racing with better legs than I'd expected.
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Old 03-04-13, 09:15 PM   #355
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Well done, dude. Congrats on the prime. Odd that your teammate bridged up to you, though.
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Old 03-04-13, 09:18 PM   #356
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Well done, dude. Congrats on the prime. Odd that your teammate bridged up to you, though.
"Cat 4 field"

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Old 03-04-13, 09:23 PM   #357
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Well done, dude. Congrats on the prime. Odd that your teammate bridged up to you, though.
Bridging to a teammate is a brilliant move, but it sounds like this was just plain teammate chasing. I have gone to the front to set a false tempo, with success, to keep a teammate otf, and that can look like chasing.
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Old 03-04-13, 09:41 PM   #358
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Hida races track.
points racers command my respect; i won't last past the second surge...
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Old 03-04-13, 09:44 PM   #359
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I love points racing. I just got started on track at the end of last season.

I've always felt that my strength has been recovery from anaerobic efforts (as opposed to power).
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Old 03-04-13, 09:45 PM   #360
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I have gone to the front to set a false tempo, with success, to keep a teammate otf, and that can look like chasing.
I've done that too. It worked really well. The way slynkie describes it, though, I don't think that was the case. Oh well.
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Old 03-04-13, 09:50 PM   #361
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I raced for the first time of the year at the Surf City Cyclery crit. cat3, 14/52 (lame)

I spend much of the race in the top 10 riders, without having to spend a disproportionate amount of time on the front, or even accelerating very much. I took respectable but moderate pulls when it was warranted and only really covered things if I could without laying the hammer down. I did pull the field back to a couple breaks that had been dangling for a few laps if it was my pull and I felt like it.

Got boxed in (from 6th wheel) with about 1.5 to go, which cost me a better result than 14th. Finally escaped at 2nd to last corner and jumped up from about 20-15th to just outside the top 10, but didn't really have enough gas to advance after the last corner.

Lesson learned: On courses with flat finishes that don't have full speed leadout trains going, be more aware of my surroundings and make sure to always have a way out after 2 to go or so.
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Old 03-04-13, 09:55 PM   #362
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I believe his intention was to bridge, it was just the execution that needed some tweaking. regardless, it was fun, and there's a lot more racing to be had this season!
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Old 03-04-13, 10:24 PM   #363
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WTG, Hida, nice teamwork! That crit sounds like a very strange format. When I raced collegiate in the ECCC (2008), primes awarded omnium points 3 or 5 places deep, but it wasn't a point race - you won by crossing the finish line in first place.
I asked around, and it seems that my teammates just didn't do a good job of explaining it to me on Sunday morning. Yes, crit win is in the final sprint, but with a big emphasis in the collegiate scene on team placement, working for the points sprints is a must.

I've done crits that were "point-a-lap", as well as "win&out", and both those formats that were 100% kick-ass.
The point-a-lap crits made for some monumentally aggressive racing, it remains easily my favorite crit of all time (unsurprising for a veloSIRraptor, no?)

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Personally, I think it would a lot of fun to do crits with track formats. I know that there was one in NorCal with a Win-and-Out format for the top five.
yeah - they make the dynamic more aggressive, and it involves more work from everyone involved - good times all around in my mind.
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Old 03-04-13, 10:34 PM   #364
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Win-and-out format is ok, but I hate points format* for crits.. keep it on the tarck!!
;-) no worries - I don't think crit-culture is in any danger.

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Hida, have you thought about doing track races? A friend of mine is a very strong sprinter and got popped off the back in a points-race style criterium before the second sprint.
I guess yeah, well, to be honest my A race for the year is collegiate track nats... ;-)
The season is long, and I'm entirely happy to have what amounts to Points race and Scratch race practices every weekend of the collegiate season :-)

To the second half of your comment - absolutely, for the buccaneering pursuits/aggressive/enduro sorts such as myself, the biggest key to winning points races is to make the sprinters work, they tend to pop when exposed to repeated sprint efforts over a short period of time.
As strategies go, frankly it is a pretty low-odds strategy to take into a race - knowing that it will take a bunch of huge efforts and then also a bit of luck to break the sprinters... but it sure gives me better odds than getting to the final lap with match/crit sprinters on my wheel.

One thing that I was reminded of while replaying the race in my mind on the ride home... I totally sprint like a trackie now... pick a good gear, wind it up from much further out than a roadie usually would, get to the top end and hold it. It works well when no-one is expecting it, but loses to the guys who stay on my wheel and then have the 'pop' to drop two gears and surge right at the end.
Need to work on that 'explosive-ity' factor, but at least I know that the pursuit and TT legs are showing up on schedule.
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Old 03-04-13, 10:36 PM   #365
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Thanks to all for the congrats -

the fact that I won, and directly contributed to teammates being in the right place at the right time with a chance to win... heck, that's a best-case scenario in my mind, and honestly it hasn't sunk in yet.
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Old 03-05-13, 12:00 AM   #366
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Personally, I think it would a lot of fun to do crits with track formats. I know that there was one in NorCal with a Win-and-Out format for the top five.
Honestly, and with respect to guys like Hida who love making everyone else have to work (), I think it would be more fun to have more velodromes in more places and keep the track stuff out of my road racing. I like a good points race on the track, but in a crit, eh.
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Old 03-08-13, 04:42 PM   #367
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Murrieta TT. Cat 4.
Time 13:00
29th out of 59th. WooHoo!

First race this year.

Honestly, I cant believe 30 guys finished behind me. My power was about 15W lower compare to last year, I'm 10lb heavier and I didnt bother to bring TT bike. Because of those three reasons my time was about 58 seconds slower than last year.

I'm happy considering I was on vacation last week where I got sick and still being still sick so I only have 3 easy rides in my legs in those last two weeks.

The crit tomorrow should be easy, as I just need to sit in and get some tempo work done. Hopefully there is something left in those old legs for Sunday.
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Old 03-09-13, 01:15 PM   #368
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Presidio of Tucson Crit

Mens 5: 5th place
Mens 4/5: 3rd of the cat 5s

Absolutely a blast!! Most surgey-est races yet.
Oh and I won some socks and water bottles. haha

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Old 03-09-13, 04:47 PM   #369
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Just got home from my first real race. Utah Crit Series, RMR D flite (so beginners and Cat 5). Only 10 or so of us in the Ds, I flatted on the neutral lap (thorns were everywhere), got a new wheel and sat in for the rest of the race, then went out with 2 others with 3 to go and finished 3rd. Probably could have won it, but I had to ride home so didn't want to blow myself out on the last lap. Was pretty fun, I think I'll swap to C flite (4s and 5s) next week and try not to just sit in again.
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Old 03-09-13, 06:41 PM   #370
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Murrieta TT. Cat 4.
Time 13:00
29th out of 59th. WooHoo!

First race this year.

Honestly, I cant believe 30 guys finished behind me. My power was about 15W lower compare to last year, I'm 10lb heavier and I didnt bother to bring TT bike. Because of those three reasons my time was about 58 seconds slower than last year.

I'm happy considering I was on vacation last week where I got sick and still being still sick so I only have 3 easy rides in my legs in those last two weeks.

The crit tomorrow should be easy, as I just need to sit in and get some tempo work done. Hopefully there is something left in those old legs for Sunday.
I watched you guys in the crit today. How did you do? I was in the Jax tent when the race was stopped because a road marshall absentmindedly took a step backwards on to the road and on to the path an oncoming racer.

Later on I went back to watch the Cat 1 crit. Wow those guys are faaaast.
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Old 03-09-13, 10:06 PM   #371
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Ft. Ord Circuit Race near Monterey, Cat 2/3's. Pack finish.

Unlike last time (when I dropped myself from the race about 20 mins in!), this time I conserved energy, stayed out of the wind, and used the small ring as possible.

On the last lap it was coming down to a field sprint (sweet), and we were going super slow up the last climb so I jumped at the top, if only to string things about and get the ball rolling. That worked and I nestled in to 5th wheel or so, ready for the downhill that led to the straightaway the led to the final slightly uphill sprint.

On the flat-ish section with about 500m to go two guys were about 20m otf working together, so I jumped from the pack to them and then passed them, only to realize there was still a little ways to go before the final turn/sprint. Damn, too early!

I blew up and got swarmed, came in with the pack and had jello for legs. Good training for tomorrow's two crits!
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Old 03-09-13, 10:18 PM   #372
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I watched you guys in the crit today. How did you do? I was in the Jax tent when the race was stopped because a road marshall absentmindedly took a step backwards on to the road and on to the path an oncoming racer.

Later on I went back to watch the Cat 1 crit. Wow those guys are faaaast.

As planned, I just sat it. Started at the very back for few laps and was just cruising trying to avoid any dangerous situations.

After few laps guys were popping and it got sketchy. I was also too lazy closing gaps so I decided to move closer to the front.

Since it was a full field of 120 (yes, 120 Cat 4 riders on 6 corner technical 1 mile loop ... always fun) and the course is what it is, it wasnt that easy and I didnt want too be too aggressive so I kind of run out of time, it was just about 35min race and I felt OK considering I havent done any intensity work or group rides in several weeks, so perhaps if the race was longer I would be able to finish better.

Finished 40th out of 120 so it was a good training.

I also rode for about an hour prior to the race and for another 45min after the race so at the end I got about 200TSS in my legs.
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Old 03-09-13, 10:29 PM   #373
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Just got home from my first real race. Utah Crit Series, RMR D flite (so beginners and Cat 5). Only 10 or so of us in the Ds, I flatted on the neutral lap (thorns were everywhere), got a new wheel and sat in for the rest of the race, then went out with 2 others with 3 to go and finished 3rd. Probably could have won it, but I had to ride home so didn't want to blow myself out on the last lap. Was pretty fun, I think I'll swap to C flite (4s and 5s) next week and try not to just sit in again.
Nice job!

Don't make excuses, though.
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Old 03-09-13, 11:09 PM   #374
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Nice job!

Don't make excuses, though.
Not as much an excuse as regret, I didn't even try so after the fact I was kind of annoyed with myself.
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Old 03-10-13, 01:33 AM   #375
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Believe me when I say that if you'd won, that ride home wouldn't be of any consequence.

Where was the race? My fiancee is considering Utah for grad school. I'd be interested in learning about the local scene.
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