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  1. #1
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    Early offseason upgrade races, setting up for failboat or success?

    So a friend was talking to me the other day and he is trying to convince me to do a series of "early" offseason upgrade races like this one:

    http://socalcycling.com/RaceAnn/2013/cbroffseason.pdf

    I keep telling him that its a terrible idea for me because even if I upgrade off of the next few months, I'll be cooked by the time the season starts and I'll likely get shelled in the higher category anyways, so whats the point?

    He keeps telling me I'm dumb and it's easy to upgrade with these races and I can recover just fine for the season in February/March

    What do you guys think?
    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  2. #2
    Banana Pancakes furiousferret's Avatar
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    I've been looking at those races as well, and will probably just wait until next year and do the TT's instead. Compton is a drive for me.

    There are two of them left, two are not going to destroy your fitness. If your a 4 its only a 30 minute crit, 20 if you are a 5.

    For what its worth, crits start here in January. Ontario usually has one and there may be one out here at Rosena Ranch as well. There really isn't a traditional season.

  3. #3
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    So I don't have many years racing under my belt but I am in a sort of similar situation and I was in a similar situation this past year. My experience in moving the the 3s was that I won an early season road race and my friends immediately told me I should upgrade. It was the first real road race as a 4 so I was iffy. I went to the next big race and did poorly and then after that I did another decent race and won that after which I upgraded.

    I wasn't certain if I was really good enough for the next category before the second race. I did realize though that despite feeling like I wasn't ready I was able to make moves at the front of the race and be a factor even in the races I didn't win (This has proven true for the 3s aswell, I can be a factor if I want to be, might not get a good result but I can easily stir the pot).

    That is probably the right time to upgrade in my opinion (And everyone has a different opinion). If you go to these races and kick butt and then you feel like you are good enough to mix things up in the other races then you are probably ready for the next level and while your results may not be to the same level atleast you will be able to hang with the next level.

  4. #4
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Just do it!

    It's not that big of a jump from 4 -> 3, and if you can't hang in the 3's you could always downgrade/quit.

  5. #5
    illusoryly superior Ygduf's Avatar
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    changing categories is a dose of cold water whenever you do it. Winning anything is good experience.

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  6. #6
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Consider the possibility that you will win early because another season of solid training has raised your ceiling, along with tactical gains from race experience. That's different than coming out in the Spring and dominating because you're peaking early. There is a chance that you will build the fitness and skills to get your upgrade points before you peak...

  7. #7
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    Just do it!

    It's not that big of a jump from 4 -> 3, and if you can't hang in the 3's you could always downgrade/quit.
    Come on oleg. Don't be such a wimp. go and upgrade and win something you slow poke.
    cat 1-o-meter: wtf am i doing??????
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    You're not dumb. You're just less smart.

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    failboat

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    failboat
    incorrect. success.

  10. #10
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    I am a huge believer in auto upgrade, does that answer the question?
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  11. #11
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    A few questions:

    Are you still a 5?
    If you're a 4 then why do you want to be a 3?
    Are you periodizing your training?

    Doing the odd crit won't kill you. Round SoCal you're as likely to win a "regular" season race as you are an "upgrade" race because there are a whole bunch of people figuring they are going to get their upgrade points in the upgrade races.

    As I recall you aren't setting the world on fire so I'd temper expectations of success but you learn something every race (well, I do anyway) so keeping the race brain engaged isn't a bad thing.

    They really should be called "Continuing the revenue stream" races.

    In any case I can't race them because of my license.

  12. #12
    illusoryly superior Ygduf's Avatar
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    also consider the possibility that you go into these early races and everyone else who had the same idea beats the hell out of you and you just stay in the same category with more experience racing.

    Is that so bad?

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    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    also consider the possibility that you go into these early races and everyone else who had the same idea beats the hell out of you and you just stay in the same category with more experience racing.

    Is that so bad?
    Paraphrasing Racer Ex. Nice.

  14. #14
    illusoryly superior Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Paraphrasing Racer Ex. Nice.
    you just hit enter faster. you race and post (among other things) the same way: always finishing first.

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  15. #15
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    also consider the possibility that you go into these early races and everyone else who had the same idea beats the hell out of you and you just stay in the same category with more experience racing.

    Is that so bad?
    It's possible that lots of people are planning to gobble up points early in the season.

  16. #16
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsutkeepspining View Post
    Come on oleg. Don't be such a wimp. go and upgrade and win something you slow poke.
    if you register for a race, I'll do as you will . Don't make me post your Halloween costume bro, Matt got so hungry looking at you he passed out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    A few questions:

    Are you still a 5?
    If you're a 4 then why do you want to be a 3?
    Are you periodizing your training?

    Doing the odd crit won't kill you. Round SoCal you're as likely to win a "regular" season race as you are an "upgrade" race because there are a whole bunch of people figuring they are going to get their upgrade points in the upgrade races.

    As I recall you aren't setting the world on fire so I'd temper expectations of success but you learn something every race (well, I do anyway) so keeping the race brain engaged isn't a bad thing.

    They really should be called "Continuing the revenue stream" races.

    In any case I can't race them because of my license.
    Good advice thanks! I'm a 4 right now, I haven't raced with the 3s but I didn't do so bad in the 4s when I upgraded last season(felt decent most races) but didn't post any good results in all honesty, just got my feet wet and enjoyed myself.

    I guess the way I see it is, if I'm strong enough to race in the 3s, then I should race with the 3s. If I'm not "there" yet, then racing in the 4s is where I should be. Really I don't see a point of upgrading unless I'm at the next level which would be proven during the main "season" right? There are a ton of races looking at the calendar with plenty of opportunities for me to upgrade mid season if I'm crushing everyone.

    If I had a lot of friends in the 3s I guess it would urge me to upgrade ASAP.
    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  17. #17
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    Also I was looking to add a solid base this winter because that's what I felt was my biggest downfall from last season. I went into the last season pretty much gassed at the start of most races without the ability to do anything, toward the end of the season when I moved to the 4s my fitness was coming back and I started doing decent and could actually follow moves. I went from survival to trying to win. Hopefully I can build on that next year with some work in the offseason.

    At least thats my train of thought.
    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  18. #18
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
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    I don't care if you post it, nothing like a wet ***** and giant wiener to brighten anyones day
    (SFW) https://scontent-a-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/...10950405_n.jpg
    cat 1-o-meter: wtf am i doing??????
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    You're not dumb. You're just less smart.

  19. #19
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsutkeepspining View Post
    I don't care if you post it, nothing like a wet ***** and giant wiener to brighten anyones day
    (SFW) https://scontent-a-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/...10950405_n.jpg
    hahahahahahah
    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  20. #20
    illusoryly superior Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsutkeepspining View Post
    I don't care if you post it, nothing like a wet ***** and giant wiener to brighten anyones day
    (SFW) https://scontent-a-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/...10950405_n.jpg
    You gotta keep your hands off your sister.

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  21. #21
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
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    hardy har har
    cat 1-o-meter: wtf am i doing??????
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    You're not dumb. You're just less smart.

  22. #22
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
    Also I was looking to add a solid base this winter because that's what I felt was my biggest downfall from last season. I went into the last season pretty much gassed at the start of most races without the ability to do anything
    Not sure base is the answer to that question.

    Gassed at the end of the race, maybe it would help.

    Generally you know when to upgrade when you're always at the pointy end of things.

  23. #23
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
    I guess the way I see it is, if I'm strong enough to race in the 3s, then I should race with the 3s.
    I disagree. Strength isn't everything. Get the points. That proves you can get at least something done. Wins are better.

  24. #24
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Not sure base is the answer to that question.

    Gassed at the end of the race, maybe it would help.

    Generally you know when to upgrade when you're always at the pointy end of things.
    It's hard to explain but yeah it would be toward the end of the race. I would be so gassed out that I had nothing left for a sprint or anything. I also was in survival mode the whole time, not even thinking about making a move, but more so hoping that no one would make anything serious because I don't think I could follow it. It was almost a complete 180 2 months into the season when I started thinking about winning instead of survival. All I read and heard was that a base would help me have a bigger matchbook, that's kind of what I'm going after.


    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    I disagree. Strength isn't everything. Get the points. That proves you can get at least something done. Wins are better.
    I agree with this and sort of what I meant too.
    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  25. #25
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    After a few seasons of racing I realized that I improved for the whole season, at that time a "season" was late April until late September. I'd finish the season still motivated, still mentally willing to go. Therefore it made sense to start training harder earlier. I started doing harder rides earlier and earlier in the winter. For 10 years I only took a couple weeks off, while I was sick, in the winter. I did pretty hard rides regularly in the winter, rolling bigger gears than the then-conventional wisdom (42x18 for 1000-3000 miles… I was following Lemond's 53xwhatever thought, typically 53x17-18-19 for me). I did 10 years where I started the season fresh and eager, finished the season fresh and eager, and trained through the winter.

    What I learned is that burnout, at least for me, meant doing so many miles/hours that I realistically couldn't do it (10k miles did burn me out). I could do massive base rides in the winter (one year it was two 120-130 mile rides a week for a few months), aiming for a March/April peak (aka Classics riders or for me the Spring Series) but I could race effectively in May, June, July, August, September. I'd have easier and harder weeks in there, of course, but from March-September, for 3-4 weekends a month, I was on fire.

    Go for the early stuff. Don't do more than, say, 150 hours in the two months before that first race (that number worked for me). Take it easy as you get into race shape - you have those great sensations for only 4-8 weeks at a time then you need to let your body recover a bit (i.e. ease a bit and then get going again). As the season progresses train less, race more, and start trying stuff in all but your absolute target races.

    One thought - it's important not to lose pedaling suppleness. Don't be that rider pushing the gears, strong in the spring but with such terrible form that they can't get out of their own way by May.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

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