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Old 03-27-05, 08:18 PM   #1
my58vw
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Alright I just got back from Ontario Grand Prix Criterium in Ontario California. I prerode the course on Wednesday and had a good idea of how the course was etc.

To cut to the chase, I did better...

There was a real bad accident in the I believe 40+ race where two guys tangled wheels and one guy went down very hard and hit his head on the pavement. He was out and had to be ambulanced out of the course. We got delayed 15 minutes from the accident but were under way by 3:25 pm. The pace all day was very fast, the first 4/5 30+ group averaged nearly 27 MPH on the course. At the whistle I was in the front group for about 1 minute. The pace was increadable off the gun, we hit 29 MPH in the 2nd straight away. I was slowly pushed towards the pack but pushed as hard as I could to stay up. First lap came and I hung on, we were doing about 27 MPH at that point.

In the second lap the pace increased again, now we were pushing nearly 30 MPH. At that point I started going anarobic and I knew it. Once I go anarobic it is over for me. I slowly drifted towards the pack. Two more minutes passed and I still held on until the 3rd lap, second straight away. My body said, no way, and I slowed to about 25 MPH, 7 minutes in I was droped.

I pushed at 22 MPH for some time, I was still above my LT but would not give in. I could feel my body starting to complain, but my legs were not complaining, it was my breathing. At lap 7 I believe I started caughing and slowed down a little more. At minute 32 I was pulled after getting laped. I stopped and my lungs were so inflamed that I could not breath. It took a few minutes to come back to normal.

Out of our team none placed in the top 20 but we still did ok. I can say I did much better than before, I keep on improving. I had no way to keep up with the blistering pace though. The race averaged 25.5 MPH which was quick for the cat 4 and 5 race.

1st race I was dropped nearly right away, 2nd race I was dropped 3 minutes in, this race I lasted 7 minutes, that is an improvement... I went all out today and my legs are definitly telling me that...

Next race... Redlands...
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Old 03-27-05, 08:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by my58vw
Alright I just got back from Ontario Grand Prix Criterium in Ontario California. I prerode the course on Wednesday and had a good idea of how the course was etc.

To cut to the chase, I did better...

There was a real bad accident in the I believe 40+ race where two guys tangled wheels and one guy went down very hard and hit his head on the pavement. He was out and had to be ambulanced out of the course. We got delayed 15 minutes from the accident but were under way by 3:25 pm. The pace all day was very fast, the first 4/5 30+ group averaged nearly 27 MPH on the course. At the whistle I was in the front group for about 1 minute. The pace was increadable off the gun, we hit 29 MPH in the 2nd straight away. I was slowly pushed towards the pack but pushed as hard as I could to stay up. First lap came and I hung on, we were doing about 27 MPH at that point.

In the second lap the pace increased again, now we were pushing nearly 30 MPH. At that point I started going anarobic and I knew it. Once I go anarobic it is over for me. I slowly drifted towards the pack. Two more minutes passed and I still held on until the 3rd lap, second straight away. My body said, no way, and I slowed to about 25 MPH, 7 minutes in I was droped.

I pushed at 22 MPH for some time, I was still above my LT but would not give in. I could feel my body starting to complain, but my legs were not complaining, it was my breathing. At lap 7 I believe I started caughing and slowed down a little more. At minute 32 I was pulled after getting laped. I stopped and my lungs were so inflamed that I could not breath. It took a few minutes to come back to normal.

Out of our team none placed in the top 20 but we still did ok. I can say I did much better than before, I keep on improving. I had no way to keep up with the blistering pace though. The race averaged 25.5 MPH which was quick for the cat 4 and 5 race.

1st race I was dropped nearly right away, 2nd race I was dropped 3 minutes in, this race I lasted 7 minutes, that is an improvement... I went all out today and my legs are definitly telling me that...

Next race... Redlands...

damn dude, I think you need to worry less about actual speeds, and worry more about following wheels. I think you're getting too intimidated by the speeds you see on your speedo. for your next race, try going w/o it, and leave your heart rate moniter off too. I had a really good race two weekends ago, and I had taken my computer and HRM off since I was putting my bike on the rack...and I left them on my desk right next to my computer. I did it by effort, and I was able to push myself harder then usual, since I wasn't able to look down and go "oh sh*t, I'm at 180!"

plus, your bike will be lighter.
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Old 03-27-05, 08:57 PM   #3
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That's very quick for cat 5.
I know the feeling, I've just come home from the Masters Nats where I managed to stay with the crit group for three laps before getting dropped and I got skiers cough too which took about 30minutes to settle. If you can stay 'on' for three+ laps the pace usually slowws about then and you can have a rest and maybe stay in touch till they get going hard again, maybe even to the finish. Did you warm up properly? Did you arrive at the line with a sweat happening?? Very important to get the body into the zone and it takes longer than you think, like three or four laps, gradually working up to race pace.

Good job, keep it up but don't kill yourself, it's just a bike race.
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Old 03-27-05, 09:00 PM   #4
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damn dude, I think you need to worry less about actual speeds, and worry more about following wheels. I think you're getting too intimidated by the speeds you see on your speedo. for your next race, try going w/o it, and leave your heart rate moniter off too.
This is good advice. Not saying it will make a difference, but what exactly is the point of monitoring speed in a race? And you will know when you're experiencing lactic acid buildup without a heartrate monitor, trust me. I never used these things in a race. My race bike doesn't have a computer of any type on it.

Ya do what ya gotta do!

Remember, it can sometime take an entire season of racing to adapt to race pace. Hang in there.
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Old 03-27-05, 09:05 PM   #5
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I did not care about the speed, it is just something that I notice as I go. I use the computer for race time vs speed, the speed does not intimidate me (coming from someone who used to race road rallys where speeds were 100+ MPH, even in corners). I was more focued on trying to keep up then how fast we were going. It honestly would not matter if we were going 20 or 30 MPH, I lost the wheel because I pushed too far and could not keep up, had nothing to do wth speed. I do not race with a HRM, that would scare me, I think I was over 175 - 180 BPM min today but it does not matter, I go only on percieved effort.

I am getting closer and closer to race pace. It is not adapting per say but building the LT level and strength to actually ride at 28 - 30 MPH in the peloton. I feel almost no pain in the race, probably just block it out because after I defintly felt pain. It is the searing pain of your body not getting enought oxygen that is doing me in. I definitly need to raise my LT to keep up with the speed.

I was very warm at the start of the race, actually I think I pushed the warmup alittle too far. We had about 5 warmup laps due to the accident and those were quite fast so I do not think warmup was an issue. If I was not warmed up I would have held on for about 0.00001 seconds... I am a rock when I am not warmed up.
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Old 03-27-05, 09:40 PM   #6
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Have you thought about criterium intervals? Supposed to be great for criteriums (imagine that). It sounds like at this point in the season that is mostly what you're doing. They are basically like speed intervals, but you don't recover as much in between.

"Criterium Intervals - A workout consists of 10-15 jumps of 200-300 meters apiece. This sounds like... speed work, but it's not. The reason is that you let your heart rate drop only to 110-120 b.p.m. (not 90 or lower) before accelerating. This prepares you for the jump after jump of criterium racing. When doing these intervals use a watch instead of trying to measure distance. Twenty-Five seconds is about how long it takes to sprint 300 meters. Go hard for 25 seconds, recover [to 120bpm], go for 15 seconds, recover, go 25 again, recover, go 15 again, and so on. Remember to keep a brisk pace during recovery periods."

Source: Borysewicz, Edward. Bicycle Road Racing. p112.
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Old 03-27-05, 09:42 PM   #7
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Sounds like you're getting into the swing of things in the crits, although it was another fast one...i think they all are

I always found crits very difficult cos I could never sprint and that's what you seem to be doing out of every corner. It's interval training at it's lung bursting finest. Keep digging in and good luck with the next race
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Old 03-27-05, 09:57 PM   #8
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Someone I know who used to be cat 1 / pro said there are two types of riders, fit riders and race fit riders. He says I am a "fit" rider but need work to be a "race fit" rider. I think I have a good understanding now what it means to suffer but now building my fitness level to ride with the fast groups is the key...

Everytime I race I get stronger and stronger. Maybe this season, maybe next I will be up there with the group... and someday with the group in a higher catagory... etc.
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Old 03-27-05, 10:16 PM   #9
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If your using a computer, take it off your bike before the next race.. If your Heart Rate Monitor is on your handlebars put it on your wrist so you can't see it and turn the audible alarms off..

You might be limiting yourself by perceived speeds and Max HR.. You just need no distractions, push till you can't push anymore..

I have done road races where I suffered averaging just 23 mph and felt great on others averaging 28 mph.. It's all relative.. Your goal is to get to finish line with the field, everything else does not matter..
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Old 03-27-05, 10:20 PM   #10
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I will turn it off next race but I still do not understand how it is limiting me. I am pushing as hard as I possibly can and even farther just to stay with the pack. The computer IMO is not effecting how hard I push. I do not use a HRM in a race, speed tells me nothing about how hard I am working either... you are right it is relative...

I nearly collasped after I was pulled from the race, my lungs were burning, I could not breath, I could not swollow, my legs were in pain. If I could have pushed harder I would have...
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Old 03-27-05, 11:19 PM   #11
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Perhaps you should start doing some of the big weekly group rides that you can find in the San Gabriel Valley. It might take a bit of driving, but you can find fast race paced training rides most days of the week. I'm sure you've already checked out some of these, but one of the best ways to build your speed is by doing rides like these. A couple right off the bat you might think about:
The Rose Bowl Ride
The Montrose Ride
Buds Ride
or Heriage East.

here's the link for the details if you haven't seen it yet.

http://socalcycling.com/Group%20Rides/frGroupRides.htm

Hang in there and don't worry about your first season. Just chalk it up to one big learning experience
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Old 03-28-05, 12:01 AM   #12
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I have seen these, and they are a little far for the most part, i.e. more than 1 hour to ride 30 mile is not my calling of a training ride. Around here we have Tuesday and Thursday fast night training rides, 25 miles 21MPH+ pace approx with 3000 feet of climbing. On Saturday we have the raincross ride, an absolutly killer pace training ride with varying speeds and difficulties and the Sunday rides which are 30 - 60 miles at speeds averaging 20 - 23 MPH.

Unfortunitly I do not get to ride on Saturdays. Starting in a few weeks there are training crits in Redlands on Thursday I am going to start going to. On the other days I do independent riding, either big base aerobic rides averaging 18 - 20 MPH or intervals.

Some of those rides look run though, except the maltose ride. I may try and come out for Bud's ride a few times but it is still 35 miles from my house.

I know I have a long way to go but that is fine for the first season. These 4/5 races are very tough as most of the riders are cat 4 (vs 5) and the pace is killer. Right now I feel good about my riding but it is time to build and get stronger.
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Old 03-28-05, 01:10 AM   #13
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If you have a max speed and you know that speed and look down and see it, it may affect you psychologically.. Take that out of the equation so you can focus on staying with the field.. If you finish and feel spent like you did today, then you went hard..

The Buds ride on wednesday nights is the closest.. They will start on Wednesday after time changes.. 5:30 at Buds Bike shop in Claremont.. 3 laps of Bonelli park, a few hills..
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Old 03-28-05, 01:55 AM   #14
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I definitly would agree there about the top speed thing. Usually though when I am looking at the speedo (for a brief second) it is nowhere near max. At max I am pushing so hard that I can not look at the speedo... of course I could look at something like cadence and look at speed later...
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Old 03-28-05, 02:14 AM   #15
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There is an interesting article in the current issue of "Outside" magazine that speaks about Tai Chi and training your body for the focus you need when in competition. Of course we all have to work on your body fitness, but don't forget to use your head too.
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Old 03-28-05, 06:56 AM   #16
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First off, congrats on another race - you're getting better and learning quite a bit with each race. You could always leave the computer and HRM on the bike/wrist and just tape over the display. The point others are trying to make is that speed is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if the group is going 27 MPH or 12 MPH. If you get dropped you get dropped. Perhaps for your next crit set a goal to stay with the main pack. If a group goes off the front let them go. You don't yet have the fitness needed to hang with them so why bother. Stay in the main group and do the best you can. At this point in your racing career you're better off staying with the main group and finishing the race than you are going off the front, getting dropped and then pulled.

How much longer before you start working with a coach?
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Old 03-28-05, 09:38 AM   #17
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After Redlands I have my first appointment (Redlands is next weekend).

The whole race was one pack, no breakaways, I do not have the fitness yet to hang with the main pack at the pace they were setting yet. I would not even try and chase down breakaways at my current level. This race I was able to hang in the front 1/3rd for about 5 minutes, not in the wind but up towards the front. Like I said when the pace got to a certain point, nevermind the speed I started going anarobic and starting going 100% percent. As some people said I thought well if I can survive the next lap it may slow down...

After about 2 minutes being anaerobic I got dropped off the back of the main field. I did substantially better than I have ever in a crit. I still have a while until I can hang in at race speed and not go anaerobic. That is something I will talk to my coach about in about 2 weeks when I first start working with him.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-28-05, 10:01 AM   #18
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You are progressing lad. We need to put my cardio system with your legs. My legs are the first to go. It seems that my cardio system is willing to work very hard, but it is the lactic acid in my legs that hurts the most during very fast riding/racing.
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Old 03-28-05, 10:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbhowat
Have you thought about criterium intervals? Supposed to be great for criteriums (imagine that). It sounds like at this point in the season that is mostly what you're doing. They are basically like speed intervals, but you don't recover as much in between.
I agree... sounds like you need to work on anaerobic endurance. That and speed are my delimiters for this season's training. I've incorporated intervals into my workouts to address both issues and the payoffs have been great. I actually have crit sprint intervals for today's workout and they are pretty darn close to what jbhowat described. they definitely help during crits when you are constantly covering attacks or trying keep with the ever-changing pace of the lead group. Good luck!
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