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Old 11-08-09, 09:56 PM   #1
ridethatbike
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Not sure what to make of my fitness

Or lack thereof.

Cross race #2 today. Lap 1 went ok, 2 and 3 I exploded, 4 I started to feel my legs coming back a little bit, but not enough juice to really make something happen. I don't know where I finished today, but definitely in the back.

I'm racing cat 4, 32 years old, and my avg heart rate was 180, max was 198. For real. I know my cardio isn't great, but I feel like the thing holding me back is that my legs seem weak. I'm thinking poor power to strength ratio. They just aren't able to push me any faster. I railed on the downhills and even didn't do too bad on a few of the barriers.

I'm 6' and about 212 lbs currently. My weight is dropping, but not that fast.

In sum, I'm not sure what I should be doing differently. I've been doing tabatas, but that can't be my bread and butter. I have 4 weeks until my next race...anything I can do in the meantime (besides lay off the jelly donuts )
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Old 11-08-09, 10:15 PM   #2
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Longer intervals like 2 x 20's helps me a ton.
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Old 11-08-09, 10:32 PM   #3
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Longer intervals like 2 x 20's helps me a ton.
How much effort do you put into 2x20's (perceived or HR%) and how much rest in between?
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Old 11-08-09, 11:16 PM   #4
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How much effort do you put into 2x20's (perceived or HR%) and how much rest in between?
triite answer: you ride at your FTP, and for PE that is usually a hard effort, but one you think you could sustain for a while (hopefully an hour)

you should be resting at least 10minutes in between them

if it is your first time doing them try just doing one, or try 2x15min (the shorter you make them the less you are training FTP and the more you are training V02max)
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Old 11-09-09, 12:27 AM   #5
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The more trite answer: are you sure you are getting in a good enough warm-up? If you get some energy back after blowing up, it makes me think you are finally getting warmed up but you never had a rhythm established.
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Old 11-09-09, 04:16 AM   #6
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+1 to what Hocker said, sounds like lack of warm-up to me. Also, what are you doing the day before the race? You should try to get in some openers the day before, like 3x3min max efforts or something.
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Old 11-09-09, 08:35 AM   #7
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Hocker/RacerMike, I'd be willing to say I didn't get in enough warmup time, but I was just plain dead slow on laps 2 & 3. The amount of recovery on lap 4 was minimal, but I was feeling a little better. Almost like a second wind, but it was just a gentle breeze, not the hurricane-force wind that I needed.

Also, what's FTP? I'll try and get some longer intervals in this week. Thanks for the suggestions. If anyone has anything else, I'm game to try. I was thinking about doing weeks 4-7 of the LA Performance plan, I'm still reading through it and thinking it through.
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Old 11-09-09, 08:53 AM   #8
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yeah, i agree with maybe not warming up enough, for me the first lap is fine and the 2nd is my worst but then the last 3-4 laps i find my groove, so maybe warm up a bit more??
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Old 11-09-09, 10:03 AM   #9
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i'm finding that lots of warm up makes a difference in my performance; i'm considering scheduling an hour or more of warm up before going to the line;
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Old 11-09-09, 08:45 PM   #10
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If by any chance it was veteran's cross don't feel bad at all. That course was insane, I didn't believe it was possible to create a course that was entirely uphill. I haven't ever been in so much hurt.
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Old 11-09-09, 08:46 PM   #11
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Four weeks isn't much time. People typically build endurance faster than they increase speed. I don't think you'll add significant strength or get much faster in that amount of time, but you might be able to improve your endurance which will help. Longish intervals that help you go hard and then recover might be benficial.

Do you run at all? My cycling fitness isn't great, but I'm a pretty good distance runner and that seems to make up for a lot. You probably shouldn't add a huge amount of running in a short time, but you could try some run/walk intervals. Maybe something like running .25 or .5 mile at decent effort followed by a minute or two walking for recovery. Repeat six or eight times a couple times each week.

Also, possibly lose some weight. The problem is that you don't want to starve yourself while you're training hard, so be careful. I mentioned that my cycling fitness isn't great. It's not, but I'm also 5'11" and 155 lbs. Like the running, that makes up for some lack of fitness. I climb much better than I probably should just because I'm lighter.

Good luck and be careful...
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Old 11-09-09, 10:10 PM   #12
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If by any chance it was veteran's cross don't feel bad at all. That course was insane, I didn't believe it was possible to create a course that was entirely uphill. I haven't ever been in so much hurt.
Yes it was. Were you there? I didn't mind the course that much I guess. I loved bombing the downhills, I'm a mtb'er at heart.

What I didn't like was the brick road to the finish, that seemed to funnel all the wind in the area right in your face.
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Old 11-10-09, 06:36 AM   #13
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Yes it was. Were you there? I didn't mind the course that much I guess. I loved bombing the downhills, I'm a mtb'er at heart.

What I didn't like was the brick road to the finish, that seemed to funnel all the wind in the area right in your face.
Yep... I did Vet Cross as a Cat 4 also. It was tough. I know it's easy to say, but I think it helps to pace carefully and not blow up early on a course like that. You don't necessarily want to give up spots, but keep your effort and heart rate as even as possible. Everyone's tired, and you'll probably be able to catch some guys near the end if you save a little energy. It's a huge mental boost if you start catching people near the end too... makes it that much easier to go hard.
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Old 11-11-09, 05:29 PM   #14
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Woohoo...down to 209.4! Anyway, the trainer is pretty boring...kind of a necessary evil. Wish I would have had more time to do an actual ride today with this kick arse weather. Boss Cross #4 is 24 days away...
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