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  1. #26
    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiPHRaPH View Post
    #1 it's not about what goes on during the 2-4 hours on the bike. What are you doing to help yourself during the 20-22 hours OFF the bike
    I really do need to work on this. I try to eat healthy when I can but there are a lot of things I have to take into consideration about my nutrition. I'd say rest off the bike is good though.

    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    Spikes - I don't do structured training so it's hard for me to answer. However you can incorporate leg speed work on easy days (try to avg 120 rpm for an hour for example). If I were doing shorter intervals I'd stick the spikes in there, or do a few efforts before/after the intervals. Since it's spiky it's not a huge stress on your body.
    When I do recovery rides I usually do aim for 100rpm. Also, I could do the spikes when I notice my pace dropping and after corners etc. It'll really help the jumps made during hard efforts in races. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    Goals - it really helps to map things out. You work backward from your goal. Pick a race, think about what it takes to do well there, then focus on improving your performance in those factors. Be realistic - if you're not a climber you're not going to be one. If you're not a TT'er you're not going to be one. Work on what you can. You may be pleasantly surprised here and there, that's fine, but focus on utilizing your strengths. You don't see Cav fighting it out for the climber's jersey and you don't see Froome fighting for the points jersey. Even pros know they have a place.
    This is exactly what I was thinking. What I like to believe my best race this year was 1 of 2 races. Either one which was 94km, 1500 meters of climbing in terrible weather and I only finished 30min behind. Pretty good for going about it half with one other person, and half alone. Plus I loved the course. The other was my race in Ottawa which suited me quite well but after eating a cliff bar, my muscles didn't react to well to it. The problem is that they're 3 and 6 hours away from home, and I am not a climber. But I believe it is too early in my cycling life to even have a sense of what my 'specialty' is. I used to think I was a climber before I raced. Yesterday's TT time shows maybe not the best TT in me, which is basically the same as breakaway as well. One thing I have noticed though is that I can push really hard for one minute, then I'm done, recover a bit, then I can go at it for another minute hard. I like to think I could be could for the final lead out... provided I actually make it that far. That's also why I would like to explore different types of cycling. 1 minute could be helpful in track cycling or maybe even cross, who knows? Point is though, I am really going to have to decide what I want to work towards this year as you say, yearly, monthly, weekly etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    New bike - my first race bike was a combination of birthday, Christmas, and chores, as well as money I put in. If you really have a touring bike (42 cm chain stay, 70-72 deg head tube angle) then it will make a difference to get a race geometry frame (typically 40.5 cm chainstay, 73 deg head tube). You should be able to pick one up used for not much money. You may need to change a few things but it'll really set the tone of the bike. Don't worry about the compact - a friend of mine got 2nd in the Cat 2 Battenkill race, the first Cat 2 race he did, on a compact. Worry more about fit. If you can get a power meter because you got a used frame then try and get either a PT or a used SRM. Don't get something that isn't super accurate because it'll just waste your time and money. If you get a PT then you'll be racing on it too (unless you can get a second hub) so you'll want a reasonable wheel.
    I've saved money my whole life, I just never really spent any of it on anything. I am looking around right now at bikes I could get that would suit RR and are less than, preferably, $2500. I could also buy a more expensive bike and look to sell the wheels as I have wheels of my own. There are also options on SRM on slowtwitch for 650-750 used. I would prefer a crank based one as I switch wheels a lot, especially when I get flats. I was also looking if the Stages PM made any updates but I'm not sure how reliable that would really be.
    "You lack motivation because cycling is a stupid sport with no upside that takes way too much time out of your life to be mediocre at." - Racer Ex

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstang13 View Post
    When I do recovery rides I usually do aim for 100rpm. Also, I could do the spikes when I notice my pace dropping and after corners etc. It'll really help the jumps made during hard efforts in races. Thanks.

    This is exactly what I was thinking. What I like to believe my best race this year was 1 of 2 races. Either one which was 94km, 1500 meters of climbing in terrible weather and I only finished 30min behind. Pretty good for going about it half with one other person, and half alone. Plus I loved the course. The other was my race in Ottawa which suited me quite well but after eating a cliff bar, my muscles didn't react to well to it. The problem is that they're 3 and 6 hours away from home, and I am not a climber. But I believe it is too early in my cycling life to even have a sense of what my 'specialty' is. I used to think I was a climber before I raced. Yesterday's TT time shows maybe not the best TT in me, which is basically the same as breakaway as well. One thing I have noticed though is that I can push really hard for one minute, then I'm done, recover a bit, then I can go at it for another minute hard. I like to think I could be could for the final lead out... provided I actually make it that far. That's also why I would like to explore different types of cycling. 1 minute could be helpful in track cycling or maybe even cross, who knows? Point is though, I am really going to have to decide what I want to work towards this year as you say, yearly, monthly, weekly etc.

    I've saved money my whole life, I just never really spent any of it on anything. I am looking around right now at bikes I could get that would suit RR and are less than, preferably, $2500. I could also buy a more expensive bike and look to sell the wheels as I have wheels of my own. There are also options on SRM on slowtwitch for 650-750 used. I would prefer a crank based one as I switch wheels a lot, especially when I get flats. I was also looking if the Stages PM made any updates but I'm not sure how reliable that would really be.
    Cadence - when I did a couple 120 rpm rides suddenly 105 rpm seemed slow. I'm okay at spinning but the rides at 120 rpm were a step above what I'd normally do. 120 rpm avg on a computer means that you're riding at 125-130 rpm most of the time. I ended up doing flat routes using my lowest gears. Back then I used short cranks (167.5mm). With longer cranks you need to drop your cadence. I found that going from 170->175 dropped my "comfy cadence" from about 105 to 87-88. After some work I got it back up to 95-ish. In the early part of races I might be at 100-105 but I rarely break 90 rpm avg on 175s.

    Specificity - when I made my goals list I didn't know what I could or couldn't do, I just knew that on group rides I was okay hanging on when the Cat 2 would put the hurt down. Since he was a perpetual state RR favorite I figured I could be like that.

    I'm okay making relatively large efforts followed by a recovery. It works great on crit courses with a short steep hill. I can go really hard on the hill, recover on the easier sections, repeat. This is why I do well at Bethel - I coast or soft pedal about 30 seconds a lap, zero watts. If I'm fit I can do 80+ efforts (80+ laps - enough to finish both the 3-4 and P123 races and I've even placed in the money in the P123 race). If I'm not I've gotten shelled in 2-3 laps. More fitness = quicker recovery. At that point you can try racing using that knowledge - surge, recover, surge, recover. If it's a flat crit you may be able to make only one effort every two corners or something, maybe one every lap. This means you need to figure out a tactic so that you aren't going into effort deficit. At Bethel the hill is about 20 seconds effort, about a 120 second lap (so about 100 seconds of less work). If I can recover in 95 seconds then I'm golden - I'm sort of recovered when I hit the hill again. If it takes me 105 seconds to recover I'm going into an effort deficit every lap and I'll get shelled. If I recover in 30 seconds then I'm super fresh for the hill next lap - that's ideal, to be way ahead of the curve.

    Bikes - any "race" bike will do well in virtually any race. Depending on size you should aim for a 73 deg HT angle, 43mm rake. This gives you an agile bike that's stable enough to 55+ mph but will still dive into turns. Shorter stays will make the bike more responsive - 40.5 cm is about right for most sizes. I spec'ed out a 39 cm chainstay and it's much more responsive - my bike feels like it has a 95 cm wheelbase when in fact it's closer to 102 cm.

    Powermeters - I'd stay away from unproven or new PMs. I have two wired SRMs - they take some maintenance, I need to replace the wiring harness every year, but they're pretty solid otherwise. If you get one with interchangeable crank arms (I know the Cannondale SI is one, I know the "SRM" SRM is another, not sure of others) you can get extra crankarms and try different lengths. The SI is BB30 only (and arms are a bit pricey), the SRM one is usually Campy taper or Shimano Octalink (and arms are under $200 full retail).

  3. #28
    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    Cadence - when I did a couple 120 rpm rides suddenly 105 rpm seemed slow. I'm okay at spinning but the rides at 120 rpm were a step above what I'd normally do. 120 rpm avg on a computer means that you're riding at 125-130 rpm most of the time. I ended up doing flat routes using my lowest gears. Back then I used short cranks (167.5mm). With longer cranks you need to drop your cadence. I found that going from 170->175 dropped my "comfy cadence" from about 105 to 87-88. After some work I got it back up to 95-ish. In the early part of races I might be at 100-105 but I rarely break 90 rpm avg on 175s.

    Specificity - when I made my goals list I didn't know what I could or couldn't do, I just knew that on group rides I was okay hanging on when the Cat 2 would put the hurt down. Since he was a perpetual state RR favorite I figured I could be like that.

    I'm okay making relatively large efforts followed by a recovery. It works great on crit courses with a short steep hill. I can go really hard on the hill, recover on the easier sections, repeat. This is why I do well at Bethel - I coast or soft pedal about 30 seconds a lap, zero watts. If I'm fit I can do 80+ efforts (80+ laps - enough to finish both the 3-4 and P123 races and I've even placed in the money in the P123 race). If I'm not I've gotten shelled in 2-3 laps. More fitness = quicker recovery. At that point you can try racing using that knowledge - surge, recover, surge, recover. If it's a flat crit you may be able to make only one effort every two corners or something, maybe one every lap. This means you need to figure out a tactic so that you aren't going into effort deficit. At Bethel the hill is about 20 seconds effort, about a 120 second lap (so about 100 seconds of less work). If I can recover in 95 seconds then I'm golden - I'm sort of recovered when I hit the hill again. If it takes me 105 seconds to recover I'm going into an effort deficit every lap and I'll get shelled. If I recover in 30 seconds then I'm super fresh for the hill next lap - that's ideal, to be way ahead of the curve.

    Bikes - any "race" bike will do well in virtually any race. Depending on size you should aim for a 73 deg HT angle, 43mm rake. This gives you an agile bike that's stable enough to 55+ mph but will still dive into turns. Shorter stays will make the bike more responsive - 40.5 cm is about right for most sizes. I spec'ed out a 39 cm chainstay and it's much more responsive - my bike feels like it has a 95 cm wheelbase when in fact it's closer to 102 cm.

    Powermeters - I'd stay away from unproven or new PMs. I have two wired SRMs - they take some maintenance, I need to replace the wiring harness every year, but they're pretty solid otherwise. If you get one with interchangeable crank arms (I know the Cannondale SI is one, I know the "SRM" SRM is another, not sure of others) you can get extra crankarms and try different lengths. The SI is BB30 only (and arms are a bit pricey), the SRM one is usually Campy taper or Shimano Octalink (and arms are under $200 full retail).
    Ya I usually pedal at a cadence of 95-100 while riding, but with downhill's, if I'm going fast enough I can't pedal under like 130-140rpm so I just get aero and coast, this usually drops my avg. cadence for the ride to 87-88. I've done high cadence work before and it does feel slow going 100+! It's a pretty weird feeling sometimes lol.

    The thing about my goals is that at the end of the day, at least for now is that I finish the race with the main bunch. I can't really start thinking about attacking or making any moves to win a race before I can even make it there. There is one race which I did decent in last year. My first race, so I was in good shape from my winter months. And the first 12km lap I felt like I was on a Sunday ride in the pack, it was incredibly easy, then someone put the hammer down after a corner just starting the second lap, I was at the back of the pack and could not get on a good wheel and after about 3-5 min of dangling on the back I was gone. I rode with another elite rider for the next 2 laps before I flatted on a gravel section and had to abandon. With the more knowledge I have now, I feel that I would be able to do well (for me) at that race. The only problem is that it is in March. Peaking for that race means lots of indoor training and a whole year of worse form.

    As for the timing my efforts/recovery, I've thought about it before, but when I'm in a race, it seems that even during the flatter, easier sections that I still lack recovery because it seems that I'm working hard all the time just to stay with the pack. Hence why I get dropped in 20min, that's the longest I can keep up the constant hard effort. It's hard to judge really where I need improvement because racing in Canada here for Juniors in age based not ability. So I'm basically a cat 5 racing in a P123 race. That's why I get mad when people say you need more experience racing so just go race more, well I'm not actually racing when I get spit out the back all the time.

    Thanks or the bike info too, I'm not very good at all the technical/mechanical stuff. I'm tying to learn it all though. It helps know what you're saying here, I can now actually know what difference a 1cm shorter chain stay, of 1 degree angle HT does. I'm going to look at this bikes and PM's more in detail and see what my dad wants to do, after all, he has the last say in what I buy!
    "You lack motivation because cycling is a stupid sport with no upside that takes way too much time out of your life to be mediocre at." - Racer Ex

  4. #29
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstang13 View Post
    I get to worked up when I go to a race knowing that if I don't start winning and doing good than there's no way I'll ever have a chance at making it anywhere in my cycling career. Such as you said you wanted to become a pro, so do I, but that's just the dream I have and being at a critical time in my life where I still have a great opportunity of racing in more elite categories, it's what keeps the fire in my belly burning, but it's also what stresses me out the most when racing and after failing to even complete a race with the pack. I know a now first year U23 who raced in Belgium in his 2nd year Junior, cleaned up there and signed this year with Lotto, so the opportunities are very realistic.

    Dude, forget about turning Pro. First, as you point out, you're putting too much pressure on yourself. Just race, have fun, learn.

    Second, in all candor, there's virtually no chance you'll ever race as a pro. The vast majority of racers never will. And the people that do have a legitimate chance of being sucessful pro's identify themselves very early by showing an ability to ride away from other lower category amateurs. If after a season of hard training, and half a season of racing you are consistently getting dropped, even by first time racers, the odds are extremely high that riding as a pro is an unrealistic expectation.

    It's possible I'm wrong, and you'll be a late bloomer. If you start getting results, and moving up, you can worry about that then. For now, forget about turning pro, focus on doing the best you can now, and have fun.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  5. #30
    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Dude, forget about turning Pro. First, as you point out, you're putting too much pressure on yourself. Just race, have fun, learn.

    Second, in all candor, there's virtually no chance you'll ever race as a pro. The vast majority of racers never will. And the people that do have a legitimate chance of being sucessful pro's identify themselves very early by showing an ability to ride away from other lower category amateurs. If after a season of hard training, and half a season of racing you are consistently getting dropped, even by first time racers, the odds are extremely high that riding as a pro is an unrealistic expectation.

    It's possible I'm wrong, and you'll be a late bloomer. If you start getting results, and moving up, you can worry about that then. For now, forget about turning pro, focus on doing the best you can now, and have fun.
    Yes I know what you're saying here, and I especially know that I'm not going to turn pro. I'm just saying its just the thought that I always have in my mind of how great that would be. And its hard just to give it up. For example, it's like telling a little kid, "forget about growing up and becoming rich", or "you're not going to win the Stanley cup, keep dreaming" (which is 99.9% of every little kids dream here in Canada). I know that I'll never turn pro, but even just to be able to make it to the E1/2 category here in Canada or go to nationals sometime in the near future would be amazing, and its hard to just give it all up and quit trying. I'm trying though to just race because its fun, I really do love it and wish there were more than 7 or 8 races here, half of which are like 5 hours away, because racing all the time would be great. Like I said though, it's like the fire in my belly, working towards something great. It's the only way to get out there and train when you don't feel like it.
    "You lack motivation because cycling is a stupid sport with no upside that takes way too much time out of your life to be mediocre at." - Racer Ex

  6. #31
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    ^ you don't even have to give it up. Just stop focusing on it. Set more immediate, reachable goals, and the rest will take care of itself.

    The fact that you haven't gotten off to as fast a start as you'd hoped doesn't mean you can't be successful as a bike racer, and have fun at it. Where you end up will be determined down the road.

    Enjoy the here and now.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  7. #32
    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    I think a lot of it has to do with my dad as well though. I was just gaining a bit of confidence this past week but then when my dad talks to me about the race he just talks about everything that makes me nervous and tells me things like "you have to keep up this race". Then all of the bad thoughts come rushing back to me. I'm not the sort of person that likes to talk about a race at all before the whistle even blows. The less I think about it, the more confidence I can gain but that never works my way. Couple that with getting dropped all the time, it's just so hard to go into a race positively. I'm just going to work like hell next year, plan everything out, hopefully have a better bike, maybe a PM, nutrition plan and just do things right! I've never had to work to be good at sports in my life, but that's all catching up to me now. I'll never know for sure what went wrong this year but I can hopefully change next year.
    "You lack motivation because cycling is a stupid sport with no upside that takes way too much time out of your life to be mediocre at." - Racer Ex

  8. #33
    pmt
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    It's not like the racing season is over. There's three months of cyclocross coming up; sometimes guys who aren't quite as good at road excel at 'cross. Besides, racing 'cross will help improve your fitness for road next year.

  9. #34
    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    Ya I'm probably better at other parts of cycling. Cross looks like a ton of fun, and I like the no dropping thing they have, it just gets spread out so quickly it's like everyone's racing their own race. I might try track as well, went on it for the first time last year and it was really fun.
    "You lack motivation because cycling is a stupid sport with no upside that takes way too much time out of your life to be mediocre at." - Racer Ex

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