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Masters Racing (All Disciplines) Race on the track or road or on your mountainbike in the Masters Category? Want to talk tactics, strategy and training with your peers?

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Old 02-04-12, 07:54 AM   #2326
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Cleave, thank you. Cat 3/4 it is! Now, all I have to do is decide on the event. I'm still leaning towards the road race. I think what I'll do, before I commit, is go pre ride the road race course. Not a hard ride, but just to cover it, and get an idea of the layout and it's difficulty (it's not easy, I already know that). I'll then do another of the "Wednesday Night at Laguna Seca" rides and hammer that one (after I warm up) to give myself an idea about a competition there. Then I'll decide.

I've started training already, I started that early last month. I do see improvement, which is why I decided to "shut up and dance". I've gained four pounds, and I've gained power as well as endurance. Granted, I don't know a thing about the kind of training you guys do, and I think it would be pointless for me to commit to something like that, anyway. I know spin class is frowned upon by serious riders (bike fit, pedal speed, flywheel effect, time off the saddle, etc being some of the issues I've heard raised), but in my case it HAS helped me. I've gained muscle in my upper thighs and glutes, I climb better (still not great), and I can sustain higher speeds for significantly longer distances than I could a few months ago. My heart rate has come down in the process, and I am able to push it to near my max levels while getting more out of the effort. I've seen that heart rate gain in both running, climbing, and sprinting. Warm ups still take a long time, but I have learned how to warm up, and how to tell when I have.

I think I'm ready to race, or almost ready. By the end of April, I should be.
A lot of cyclists spin, especially those that don't enjoy the climate we both do. My coach would schedule a lot more trainer work (a little different than spin class, granted) if I didn't whine every time she did. She is a fanatic about consistent targeted effort, and when you are stationary there are no stoplights, no hills, no wind, etc. But I found a route where I can go 2-3 hours without ever breaking cadence, so now there is almost no reason for me to ride indoors. I win!

Question: How flat is the circuit race course?
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Old 02-04-12, 09:06 AM   #2327
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A lot of cyclists spin, especially those that don't enjoy the climate we both do. My coach would schedule a lot more trainer work (a little different than spin class, granted) if I didn't whine every time she did. She is a fanatic about consistent targeted effort, and when you are stationary there are no stoplights, no hills, no wind, etc. But I found a route where I can go 2-3 hours without ever breaking cadence, so now there is almost no reason for me to ride indoors. I win!

Question: How flat is the circuit race course?
Azt, the circuit course is Laguna Seca Raceway. It's not terribly flat, there are rollers, and one little climb. It's 2.238 miles in length with a 300 foot elevation change. The video will give you some idea how the course is laid out and how it climbs and descends (now, if I could just RIDE that fast...)

One of the reasons I like spin class is the uninterrupted effort. I start fifteen to twenty minutes before the class does, and I'm moving on that bike for more than an hour. That HAS to be good for me (the amount of sweat I generate says something!).

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Old 02-04-12, 02:14 PM   #2328
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So I held the pack just fine today. Last year I would have been lapped by that group on that course, which had both some hills and 2 really sharp corners, which of course means accelerations. I had 4 teammates in the race! Three of them were podium threats, and they were happy to have me 'follow and learn'. I only burned extra matches once, when about 7 guys had a gap. I decided to bridge, but essentially pulled the pack up, when they were slowing anyway. Probably should have blocked instead, as a teammate was up there, but frankly just disn't think of that. So we got to the final lap, and after things being stretched out a bit on the climb (I was shocked to be able to hold on at ~28mph on a rise), the pack slowed as we approached the final turn. Deja Vu from last week. I moved up some, but didn't loop around to the very front. But that put me on the inside of a very sharp turn, in a tight pack. As we accelerated out of the turn, I moved to the left in order to position for the sprint, needing to pick up some places. But a guy cut into me, doing the same, and I ended up in the gravel, losing a lot of ground. I picked off a couple of guys, but finished towards the back of the pack. The guy who bumped me apologized. No biggie.. I put myself in the wrong place.

Summing up, I just wasn't focused enough at the critical point, and let circumstances dictate my position rather than aggressively getting to where I needed to be. Another race, another lesson...
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Old 02-04-12, 03:12 PM   #2329
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Sara, I think what you plan to do to decide which race is a great approach. To me, it boils down to whether you feel more ready to hang with group on the road race climb, or to handle the speed of the circuit race. I loved the race last weekend that was on an auto race track: fast and smooth.
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Old 02-04-12, 06:51 PM   #2330
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Good job AZTR. It was only a year ago when your race reports were about racing alone.
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Old 02-04-12, 09:10 PM   #2331
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Those difference would fall in the "noise level" category for me.
True for the Kilojoules number, but 1/2 mile distance a over 50 minute ride doesn't seem that small to me. Roller tension may not account for this. Here's more detail:

Jan 24- 12.8 miles, Avg power 127, Normalized power 165.
Feb 2- 13.3 miles, Avg power 136, Normalized power 149.

Jan 24 ride was a series of 1-minute intervals
Feb 2 ride was a set of 5 minute intervals.

I'm thinking this has to do with the formula used for Kilojoule calculation by Power Agent.

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Old 02-04-12, 09:11 PM   #2332
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Nice work staying upright, AZT.
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Old 02-04-12, 10:16 PM   #2333
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One of the reasons I like spin class is the uninterrupted effort. I start fifteen to twenty minutes before the class does, and I'm moving on that bike for more than an hour. That HAS to be good for me (the amount of sweat I generate says something!).
It says that you need a larger fan.

Women start as cat 4. You can race in a masters field that allows your category, or you can race with younger people in a field that allows your category. For example as a male cat 4 whose racing age (age at the end of the year) is 52, I can race in the non-masters cat 4 race, M35+ cat 4, M45+ cat 4, open M45 (cats 1-5) or open M35+. Women can do the same except there are seldom more than a couple choices. Upper category masters are often people who have been racing for many years. They're always strong riders- you don't get to the upper categories without being pretty good at some part of racing, because you have to win or place well to move up.

When i did it the road race descended Barloy neutralized (not yet racing, under control of a motor ref). Then some circuits of rolling hills with one sharp short 3 minute climb each lap. Then back up Barloy. What happened is that the climb would be balls out as guys tried to get a gap then most could hold on for the rest of the circuit. Riders who were dropped on the climb could sometimes get back on but usually the next time they'd be off for good. The field got smaller and smaller until I got popped off so I don't know what happened to the leaders.

I have not been around Laguna but I have walked around the track many times. That 300' hill from the infield to the corkscrew is going to be very hard after a few times around the course. I'm not sure which one is easier. Of course no race is easy; even when the terrain is easy the riders make it hard. I do better on long climbs than on short ones so I did the road race.
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Old 02-05-12, 02:32 AM   #2334
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Eric, thanks!

That short 3 minute climb (x5) you described is Heniken's Ranch Road. It is a momma!! The finish on top of Barloy is like salt in a wound. The last .4 miles of that climb is the steepest part, along with a left turn half way. My best up that part is 7 MPH. Death!!!

I'll be 60 by the time the Sea Otter comes round. A 'newbie bike racer' at 60! Thanks for explaining the Categories (and you too, Cleave). I think I'd feel much better as a Cat 4, and not in the Masters (although I am very used to getting dropped...).

AzT, yes the track is smooth! Parts of it are fast, like the descent from the Corkscrew. The climb to the Corkscrew, as Eric pointed out, is steep - it's not gradual, but it's a series of steps. 50 minutes on that track would be a workout!

You know, I could do both events, they're on different days. But then, I'm dumb like that....

Oh, yeah...a FAN!!
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Old 02-05-12, 09:40 AM   #2335
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Eric, thanks!

That short 3 minute climb (x5) you described is Heniken's Ranch Road. It is a momma!! The finish on top of Barloy is like salt in a wound. The last .4 miles of that climb is the steepest part, along with a left turn half way. My best up that part is 7 MPH. Death!!!

I'll be 60 by the time the Sea Otter comes round. A 'newbie bike racer' at 60! Thanks for explaining the Categories (and you too, Cleave). I think I'd feel much better as a Cat 4, and not in the Masters (although I am very used to getting dropped...).

AzT, yes the track is smooth! Parts of it are fast, like the descent from the Corkscrew. The climb to the Corkscrew, as Eric pointed out, is steep - it's not gradual, but it's a series of steps. 50 minutes on that track would be a workout!

You know, I could do both events, they're on different days. But then, I'm dumb like that....

Oh, yeah...a FAN!!
That is what I was thinking you should do Sara. Race every chance you get, unless you are at death's door like I am after TT'ing then racing again later in the day. I'm avoiding doing that again this season. I love racing on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course even though the race promoter is an a******.
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Old 02-05-12, 03:56 PM   #2336
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VOS Strategy

Okay folks; please critique:

Goals: I'm going for the podium in the Road Race. Everything else is secondary.

Prep: Did a 55 mile base ride today, weighted towards z3, after the crit yesterday. Only a couple of hours of easy commuting between now and the weekend, with Tue and Thurs as complete days off.

Friday - 14 mile Time Trial: I think I should be starting late morning. This is my first ever time trail, and I am doing it "cannibal style", on my road bike, with no clip-ons or special helmet. I'm going to target a narrow power band and hold it there. I'm currently thinking right around my FTP: 275-280w. I don't think that will drain me for the next day.

Saturday - 46 mile Road Race: This is 2.8 laps of a triangular course. Second leg is a slight rise that will likely be into a headwind, then you turn right and go uphill for 3.5 miles. IMO, those are the defining features. The finish is right after the third time up the hill, after a short flat. According to those who have been doing this race, "early breaks never succeed". There are too many people not on teams that are going to work to chase the break down regardless of who is in it. I do NOT want a bunch finish, and that hill leading to it will probably stretch things out. If there is a last lap break, I think I should join it. If the pack is together getting to the last turn, and I'm there, I'm thinking I should make it a long fight to the finish going up the hill, taking it at the max I think I can hold for 15 minutes or so, or whatever pace the pack chooses if its faster than that.

Sunday - 25' Crit: I intend to be focused on positioning for the finish, and not letting circumstances dictate my position.
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Old 02-05-12, 04:33 PM   #2337
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Okay folks; please critique:

Goals: I'm going for the podium in the Road Race. Everything else is secondary.
Since you asked for comments, use the TT as the first 45 minutes of your pre-race 1.5 hr Z2/3 ride, usually done the day before, and add a few openers in. Why would you want to do a hard Z4 interval when it means nothing and will only hurt your performance on Sat?
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Old 02-05-12, 04:53 PM   #2338
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3 hour fixie group ride today. I began this years training in December and recently have felt the "zoom-zoom" has returned. We ride as a group of 6 to 12 riders that is made up mostly of racers. Even though the pace is moderate riding up and over rollers offers the opportunity for little pissing matches. Riding is going well.
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Old 02-05-12, 06:27 PM   #2339
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Since you asked for comments, use the TT as the first 45 minutes of your pre-race 1.5 hr Z2/3 ride, usually done the day before, and add a few openers in. Why would you want to do a hard Z4 interval when it means nothing and will only hurt your performance on Sat?
Thanks AJ. Sounds like a great idea.
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Old 02-05-12, 06:55 PM   #2340
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Is the race vos?
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Old 02-05-12, 07:35 PM   #2341
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Is the race vos?
Yep!
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Old 02-05-12, 11:48 PM   #2342
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AZT, Not knowing your total racing goals for this year, it is difficult to comment. When I trained for the Madera Stage Race, I was doing TT practice races of similar length and back to back hard days with lots of z4 work. Madera was two days with a crit and TT on one day and a road race the next day.

We have two TTs later this year that are one week apart - Dunlap 30K and our State TT 40K TT championship the next weekend. General consensus is if you race Dunlap, the 40K one week later will be impacted. So you think that doing a 15 mile TT will not impact your next day performance - interesting.

When I was training with the Russians, we were working on speed the last two weeks before an event. It was mandatory to motorpace a couple of days before a race. You are going easy and resting - interesting.

When I was getting ready for masters and elite track championships, Roger Young had me motor pacing and working on speed right up to the event.

I got back from skiing on Thursday night and rode 7 hours over the last 3 days that included some z4 efforts. This week, I will increase intensity and focus on speed and cadence. I want to motor pace this week and next week at the track with my first race on February 18th.

Your plan sounds flat to me. But one thing I have learned is performance is truly an individual thing and how we train and prep is very much a know thyself axiom. If it were me, I would have knocked out some practice TTs to get ready for the first TT. Even if you somewhat soft pedal it, I would not want the first TT of my racing career to be in the VOS. However that train has left the station so my recommendation is to stink up the place in the TT if you want a podium in the road race. Good luck.
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Old 02-06-12, 08:39 AM   #2343
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My season goals are to a) dramatically increase my race IQ, and b) get on the podium in my age cat. It's hard to say, for sure, what works best for me, but my best performances to date have been during periods of high training load, but where I've had enough of a taper for my legs to feel recovered. That matches with Coggans-Allen (and I think most coaches), who recommend a rising Training Stress Balance.

Turns out I do have the green light for tomorrow's practice crit, so that provides the intensity during the taper. Directions are to do it as intervals, as I have been doing. If I also do some leg-openers on Friday per AJ, that seems about right for the road race.

I believe that my overall training has been too flat for proper preparation for VOS. That's due to two things. First is that VOS is really early in the season, and I started my base phase a bit late as we headed into winter. Second is that, when I got a Met test to see how well the base phase had worked, the test was fubar. I realized that, and scheduled a test with the physiologist who works with our team (Ben Stone is the key guy). I'll post some of the graphs when I can (he provides really great data), but that test showed I am in great metabolic/aerobic shape. I burn fat really well pretty far up into my HR range. And the test makes sense because my HR zones finally sync up with my power zones. All the base really paid off, but I haven't done enough, yet, on the higher intensity side to really gear up for an A race. My top end isn't there yet - I can tell that.

Last season, I tried to keep Sundays as off days. Having trained the family now , this season I intend to keep doing base on Sundays, to maintain metabolic efficiency during the season, which is dominated by Saturday Crits. I also will only taper for A races. I'll train right through most of the Crits.
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Old 02-06-12, 05:50 PM   #2344
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Nice clear day today in Ohio with temps in the mid-40's. I moved my Tuesday workout to today due of being able to ride outside vs. riding the rollers on the fixle. I rode 10 miles to the hills in Hinckley and did 4 x 1.4 mile hill with 255' of climbing with the fixie. The workout was to hit Z4 on the climb then pedal the fixie back down fast maintaining 125+ cadence, then once on the flats sprint ITS for 200 meters. A team mate met me and did the workout with me riding his road bike and replicated my gearing and tried to do what I was doing. I ended up with 2.75 hrs of saddle time.

A question for track racers. I would get the finish sprint up to 130+ rpm and be totally wasted at the end of the 11 minute interval. I am not very comfortable being at a point of blowing up, yet needing to continue pedaling with enough form so as not to eject over the bar while I grab some brake. What do you guys do after finishing a race on track bikes without brakes?
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Old 02-07-12, 09:36 AM   #2345
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A question for track racers. I would get the finish sprint up to 130+ rpm and be totally wasted at the end of the 11 minute interval. I am not very comfortable being at a point of blowing up, yet needing to continue pedaling with enough form so as not to eject over the bar while I grab some brake. What do you guys do after finishing a race on track bikes without brakes?
You learn to just let the pedals move your legs, and you try to head up track ASAP to slow things down a bit.
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Old 02-07-12, 10:02 AM   #2346
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You learn to just let the pedals move your legs, and you try to head up track ASAP to slow things down a bit.
Thanks, I'll practice letting the pedals move my legs at a lower rpm to get the feel. On the HC descents I am not comfortable unless I'm driving the pedals to maintain a positive pressure on my feet in order to keep from bouncing on the saddle. On Sunday's ride, on the backside of a roller, I hit 165 rpm while avoiding grabbing brake which was an eye opener. The hill wasn't that long and I could estimate when it would end, however for a brief time it was worthy of total concentration.
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Old 02-07-12, 10:12 AM   #2347
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A question for track racers. I would get the finish sprint up to 130+ rpm and be totally wasted at the end of the 11 minute interval. I am not very comfortable being at a point of blowing up, yet needing to continue pedaling with enough form so as not to eject over the bar while I grab some brake. What do you guys do after finishing a race on track bikes without brakes?
Like Racer Ex said, I look over my right shoulder as head up track letting the bank help slow me down and place my hands on the tops.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:09 AM   #2348
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After last week's ski trip and 3 days of cycling, I took yesterday off and got a massage. Typically, I get a massage twice a month on rest days. For some reason, my muscles like to tighten up and no amount of stretching and foam rolling seem to be enough. The manipulation loosens up the muscles.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:15 AM   #2349
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
After last week's ski trip and 3 days of cycling, I took yesterday off and got a massage. Typically, I get a massage twice a month on rest days. For some reason, my muscles like to tighten up and no amount of stretching and foam rolling seem to be enough. The manipulation loosens up the muscles.
Not to mention that it is typically an entirely pleasurable experience.
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Old 02-07-12, 03:52 PM   #2350
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I need speed
 
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Proof that I DO race my bike. This is early in the 50+ McDowell Mountain Circuit Race last Saturday.

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