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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 07-10-12, 11:21 AM   #1
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Training for Racing All Disciplines

I feel a little odd starting this thread, but I think we'd all agree we need it.

I just came home from an hour training ride. I could not sustain anything longer than 20 second power on bursts because I wasn't warmed up. Towards the end of the ride I started to come around, and the recoveries came faster - under a minute. I had good power at the end, too, and there were some moments when I was really making an effort that I felt like I was going to be sick ("I'm a Cyclist!"). I did eight of the 20 second bursts, some were on the flats, some were on slight rises. I also did two one mile sustained 20+ MPH paces. I felt pretty good, but I'm not confident I am really ready for a crit just yet. But, you have to start somewhere, and I suppose there is no "true test" quite like a race.

My heart rate numbers will be all scrambled on the upload, though, because my strap was too loose and it ended up around my tummy. I hate it when that happens.
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Old 07-10-12, 12:01 PM   #2
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I feel a little odd starting this thread, but I think we'd all agree we need it.
Don't feel odd, we do need it. Quite apart from picking up tips from one another, it will be a useful place to talk about how our training needs have changed as we get older. Speaking for myself, I'm still coming to terms with the fact that I need to get:

A. More systematic;

B. More focussed on recovery.

I'm too used to assuming that I can just do what I feel like and still improve, and I am still coming to terms with the fact that I don't recover as fast as I used to. So despite understanding the theory, I still have a tendency to make the easy rides too hard and, in consequence, to fail to recover enough to be able to go as hard as I should on the hard days. I need to be more disciplined, spend more time on the bottom and top ends, and less in the middle. And I still need to lose more weight. If you saw my diet, you'd think I must look like Bradley Wiggins. I'm pretty confident that Brad doesn't drink much wine, though... It's going to have to go.


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My heart rate numbers will be all scrambled on the upload, though, because my strap was too loose and it ended up around my tummy. I hate it when that happens.
LOL. Now that's one problem I have yet to encounter. Get yourself a 44-inch chest, Sara - not much chance of my strap coming loose.
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Old 07-10-12, 01:07 PM   #3
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After last weekends state track championships, high intensity training at the track and racing on Saturday, yesterday I was off the bike but went to the gym and worked on core, back and upper body. Since my next track race with be the kilo, I decided I need to look more like Sir Chris Hoy. However, I have the Diablo Hill Climb in two weeks so I need to put some climbing in legs over the next few days. Today, I am on the trainer for an easy ride. Even though I feel really good, I am going for a couple of days of recovery. My visualization for recovery is to take it before you think you need it to stay ahead of the curve.
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Old 07-10-12, 01:16 PM   #4
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Sara, you will do fine in the crit. OTF, OTB or in the pack is a good result. You need the 20 second jumps to prepare you for the surges in the race. In reality, nothing prepares one for racing but racing.

Also, note in the warmup I posted from the track that we do 15 Km of constant speed before doing another 5 km at race pace behind the motor. Then we start efforts such as jumps and accelerations. If you ride easy even if it is for a long time and then try to do a jump, it is going to be hard and feel like crap.
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Old 07-10-12, 03:52 PM   #5
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Hermes, thank you! Your encouragement means a lot. I do wish I could be at Mt Diablo -grrr!!

Chasm, you sound like me. When I'm supposed to go slow, I go to fast. When I need to go fast, I can't go fast enough because I fried myself going slow. You nailed it, it's all about discipline, a plan, and structure.

I already started with reducing the wine, a long time ago in fact. It hurt, too. Your turn!
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Old 07-10-12, 05:26 PM   #6
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Like I mentioned in the other thread. it is all about rhythm. Your body needs work, and then it needs rest. Gains come from rest after work, not the other way around. So you need to find a rhythm between work and rest. That's the micro view. Over the course of a season is the macro view. You need to take rest weeks. I take mine every three weeks. I also need to focus on A races, and break the season up into manageable chunks, with two rest weeks in between the chunks.

Please note that I am on the bike year round. I start my training program the day after New Years Day, and my first two races are on the first Sunday in March. I race through September, with maybe a race or two into October, and spend the fall and early winter just doing base miles with friends and commuting to work. I actually enjoy riding in the teens and 20's. It's so crisp and clean out.
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Old 07-10-12, 09:56 PM   #7
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I'll post about my latest training crit here. Wow. Intense workout. As I was feeling ready to pass out afterwards, I asked my teammate if it was fast tonight, or if I was just slow, and he agreed it was fast. Of course most of that was due to him. No matter where he is riding lately, he is doing 20" anaerobic intervals: in this case, at or off the front of the pack. Dude is strong. Anyway, I finished on the lead lap, but fading from 1.5 laps left to the end. It was ~110* with some humidity, at least by our standards. Again. Wow.
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Old 07-11-12, 06:20 AM   #8
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That will pay off in a few weeks, AZT. Nice work.
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Old 07-11-12, 07:18 AM   #9
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LOL. Now that's one problem I have yet to encounter. Get yourself a 44-inch chest, Sara - not much chance of my strap coming loose.
Or the 44 inch belly to keep it up! That's what I'm shooting for...
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Old 07-11-12, 07:32 AM   #10
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A few folks from another forum asked me for what I do for sprint workouts. I thought I'd share them here.

Remember I am not a sprinter like Aki (CDR). I am an all arounder. Right now I am being coached, and not using any of these. If I were not, I would be doing them during the week. Not all in one session.

The first thing you need to do is figure out your optimal jump RPM. For me, that is 95rpm. It's the cadence where your jump is most effective, i.e. power peak, and also gives you a lot of room to spin up. Your optimal power peak jump rpm may be 125rpm, but you won't have much room to sprint after that.

You need to find two sprint workout courses, one if it can do both short and long. The short course should be flat, sheltered, and 500m long. The long course should be at least 1km long. It should start with a slight downhill to help you get up to speed easier. Mine has a dip, then a rise, which starts at 1% and grows to 4% at the finish. I hit the gas about 350m out before the dip, and carry the sprint up the rise. If you can't find a course like that, then find one with a slight downhill that levels off.

Each one of these requires a warmup and warmdown. Do your normal routine before and after.

#1) Main sprint workout. This one is pretty much an Allen and Coggan workout.

short course - 6x small ring short sprints. Start speed 15-16mph. Jump hard at your jump rpm and start speed and sprint OOS for 50m. Rest 3min, repeat.

long course - 4x full tilt sprints, 250m minimum, preferably 350m. Get rolling on the downgrade section, jump as hard as you can, then hold the sprint until failure, i.e. your legs give out. Sprint 1, 53-17, 23mph start. Sprint 2, 53-15, 25mph start. Sprint 3, 53-14, 27mph start. Sprint 4, 53-13, 27mph start. The start speeds can vary in order to match up to your jump rpm, but not by more than 1-2mph. The idea is to simulate race speeds, or slightly below.

#2) Spinups. 6x. On the short course, get in a small gear, i.e. 39-17, starting at your jump rpm, spin up to your maximum rpm and hold it for 5 seconds. These can be done OOS or ITS, but make sure that you do them both ways at some point. The idea is to train to spin at high rpm both in and out of the saddle. You should reach a minimum of 140rpm but higher is better. On a good day I can hit 190rpm.

#3) Form sprints. 3x. On the long course, get rolling to 20-22mph in a gear appropriate for your jump rpm. Do not jump hard, just start the sprint at around a 75% effort, roughly 2x FTP. Keep the power on, shifting through the gears, but keep the power down. Focus on form. Smooth, 360 degree pedaling, keeping the bike straight, shifting at the right rpm without looking at your computer. It's like riding with an automatic transmission, smooth and steady. When you feel the lactate burn, stop.

#4) Seated sprints. 3x. On the long course, start at 21-22mph in the big ring. At the 500m to go point, hit the gas in the saddle. Shift up to keep the power at maximum and the cadence up. Hold the power until the finish. This simulates a kilo attack or seated attack OTF. Do not get OOS.
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Old 07-11-12, 08:33 AM   #11
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Sara, for the crit a warm up is crucial, it may go off sedately, or it may go off ballastic so you have to be prepared for both. FWIW I don't feed the same for a crit as I would for a longer race; I'll have a sport drink or a gel but I won't generally eat much beyond that for a morning race. If it's later in the day I'll have a light breakfast.

This is a learner. Keep your head and eyes up the road at all times and avoid target fixation. Be smooth. Get ready for the accordion effect on the corners. Be aware of any wind and position yourself to stay sheltered when you're heading into the headwind.

Cool down after...you need to get rid of the lactic that you've accumulated; it'll be a much better day after if you do.
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Old 07-11-12, 10:09 AM   #12
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That will pay off in a few weeks, AZT. Nice work.
Thanks Shovel. I'm confident that the training and practice I'm getting on Tuesday nights is going to get me some podiums next year. I'm (almost always) the only 55+ guy out there mixing it up the fast guys, and it will pay off. When a race is 50+, I'm with a combo of mostly 2's and 3's. I think there were only 2 other 4's this past weekend. When it's 55+, there are 2's and 3's, but it's a significantly slower group. Crafty, but slower. My goal for next year is for them not to know what hit them. I want some looks.
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Old 07-11-12, 10:15 AM   #13
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I played push-me pull-you with my FTP for 30' on the commute in this morning. It was a good hard ride. I'll be in San Diego tomorrow through Saturday, without a bike, though I may get a ride in before we head out in the morning.
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Old 07-11-12, 11:00 AM   #14
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Three sprint workouts that I do may be of interest to some. For long sprints I'm in the saddle riding at 450 - 500 watts for 45 seconds then jump OTS and sprint while dropping gears and keeping 900+ watts for 15". Those suckers really hurt the last 20-25 seconds.

Another is to be riding at Z2 and 90 rpm then go OTS in the same gear and push/pull the pedals with everything for 12 full pedal rotations. Do this one on the minute for 5 sets of 6 reps.

Find a 4 to 5% hill leading onto a 300 meter flat. Ride down the hill at 28 to 30 mph and carry the speed onto the flat. Once on the flat go OTS and sprint for 20".

I do all my OTS sprinting in the drops with my nose as close to bar height as possible.
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Old 07-11-12, 12:08 PM   #15
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Sara, for the crit a warm up is crucial, it may go off sedately, or it may go off ballastic so you have to be prepared for both. FWIW I don't feed the same for a crit as I would for a longer race; I'll have a sport drink or a gel but I won't generally eat much beyond that for a morning race. If it's later in the day I'll have a light breakfast.

This is a learner. Keep your head and eyes up the road at all times and avoid target fixation. Be smooth. Get ready for the accordion effect on the corners. Be aware of any wind and position yourself to stay sheltered when you're heading into the headwind.

Cool down after...you need to get rid of the lactic that you've accumulated; it'll be a much better day after if you do.
Ex, will do, thank you! It's a 3:30PM race, so I'll likely have a light breakfast late in the morning. What do you think about a gel 20 minutes before the start?
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Old 07-11-12, 12:10 PM   #16
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Or the 44 inch belly to keep it up! That's what I'm shooting for...
Believe it or not, I've been there! I was built like a little barrel - more like a light bulb. That had to go. The bike took it away, and now look what it's done!
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Old 07-11-12, 09:46 PM   #17
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Afternoon races are always tricky as far as eating goes. It's simpler to get up and have breakfast 3 hours before a morning race. For a 3:30 start I'd have breakfast and lunch like a non training day, and move the mid afternoon snack up to 2:30 or so. But everyone is different and you need to experiment to see what works for you.
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Old 07-11-12, 11:02 PM   #18
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Afternoon races are always tricky as far as eating goes. It's simpler to get up and have breakfast 3 hours before a morning race. For a 3:30 start I'd have breakfast and lunch like a non training day, and move the mid afternoon snack up to 2:30 or so. But everyone is different and you need to experiment to see what works for you.
Right on, Ericm. I'll try that.
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Old 07-12-12, 12:37 PM   #19
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Interesting...the track work has definitely improved my short term anaerobic efforts. On my "Heartbreak Hill" yesterday I was chugging along at 800w+ without feeling much decline.

Who would have thought that doing short anaerobic efforts would improve doing short anaerobic efforts.
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Old 07-12-12, 12:57 PM   #20
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I went climbing yesterday
I watched my wife ride off in the distance.
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Old 07-12-12, 04:05 PM   #21
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I took a drive around the Watsonville Crit course this morning. My comments about it are on the video. My worries are the drainage culverts crossing the streets at almost every corner. Some are quite deep. The "hill" is more of a rise, but I won't go so far as to pooh-pooh it. It could be a good place to launch an attack, IF one was so inclined!
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Old 07-12-12, 04:55 PM   #22
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Don't pooh-pooh the hill. It may not be much, but it is similar to the rise on one of my local circuits. Like mine, it comes after a bend and, if I understand correctly, fairly close to the finish.

What happens is that the guys at the front can take their own line through the bend and hammer up the hill. Those further back get the usual yo-yo effect going into the bend, and then have to red-line it on the hill to get back on. I know this to my cost. So I'd suggest trying to be towards the front at the bend before the hill. If you can't do that, allow a gap to develop between you and those immediately ahead of you before the bend so that you can accelerate through it and use that momentum to pass them while they are clambering out of the saddle to close up.

The ditches look problematic, I haven't encountered anything like them in a crit. Easy enough to hop them at speed, but the one immediately before a turn would be a concern. I'd be looking to stay away from anyone squirrelly at that point...

That's what occurs to this particular novice, anyway.

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Old 07-12-12, 05:35 PM   #23
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Those ditches are nasty. Somebody's bike is going to get upset and cause mayhem. I would be careful riding on the outside of the turns with the ditches. If someone wigs out, the momentum is going to push outside, and there are hard curbs. The hill looks like a non-factor, it seems so short and shallow.
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Old 07-12-12, 05:56 PM   #24
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Track workout this AM. Warmup and 2x2 flying laps and a 6 lap team time trial with MEA. The flying laps were 31.4 mph @ approximately 120 rpm yielding 23.8 second lap times. I used the new Fast Forward wheels and they seemed stiff and very stable. The wind was light and variable so the 5 spoke was perfect. Could I have maintained that speed for another lap to complete a flying kilo? A qualified maybe... The goal was to get in some fast intervals but not a big training load and I wanted to try out the wheels at Hellyer.
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Old 07-12-12, 06:08 PM   #25
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Sara, there must be someone in your club that has local knowledge as to how the ditches play out in the race and especially the one before the turn. I think you need some intelligence so that you can anticipate problems and take advantage of situations.
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