So now that I'm recovered from my IT band problem, I'm trying to figure out what's a good way to get fitness back.
Track training sessions (structured)?
I don't think racing will be it, because my fitness just isn't there for now.
Should I wait on going to the track and do some hard training rides on the road bike (aka climbing) to get some fitness back before racing? What do you guys think?
Just race your way into shape. The first 2-3 weeks will be rough, but they are rough for everybody...even those who have trained through the winter.
Originally Posted by Jaytron
Make sure to eat a lot of nutritious food and give yourself at least one day of week to rest...maybe 2.
Edit: I forgot that you live in the Bay Area. Sorry. Same applies, though.
Try to keep the intensity high, but the volume low to moderate. Basically lower miles, more intensity.
The first intermediate session I went to was super rough. I had the speed for one of the practice races, and took it, but just couldn't recover and do anything after. Literally DNF'd every practice race after that. I guess the speed is still there, but the stamina was completely gone.
I'll take your advice and just get to the track more often. When I do go, the miles are low, but the intensity is typically very high.
What is your track race category and how much current racing experience do you have prior to IT band problem?
5 and none :)
Originally Posted by Hermes
At Hellyer, there is a Monday evening for mass start race instruction and training which is highly recommended BEFORE you commence racing. It is run by a friend of mine and there are coaches that may attend the session. On Thursday evenings, there is a structured session for endurance training run by a coach. You can participate in the efforts to the extent you can while you build endurance and power. And you can always do more beginner sessions on Saturday morning and work on form and spin.
Riding on the road is also very good and I suggest mixing up climbing and flat to rolling. Trackies do need high cadence power but strength and adaptation can be achieved with some climbing.
Assuming your IT band is better, I suggest taking it easy and not repeating whatever caused the problem before. Generally, higher cadence results in lower torque so I suggest flatter terrain on the road and smaller gears at the track until you are confident your IT band is fine.
Yeah, I did the Monday session, really liked it. That's also where I found the hard truth about how much fitness I lost or may have just not had in the first place. My plan was to go to my second Monday session next week and maybe start racing next week or the week after. Is that still a bit too soon?
Originally Posted by Hermes
Saturday sessions are typically "meh" for me, but once in a while I'll go
I tried to contact Lee regarding the Thursday evening sessions, as I know the Thursday morning session is cat3+ only. Is the Thursday evening open to all?
The IT band feels much better. I think what caused the problem before was an improperly fitted bike. That's been fixed.
What rpm do you look to spin when on a flat road training ride?
There is no rush to race. The season is just getting started. It is more about your skill level than fitness level. The more skill you have the less power / endurance you will need. However, attending the Monday and Thursday sessions will improve both.
For Lee's sessions, riders must have track group experience eg raced before or attended Steve's Monday night class. So you are good to go. And you can talk with Lee about your racing goals. He divides that attendees into smaller groups so that you will be training with riders of similar experience and ability. I have not done Lee's session yet but I have talked with him about it. It is a great workout. The Thursday morning session is more about pursuit and timed events. Yes, the Cat requirement is 3 or above but if you are interested in doing pursuit, send Dan an email and let him know what you have completed and what you want to do and he may waive the requirement. Supervisors have broad latitude in making exceptions.
For flat road riding I am typically at 95 rpm. If I am doing pursuit intervals on my road TT, I shoot for pursuit rpm.
Cool, thanks so much for the great info Hermes! Hopefully I get to meet you at the track someday. It sounds like I'm doing most of the stuff right. I try and fit in a Redwood Gulch run once or twice a week, full highway 9 if I have the time. But with the Monday and Thursday sessions, it may be tough to schedule in. I'll definitely keep checking those two sessions out. Apparently Steve's Monday sessions count for your 5->4 upgrade.
Originally Posted by Hermes
As for "skill" are we talking bike handling, or more race tactics?
When learning to train and race at the track, one has to be comfortable and relaxed at higher speed close to the wheel in front. Track speeds tend to be higher so gaps result in a lot more power being required. Both of the training sessions will help you to get comfortable. I am sure that Steve's session goes over race tactics and the ability to read the race. So ideally, one should be able to ride in close quarters, relaxed looking ahead while using peripheral vision to position yourself in the pack. Great track racers anticipate actions by other racers and see them coming. The more you practice the better you get.
Racing changes the pack dynamics and objectives. Tactics come into play to score in the various races and part of that is being at the right place at the right time. Once again, Steve's session will provide the tactics for different races and a chance to practice.
Once you are comfortable in the pack, riding close at speed and using peripheral vision then have at some Wednesday night cat 5 racing.
Cool, sounds good!
I may give this Saturdays race a go for fun. (The GRFS series). It seems a lot of the ATRA stuff is pretty low key. But I'll be there this Monday and Thursday for those sessions.
Thanks again for all the great info!