Today we had a crit for Cat 4/5, 40mins + 2 laps around a speedway track (2/10 mile long).
This was my first Cat 4/5 crit/race ever. I've done collegiate C races before (2 races). I had problems clipping in at the beginning so I started at the tail end, the group started really fast but eased off a little bit after a lap. Rode around for a while and found myself off the back, tried to catch up but couldn't. By the time the group lapped me 3 times I pulled off and called it quits. Other club members that I ride with were also in the race all of them finished, a few of them I can easily keep up with during group rides and occasionally drop them on climbs.
Looking back I wish I were more in the middle of the group instead of towards the back, but then again I'd probably get dropped from the middle anyways.
Avg pace of the group was 24.5mph.
I had been training a moderate amount in the winter (8hrs/week, sometimes 11 sometimes 6-7). We have a coach for our team. But these last two weeks I took off because of my board exam last saturday and just not having enough time this week and getting a head cold a couple days ago. When I woke up this morning I was still feeling kinda sick. During the race, man my lungs hurt and so did the back of my head.
5'8" - 142 lbs
Coach had us do a 5km time trial:
Avg: 22.6mph, avg hr: 185, wattage: 245.
1) Could my illness be related to my poor performance at today's race or is it just an excuse?
2) What about taking the two weeks off, would that be long enough for me to perform so poorly in the race?
3) What about training, I've read friel's book. But really how should I be training? The coach wants us all to do these intervals where I build up to zone 4 which is like 178-181 for me. It's incredibly hard for me to reach this zone unless I'm all out sprinting. And he wants us to hold it for 8-10 minutes.
I'd like to do better at the next race so any advice would be nice.