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Old 04-07-05, 11:36 AM   #1
bgant
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New to racing, need quick training guidance

Hello all,

I'm new to road racing and need some training help. I just bought a road bike, the first I've had since 1996, about six weeks ago. In that time I've been riding a trainer or rollers twice during the week and then getting out for at least one weekend ride, if not two. My longest ride as of yet is 38 miles. On my weekend rides I'm averaging around 16 mph or a little better. My goal is to be on the bike four times a week, including both Saturday and Sunday while increasing my overall distance and average speed. Before buying the road bike I had pretty good base fitness due to running, weight lifting, cross training, etc.

I live in Tennessee and am wanting to do as many races as possible this year. There is a weekend of racing in about four weeks that includes a RR, TT, and crit. The road race is 55 miles, even for Cat 5s. While I could probably complete the race, I'm afraid there is not enough time at this point for me to avoid being dropped by the entire field. I'm therefore thinking about the crit? I've never ridden or seen one and am unfarmiliar with how they work, other than that they are fast and hard races. Any thoughts?

Since I missed working on my cycling legs over the winter as most racers do, is there anything that anyone could suggest that would allow me to make up that training deficit and build decent cycling legs that I could start racing on within the next four to six weeks?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-07-05, 01:18 PM   #2
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You may not like this advice but here goes: Go to the race and watch the 3 events to get some idea what's going on. Talk with other cat 5 racers and learn as much as you can. You currently don't have the fitness to race competitively and will get spit out the back (dropped) in short order in the RR and crit.
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Old 04-07-05, 03:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Zack, I'll keep that in mind. I'm also going to continue training and try to hit some more reasonable races later in the season. Any idea what type of pace a typical Cat 5 racer is riding in a RR? It would be good to have some idea of what to shoot for.
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Old 04-07-05, 07:13 PM   #4
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From what I've been reading in the road bike racing sub-forum (look under road cycling) average pace is 20+. Come on over to road bike racing - there's several Cat 5 and higher racers who will be glad to help with tips and tricks.
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Old 04-08-05, 12:11 AM   #5
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Cat 5...

This is my first year racing, my first year riding. I am close but not at the level yet to hang with cat 5. I have a winter of base miles and training under my belt. It has taken me 5 races to get to the point where I can hang for about half the race. In my first race I got spit off the back in the first lap.

At this point starting a good training plan now will get you to the point where I think you may be able to at least hang in Cat5 towards the end of the season. You need some good base miles, at least 8 weeks. You can then move to the internsity stuff.

Just for speed sake, I can average 18 -20 MPH with stopping and hills easily on a normal training ride. Tonight I averaged 22 MPH on my training ride climbing. I can hang in circuit races and I persume flatter road races. I am still having a hard time in criteriums even with the speeds I can do now. Crits are fast, 25 - 28 MPH average, they take some serious training. Not only are average speeds important but so are anareobic endurance, sprinting, etc.

Good luck. I would recommend checking out some good race training books like Friel's cyclist training bible. Races are hard, they will take some time to prepare for. Go out and watch them, that is what I did, then go out and train.
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Old 04-08-05, 07:23 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input guys. I'll definitely check out some races and get a training book or two. I'm also going to start riding with a couple of the many local groups around here to see what I can pick up from more seasoned riders/racers. Maybe with a bit of hard work I'll be getting some racing in by August.
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