Go Back  Bike Forums > The Racer's Forum > "The 33"-Road Bike Racing
Reload this Page >

Getting to Cat 1 with 8 hours/week?

"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

Getting to Cat 1 with 8 hours/week?

Reply

Old 09-28-17, 12:22 AM
  #1  
spectastic
commu*ist spy
Thread Starter
 
spectastic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: inside my body
Posts: 4,344

Bikes: a few

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 587 Post(s)
Getting to Cat 1 with 8 hours/week?

I don't have enough time to be riding 10+ hour weeks like other cat 1s and 2s. But with the 8 hours that I do have, I'll tear it up in fast group rides, and always try to be in z3 or above. we have a lot of rolling hills, which I would use as a form of intervals. to tell you the truth, I really hate doing sprint intervals up and down the same piece of road; they feel like work, not fun at all, and I ride for fun. This is the routine that I've been following in the last couple of seasons, and it's done me well so far. I just became a cat 2, and I want to be a cat 1. however, I don't know if what I'm willing to put in would be enough to get me there. I've been steadily improving over the years, having not a lot of specificity in my training other than mixing up my short, high intensity stuff, with longer, steady state stuff. there are guys who go on rides and target specifically z3, z4, z5 etc, doing the whole race bible thing. and I don't do that, because 1. I feel like getting to that level of specificity approaches a diminishing return with the amount of effort you put in, and 2. I kind of hit those zones in my workouts anyway, just not as consistently or frequently, because I'm not targeting them, but I do vary my efforts with different rides, and try to get different adaptations going based upon RPE. 3. I ride for fun, and it's not worth spending my free time on something that's not fun.. so in terms of development, how much disadvantage am I putting myself in having this mentality with training?

Last edited by spectastic; 09-28-17 at 12:28 AM.
spectastic is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 12:48 AM
  #2  
mattm
**** that
 
mattm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CALI
Posts: 15,248
Mentioned: 128 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1008 Post(s)
The short answer is 'it depends'.

In general I think the less time you have to train, the more structured it should be.

'Riding for fun' is fun, but so is winning. Pick which is more fun for you.

Anyway, given you've just upgraded (congrats), I suggest getting a feel for cat 1/2 racing. Many find that it's like learning to race all over again - some give up, some keep going. Be patient.
__________________
cat 1.

my race videos
mattm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 01:22 AM
  #3  
spectastic
commu*ist spy
Thread Starter
 
spectastic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: inside my body
Posts: 4,344

Bikes: a few

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 587 Post(s)
Originally Posted by mattm View Post
The short answer is 'it depends'.

In general I think the less time you have to train, the more structured it should be.

'Riding for fun' is fun, but so is winning. Pick which is more fun for you.

Anyway, given you've just upgraded (congrats), I suggest getting a feel for cat 1/2 racing. Many find that it's like learning to race all over again - some give up, some keep going. Be patient.
thanks. I've done some 1/2/3 fields, and yea, it's very different. I like it a lot more though. definitely look forward to racing p12 next year, and start growing again.
spectastic is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 09:14 AM
  #4  
Doge 
Senior Member
 
Doge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 8,850

Bikes: 1979 Raleigh Team 753

Mentioned: 128 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2632 Post(s)
I think you can get your speed from that, win the Cat 2 crits, short RR and upgrade.
So if you have fun turning those 8 hours into training - yea. Maybe 2 hours should be gym/weight work.

I don't think you can finish mid-pack Cat 1 road races on that. I think the races are too long, but that is what they are, so it takes time training just to endure that.
The pure (meaning no 2s) Cat 1, Pro/1 road races are 90 miles plus and going to be in the 110 mile range at national level. Miles in legs are needed to hold 26mph + for over 4 hours.

Last edited by Doge; 09-28-17 at 09:18 AM.
Doge is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 10:11 AM
  #5  
furiousferret
Senior Member
 
furiousferret's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Redlands, CA
Posts: 5,575
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 536 Post(s)
Buy Chris Carmichael's book, 'Time Crunched Cyclist'. He's pretty much the only reason Lance won 7 tours, so you know it works. /s

I see people getting to 3's on those hours, but not 1's. Those guys are either sprinters or the genetically gifted that still excel on mediocre training.

Just put your head down and do the work, and maximize what time you have. It sounds like you're going to have to change your philosophy on riding if you want to get there, or don't and go casual. In the end, you may end up there you may not.
furiousferret is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 11:04 AM
  #6  
TheKillerPenguin
Nonsense
 
TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Vagabond
Posts: 13,490

Bikes: Affirmative

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 663 Post(s)
I think I agree with Doge, provided you've got some natural talent. There are shortish road races in the 2hr range you could probably do OK in on those hours. Crits obviously as well. You better not waste any pedal strokes while training though, every single one will count!
TheKillerPenguin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 12:24 PM
  #7  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,659
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 489 Post(s)
I can't imagine anyone could upgrade on so few hours

gsteinb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 12:45 PM
  #8  
topflightpro
Senior Member
 
topflightpro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,054
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1130 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
I can't imagine anyone could upgrade on so few hours

Yes, but you have stated on multiple occasions that you follow a very rigid and structured plan. You get on the rollers, do your workout, hit your numbers, then go on with your day - heck, I remember you pulling out the rollers and riding in the deck by your car when you came down here to visit. Your experience supports MattM's comment that fewer hours necessitates greater structure.

OP, on the other hand, has, on multiple occasions questioned the necessity of a coach or rigid plan.

That said, of all the Cat 1s I know, I think you are the exception, as most had ample time to ride.
topflightpro is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 12:55 PM
  #9  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,659
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 489 Post(s)
I'm totally in agreement with Matt. Less hours require more structure. It also, obviously, provides the most life freedom. 8 hours a week isn't a massive commitment.

But to get good at it you basically eliminate the junk miles.

My reasons for riding a trainer are totally personal. I'm scared of cars. Plain and simple. And I've grown fond of the replicability of my workouts, so riding standing still doesn't trouble me.
gsteinb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 01:50 PM
  #10  
Doge 
Senior Member
 
Doge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 8,850

Bikes: 1979 Raleigh Team 753

Mentioned: 128 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2632 Post(s)
I expect there is also an age component there too.
Brandon and other <20 (or mid 20s) racers will have distance as the bigger issue than speed.
At Worlds - Brandon bridged to the break, road with it, DNF. I expect that had to do with recovery from fractured hip and concussion. He was plenty fast.
Same with my kid this summer U23 nats. Bridged to the pros "recovered" and couldn't stay after 30 min (4 hours in). He had the speed, not the base.

These kids maintains Cat 1 speed on very little training. If they control their weight, I see many off the bike and come back very fast, in 2-3 weeks and they can be at the top end of a SoCal crit. The distance performance is what takes 15-25 hours a week, and it takes some age to be able to deal with that amount of training without injury or sickness.
Doge is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 02:40 PM
  #11  
mattm
**** that
 
mattm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CALI
Posts: 15,248
Mentioned: 128 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1008 Post(s)
A big consideration in all this is just because some guy/gal in wherever-town got to cat 1 on four hours, doesn't mean you can do it too.

We all have different natural abilities, amounts of time, levels of commitment, etc.

I don't think I would have been able to get to cat 1 on 8 hours per week, but gstein apparently did.

You gotta figure out what works for you.
__________________
cat 1.

my race videos
mattm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 03:13 PM
  #12  
topflightpro
Senior Member
 
topflightpro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,054
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1130 Post(s)
Originally Posted by mattm View Post
A big consideration in all this is just because some guy/gal in wherever-town got to cat 1 on four hours, doesn't mean you can do it too.

We all have different natural abilities, amounts of time, levels of commitment, etc.

I don't think I would have been able to get to cat 1 on 8 hours per week, but gstein apparently did.

You gotta figure out what works for you.
True. And I'm not sure I could get to cat 1 on 40 hours a week.
topflightpro is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 03:25 PM
  #13  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,659
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 489 Post(s)
Right, so maybe the question is misguided.

Can someone get to cat 1 on 8 hours? Yes
Can everyone? No
Can ________? It depends.
Can anyone make great improvements on such low volume? Yes
Does _______ want a program very focused on improving on such low hours? IDK
gsteinb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 03:46 PM
  #14  
Ygduf
\_(ツ)_/
 
Ygduf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Redwood City, CA
Posts: 10,901

Bikes: aggressive agreement is what I ride.

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 932 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
I'm totally in agreement with Matt. Less hours require more structure. It also, obviously, provides the most life freedom. 8 hours a week isn't a massive commitment.

But to get good at it you basically eliminate the junk miles.

My reasons for riding a trainer are totally personal. I'm scared of cars. Plain and simple. And I've grown fond of the replicability of my workouts, so riding standing still doesn't trouble me.
8 hours a week chained to a trainer might as well be a full-time job. I'd rather risk getting run over.
Ygduf is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 04:00 PM
  #15  
Enthalpic
Killing Rabbits
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 131 Post(s)
I think of bunch of it would depend on your history as well. If you did several years doing big hours then switched to fewer hours I would bet you would have greater success. I would be very surprised if gsteinb never did any big volume weeks. Wasn't mattm a randonneur before focusing on sprinting?

Another thing to consider is that highly-structured indoor training should carry far less chance of experiencing a setback due to crash or injury. So even if 8 hours is less effective training than 18 hours if you have much better consistency over the medium to long term you could end up further ahead.
Enthalpic is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 04:02 PM
  #16  
rubiksoval
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 2,371

Bikes: Felt AR

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1373 Post(s)
To echo what others have said, with 8 hours, I'd think structure out the wazoo. I don't think group rides are good for that, honestly. Group rides are awesome for 5s, 4s, and 3s, because there's a greater component than simply fitness. You're learning race craft and group efficiency and the like. By the time you're a 2, I'd assume you're not getting so much of that anymore and you're pretty well in tune with being efficient in the pack and figuring out when to make efforts and the like.

Is eight hours your max? Or your average? I average around 8 hours over the year, but I also hit 10-12 for a few weeks as a block before the season rolls around, and even then I'm still garbage after 3.5 hours. We don't have many road races that long, so it's not a big deal, but it's something to keep in mind. As Doge said, the distance necessitates the hours.

With that said, I'd figure out what is keeping you from doing what you need to do in a race, and then really hitting that. I do a lot, lot, lot of sweet spot and threshold throughout the winter (where my hours may only be 5-6 a week for periods) and when I'm not doing that I'll do stuff way above threshold. There's always intensity. I never do a z1 ride and don't do any z2 rides unless it's summer time with a dewpoint of like 75 and my normal z3-z4 is reduced to a z2 by virtue of not dying.

My longer rides are also my longest tempo/sweet spot rides. Or the occasional long hammerfest with some other 1s or 2s to see where I'm at. Basically it's making every single minute count.

A coach may be the easiest thing to sort you out. It's really easy to start second-guessing yourself and then start changing things up before they can really be effective.
rubiksoval is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 04:09 PM
  #17  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,659
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 489 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
8 hours a week chained to a trainer might as well be a full-time job. I'd rather risk getting run over.
ok.
gsteinb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 04:57 PM
  #18  
furiousferret
Senior Member
 
furiousferret's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Redlands, CA
Posts: 5,575
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 536 Post(s)
ygduf brings the ynnuf
furiousferret is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 06:17 PM
  #19  
Ygduf
\_(ツ)_/
 
Ygduf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Redwood City, CA
Posts: 10,901

Bikes: aggressive agreement is what I ride.

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 932 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
ok.
can't tell if deadpan straight-man routine, or joyless grump.
Ygduf is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 06:26 PM
  #20  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,659
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 489 Post(s)
couldn't really care less.kinda missing the fudgy bringing the funny part. Been here done that. You don't like the way I train. Awesome. Shrug.

Last edited by gsteinb; 09-28-17 at 07:14 PM.
gsteinb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 07:12 PM
  #21  
globecanvas
Ninny
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: The Gunks
Posts: 5,294
Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 686 Post(s)
Does the 8 hours include bikeforums time?
globecanvas is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 07:27 PM
  #22  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 20,103
Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7073 Post(s)
Can you add bike commuting to your workout schedule? Even if it is a short commute, if you can hold it above 20 MPH... 25 MPH? then it would have to be worth something. Lots of hard starts and stops?

Heck, if it is < 5 miles, you could also do run commuting. A bit different than cycling, but they may complement.
CliffordK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 08:22 PM
  #23  
Ygduf
\_(ツ)_/
 
Ygduf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Redwood City, CA
Posts: 10,901

Bikes: aggressive agreement is what I ride.

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 932 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
couldn't really care less.kinda missing the fudgy bringing the funny part. Been here done that. You don't like the way I train. Awesome. Shrug.
You're putting tone I don't intend. You and Metcalf are impressive for your willingness to train like you do. I admire it, I just can't do it.
Ygduf is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 09:32 PM
  #24  
mattm
**** that
 
mattm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CALI
Posts: 15,248
Mentioned: 128 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1008 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
I think of bunch of it would depend on your history as well. If you did several years doing big hours then switched to fewer hours I would bet you would have greater success. I would be very surprised if gsteinb never did any big volume weeks. Wasn't mattm a randonneur before focusing on sprinting?
Exactly - history matters to a huge extent.

And yes I was a rando in a previous life, with rides up to 680km (over 40 hours, 45 mins of sleep, ugh). And I don't focus on sprinting now, I focus on winning. =]

Anyway I agree previous volume plays a part, and fwiw I still try to do big volume over the winter months, 15-20 hours/week. Probably closer to 10/week during this season for the most part, due to work constraints.
__________________
cat 1.

my race videos
mattm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-17, 11:09 PM
  #25  
aaronmcd
Senior Member
 
aaronmcd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SF, CA
Posts: 3,280

Bikes: Cervelo S5

Mentioned: 65 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 468 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
8 hours a week chained to a trainer might as well be a full-time job. I'd rather risk getting run over.
I'd MUCH rather quit racing than chain myself to a trainer. Trainer doesnt even count as riding in my book. I race cuz I like riding, so if I didn't get to ride I wouldn't race.
aaronmcd is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service