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Which races to choose? My 2005 Season... (HELP!)

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Which races to choose? My 2005 Season... (HELP!)

Old 06-17-05, 12:31 AM
  #1  
my58vw
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I am starting to reevaluate my racing season and here in socal there are many many choices for racing this time of the year, theoretically you could race every weekend, sometimes twice per weekend from February to September...

(Before I type, this is very very important for me and I do not want to make the decision unguided, what I do here will decide how I deal with the rest of my year...)

I am a Cat 5 this season and I have enough races to become a cat 4, but unless there is some compeling reason for me to upgrade I am going to save it for next season. All that will happen this season if I go 4 is getting dropped in the 4 only races, and I have a good feeling I maybe able to pull off a few top 10's in 5 this season. Everything is really geared right now for next season, my results this season do not really matter.

Due to graduation, finding a new job that makes a little less money and paying outragiously expensive graduate testing stuff, etc, my financial situation this summer is sub optimal, meaning I have to limit my long distance races to just a few at most (most races are 50+ miles away and endup eating 30+ dollars for a 30 minute crit ) There are 2 A priority crits left this season, next Sunday and the Rose Bowl road race / crit on September and actually Ontario the week after. There is also another local ontario crit in August.

I need to start weight training at least 2 days per week ASAP. Remember the whole working for next season? Well I need at least 6 - 7 months of good solid weight training to be at my best power levels next Spring. This means I need to start now, but that will be detrimental to my weekend racing. With my therapy starting, etc, I should be sprinting and accerating with the rest of the pack well next season.

So now we are at a crossroad here...

I feel that I need to limit my racing to maybe 4 -5 key races the rest of the season and do the practice crits every Thursday night for my race pace training. Use Sundays fast and hilly group rides instead of crits for training (better for long term, hmmm 3 hours of fast riding vs 30 minutes + 30 dollars for race pace), and work on LT and anaerobic work on another day of the week, treating Thursday as race day vs Sunday. Start working out 2 days per weekm down to one easy day on A priority weeks.

Does this sound feasable, expecially from those of you who are experienced in this type of decision making? Ideas?

I am just trying to approach this thing with a level head and not let emotion play a part... sure I could race 10 more races this season but I do not think it is right at this point...
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Old 06-17-05, 07:38 AM
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I think you should race as much as you can until the season is over. There are mainly crits remaining on the calendar this time of year, so look for the 1.0 point crits and go for those. A few crits you should be a little wary of given your race record are the Home Depot crit, the West LA College circuit, Manhatten Beach crit and San Marcos crit. Oh yeah, if the Rose Bowl RR comes off, you should probably think twice about that as well as it's going to be held on a course with a couple of legbreaker hills that come round twice per lap. Go race and worry about the details later.

cheers
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Old 06-17-05, 08:02 AM
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My sugestion is "race your bike". The best training for racing is racing. If you need money, sell that silly TT bike. you'll probaly find that you don't even miss it.
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Old 06-17-05, 08:37 AM
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Selling the TT bike is not an option... sure right now in the middle of crit and rr season I will not miss it, but come Sept - Jan TT season here in socal and next year doing team tri's I certainly will. Plus money issues are a short time issue, as soon as things get going and my student loans for grad school come in then things will get back on track.

You are definitly right about the other crits you mentioned, that is why they are not even being looked at. Being that I do not have a lot of core power the courses with the little hills (expecially home depot and LA) are not courses that favor my strengths. Now in the future I will have to go races that do not favor my strengths but these races are pointless for me to do because if I am dropped on the first hill, my 40 minutes of racing will endup being about 20 minutes or less...

Now looking at the 1.0 crits, the Long beach set look promising, amoung a few others out here. It is my experience if the course does not include a lot of pure power parts, i.e. short sprinter hills then I can hang with the pack and have no problems in 5. Testimate to that is crit like Domingious Hills where I have had decient results in the past.

I will admit I am not anywhere as strong as most of the cat 5 pack this season, but that is do to other forces that at this point were out of my control. Of course as I get stronger things will change for the better... only next season will tell...
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Old 06-17-05, 08:50 AM
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your doctor is okay with all the racing and weight lifting plans plus the hormone replacement theapy at the same time?
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Old 06-17-05, 09:09 AM
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His words on the issue are, the racing is no problem because it is low impact. Watch the weights for the first couple of months to look out for complications due to bone structure issues. As long as things are going smoothly there should not be any problems.
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Old 06-17-05, 11:53 AM
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Race, Race, Race. Given the choice between a Training Ride and a Race, choose the Race. After all thats what we do the training for isn't it? By mid season you should be able to pretty much avoid hard training rides and race 4 to 5 times per week if you can find some mid week action (Track, Club Races, ect).
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Old 06-17-05, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76
Race, Race, Race. Given the choice between a Training Ride and a Race, choose the Race. After all thats what we do the training for isn't it? By mid season you should be able to pretty much avoid hard training rides and race 4 to 5 times per week if you can find some mid week action (Track, Club Races, ect).
Agreed. And if a 30 minute crit isn't enough of a workout, go for a ride afterward.
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Old 06-17-05, 01:01 PM
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I think you're trying to specialize way too much for racing cat 5 or 4, I'd just focus on riding and how you feel, if its a good week, race hard, if its a bad week, take some time off. all power to your periodization and stuff but i think you're taking a bit too far right now.
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Old 06-17-05, 02:31 PM
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Race the Ontario races, they are close to you.. Another to consider would be the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, this is one of the great races in So. Cal.. Big crowds and fast course with a small climb each lap..
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Old 06-17-05, 05:31 PM
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Honestly....I think it makes no sense whatsoever to be doing weight traing in heart of racing season. Just my opinion. I could be wrong but I don't know of any top racers that do that.

You don't need to do every race. pick out a few priority races and try to prepare for those exclusivey. Your training will become more focused and perhaps a bit more structured. Look at Lance.....he goes months at a time without racing.....but that doesn't mean he is not out there doing the hard training rides day in and day out. You don't have to show up every weekend for the races...but when you do show up...show up in great shape because you have been doing your training. I personally enjoy training as much as I enjoy racing. So I don't need to race every weekend. I look forward to just riding my favorite 30 mile loop solo or showing up to do a century on a sunday morning. Remember...you now have enough races to go up to cat 4. Now you can start thinking about the big picture...and that is racing with the 4's next season at a very high level....and maybe even advancing to cat 3 by the end of next year. I am too already thinking about next year. My objective is to get on the podium at the Master's Nationals in July 2006 in the TT. I also hope to win my state TT championship...and I hope to do well in a few important RR's and crits as well. So my training is currently based on those goals. I know I can't win Nationals this year because I don't have the proper fitness base. I am now just out there doing long training rides that are building my base fitness level. Later in the summer I will do more intense stuff and perhaps show up for a few late season races. Then in the winter I'll do lots of cross training and weights. So I would say I am enjoying myself now as much as the guys that are racing every weekend.

God I love to ride my bike!!!!!!!

Good luck! I think your hormone therapy is really going to make you a better cyclist. Those hormones are essential for proper recovery. Your physiology(with the hormones) is going from a go-cart to a Porsche turbo. Try not to make your wins look too easy..and always remain humble and grounded.
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Old 06-17-05, 05:58 PM
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Thank You all for your sugestions...

oneradtek is right, I need to look at the big picture, the big picture right now is being a strong cat 4 and maybe getting to 3 by the end of the season. I have a longer off season, (4 months) to build a nice base and get on a good periodization schedule. I believe weight training will be helpful, expecially in muscular endurance training, heavily in the off season. Looking to the future I also need to think about doing maybe some light work in the gym up to that, no where near max but enough to get my body ready for intense training in the off season.

I need to weight the pros and cons of doing lots of races this season, since everything now is just training in essence. If I am going to do stage races next year then I need to be able to survive longer road races. Likewise I need to develop the speed skills, power, force and muscular endurance to place well in criteriums. My current interval sessions will allow me to continue to improve up to September and beyond.

I have the heart and desire to get better and be good at the sport and these two things are the main ingredient for that. I know it will not come easy but it will come... soon enough!
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Old 06-17-05, 06:30 PM
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Some of my best gains have come during periods where I got away from racing for a short period and just went out and trained alone for a while. So many racers get away from this...because they get caught up in the fast 'group' club rides and weekend races. I have a great appreciation for the solitude of constructing blocks of solo traing rides. Just because you are solo doesn't mean that you can't ride hard or fast and suffer like a dog. Today I went out alone and did my favorite 30 mile loop. I was determined to ride hard today and I rode it so hard that I was cross eyed when I got back to my driveway and thought I was going to puke. It was basically a 30 mile time trial(I really shouldn't be doing this intensity right now). Take some time for yourself and you will see why it is that you love cycling so much! And don't forget...just because you are alone does not mean that you can't hammer the lights out!!!! I'm telling you.....I have made considerable progress from doing this. You really need the group rides and racing...and that is very important. But most good racers often neglect their solo saddle time.
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Old 06-18-05, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
Thank You all for your sugestions...

oneradtek is right, I need to look at the big picture, the big picture right now is being a strong cat 4 and maybe getting to 3 by the end of the season.
You think you might get into Cat 3 by the end of this season? That seems like quite a jump.
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Old 06-18-05, 11:04 PM
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CA must have a hell of a lot of USCF races. There are only 12 USCF road events left this year in NY.
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Old 06-18-05, 11:34 PM
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these are all the races left in so cal this year, quite a list..

http://www.socalcycling.com/Schedule...acesched05.asp
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Old 06-19-05, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by labratmatt
You think you might get into Cat 3 by the end of this season? That seems like quite a jump.
4 -3 only requires 25 qualifying points to upgrade at the end of a season. While it is not my number one goal depending on what kind of early season I have next year it is a possibility.

25 points, earned 1st through 6th, 7 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 or 25 qualifying races with 10 top 10's.

Many people in our area have done it. I will have lots of experience with cat 5 and 4 next season so after the end (or even middle if I want to really dream (need 35 points for that)) of next season I could see myself as possibly a 3 going into to following season. BTW 4 and 5 are very close here, so the jump to 4 is almost no big deal, 4 - 3 is more of an issue.

CA must have a hell of a lot of USCF races. There are only 12 USCF road events left this year in NY
Ya, nearly 30 that you can do not including the 4 or so major stage races avalable + many more up north. I am planning on doing road races next year (with a good off season base) so I can do at least one stage race by next year, maybe more (quite a few are omniums).
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Old 06-19-05, 06:15 AM
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good luck on your road race plans. Take it from someone who is kinda big for a bike racer, sort of like you (I'm 6"3" and 205 lbs) your size will show on the hills and that's generally what separates most wannabe roadracers from ones that get results. Good luck
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Old 06-19-05, 06:18 AM
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Moving up from 4 to 3 in one season is nothing. Besides..my58vw is talking about next year. It seems that the fellow misinterpreted his post as meaning this year. I've seen guys go from cat 5 to cat 1 in 2 years. I know of one rider who went from cat 4 to riding the Tour de France in 2 years(don't know him personally). I know of a guy who went from cat 5 to Master's World Champion in 3 years. If you don't believe it ...I will be glad tp provide names.

I have seen USCF officials upgrade riders without the required points...although these racers were very talented and were smoking their competition.
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Old 06-19-05, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by oneradtec
Moving up from 4 to 3 in one season is nothing. Besides..my58vw is talking about next year. It seems that the fellow misinterpreted his post as meaning this year. I've seen guys go from cat 5 to cat 1 in 2 years. I know of one rider who went from cat 4 to riding the Tour de France in 2 years(don't know him personally). I know of a guy who went from cat 5 to Master's World Champion in 3 years. If you don't believe it ...I will be glad tp provide names.

I have seen USCF officials upgrade riders without the required points...although these racers were very talented and were smoking their competition.
Most of the people who do that have been racing juniors forever and could be Jr. National Champs etc. It makes sense that when they start in Cat 4 they blow everyone away quickly.
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Old 06-19-05, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by The_Convert
Most of the people who do that have been racing juniors forever and could be Jr. National Champs etc. It makes sense that when they start in Cat 4 they blow everyone away quickly.
none of the folks I have in mind raced juniors!
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Old 06-19-05, 10:18 AM
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Anyone know who the rider was that went from cat 4 to the Tour de France in 2 years? Guesses?
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Old 06-19-05, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by oneradtec
Anyone know who the rider was that went from cat 4 to the Tour de France in 2 years? Guesses?
Ok, I'll take a stab, though I don't remember if he rode the Tour or not, but I would have to guess John Tomac.
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Old 06-19-05, 02:40 PM
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Tomac never did the Tour did he??
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Old 06-19-05, 02:41 PM
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Tomac never did the Tour did he??
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