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Pretty graphs of the pain--is my warmup a factor??

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Pretty graphs of the pain--is my warmup a factor??

Old 08-24-06, 08:06 AM
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Pretty graphs of the pain--is my warmup a factor??

So last night was the last Greenbelt training race for the season, and I'm disappointed with my performance. Having posted several top 10's this summer, I had high hopes for playing the cards right and winning one (finally). As it turns out, it was not meant to be, AGAIN.

The pace was pretty chill for the first few laps, then it picked up with lots of attacks, etc., but I was able to bridge up to the lead group once and chase down a break a second time, at the expense of my usual recovery opportunity those laps. On the last lap I'm at the front of the pack, thinking I'm leadout fodder again. Thankfully, someone else comes up, this HUGE muscular dude who goes charging up the final climb and takes the leadout responsibilities from me.

Whew, I think--now I'm in it. Perfect spot right behind the leadout. Then a couple things happened. First, I got into a little bumping with another guy in the final sprint, so that served to both slow me down and scare the crap out of me, but I recover sans crash and get back to sprinting, only to find my legs completely cooked. Between the near-crash and my dead legs, I finished 9th, still in the lead pack but disappointing considering that I had finally set myself up correctly.

First, I need to spend some time in the weight room, and that's already on the schedule. I have some decent gradual accelerations and can sprint on the flats pretty well, but I still lack the explosive power to put up a decent uphill sprint.

The question I have is whether my warmup was too much for this race. I warmed up much harder than I normally do, and I think it contributed to running out of gas on the bell lap. The first attachment is from last week, where I felt great after the finish and was 6th. The second is from last night, when I came in 9th and felt like I was going to die. Another sore thumb from last night's race is that several of the usual recovery periods in the race were gobbled up by chasing and bridging, so I'm sure that contributed too...

How many hard (near-LT) efforts do you put in before a short race? Did I do too many? Should I just keep it easier with fewer hard efforts?
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Old 08-24-06, 09:06 AM
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chasing down attacks is one of the hardest things to do. i really think that cooked you more than your warm up did.

an uphill sprint? that requires a huge amount of strength. if you're not regularily grabbing top 5 in flat sprints, then it's nearly impossible to expect to win on an uphill finish. plus the near crash didn't help anything either. you might have lost a few positions right there...tough break.

good luck with strength training! i'm heading to the gym around november to do the same thing. gotta whip these skinny legs into shape.
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Old 08-24-06, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
chasing down attacks is one of the hardest things to do. i really think that cooked you more than your warm up did.

an uphill sprint? that requires a huge amount of strength. if you're not regularily grabbing top 5 in flat sprints, then it's nearly impossible to expect to win on an uphill finish. plus the near crash didn't help anything either. you might have lost a few positions right there...tough break.

good luck with strength training! i'm heading to the gym around november to do the same thing. gotta whip these skinny legs into shape.
Yeah, I think the love-tapping cost me 4-5 spots... that's just a mid-sprint estimate so it may be completely bogus.
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Old 08-24-06, 09:43 AM
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For a crit, you need to do a couple of maximal efforts in warm up. My crit warm up is 15 minutes easy, 5 minutes tempo, 5 minutes easy, 2 minutes steady state (LT), 2 minutes easy, 2 minutes steadystate into a power interval, 2 minutes rest, 2 minutes steadystate into a power interval, go race.

If you' haven't gone 10/10ths in warmups, the first time you do it out of the first corner really sucks.

For most short crits, the risk of exhausting yourself is very low, and the risk of being underpreapred for early hard efforts is high.
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Old 08-24-06, 10:30 AM
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Dr Pete - one thing I notice about your warmups (according to your Polar graphs) is that you start with the hard efforts almost right away - at least in the first 3-5 minutes. My legs seem to feel better if I warm up more slowly with a good 15-20 minutes of real easy riding before I start with the hard efforts. Even then, my first "hard" efforts are less than LT - in the tempo range, my last couple of hard efforts are harder. A lot like what merlin reccomends.

timmhaan is right on with the difficulty of bridging gaps and uphill sprints. From your race reports it sounds like you do a lot of work chasing down breaks for the whole pack. Have you ever tried getting a gap yourself and bridging up to the break? It can be tough, but at best you find yourself in a good break, and at worst you are making someone else in the pack chase you down rather than sit on your wheel.
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Old 08-24-06, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cmh
Have you ever tried getting a gap yourself and bridging up to the break? It can be tough, but at best you find yourself in a good break, and at worst you are making someone else in the pack chase you down rather than sit on your wheel.
the good doc mentioned that he has good 'gradual accelerations'. that basically means it's easy to grab his wheel and go along for the ride. a hard and abrupt jump followed by a good sprint will be the key to create a gap. i agree with what you said above...make the poor sap behind work or even better yet doc can join a breakaway and the others won't chase.
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Old 08-24-06, 11:18 AM
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I was doing structured warmups last year, this year I've taken to warming up more by "feel", 15-30 minutes. This came as a result of all the races I was doing over the course of a weekend. Sometimes I'd be good and loose, sometimes I'd be really stiff, so I let my legs decide.

In any case my warmups sort of ignored HR, instead once I was loose I'd throw in a least one effort where I actually felt the lactic start to build up, and at least a couple of sprint form efforts. I was always ready to go at the gun, so it seems to be working.
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Old 08-24-06, 02:16 PM
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Pete, I probably affected your warm ups a bit too.

I am going to post my race report after I get back from an hour easy spin.
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Old 08-24-06, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
the good doc mentioned that he has good 'gradual accelerations'. that basically means it's easy to grab his wheel and go along for the ride. a hard and abrupt jump followed by a good sprint will be the key to create a gap. i agree with what you said above...make the poor sap behind work or even better yet doc can join a breakaway and the others won't chase.
I actually was able to bridge at one point, but the break was short-lived, as it tends to be on this particular course. I attacked at the top of a descent and flew through the corner that the pack hits the brakes on, and I was able to bridge up. Shortly after that, though, there's a climb, and we were caught by the pack there.
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Old 08-24-06, 04:37 PM
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Nice race report Drpete. Listen to Vino. His results don't lie. My last race of the season is tonight.

How much of a rest after the warm up before the gun? 10 min, 1/2 hour?
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Old 08-24-06, 06:27 PM
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I can answer that question for pete. Our warm up ended less then 5 minutes before the gun.
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Old 08-24-06, 07:33 PM
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I was trying to be nice about it, but I guess the fact of the matter is that Riskus cost me the win, dammit. I just can't cover it up anymore!
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Old 08-24-06, 07:39 PM
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haha! whyiaughta
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Old 08-24-06, 07:44 PM
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Kidding--it was a fun transition from being the noob to the guy showing someone around...

It was a lot of fun. Still a couple races left this season... Just found an RR on Sep 16th...
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Old 08-24-06, 08:01 PM
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whats the RR? Figures that is the weekend I start working saturdays instead of sundays. There is a crit on the 17th i was thinking of doing.
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Old 08-24-06, 08:15 PM
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Yeah, can't make the crit on the 17th--doing the PPTC half-century with my fiancee... I figure the RR the day before will be the equalizer. It's the Murad memorial RR out of Poolesville. Info is on bikereg.com.
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Old 08-25-06, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
For most short crits, the risk of exhausting yourself is very low, and the risk of being underpreapred for early hard efforts is high.
+1.

If you're doing 40, 50, 60+ mile training rides, then a 15 or 20 mile training crit won't tax you from an endurance standpoint, and so you needn't worry that your warm-up will use up all your matches. (Unless you do something like a 90-minute 10-rep max sprint effort, or some such thing).

The general rule of thumb is, "The shorter the race, the longer and harder the warmup should be".

Each of us is different and you need to experiment a little to see what works best for you. But, personally, I need to include 3 "jumps" in my warmup so that those first couple of accelerations in the race aren't such a shock to my system.

My first jump is about 30 seconds at about 85% max heart rate. Then, full recovery.

Second jump is about 45 seconds at 90% max heart rate. Then, full recovery.

Third jump is about 60 seconds at 95% max heart rate. Then, full recovery.

After that, I'm ready to race.

YRMV.

BTW, in my opinion your finish is nothing to complain about. Any finish in the top ten is damn good. There are 3 elements that all have to come together to win a race. Fitness, experience/tactics, luck. You've achieved the first two. You can't control the last one. A bump, a mechanical, a bonehead racer ahead of you....whatever. You can't just "plan" a win. All the planets have to line up just right.

Just keep on keepin'-on.

Bob
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Old 08-25-06, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Bobby Lex
BTW, in my opinion your finish is nothing to complain about. Any finish in the top ten is damn good. There are 3 elements that all have to come together to win a race. Fitness, experience/tactics, luck. You've achieved the first two. You can't control the last one. A bump, a mechanical, a bonehead racer ahead of you....whatever. You can't just "plan" a win. All the planets have to line up just right.

Just keep on keepin'-on.

Bob
Good advice. I've just become fixated on winning a race, because I've kinda made that a goal to reach before I upgrade to the 4's, and I've lost a little perspective. You're right--it's nothing to turn my nose up at. And I've still got another crit this Sunday--might be my big chance.
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Old 08-25-06, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
Good advice. I've just become fixated on winning a race, because I've kinda made that a goal to reach before I upgrade to the 4's, and I've lost a little perspective. You're right--it's nothing to turn my nose up at. And I've still got another crit this Sunday--might be my big chance.
You could do the Chantilly crit tomorrow as well. Given that the season is almost over, it didn't fill up before registration closed. Also, by doing a 5 race rather than the B race at the training series, you won't have to deal with Jose
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Old 08-25-06, 09:36 AM
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I guess as long as I recover well saturday night, I'd be fine by Sunday morning... Looks like there are 45 guys signed up for the 5's, and 5 guys on the wait list. Think my chances of getting a spot are still OK? Guess there are always some no-shows...
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Old 08-25-06, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
I guess as long as I recover well saturday night, I'd be fine by Sunday morning... Looks like there are 45 guys signed up for the 5's, and 5 guys on the wait list. Think my chances of getting a spot are still OK? Guess there are always some no-shows...
yeah. just show up, i bet you'll get in. having people on a wait list when the field limit wasn't reached is rather peculiar.
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Old 08-25-06, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by *new*guy
yeah. just show up, i bet you'll get in. having people on a wait list when the field limit wasn't reached is rather peculiar.
Wow, looks like a hilly little bugger of a course just looking at toporoute.com... Have you raced it before? Looks like fun...
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Old 08-25-06, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
Good advice. I've just become fixated on winning a race, because I've kinda made that a goal to reach before I upgrade to the 4's, and I've lost a little perspective. You're right--it's nothing to turn my nose up at. And I've still got another crit this Sunday--might be my big chance.
I know that.

Be careful that you don't paint yourself into a corner with that goal. You can put waaaaay too much pressure on yourself, and with each race that you don't win the pressure will get even greater.

Can you imagine coming in 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd and 2nd in your next 5 races and being PISSED OFF about that, just because you didn't reach your "goal"?

Racing is supposed to be fun. Be sure to try and keep it that way.

Bob
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Old 08-25-06, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
Wow, looks like a hilly little bugger of a course just looking at toporoute.com... Have you raced it before? Looks like fun...

I think this is the first year for it. I will be working this weekend (and every weekend for a while) so my season is done.
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