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How to get better at attacking?

Old 02-11-07, 12:48 PM
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recneps
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How to get better at attacking?

How do I get better at attacking? I can attack from the back of a group at 28 mph then after about 2 miles on my own I crack and get caught. How should I train to be able to sustain 25+mph speeds on my own?
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Old 02-11-07, 01:09 PM
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get better at TT.

don't attack... keep your bullets till the end or at the sprint points.
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Old 02-11-07, 01:11 PM
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Long intervals at or just below your LT HR/power would be a good place to start... 4-5 x 6-8min with 2 minute recoveries or something like that.
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Old 02-11-07, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Turbonium
get better at TT.

don't attack... keep your bullets till the end or at the sprint points.
I'm a horrible sprinter, I'm a decent climber but a horrible sprinter. I figure lighting off a couple of matchs and going with a few miles left is a good way for me to get results.
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Old 02-11-07, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Turbonium
get better at TT.

don't attack... keep your bullets till the end or at the sprint points.
If you've got the engine but don't have the high end kick, why not go for it early and often?

But, as he said, get better at TT efforts. 10min, 20min, 5min, etc. Start them with a HARD acceleration to simulate a race and then settle in at your desired speed/HR/wattage and go as long as you can. Repeat, repeat, repeat. And then lengthen them.
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Old 02-11-07, 01:20 PM
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You need to bring your time recovery from hard efforts down. Short intervals spaced really closely together should help that. Maybe 1-2minX10, with 1 minute off between efforts. As you get better at it, integrate them into TT efforts.
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Old 02-11-07, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
As you get better at it, integrate them into TT efforts.
That sounds painful
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Old 02-11-07, 01:24 PM
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enjoy
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Old 02-11-07, 01:27 PM
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Tactically a couple of things help:

1) go absolutely as hard as possible to get a clean seperation, but then settle into something you can sustain. Power meter is helpful here, by doing the intevals outlined above, you'll find the power you can sustain,and then follow that, without a power meter do it by heart rateor perceived effort.

2) have teamates. Unless you're just in a different class than the rest of the field, or can take advantage of topography, you're unlikely to stay away without help. Youneed teamates slowing down the chase.
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Old 02-11-07, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
You need to bring your time recovery from hard efforts down. Short intervals spaced really closely together should help that. Maybe 1-2minX10, with 1 minute off between efforts. As you get better at it, integrate them into TT efforts.
+1 Another killer one is this...I can tell you it works.

15" hard sprint - 150% of FTP (functional threshold power). Just go as hard as you can for those 15 seconds if you don't have a power meter. Follow this by 15" at 50% of threshold which is sort of a cruising pace.
Keep alternating for 10 minutes. Then rest for 20-30 minutes and repeat one or two more times. this will help you sustain repeated hard efforts. Another thing you can do for attacks looks like this: 30" hard sprint, half of it out of the saddle. Then go for 3' at your threshold. Finish with a 10 second hard sprint. Then rest 6-10 minutes and repeat a couple more times.

Both these are from Hunter Allen's book, Training and Racing with a Power Meter

Ive been doing a lot of this stuff in the off season to get used to attacking and being able to make hard efforts repeatedly.
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Old 02-11-07, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
+1 Another killer one is this...I can tell you it works.

15" hard sprint - 150% of FTP (functional threshold power). Just go as hard as you can for those 15 seconds if you don't have a power meter. Follow this by 15" at 50% of threshold which is sort of a cruising pace.
Keep alternating for 10 minutes. Then rest for 20-30 minutes and repeat one or two more times. this will help you sustain repeated hard efforts. Another thing you can do for attacks looks like this: 30" hard sprint, half of it out of the saddle. Then go for 3' at your threshold. Finish with a 10 second hard sprint. Then rest 6-10 minutes and repeat a couple more times.

Both these are from Hunter Allen's book, Training and Racing with a Power Meter

Ive been doing a lot of this stuff in the off season to get used to attacking and being able to make hard efforts repeatedly.
Good workout, but some of your terminology needs to be cleaned up a bit. For those that don't have a PM, "hard sprint" is a little decieving, and not accurate when you then say 150% of FTP. A person at 300w for their FTP is not going to max out their sprint at 450w. Probably 1000w+. So, you could definitely say a hard acceleration, while remaining seated will suffice, however no need for an actual sprint.

When you first get a powermeter, it's like turning a light on in a dark room, and all sorts of information is revealed, and you really start to be able to quantify efforts. It's really hard to convey efforts to a person without a power meter accurately for me now.
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Old 02-11-07, 02:46 PM
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Attacking is kind of a mind f**k sometimes. Successful attacks I've made have been very, very hard efforts that are hard to duplicate in a non competitive environment.

I guess the best way to frame the mindset of a successful attack is ride so hard you think you're going to blow...and hold that effort until you blow up, or win. Training should duplicate those kinds of efforts.

I'll echo the short recovery periods, between efforts. You're not going to have fresh legs in a race - you want to train yourself to be able to cope with the fatigue.
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Old 02-11-07, 02:52 PM
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I've been practicing this myself. I do a 30 min TT every weds morning, as well as intervals on saturdays by sprinting from the back to the front of our massive local race training ride. It's worked pretty well.
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Old 02-11-07, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
Good workout, but some of your terminology needs to be cleaned up a bit. For those that don't have a PM, "hard sprint" is a little decieving, and not accurate when you then say 150% of FTP. A person at 300w for their FTP is not going to max out their sprint at 450w. Probably 1000w+. So, you could definitely say a hard acceleration, while remaining seated will suffice, however no need for an actual sprint.

When you first get a powermeter, it's like turning a light on in a dark room, and all sorts of information is revealed, and you really start to be able to quantify efforts. It's really hard to convey efforts to a person without a power meter accurately for me now.
I see your point. That is actually one of the problems I had with the "target power" that Hunter says people should have for some of those workouts. I'm primarily a slow-twitch person who is a definite TT type in terms of a power profile - you know, the distinct upward slope. In the first workout, Hunter says that people should aim for (I believe) a peak power of 300% of FTP in the 15" "on" portion of the workout. for me, that's extremely difficult to do and hope to complete even half of the first set of these without pooping out completely in the 15" off period. Now for some friends of mine who are primarily sprinters, they can easily peak at 300%+ of their FTP with no problem and even higher than that.

So I think what people should do when they start this workout is just go as hard as they can for 15" and then cruise fro 15". If they feel like throwing their bike away after 5' of this then they know they are putting in a good effort.
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Old 02-11-07, 03:33 PM
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How to get better at attacking? Maybe Vino would be the better one to answer this, but I will give you some of my theories that work well for me.

First, know WHEN to attack. Out of sight, out of mind so look for a curvy or tree lined area or a hill where visibility is poor. Long flat wide roads and your attack is doomed to fail because the peloton sees the carrot dangling in front. Other good places to attack are when the road narrows (people who would counterattack can't move up to counter), into a corner (many people are breaking and the peloton narrows and lengthens giving you a huge jump), or after someone has just been caught (after a prime or other attack).

Next know how you are going to attack. I usually think of attacking two ways. One, all-out, balls to the wall get 15-30 seconds and then TT until you are caught or you win. While this is impressive, you really only get a few shots at this and it can be wasteful. A second attack is to sprint away a bit, but not all out. Just enough to get a gap (and not tow the pack) but close enough where if someone else wants to, they can bridge easily. Solo flyers are nice, but rarely successful. If you can get two or three others working in a rotating paceline, you have a good shot of staying away. So don't leave those guys behind!! Plus, by doing this, you can see how skittish the peloton is. Did everyone react immediately or did they give you a little rope? Finally, if no one does bridge, you can creep away with good TT power or do a second attack (this time all out) and put a REAL gap on the group.

Finally, know what you can do. If you have great 30 min power and the average speed of the pack is 25 mph, then attack ten miles out. No one will really care that you are leaving that early meaning you will have a great chance. Again, if you have no sprint, but decent 1 minute power, attack with a mile or a kilometer to go. The sprinters won't chase because it is too early and if other people hesitate, you just ight hold on.

As for training? See the advice in other posts. And remember if you know you are not a sprinter, do NOT wait for the bunch sprint. Who cares if you attack early and crack ending up 15th, or if you get passed by the bunch sprint and end up in 15th? At least with the attack you had more guts than most of the people in the pack.

When in doubt, attack. When not in doubt, well, attack then too.
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Old 02-11-07, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell
And remember if you know you are not a sprinter, do NOT wait for the bunch sprint. Who cares if you attack early and crack ending up 15th, or if you get passed by the bunch sprint and end up in 15th? At least with the attack you had more guts than most of the people in the pack.

When in doubt, attack. When not in doubt, well, attack then too.
Absolutely! The best advice. I wasted two years in cycling figuring this out. Don't be polite, don't play by 'the rules' -- especially in Cat 4/5. It's basically a big group ride with a sprint at the end. Manipulate the race toward your strength.

I have a buddy who is an awesome TT'er but terrible sprinter. He has a very odd style of attacking which works for him. He basically 'micro attacks' -- endlessly. Eventually someone cracks who is on his wheel and he is able to get a very small advantage; however, because he is not going 'full-on' he always brings one or two guys with him. Then near the finish, once his lead is solidified, he does the same thing to the two or three guys with him, and wears them down gradually.

But that's his strength. Determine what yours is, what your attacking style is. And really commit to it. Remember, if it goes to a sprint then you're done for anyway.
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Old 02-11-07, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell
How to get better at attacking? Maybe Vino would be the better one to answer this...
I'd throw in my 2 cents, but he dissed one of my sponsors in another thread.
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Old 02-11-07, 07:22 PM
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Make sure you have a good aero position when in the drops etc.. You can either gain or give away 1-2mph at the speeds your talking about. And that makes a big difference as to how long you stay away.
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Old 02-12-07, 08:14 AM
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counter attacking someone else's move might work sometimes. just wait until they burn out, or pause for breath and then go.
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Old 02-12-07, 09:29 AM
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Solo breaks are really, really hard, and often success is as dependent on the absence of a chase as on the strength of a breakaway. Sounds overly simple, but if you want to maintain speeds of 25+mph over X amount of time, you gotta go out and ride 25+ mph over X amount of time.

Keep attacking, especially when the race is hard - if it's hard for you, it's hard for everyone.
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Old 02-12-07, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV
if it's hard for you, it's hard for everyone.
Somehow I think my "hard" threshold is significantly below that of my competitors
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Old 02-12-07, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
Somehow I think my "hard" threshold is significantly below that of my competitors

If you can finish in the pack... probably not.
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Old 02-12-07, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Smoothie104
Make sure you have a good aero position when in the drops etc.. You can either gain or give away 1-2mph at the speeds your talking about. And that makes a big difference as to how long you stay away.
seriously? 1-2 mph?
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Old 02-12-07, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
seriously? 1-2 mph?
There was a thread not long ago talking about aero stuff, and in the 25-30mph range going to the drops saved like 60 watts or something ridiculous, so that sounds about right if the information was true...
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Old 02-12-07, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
Long intervals at or just below your LT HR/power would be a good place to start... 4-5 x 6-8min with 2 minute recoveries or something like that.

Dude, that's not a long interval, not even close.

If you are doing intervals at or just below LT, so 100-95% of threshold they should be at least 15min long, and up to an hour depending on how much pain you want. 90-95% threshold you should do for 30-90minutes straight through (SST)
 

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