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My first race. Advice?

Old 02-17-07, 10:45 AM
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Thor05
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My first race. Advice?

This is the course for my first road race. It's not till April. Any advice would be welcome.

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Old 02-17-07, 12:48 PM
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Whats the scale? How many laps? Wheres the start/finish? Need much more info.
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Old 02-17-07, 12:54 PM
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First race? Work on intervals for the next few weeks. Start out easier, but build up to 1-minute all out with short recoveries, like 1min on/1min off. Those rollers will begin to suck pretty bad after a few laps...

Then show up on race day, hang on for as long as you can, and have fun.
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Old 02-17-07, 01:01 PM
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http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=269178

oh yeah, as Dr. Pete says, HAVE FUN! At the end of the day, that's really what it's all about.
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Old 02-17-07, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
Whats the scale? How many laps? Wheres the start/finish? Need much more info.
The cat 5 race is 5 laps. It starts with the steep uphill.
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Old 02-17-07, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=269178

oh yeah, as Dr. Pete says, HAVE FUN! At the end of the day, that's really what it's all about.

Great thread thanks for the info
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Old 02-17-07, 02:14 PM
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Advice? Well, to keep it simple...don't fall, don't cause anyone else to fall, arrive early enough to warm up, hydrate properly, and don't forget to bring your bike.
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Old 02-17-07, 04:17 PM
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in addition to intervals, get out and do some fast group rides between now and then.

When you get to race day, make sure you are thouroghly warmed up. Odds are strong that the Cat 5 race will start out hard up the first climb, so you need to do some maximal efforts in warm up.
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Old 02-17-07, 08:55 PM
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The intervals practice sounds like a good idea. I've also read that it's a good idea to taper off riding intensity the week before the race to save an extra bit of energy for race day. That doesn't mean don't ride at all, just don't do intense intervals a few days before the race so you can fully recover.
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Old 02-17-07, 08:58 PM
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I did my first race today and it wasn't bad at all. It just feels like a regular group ride with a fight for first place at the end. My advice is to relax and try to have some fun... and watch out for the scary guys!
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Old 02-17-07, 09:51 PM
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Try to get as much sleep as possible during the week before the race. You may not get much the night before.
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Old 02-17-07, 10:42 PM
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Don't get in the back of the pack, you may get seperated from the leaders and have to chase 'em down. Try not to get "boxed in" in the center of the peloton, you will be unable to avoid big crashes. Don't waste energy attacking unless you have a team of some sort to thwart chasers, or happen to find like-minded and fast guys to ride off the front with. I would be suprised to see these elevation changes break up the field in a short (under 60 or 70 miles) road race. More likely, they will just shed the heavy or weaker riders off the back. Field sprinting is beyond any sage advice; sharpen your teeth the night before and just get the frenzy going at the exact right moment. Don't make any adjusts to your bike the day before or morning of the race without riding it quite a bit first. Don't over train in the week before the race- you're not going to gain any speed or fitness, you want to be fresh on raceday. I strongly agree with the interval training.

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Old 02-17-07, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by wrote4luck
I did my first race today and it wasn't bad at all. It just feels like a regular group ride with a fight for first place at the end. My advice is to relax and try to have some fun... and watch out for the scary guys!
Wait till you hit some climbs in a 4/5 race, or do your first crit. That's not a relaxing time. Good job today, though. Nice race report in the other thread.
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Old 02-18-07, 12:37 AM
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They're going to shake off as many people as possible on that first climb. Hang on for dear life, even though you'll think you're going to blow up. After the first lap, your adrenaline will kick in and the pace will slacken a little, until the last lap of course.
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Old 02-18-07, 02:20 AM
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I'd expect top riders to attempt to force a selection on the climb just out of the gate and at the 4 mile mark on every lap. The last lap the pace over the 4 mile hill is going to be brutal.
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Old 02-18-07, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by NomadVW
I'd expect top riders to attempt to force a selection on the climb just out of the gate and at the 4 mile mark on every lap. The last lap the pace over the 4 mile hill is going to be brutal.
Bingo. There are going to be attacks and counter attacks up that hill on the last lap. Anyone whose strength is climbing and or TTing is going to try and get away to avoid the field sprint.

Heck, I make my best power in the 5 minute range - and I'd launch up that sucker with everything I had
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Old 02-18-07, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
in addition to intervals, get out and do some fast group rides between now and then.

When you get to race day, make sure you are thouroghly warmed up. Odds are strong that the Cat 5 race will start out hard up the first climb, so you need to do some maximal efforts in warm up.

How much time do you usually give yourself between the warmup and the start of the race?
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Old 02-18-07, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Thor05
How much time do you usually give yourself between the warmup and the start of the race?
Some of that will be out of your control as start time will be dependent upon whether the races are running "on time" or have been delayed due to prior fields running over, or whether your start/finish is in a different spot than your staging area, etc. Ideally you want a minimum amount of time between your warm up and start. However, especially since this is your 1st race, and nerves are going to be high if you're anything like me, plan to finish your warmup ~30 mins. before race start time. That way you'll have ample time to get your warm up stuff put away, race stuff all together, go to the porta john 1 last time, and hopefully be at the front of the group in the staging area so you start the race in the front group of riders as opposed to mid/back of pack.
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Old 02-18-07, 06:25 AM
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I 've been doing some intervals on the trainer, we still have several feet of snow. will a month on the road we the local group be enough time. I use the trainer 1-2 hrs a day 5 or 6 day's a week.
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Old 02-18-07, 06:30 AM
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Assuming you're riding against all the other snowbound New Yorkers, you have to assume that they have the same training time available you have.
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Old 02-18-07, 09:21 AM
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There are a ton of "my first race" threads on this board. Do a search and soak in as much info as possible. There's a lot of good advice and discussion here.

It takes a certain level of fitness to be able to hang with the pack in a race. If you don't have that, then all the advice in the world won't be able to help you, because you'll be off the back. But once you have that minimum fitness to hang, the rest is about racing tactics. i.e. the decisions you make during the race.

If I could give you only one bit of advice, it would be to draft, draft, draft. The draft is your friend. The winner of the race is most often the guy who did the least work during the race, not the "stud" who did the most work.

Bob
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Old 02-18-07, 10:36 AM
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I've been told to get a short warm-up for road races and just do a slow speed build up then a few intervals to get the heart going, but I always struggled with the first few miles of the race that way.
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Old 02-18-07, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
I've been told to get a short warm-up for road races and just do a slow speed build up then a few intervals to get the heart going, but I always struggled with the first few miles of the race that way.
The general rule of thumb is the longer the race, the shorter the warmup. Crits are relatively short, and they usually go balls-to-the-wall right from the start. Road races generally start at a reasonable pace, and build from there.

But, there are always exceptions. Last year in my very last Cat.5 race, I was at the starting line of a 35 mile road race with 50 other riders. The air temp was 95 degrees, so over the asphalt it was probably well over 100 degrees. Humidity was 80%+. The heat was going to make things brutal.

While the starter was going through the opening comments ("...yellow line rule...7 laps...drink a lot...blah blah blah...") I noticed several of the racers nervously tapping their shifters, their legs shaking like they had restless leg syndrome. I just knew that when the gun went off, those guys were going to fly off the front like bats out of hell.

So, I calmly speak up and say, "Hey guys. This is a road race. It's hot out there. No need to go like hell at the start."

A young voice from the back yells back, "Did you hear that? He didn't warm up. Go hard! We'll drop him!"

Sure enough, when the gun goes off, these guys hit 29 mph in the first 100 yards and held it for pretty much the whole first lap (7 miles). By then, 1/2 the field had been dropped. Even though the pace slowed after that, the field never came back together and those 25 survivors finished in a bunch sprint.

Lesson learned. Even in road races, get in a good warm-up, just in case some boneheads aren't aware of the "rule of thumb" for warming up in road races.

Bob
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Old 02-18-07, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Bobby Lex
The general rule of thumb is the longer the race, the shorter the warmup. Crits are relatively short, and they usually go balls-to-the-wall right from the start. Road races generally start at a reasonable pace, and build from there.

But, there are always exceptions. Last year in my very last Cat.5 race, I was at the starting line of a 35 mile road race with 50 other riders. The air temp was 95 degrees, so over the asphalt it was probably well over 100 degrees. Humidity was 80%+. The heat was going to make things brutal.

While the starter was going through the opening comments ("...yellow line rule...7 laps...drink a lot...blah blah blah...") I noticed several of the racers nervously tapping their shifters, their legs shaking like they had restless leg syndrome. I just knew that when the gun went off, those guys were going to fly off the front like bats out of hell.

So, I calmly speak up and say, "Hey guys. This is a road race. It's hot out there. No need to go like hell at the start."

A young voice from the back yells back, "Did you hear that? He didn't warm up. Go hard! We'll drop him!"

Sure enough, when the gun goes off, these guys hit 29 mph in the first 100 yards and held it for pretty much the whole first lap (7 miles). By then, 1/2 the field had been dropped. Even though the pace slowed after that, the field never came back together and those 25 survivors finished in a bunch sprint.

Lesson learned. Even in road races, get in a good warm-up, just in case some boneheads aren't aware of the "rule of thumb" for warming up in road races.

Bob
LOL

this post just made my day. thanks!
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Old 02-18-07, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Bobby Lex
There are a ton of "my first race" threads on this board. Do a search and soak in as much info as possible. There's a lot of good advice and discussion here.

It takes a certain level of fitness to be able to hang with the pack in a race. If you don't have that, then all the advice in the world won't be able to help you, because you'll be off the back. But once you have that minimum fitness to hang, the rest is about racing tactics. i.e. the decisions you make during the race.

If I could give you only one bit of advice, it would be to draft, draft, draft. The draft is your friend. The winner of the race is most often the guy who did the least work during the race, not the "stud" who did the most work.

Bob
Thanks, I have been looking at the other threads. I think I have the fitness, it's the tactics I not to sure about.
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