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Want to race but....

Old 04-27-07, 05:13 PM
  #1  
BudFox
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Want to race but....

Please be kind because this is a serious question... I've been riding for a little over a year in the SF Bay area and would like to try racing. My problem is that I only ride in the afternoons/evenings. I've tried getting up to ride in the mornings but my body just won't perform that early, especially without a full meal and I can't get much food down until lunch time. On top of that, I'm simply not a morning person, partially due to chronic insomnia. Also, I can't live without coffee in the mornings, which sends my heart rate through the roof if I get on the bike within 4 hours of drinking it.

Am I just not cut out for the lifestyle and schedule required for racing? Any advice for changing a lifestyle that's doesn't seem to be totally compatible with my growing passion for cycling?
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Old 04-27-07, 05:27 PM
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Duke of Kent
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Aside for the occasional long ride on the weekends or easy rides with the parents, I've never been on a ride before noon in my life. I'm a moderately successful Cat3 looking to be a Cat2 by the end of the summer. There are plenty of races that aren't in the morning on the weekend, but these will be predominantly crits. Caffeine, at least for me, is good; it does exactly what you says it does to you. It gets me primed to race.
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Old 04-27-07, 05:38 PM
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I sorta have the same problem....an "early" ride for me is like 10 a.m....and all the Cat 5 races around here seem to start at like 8 a.m., which sucks.

Oddly enough, when I was in my teens, I used to LIVE for 4 a.m. rides when there was nobody else out on the roads. Maybe I should start doing those again this summer.
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Old 04-27-07, 05:56 PM
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The Cat5 racing by me starts at 6:00 am, which means getting up by 4:30 at the latest.
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Old 04-27-07, 06:01 PM
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Check some of the local clubs. I know San Jose Bicycle club has tuesday night crits. There may be one closer to you. TeamSanJose.Org is thier site and they also have links. Check the ALto Velo group also.
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Old 04-27-07, 06:09 PM
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You can get used to eating more early in the day. It's also possible to train yourself to deal with a different sleep schedule, but your insomnia complicates that part.
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Old 04-30-07, 08:36 AM
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You trained you self for the lifestyle you have now, you can train your self for a new one that will more closely match your new goals.
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Old 04-30-07, 08:40 AM
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week night twighlight races sound like the ticket for you. I know they do a series at infineon raceway and I am sure there are more in the area.
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Old 04-30-07, 08:43 AM
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You need to practice getting up in the morning. Is it possible with your location and work schedule to commute by bike to work? That would be ideal assuming you start work in the morning.
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Old 04-30-07, 10:14 AM
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Bobby Lex
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Originally Posted by BudFox
Am I just not cut out for the lifestyle and schedule required for racing?
Sell your bike gear. Take up golfing.

Seriously.

Bob
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Old 04-30-07, 01:16 PM
  #11  
VosBike
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got a track near you?
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Old 04-30-07, 01:48 PM
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Keep trying. Hop on a trainer for 30 minutes every morning before work and get the body used to working early.
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Old 04-30-07, 01:57 PM
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If you're nourished and rested, get over it. Your body doesn't know you're tired. If you warm up, your fitness will show -- the rest is just a mental block. I've shown up to races feeling like absolute crap, but I went through the motions and next thing I knew I was top three again.
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Old 05-04-07, 07:57 PM
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I sympathize, though I don't have these problems to nearly the same degree. I'm still just looking to get into racing, but I have noticed significant gains by making small changes here and there. Consistency is key.

I used to drink a beer or two or a couple glasses of wine every night with dinner. Cutting alcohol down to once a week has helped me sleep and feel much better. Eating more often and smaller meals during the day means I'll eat less at dinner, which again helps with energy during the day, sleeping, and eating in the morning (especially if I eat dinner earlier rather than later).

Recently I've started planning out all my meals in advance tabulating what I plan to and actually eat (sounds like a lot of work, but just make a spreadsheet, takes no time at all and helps remind me to eat regularly - I had major not-eating-enough problems. Burning +4000Cal daily, but only eating 1500Cal, a total mess...) I make sure to consume little to no caffeine after lunch. I drink herbal tea and take melatonin occasionally to help me sleep.

My riding schedule used to be all over the place, and it still is a little bit, but I've got it down a little better. Every ride has a purpose and I try to get every ride done before noon that way I don't procrastinate the rest of the day away thinking about riding.

Check out this ride in Golden Gate park on Tuesdays at 6:00 that I just found out about - I haven't made it out yet (school/work), but I plan on doing it regularly to improve my overall speed.
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