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Old 07-01-07, 04:04 PM   #1
Mennitt
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Race Pace

I plan on entering my first race within the next month or two. (Local one) I'm still new to cycling and can only hold maybe 19/hr for like 50miles. What is a good pace one should be able to hold for a race and finish somewhere in the middle?
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Old 07-01-07, 04:08 PM   #2
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As hard as you can go for 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes and 20 minutes.

Average speed is meaningless, what matters is your ability to recover from hard efforts.

For the intervals described above, try doing 10-15 reps of the 1st and 2nd, 4-8 of the 3rd, 3-5 of the 4th and 1-3 of the last one. Preferably on different days, and not more than two to three times per week

You'll get faster...

Racing is a lot like a fast group ride where people are attacking and recovering, and attacking again.
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Old 07-01-07, 04:32 PM   #3
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^+1

And then when you get dropped, it's like an all-out time trial.
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Old 07-01-07, 04:34 PM   #4
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^ then it's all over but the crying. J/k, the only way to know is to do it. Good luck and have fun.
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Old 07-01-07, 04:43 PM   #5
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+2 on what Snuff said.
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Old 07-01-07, 05:11 PM   #6
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^ then it's all over but the crying. J/k, the only way to know is to do it. Good luck and have fun.
+1 Just get out there and race. If you feel comfortable in a pack on group rides then just sign up an see what happens. Try a lot of different types of races. You might be surprised with what you find out.

I am not a crit rider by any stretch of the imagination as most BF'ers can probably tell from my comments and jokes about crits. However, I decided to sign up for a somewhat technical crit yesterday since it was practically in my neighborhood and it was in the afternoon. I mean come on, I can sleep in and still travel less than 20 minutes to get to a race? I figured I'd be crazy for not giving it a go. There was a 180 degree turn right after the startline, so I figured not being a sprinter I'd get shelled pretty quickly and dropped on the first lap. Surprisingly, I hung on for about 5 laps of this before the pack started to separate. So that was progress and I also wasn't last either.

This taught me one thing, jsut go out and try it! You never know what will happen. I also learned the value of pre-riding the course, talking to other people about strategy and was able to ride smart and stick on longer because of it. Had I not done these things I probably would have got shelled a lot sooner. Not too shabby for a slow-twitcher.


and if you do get dropped, like someone else said, it turns into a TT. Push yourself and get a good workout in. That's another reason why I have thepowertap on even during races. I don't necessarily look at it, but I can dissect the data afterwards to learn about how i can push myself during races and I can also figure out what sorts of things make me crack so I can work on weaknesses.
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Old 07-01-07, 05:22 PM   #7
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When the pack drops you on a corner/hill/whatever and you're within 50 meters of the back of it, stand up, hammer it out and catch back onto the pack. 20 seconds of pain is better than soloing off the back.
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Old 07-01-07, 05:45 PM   #8
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I would make sure that the first race you did was a road race. I did my first crit last week and I'm sure glad it wasn't my first bike race ever. Crits are a whole nother animal. I'm practicing both my bike handling and my top-end power before I do one of those again.
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Old 07-01-07, 06:18 PM   #9
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Crits suck. It's all the pain of a road race condensed into an hour.
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Old 07-01-07, 06:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
When the pack drops you on a corner/hill/whatever and you're within 50 meters of the back of it, stand up, hammer it out and catch back onto the pack. 20 seconds of pain is better than soloing off the back.
+1...ya gotta anticipate this, especially if you're on the back (as I learned the hard way). This is why I try to stay near the front now, except of course when those 12% grades come and my legs and lungs say **** this, you better slow down now.
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Old 07-01-07, 06:49 PM   #11
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If you can do 19 mph for 50 miles, you won't be embarrased. Do a race. That's a good way to learn. Like the others say, pace varies an awful lot during a race. The important thing is getting the experience of the first one. Then you'll be able to see what you need to do to get more competitive.

My guess is you don't practice on doing short bursts of speed, either to sprint away from others or catch a pack if you lose contact.

But do one and learn.
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Old 07-01-07, 07:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcheung
Crits suck. It's all the pain of a road race condensed into an hour.
Crits rock. It's all the pain of a road race condensed into an hour.

But seriously to the OP, most races here in the states are crits...which also means most training/new racer races are crits... I suggest looking for a local training crit series (everybody seems to have one) and give it a go a few times. Since it's a training crit, they'll be less stress and if you get dropped, you can sit out a lap and hop back on the train when it comes back around. Doing a series of them is a good way to test your current racing fitness and measure your progress. And remember - it's not always a lack of fitness that will get you dropped, sometime it's just not having good pack skills. Going back to the same course is a good way to practice these skills. Training crits can also get you over the some of fear of crashing because you'll prob experience your first race crash here . Finally, it's a great way to meet other racers since you'll see the same people there week after week.

Last edited by bitterken; 07-01-07 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 07-01-07, 10:02 PM   #13
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I did my first race last month. I was quickly shelled, not due to fitness. I simply didn't have the experience to anticipate the proper pack positioning and tactics. In my third race, I placed 5th. Don't set your expectations too high. Spend every ounce of energy you can to stay with the pack. Once your off the back, it's nearly impossible to catch the pack. Ultimately, who cares if your 20th, 30th, last or DNF, it's all a learning process.
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Old 07-01-07, 10:27 PM   #14
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+1 to average speed being meaningless. Just prepare yourself for surges, stay relaxed, and learn as much as you can.

Last Tuesday, our Tuesday Nigher only averaged 23.5, but it was MUCH tougher than last month when we averaged 27mph... there was a ton of wind last Tuesday, and there was a lot of carnage. I barely hung in with the top 10, as everyone else was shelled one at a time over the first hour.
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Old 07-02-07, 04:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcheung
When the pack drops you on a corner/hill/whatever and you're within 50 meters of the back of it, stand up, hammer it out and catch back onto the pack. 20 seconds of pain is better than soloing off the back.
PS - Don't stop when you "catch onto the BACK of the pack." Hammer until you're comfortably up the pack, or else when you take a breath, you'll be back out the back, and be repeating this interval session for the length of the race.
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Old 07-02-07, 04:38 AM   #16
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My last crit average speed was 23.2 mph with 700 feet of climbing in the 36 minutes/14 miles, and this was cat five. I finished 5th so I figure it was pretty close to the average speed of the entire pack. Although it may seem fast, as everyone else said its like group rides. Group rides fly because people work hard for 30 seconds, then fall back in the draft and recover and let someone else do it. This results in an average speed much faster then what any one rider in the group could have done solo.
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Old 07-02-07, 06:24 AM   #17
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A good pace to finish in the middle is as fast as everyone else around you.
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