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Road Race; 2nd attempt; open to your opinions

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Road Race; 2nd attempt; open to your opinions

Old 05-05-08, 11:58 PM
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Red Rider
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Road Race; 2nd attempt; open to your opinions

My first was the Wente Vineyards classic; I was 14 of 19 in my category. I felt good about my performance since it was better than the previous 4 crits. I still have much to learn and much training to experience.

I want to know heow you experienced racers plan and train for RRs. I have one on Mother's Day (Berkeley Hills RR) and I'd love some opinions/feedback on the course, as well as ideas as to how to attack the 3 Bears. I'm coachless; despite being on a team, I have help but not enough specificity to be of use.

Thanks in advance for your help. My plan is to ride my guts out and the results -- que sera, sera. If I kick *ss fine. If not, I'll wallow in the Pcad tarpit of suckage. Gawd spare me that.
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Old 05-06-08, 05:43 AM
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I'm no good at road races but I know guys who are. They are all very good climbers. Go uphill at blazing speeds and it'll be hard to not get dropped. As to how to climb? It's partly genetic (need a good threshold) but it's also being lightweight.

Some good road racers pipe up please.

cdr
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Old 05-06-08, 05:52 AM
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Power to weight is key.
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Old 05-06-08, 06:38 AM
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Congrats on the race improvements!

The biggest fitness indicator of race capability would be functional threshold power. I used to focus on the high intensity stuff (sprints, 1m intervals, and VO2Max intervals). Since I've switched to more long intervals and tempo rides, my race performance has improved.

Racing as a woman is different unless you're lucky enough to live in an area with a lot of female racers. I coached a local Cat 2 woman for a while, and there was little need to discuss big pack tactics -- she was ALWAYS off in a 3-woman break. So, we worked specifically on what it would take to beat those other two women.

For your situation, I'd recommend continuing to work on FTP development: threshold and tempo workouts. Get some VO2Max training (like 5x5m intervals) in there. When you find yourself finishing closer to the front, start to work in some sprints and shorter intervals.

EDIT: Also, take a look at your limiters. What's happening in these races? (gaps, drafting too far back, nervous in the corners, surges getting away from you, steady losses on climbs...???)

If you want to take it a step further and invest some time in your plan, buy Joe Friel's Training Bible and read that a couple times. I still have yet to create a season-long plan, but that book is still really helpful.

Last edited by waterrockets; 05-06-08 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 05-06-08, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
I want to know heow you experienced racers plan and train for RRs. I have one on Mother's Day (Berkeley Hills RR) and I'd love some opinions/feedback on the course, as well as ideas as to how to attack the 3 Bears.
Find out who is strong, and find his wheel. Knowing who is strong and who isn't is a HUGE advantage.

Good luck!

... Brad
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Old 05-06-08, 08:15 AM
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Assuming you are not 20+lbs overweight.. having pretty high FTP and technique are the keys to hill climbing. Saying power to weight is to general as one could be bad ass for 1 minute but suck for 20min efforts.
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Old 05-06-08, 08:33 AM
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I raced on a team with a couple of cat 3/4 women last year and the general consensus was the races seem to be a promenade followed by a drag race. Do as much effort as necessary to stay with the group on the climbs.

I haven't done the Berkeley hills race and wont be this year(3's are full) but the climbs are not too bad from what I hear as a non-climber. It is a loop so use visual keys to let yourself know when the climbs are coming and where the finish line is. If you feel like your are getting gapped on the hills then make sure to go to the front just before the climb(*not pull the group up it*) and allow yourself to drift back as the stronger climbers go forward. Ideally you should summit with the group instead of off the back of it chasing to make contact.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jrennie View Post
I raced on a team with a couple of cat 3/4 women last year and the general consensus was the races seem to be a promenade followed by a drag race. Do as much effort as necessary to stay with the group on the climbs.
I noticed that at Wente and Orosi where I passed and was passed by women's fields, sometimes repeatedly (I raced masters). They'll go real slow sometimes and real fast other times. That's good if you can get away. I saw that at Orosi, the lead woman dropped the leading pack of 6 on the climb and soloed 20+ miles in.

Berkeley is like Wente only the climbs are even shorter. To train for this you need to do short hard climbing intervals.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:41 AM
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The bears loop is a special thing. 2 real climbs each time around, and a bunch of rollers. I would bet it's going to shatter on the 2nd climb. Do everything you can to find a wheel for the descent -- you want those parts to recover (coming down papa bear you'll be doing much more than 40mph), not have to pedal to catch up.
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Old 05-06-08, 11:54 PM
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Ah, another reason to <3 BF! Many thanks for your feedback and comments. Very helpful, esp. WR.

I've been working hill repeats (hors category hills, fyi) since before that race; I'll do at least two more before Sunday's race.

I have a heart rate monitor that I don't use (found it too limiting) and a CatEye; no other input besides RPE to track my output. If I continue to race I'll get a PowerTap and a coach. For the rest of this season I'll rely on guts and BF racers' opinions. Gawd help me.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:41 AM
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Hey Chick, ask Aaron. He raced the TTT on that course a couple months back. He will have some good advice for you.
Later !!
Brandy
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Old 05-07-08, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
I have a heart rate monitor that I don't use (found it too limiting)
Just curious... how does your HRM limit you?
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Old 05-07-08, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by recursive View Post
Just curious... how does your HRM limit you?
I see 184 and slow down. My max (field-tested) is 191. I fear the heart attack.
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Old 05-07-08, 03:37 PM
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Scouting the course out ahead of time will help you ride smarter. When to conserve, when to go for it. If you can, ride it ahead of time, if not, try to drive a lap as you arrive that day so at least you get a look at it.
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