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How Long Do I Need To Train?

Old 04-17-09, 12:13 AM
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audioslavery
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How Long Do I Need To Train?

So I just did my first crit on Sunday and I DNF'ed after 31 mins (26 or so with the pack in a 40 minute crit)

I started racing on a whim after BF told me to start ASAP. I trained for about 2 weeks prior to the race. I just wanted a measure as to where I am physically.

My next race is May 17th and it is the same exact course and time. If I train regularly (5-6 days a week) with a semi-structured training plan, will I be ready in time to race in the CAT 4/5 race again?

Last edited by audioslavery; 04-17-09 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 04-17-09, 12:50 AM
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You'd have to define "train". Just riding will make you competitive more slowly than having an actual training schedule. But if you held in for 30 of 40 minutes on your first race, I think there's a good shot that you will make it to the end of your next one. Now you know how hard you need to go and how painful it can be when the leaders want to shake the newbies like you. Try to get yourself into a good spot in the pack to conserve energy, and make it your goal to not go off the back unless your legs just refuse to move anymore.
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Old 04-17-09, 03:24 AM
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I have Friel's book here, I am taking 18 units in college right now so it has become my last priority to sort out this book yet. I have basically been doing 1-2 hr rides with a mix of some 20-30 second efforts (usually standing sprints at 100% of my ability. There is no regulation to the sprints of course, kinda just a compulsive thing along the rides. To combat laziness this I have been climbing a lot to keep my effort up.

I have been doing mostly moderate paced rides (155 bpm give or take) every time I go out, some nights I'll do intervals, but only minute long intervals with about 2-3 off for about 30 minutes.

I guess my issue is a lack of structure more than anything, I need to crack Friel's book open this weekend. Is it realistic to expect a top 50 finish by my next time out? I don't want to DNF with my family onlooking this time! heh

I'm really hungry for it, I just need a basic plan of what I can do in 4-5 weeks to be prepared!

My last 2 days have looked like this: (Definitely not 100% of my Cardio ability!)

2:05 Avg HR 152 BPM Avg speed 13.8 Ascended 1350 ft
:52 Avg HR 155 BPM Avg Speed 15.4 Ascended 702 ft

An example of my intervals:
1:22 (minutes:seconds here) .64 miles Avg HR 174 BPM Max HR 187 BPM Avg Speed 27.2 MPH Max Speed 31.3 MPH

Am I just underworking myself? Oh and for what it's worth, age 18.

Last edited by audioslavery; 04-17-09 at 03:30 AM.
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Old 04-17-09, 05:39 AM
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Do the following intervals:

15 minute warm-up.

20s on, 10s off, repeat 8 times.

Rest 10 minutes.

Repeat intervals.

Rest 10 minutes.

Repeat intervals.

"On" means as hard as you can go. It's only 20 seconds, so you can do it. Off means soft pedal.

It'll hurt like hell, but it's a good way to get stronger for your next crit.
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Old 04-17-09, 05:57 AM
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^ what kensuf said. Tho I would do it as 8-10min blocks with 10s "on" and 20s "off" with 5min between blocks.
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Old 04-17-09, 06:27 AM
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IMO, you need to find some fast group rides. This will force your body to make the adaptations you're looking for. Does your school have a cycling team that you can ride with?
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Old 04-17-09, 07:16 AM
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Specificity is great training; fast group rides and more crits will help you stay onto the pack.
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Old 04-17-09, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
Do the following intervals:

15 minute warm-up.

20s on, 10s off, repeat 8 times.

Rest 10 minutes.

Repeat intervals.

Rest 10 minutes.

Repeat intervals.

"On" means as hard as you can go. It's only 20 seconds, so you can do it. Off means soft pedal.

It'll hurt like hell, but it's a good way to get stronger for your next crit.
If the OP has long-term racing goals for 2009, (i.e. doing more races after his 5-17 race) he might be better off saving Tabata-type training for the weeks leading up to his most important race of his season, not just his second race of the season.

I would have him getting progressively stronger steadily during the entire season, not peaking in May.

After doing a month of Tabata intervals he's going to be pretty much trashed for quite some time.

Bob
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Old 04-17-09, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Hocam View Post
Specificity is great training; fast group rides and more crits will help you stay onto the pack.
1+ IMO, just ride.

To get from the level you are now to the level where you want to be, it's enough to just be ride with fast groups, have fun, and gain race experience. That will be all the training you need. Don't read Joel Friel, don't get a power tap, don't worry about your heart rate...yet
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Old 04-17-09, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by audioslavery View Post
So I just did my first crit on Sunday and I DNF'ed after 31 mins (26 or so with the pack in a 40 minute crit)

...
Have you identified what went bad for you?

Let's see... In my 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 13th and 14th crits I found that I was not prepared for the initial pace and subsequent surges after every turn. Since the races were only 30 to 45 minutes, I have spent alot of time doing interval/intensity type training. I still suck.

Do what kensuf said.
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Old 04-17-09, 08:10 AM
  #11  
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One thing that I found that helped me was to lower my cadence just a bit... this lowered my heart rate and kept me from hitting the redline early in the race.


Good luck.
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Old 04-17-09, 08:35 AM
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Group rides will help your fitness. Most people can go harder when they are in a group than when they are by themselves doing intervals. But more importantly, group rides can teach you positioning and how to read pack dynamics. Knowing how to position yourself and what to react to will help keep you from wasting energy.
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Old 04-17-09, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by audioslavery View Post

My next race is May 17th and it is the same exact course and time.
The May race is actually on a shorter course with less turns. It is in the same business park. The shorter course will change the race a little bit. It is fun and it's nice to not do the same course every time. Good luck.
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Old 04-17-09, 08:45 AM
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Since you're in the area, for fast group rides I suggest the Rose Bowl Ride Tues/Thu at 6:00pm, and the Montrose Ride leaving Descanso Gardens at 8:00am Saturdays. On the Montrose ride, you get a good 30 mile workout, and then turn your guts inside out when they reach the first hill of the ride. Go ahead and blow yourself up there because it's only 5 miles to go. Then as a newbie, you have an incentive to keep a decent pace so you don't lose sight of the other stragglers showing you where to turn to get to the finish.
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Old 04-17-09, 09:00 AM
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Do 5x5's as well.
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Old 04-17-09, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
Do the following intervals:

15 minute warm-up.

20s on, 10s off, repeat 8 times.

Rest 10 minutes.

Repeat intervals.

Rest 10 minutes.

Repeat intervals.

"On" means as hard as you can go. It's only 20 seconds, so you can do it. Off means soft pedal.

It'll hurt like hell, but it's a good way to get stronger for your next crit.
I think that is the first time I've seen anyone recommend mutliple tabatas in ome block. In everything I've read on it, after the first one, you should be so blown you can barely do your 5 min cooldown.
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Old 04-17-09, 01:01 PM
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ausioslavery: do what urbanknight said.

fatallightning: no kidding, I can barely do 8, much less 3 sets!
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Old 04-17-09, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Bobby Lex View Post
If the OP has long-term racing goals for 2009, (i.e. doing more races after his 5-17 race) he might be better off saving Tabata-type training for the weeks leading up to his most important race of his season, not just his second race of the season.
When it's your second race ever, every race is the most important one!
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Old 04-17-09, 01:09 PM
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2 sets of 6x2min V02s w/ 2min rests.

Warm up 15mins
Do a small 5min effort semi-hard
5min recovery
6x2mins w/ 2min rests
20 min recovery
6x2min w/ 2min rests
20 min recovery
20 min tempo
15 min cooldown

You could also throw the 20 min tempo between the V02s sets. It may prepare you better for the end of the race surges that usually occur.

My races are like so:
All out. Weeding the field.
Calm down a bit. Maybe go after some primes hither and yon. Chase a few breaks.
All out again when laps are counted down.
Gut buster finish.
Cool down. Pull off course. Make excuses. Piss yourself off. Eat. Go home.
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Old 04-17-09, 01:23 PM
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You just started. Just riding your bike a lot is going to give you huge gains. Save the structured intervals for later, or you'll start hating cycling before you really get to try it.

A structured plan consisting of goal volume and intensity would be fine, but I wouldn't go crazy with intervals yet. Finding a fast group ride would be a great idea though.
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Old 04-17-09, 01:24 PM
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Just ride a lot, with a little structure, have fun, and prepare your family for a DNF. Racing is hard and you don't always win. You don't always finish with the pack.

My opinion: if you are getting dropped, this is a base fitness thing. Do 2x20min on/5min off intervals twice a week for the rest of the season. Each interval will hurt like a mo-fo by the end; they are all out efforts that you can hold for 20 minutes. At your stage in the game, this will raise all the ships and make you not get dropped and will probably put you in contention at the finish.

I think of it like sharpening a knife. You start with the rough grindstone. You stay with that for a year or so. Then you start in with finer and finer grindstones to get a really fine edge. The roughest grindstone is to just get miles. That's not to get an edge at all; that's just to shape the blade. The next finer grindstone is to train "functional threshold power," or the maximum effort you can put out for an hour. That's where the 2x20min intervals come in. If you have some natural sprinting ability, this will take you through the Cat4's and into the 3's. This puts an edge on the blade and takes you from a recreational rider to a racer.

After that, you can start in on the shorter 1,2,3 minute intervals to further refine your fitness. But you aren't there yet.
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Old 04-17-09, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
You just started. Just riding your bike a lot is going to give you huge gains. Save the structured intervals for later, or you'll start hating cycling before you really get to try it.

A structured plan consisting of goal volume and intensity would be fine, but I wouldn't go crazy with intervals yet. Finding a fast group ride would be a great idea though.
Oh, I thought he was a pro.

That's what I get for not reading everything.
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Old 04-17-09, 01:55 PM
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+1 on the fast group ride. Not only will it improve your fitness, but you'll learn how to conserve energy, ride a paceline and other skills that you won't learn riding alone.

Good luck in your race.
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Old 04-17-09, 02:04 PM
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+2 on the group ride. There is a fast group ride in town that I first tried right around when I started racing, and I got snapped off the back the first two times I did it. I just couldn't keep dealing with the 30+ mph surges and I wasn't strong enough to ride further up. Now I can go out and do that ride and sit in the middle of the pack and it feels like a recovery ride...

hehe, I just looked at the data from this weekend where I was sitting in on the same stretch where I was dropped when I started. It was 24mph average for 18 minutes with an average power of 160W and an average HR that was only 80% of my LT.
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Old 04-17-09, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
Just riding your bike a lot is going to give you huge gains.
I must say that doesn't apply to everyone. When I "just ride a lot" I actually start to get a little slower and even start coming down with colds. I probably just have terrible genes, but if I'm not at least a little careful about how I ride, additional miles can actually get counterproductive. This isn't coming from a strong athlete, either... I'm a Cat 4 who can't seem to finish with the pack half the time.


Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
ausioslavery: do what urbanknight said.
But not just what I say. Listen to the others as well. After all, some of them are actually winning races.
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