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Training advice for a specific race.

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Training advice for a specific race.

Old 05-11-10, 07:02 PM
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msh1283
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Training advice for a specific race.

Three day stage race (all three crits). Day three has a ***** of a hill, at least for me. It's short and steep...about 20-25 seconds for me, 90 degree turn at the top into a less steep uphill for two blocks, downhill for a block, and back up, a little bit steeper into another 90 degree turn, steep downhill into the last turn, then straight, slightly downhill for 4 blocks back to the base of the ***** hill.

I cannot hit this thing in my big ring. If I'm completely fresh, I can manage two laps in 53/19 before I have to get down into my small ring. Climbing this thing in the big ring isn't really feasible when I'm fresh anyways. By the time I get to the turn, I'm out of the saddle, struggling to turn 60 rpms. Needless to say, I'm not a climber (6'3", 180...). I do better on longer climbs, but I live in the midwest...longest hill I have regular access to is 1.2 miles. I've got to the point where I can stay with a cat 5 pack without too much effort on flats, but I know this course is going to destroy me right now.

So, any tips on how to train for this thing? I've been going out and riding the course at least once a week for the last few months, but haven't really seen any improvement in this area. I'm sure there are some helpful details that I've left out, so let me know if there's anything else you need to know.

Thanks
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Old 05-11-10, 09:08 PM
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Creakyknees
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Tulsa Tough? Just keep doing intervals that mimic the efforts and recovery cycle of the course.
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Old 05-11-10, 09:09 PM
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If it's Tulsa, you gotta big ring it.
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Old 05-11-10, 09:26 PM
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Any steep ramps in parking garages nearby?
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Old 05-11-10, 09:54 PM
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Get a 12-25 cassette and climb it in the 23. Or even the 25. Modern chains are pretty flexible and can handle cross-chaining.

Make sure you have a chain watcher in case you have to shift to the small ring.
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Old 05-12-10, 06:35 AM
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what's wrong with your 21, 23, 25t cog that you cant big ring it?

as far as training goes, you shouldn't have to do anything specific for that because, it should already be in your training program. workouts that force you to go into and > L6, then brief recovery, do it again. any combination of 15"on/15"off, 30"on/30"off, 20"on/10"off, or whatever is going to mimic the requirement. if you can do these types of workouts on a hill since that's your primary concern, even better but not completely necessary.
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Old 05-12-10, 06:40 AM
  #7  
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I'd do the following, based on personal experience.

1. Lose weight. If you're not in reasonable shape, you gotta start here. You sound in reasonable shape since I raced at your weight to +10 lbs for a few years and you're 7" taller than me. But if you're carrying around some excess weight, you gotta get rid of what you can. Sacrifice training for weight loss - it's worth it. I didn't realize this for about 15 years.
2. Not sure of overall time of climb but do intervals that replicate that time. Repeat with shorter and shorter rest periods, until the rest period is similar to the amount of time you have between climbs at the race.
3. Work on field positioning and tactics. If you hit the climb very close to the front, you can trade position for speed. If you waste a lot of energy in the field you're handicapping yourself.
4. 53x19? If you don't want to buy a bigger cassette, buy a bigger small ring. I'm talking a 46 or something, so you can hit the hill hard. Or, as pointed out, get a bigger cassette. I regularly use a 53x21 (12-25 or 11-25). If you get the bigger small ring you can shift between the rings easier. But it's better to stay in the big ring and just avoid shifting the front at all.
5. Experiment with pacing. Sounds like you're going way too hard at the beginning, loading up your legs before you get to the turn. The lower you can keep your peak efforts, the easier the rest of the race will be. If I did a 1000 watt jump every lap of a crit I'd last about 3 laps. If I could tone it down to 700-800 watts, I can do 30 or more laps (because I have). If you can spin a bit and save something for the turn then you can drill it for that less steep part. If it's really bad you just have to suffer through it.

I don't know what race you're doing but that's what I would do if I had to do a race like that. My first approach would be to focus on the races where I can do better (sounds like first two races aren't as hilly). The 3rd race would be "do whatever" for me.

Hope this helps
cdr
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Old 05-12-10, 07:08 AM
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Yup, Tulsa Tough...Crybaby Hill. Day 1 and 2 are pretty much dead flat.

Guess I'll just keep plugging away with similar intervals and hope I start seeing some progress. Will play around with the gearing too and see if I can find something more comfortable.

CDR - Yeah, I'm still on my way back down to my target weight. 170 is about as low as I can hold without feeling like death. Should be there by the time this one comes around.

Appreciate all the advice guys. Thanks!
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Old 05-12-10, 07:15 AM
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I'd agree with the hard on/of intervals. I'll often do six or eight 20 second full out sprints, followed by 10 second rest periods. They're great for building speed and recovery.
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Old 05-12-10, 10:11 AM
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I want to do a hilly crit! All of ours are pretty flat... boo.
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Old 05-12-10, 10:52 AM
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When I did this race last year (and nearly won it) we stood for the entire climb every lap. Keep in mind that in the race you hit the base of it at 25mph or so (I guess maybe a bit slower for 5's), so you can practically coast up to that little right hand corner. From there it's just stand and pound it. Sit down over the top, DO NOT LET A GAP OPEN, tuck in down the tiny downhill, then hang on for the next little climb. Take a good line in the tight right-hander at the bottom of the hill so you don't have to accelerate out of it. Keeping that corner smooth will make all the difference - if you're smooth you save a massive amount of energy every lap, and can rest for far longer.

Fun race, way better than the first two days.
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Old 05-12-10, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
I want to do a hilly crit! All of ours are pretty flat... boo.
move here. there are no flat crits.

singer is 100' climb per lap, thater is 75' per lap, syracuse is 50 feet. yada yada
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Old 05-12-10, 12:12 PM
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Depending on where you are you could come over here to Stillwater and do our Wednesday night training ride. Its full of short steep hills just like that.
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Old 05-13-10, 12:51 PM
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$15k purse for the p/1 on Sunday at Tulsa. Might have to make the drive again.
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Old 05-13-10, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
what's wrong with your 21, 23, 25t cog that you cant big ring it?
My thoughts, exactly. You don't see the guy who wins a climbing stage at the Tour running the same equipment as he rides down the Champs.
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Old 05-18-10, 10:26 PM
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lose weight.
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Old 05-18-10, 10:44 PM
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I think my smallest big ring is 46. And I have an 11-28 cassette.
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