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Advice for Cat 6 pack fodder

Old 05-14-10, 04:51 PM
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Urthwhyte
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Advice for Cat 6 pack fodder

I'll be spending six weeks on Cape Cod this Summer to complete an internship, visit colleges, and to see family, and as I have neither drivers license nor car, I have an excellent excuse to bring my road bike with . I searched around and found that one of the larger clubs on the Cape has a Junior Development Squad and spoke with the coach, who said he'd be more than happy to have me aboard. With that out of the way, here is the part where you can selectively quote and explain how everything I've been doing up this point is incorrect, and that I'm too fat for this sport.

I started riding seriously mid-March with the purchase of a road bike and have been riding as much as my schedule allows, and have roughly 1,350km of JRA, about 400km of which is group riding, and otherwise solo or with my father. I'm coming from a cross-country background, so I'm not terrible aerobically, but I realize that if I want to have any sort of success in the glorious Cat5 battlegrounds, I will have to A) ride more, and B) ride better, which is where BF comes in. I've taken the advice in botto's sticky to heart, and have seen definite progress, outlined in Boring Diagram 1.1 below:

tl;dr: Skip to after the list
  1. Week One: Rode with second slowest group, sat near the front of the pack just behind the ride leaders (typically racers/shop employees on their recovery ride) until the last ten kilometers or so when they break away to thin the field for the Klampenborg line sprint. Tried to go with them and was shot out the back faster than it takes the Mets to lose a game. After catching up with the group ahead at the stoplight, they tell me I should move up to a faster group next time.
  2. Week Two: Moved to a faster group, which consisted more of triathletes than cyclists. Distracted by dodging dropped bottles from seatpost cages and trying to remember the Danish word for aerobars so I can yell at the person in front of me to get off of theirs, I fail to eat/hydrate properly, which when coupled with my meager base, ends in me being shot out the back again.
  3. Week Three: Repeat of last week, except I manage to stay with the group the entire time. Progress!
  4. Week Four: My front wheel explodes in a manner to rival R-Sys, I find out that the 8km walk to the train station takes far longer when carrying a bike in one hand and in cycling shoes than it does in running gear.
  5. Week Five: Father's backup wheel in hand, I throw caution to the wind and ride with the fastest group. Ride with them for sixty km and marvel at how strong the riders pushing the pace are. Even after being dropped, it's my longest and nearly the fastest ride I've done. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/31968687
  6. Week Six: Once again ride with the fastest group, but the weather was poor and overall it seemed much weaker than the week prior. I took a couple of very short pulls and enjoy the fact that I'm not the weakest rider in the group. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/32683696

Thus my question to BF is: How do I get faster?
Originally Posted by Veteran Poster
Search!
is something I've already done quite extensively, and found heaps of useful information, but the vast majority is tailored towards people with years more experience and thousands of miles more in my legs. I've looked through Friel's Training Bible but that says for a first year rider to just ride. Since I've been successful in business by ignoring the good advice of everyone around me, the same logic must apply to cycling, and I should forge ahead anyways. Everything I've read seems to show that interval work is the fastest way to improvement, but I'm unclear as to whether I should focus my time on improving the areas where I'm weakest, in sprinting and on rolling terrain, or develop my strengths of going uphill faster than the other guy (if you can call what we have in DK hills) and aerobic fitness.

I also have a few questions relating to USAC regulations, mainly concerning Junior gearing and getting a TUE for an inhaler. I currently run a 50/34 compact double with a nine speed 12-25 cassette in the back. To meet the USAC requirement of a 7.93m rollout, I'll have to block out everything below the 14t, correct? Secondly, I'm slightly asthmatic and sometimes require the use of an inhaler after hard efforts, such as after the finish of a race. If it's anything like cross-country, as long as you're not puffing mid-race, you're free to use an inhaler, otherwise you'll need an exemption. Is this the same for cycling, or should I start filing now?

(I will attempt to make this a bit more lucid tomorrow morning)

Last edited by Urthwhyte; 05-14-10 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Caffeine Deprivation
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Old 05-14-10, 05:05 PM
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Apus^2
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Simply enough, since you have less than two months of serious riding....ride more. Get in as many miles as possible, enjoy the group rides. Don't worry about hard scheduled training for a while. You will probably progress relatively fast at first since you have an endurance background. Since you will be riding with a junior development squad, I'm pretty sure the coach will be able to assist you with everything else.

And listen to Friel.
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Old 05-14-10, 05:10 PM
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ZeCanon
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You will progress pretty damn fast just riding. Groups are great at this stage, physically and for the skills they teach. Enjoy those rides, and go hammer yourself alone every once in a while. This fall you can start thinking about designing a good base plan to prepare you for next summer.
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Old 05-14-10, 05:14 PM
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Apus^2
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Jeeze I sound old and stodgy. I need to lighten up.
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Old 05-14-10, 09:05 PM
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+1 on riding. You're riding fine. Ride more, come here, and ride more.

Someone somewhere on BF said it well - for most normal races, FTP finishes races, peak wins them (well, 20s, 60s, 300s efforts). If I finish a race with my barely adequate FTP, I can do okay. If you ran/run then you have a good aerobic base.

Peak power comes with coordination, learning to use gears, timing your effort, etc. That comes with riding and a little judicious learning. So work on whatever you want - it'll help build your repertoire. When you start plateauing then you start worrying about what to do.

Where in Cape Cod? I'll be out there for a week in July with 3 other people, one of whom is a teammate. I don't know where we'll be staying. I think the elbow. Maybe forearm. We're bringing bikes, will be riding/training, maybe "motorpacing" with a tandem

It may be just me but no one bothers with TUEs until they get "good", i.e. possibly tested. I've never heard of anyone I know getting a TUE. I may be out of the loop though.

On the other hand you may need to bring a prescription to enter the country, if it's a controlled substance. I haven't entered the country with medicine in forever so I don't know the rules - you can find out I'm sure.

Off topic, I visited my grandfather in Copenhagen a long time ago. One day we went to Sweden on some ferry, didn't have passports, and ended up in a room (in Sweden) with a guy with a rifle until a ferry arrived to take us back to Denmark (they thought we were terrorists or something). I don't remember much else about the visit - Tivoli Gardens, lots of rolling hills, big house, flying there and back while being responsible for two little siblings (and I was all of 12 years old - siblings 10 and 5 - my parents thought this would be a good trip for us to take on our own, and it was).

cdr
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Old 05-14-10, 09:31 PM
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Plenty of good riding around here, and the tourists haven't invaded quite yet.
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Old 05-15-10, 04:20 AM
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Thanks for all the advice, it seems that Friel was right after all and I should just continue to ride as much as possible.
Originally Posted by stien View Post
Plenty of good riding around here, and the tourists haven't invaded quite yet.
That might be true for the Upper Cape, but Barnstable is packed and a mere shadow of what it was like even five years ago when I last lived on the Cape. At Dowses you see more 1-Day stickers than you do municipal ones and Craigville is even worse than it used to be.
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
+1 on riding. You're riding fine. Ride more, come here, and ride more.

Someone somewhere on BF said it well - for most normal races, FTP finishes races, peak wins them (well, 20s, 60s, 300s efforts). If I finish a race with my barely adequate FTP, I can do okay. If you ran/run then you have a good aerobic base.

Peak power comes with coordination, learning to use gears, timing your effort, etc. That comes with riding and a little judicious learning. So work on whatever you want - it'll help build your repertoire. When you start plateauing then you start worrying about what to do.
JRA it is then.
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Where in Cape Cod? I'll be out there for a week in July with 3 other people, one of whom is a teammate. I don't know where we'll be staying. I think the elbow. Maybe forearm. We're bringing bikes, will be riding/training, maybe "motorpacing" with a tandem
I'll be staying in Centerville by Wequaqet Lake, right around here. but I'll be likely visiting up near the elbow to visit current and former classmates.
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
It may be just me but no one bothers with TUEs until they get "good", i.e. possibly tested. I've never heard of anyone I know getting a TUE. I may be out of the loop though.

On the other hand you may need to bring a prescription to enter the country, if it's a controlled substance. I haven't entered the country with medicine in forever so I don't know the rules - you can find out I'm sure.
Duly noted about getting the TUE, I doubt it'll be an issue for a Cat 5 Junior, but I'll send the coach an email to make sure. It's a US prescription and will be packed, and I doubt that Albuterol is on too many banned substances lists.
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Off topic, I visited my grandfather in Copenhagen a long time ago. One day we went to Sweden on some ferry, didn't have passports, and ended up in a room (in Sweden) with a guy with a rifle until a ferry arrived to take us back to Denmark (they thought we were terrorists or something). I don't remember much else about the visit - Tivoli Gardens, lots of rolling hills, big house, flying there and back while being responsible for two little siblings (and I was all of 12 years old - siblings 10 and 5 - my parents thought this would be a good trip for us to take on our own, and it was).
cdr
Seems as though you visited pre-EU, nowadays you could walk to the train station, buy a ticket, and be in Malmo within the hour.
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Old 05-15-10, 04:21 AM
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Agree with the sentiments of just ride. And, don't worry about climbing as the Cape tends to be flat. Sounds like you are going to have a great time. I recommend that you go see my friends Arnold or Captain Frosty if you are interested in Lobstah rolls. Sunday School there is pretty good as well, even if you are not in a studying mood.

cdr - I made it to Goteborg many years ago. Funny thing is that my friend who gave me his key to his flat there (after visiting me and continuing on travels in the States) gave me the wrong key. It all worked out in the end and I had a great time. That trip is when I started eating yogurt.

Last edited by bostongarden; 05-15-10 at 04:28 AM.
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Old 05-15-10, 04:59 AM
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Urthwhyte
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Originally Posted by bostongarden View Post
Agree with the sentiments of just ride. And, don't worry about climbing as the Cape tends to be flat. Sounds like you are going to have a great time. I recommend that you go see my friends Arnold or Captain Frosty if you are interested in Lobstah rolls. Sunday School there is pretty good as well, even if you are not in a studying mood.
A hilly ride here in Denmark averages 20cm of climbing a kilometer. Not meters, but centimeters. It makes Florida look hilly, so I'm a bit apprehensive about the climbing despite my weight. As far as lobster rolls are concerned, I don't eat shellfish, so none for me.

For those that live and ride on the Cape, are there are many racers or am I going to be trying to bum a ride off of a teammate up to Central MA every week?
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