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Train on the race course - good idea?

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Train on the race course - good idea?

Old 06-30-10, 02:45 PM
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Train on the race course - good idea?

First year racing. I have been doing Carmichael's Time Crunched program. I plan to "peak" for the race in San Marcos, my hometown. My race goal is a pack finish.

On my way home this morning, I rode the course for a couple of laps. It is 1.3 miles per lap, climb of about 70 ft. I'm carrying some extra pounds, so I think this hill will make or break my race effort.

The training I am doing is intervals 3x a week, either 3 min "Power Intervals" or 9 min "Over/Unders" with 5 hours of endurance riding on the weekends.

Since the race course is so close to my house, I'm thinking about substituting 1/3 of the interval days remaining and training on the actual course. This is what I'm thinking of doing.

- 20 min warmup
- Maintain 90% HR of 8 min test on the course (160 bpm)
- Go to maximum sustained, steady effort on the hill without completely blowing up
- repeat for 1/2 hour (race length)

Is this a good idea, or just stick to the intervals of the original plan?
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Old 06-30-10, 02:52 PM
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It's never a good idea to put a train on a race course.
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Old 06-30-10, 02:55 PM
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At your level of experience, I think you are over-thinking things. Do your intervals. Ride the course a few times just to get a feel for the lay of the land. Power is power, so it really don't make a difference where you do your intervals. Choose terrain that is most suited for the interval workout you have scheduled. Most importantly, you should be racing other races. With less than a season of racing, there really isn't any such thing as "peaking". Certainly not a controlled peak. You don't know your body well enough to do that sort of thing, book or no.

Frankly, the best thing you can do to prepare for your race is to race lots. Worry less about your training plan and more about getting some race experience.
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Old 06-30-10, 03:04 PM
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That's why I put peaking in quotes. I don't have any dillusions. Peaking just sounded better than "That's when I'll be completely worn out from all these intervals but hopefully a few easy days before the race will allow me to turn the pedals."

I will race as much as I can until then and probably complete this block of intervals as planned.
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Old 06-30-10, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
It's never a good idea to put a train on a race course.
Haha, nice one.

I'm not sure about the training part, everyone has their own thing, but riding the course can have it's benefits. I have ridden the course for the first times my last two races and got a 2nd and 1st place. Whether or not that played into it is hard to tell but if the race is going to be technical and you can take advantage of taking a corner faster than someone else or bring yourself to the top of the hill at a faster and more comfortable pace than the competitors then I don't see why you wouldn't want to ride the course.
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Old 06-30-10, 08:53 PM
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I would definitely recommend "pre riding" to get a feel for the course and try to figure out important aspects. But as far as actually training on the course, it probably won't offer much of an advantage over just doing your intervals somewhere else.
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