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More hand wringing: summer racing

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More hand wringing: summer racing

Old 05-11-11, 11:59 AM
  #26  
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Race for fun...
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Old 05-11-11, 12:11 PM
  #27  
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I'm still thinking about my race last night, and I've got more to process - but I had this thread in mind as I went out and did a 45' crit on a flat, hot-dog shaped course with no wind.

I wasn't in the top 10 in the sprint at the end, but I put out lots more (in Kj, minutes, total watts, time in the pointy parts of the race, etc) than probably anyone else in the field of 60.
I wasn't racing for it to come down to a full-field sprint, and since I wasn't racing for that result, most of the field had to respond to my style of racing for 3/4s of the race.

Maybe I didn't win, but I certainly raced... isn't that what we signed up for?
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Old 05-11-11, 09:05 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by mcjimbosandwich
There are races in Central Park, but they don't count for upgrade points.
Nah, park races count for upgrades, assuming you place within points window depending on the amount of starters.
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Old 05-11-11, 09:29 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Pablo.
Nah, park races count for upgrades, assuming you place within points window depending on the amount of starters.
you mean the CRCA races aren't just for S!ht and giggles? I had always thought that since it's a club race, it didn't count
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Old 05-11-11, 11:02 PM
  #30  
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I donít know why working on fitness means not racing. In my Tuesday night series, there is a team shows up in large numbers, theyíre organized; they have a plan every time they show up and execute it well. It is really hard to accomplish anything in a sprint with the pack. Eventually some of their guys will move to the ďAĒ pack, and everyone else will get a chance again. Until then, Iím launching attacks, chasing attacks and doing whatever I can to shake things up. Itís fun not having to worry about trying to win sometimes, and spending 20-minutes of a 45-minute race makes for a hell of a workout. Thatís just the Tuesday night series though; I suppose Iím a little more serious when Iím racing for upgrade points.
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Old 05-12-11, 03:53 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by mcjimbosandwich
you mean the CRCA races aren't just for S!ht and giggles? I had always thought that since it's a club race, it didn't count
Some Park races count
CRCA races are a subset of park races
CRCA races don't count

I think the OP should quit.
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Old 05-12-11, 08:50 AM
  #32  
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mcjimbo - I was in the same boat as you. I'd work hard in the races, stay up front, only to get spit out by the peleton on a strong surge. I decided that I'd take some time off of racing to build up a bigger engine. More 9W rides and River Road climbing instead of racing was my plan. I was already pre-reg'd for the 2nd race of the Lucarelli & Castaldi Cup in Prospect Park so I went ahead raced instead of taking the time off. Something different happened this race - I was in the field sprint and finished ~15th. Same thing for the Big Apple Classic the following weekend - and I stayed up front the entire race.

Keep racing, keep training. It will come. One thing different that I did was to incorporate more rest and do some of the CRCA coaching sessions in Central Park - Harlem Hill intervals. Did a ton of good for me, so now I view races as part of my training plan rather than eliminating them until I feel strong enough.
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Old 05-12-11, 11:13 AM
  #33  
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I think the big thing limiting you is the thought of limitations.

I think you're similar to me - lower FTP, decent peak power. My club held the second of five TTs yesterday. One guy was "30 watts low" and averaged 375 watts for the 14 odd minutes of effort. I'd have to be extremely good to do 100 watts lower than that for 14 minutes, and realistically I'd be about 130-140 watts lower. Yet we're both in the same category, we are both 35+, and we both race together. We just race a bit differently.

Coaching, race scenarios, those are excuses. Think positive on your various aspects - not "this is limiting me" but "how do I get around this limitation".

Go do the fast flat races for aerobic work - think of it as motorpacing, a great way to build a solid base. I do midweek races specifically for this reason, usually on Tues night after a Sunday race and a hard Monday ride. Around here it's the Rentschler Field series - Tues nights, like Floyd Bennet Field in your area, are excellent for experimenting with race tactics, trying out new moves, checking equipment, etc. I think FBF is more a non-sprinter's sprinter race, just like the course at Ninigret Park RI (Mystic Crit is this weekend). Flat, windy, lots of breaks.

I think it's important to work on close quarter handling. This is the best way to feel more comfortable in a field. The way to do this is to do close riding at slow speeds, hopefully on grass or some other "softer" surface, while wearing thick long sleeve stuff. Expect to fall a few times. In fact, you should fall first when touching wheels so you know that you can, also so you know how quickly it can happen. Then work on staying upright while touching wheels. Work on shoulder/arm/elbow bumping where you can react without having to shift your body around. Lean against the wall while on rollers, pretend Voigt is trying to get you off a wheel. Etc etc.

You can ride solo, no problems in that. If you want to help someone, do so. I've entered races with no plan except to contribute when possible. I've chased, led out, etc, all for riders I knew on other teams. If you want to ride off of another team, do that. Sean Kelly was infamous for that in races as he normally rode on teams severely limited in support capacity. Lemond won the 89 Tour with virtually no team - I think he had 3 teammates finish and none of them could climb. Of course he's Lemond, but still, in this day and age it may seem like it's impossible to win without teammates; that's not necessarily the case.

hope this helps
cdr
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Old 05-12-11, 12:47 PM
  #34  
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CDR, you often get me thinking. I went back and reread the original post. Training rides outside of racing can be helpful for racing. But, of course, racing can also be helpful for racing!! Although, if you don't have reasonable fitness and you'll be riding otb most of the time in a race, then, well, perhaps racing isn't helpful. But, I don't think that is the case for you McJ.

I want to emphasize cdr's Tuesday nighter comment because it hit home with me. I did a lot of base (for me) leading into the racing part of this season -- for several months, I rarely cranked it up. I did not start intensity and intervals until the end of March/beginning of April. I had no speed, was getting dropped and found it tough to stick in my first few races; I could take only so many surges at first, I did not have the command and comfort that I'd had in the past or that I wanted. I knew this was part of the deal given the timing of my training plan.

Anyway, last Sunday, I raced in a 3/4, rode moderately on Monday, and then did a fast 1/2/3 Tuesday night, expressly for the purpose of increasing my leg speed. This was the focus, and, I was hoping to hang on for as long as I could too. I feel that the race gave me the exact training that I wanted!! Imho, it was better than any other interval or intensity workout that I could have done on Tuesday. I had to dig in physically and mentally so many times in that race. It is hard for me to imagine that I would have pushed myself in a solo workout as hard as I did in that race. The proof will be in the riding later, but, I sense that this race helped me push through to another level in my fitness for this season. Key to point out: I entered this race with a training purpose in mind; going otb would not have been an issue mentally and that would not have detracted from the fun (although, finishing with the front part of the pack did enhance the fun); I knew that for how ever long I could stick I would benefit.

So, go ahead with a plan to train hard and improve your fitness. But, don't necessarily exclude racing during this time period as it too can be play a useful role in your training!!
(Now, if you truly mean to do "base training," then, ok, I could see not racing.) Good luck!
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Old 05-12-11, 01:28 PM
  #35  
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One thing I forgot about is my typical season layout:
1. Early miles, JRA mainly, with a few jumps to get me psyched up. This is Dec - Feb. Most of my riding is 15-16 mph, or 130-150w on the trainer (now that I know wattages). Lots of 53x19 stuff, just rolling around.
2. Mar-Apr. Bethel Series. Not that much speed work relatively speaking but good intensity. I rarely train more than one or two days a week during this time, other than the race, and I usually ride literally just the race (50-60 min if one race, 120+ min if two).
3. Ass kicking speedwork into June. I used to do either 1-2-3 crits in NJ (Freehold), RI (Ninigret), one or two others that escape me. Motorpacing behind the big boys. I'd get my butt seriously kicked - every lap I'd wonder if I could hang on, every lap I was wondering who the eff was pulling like this. Then I'd do some hard Cat 3 races (Nutley, Harlem, some others) and feel like they were a relief relatively speaking.
4. Build form until either burnt out or season ends. I usually see significant improvements in speed/sprint/overall-strength into August and then stuff would start to plateau. I spent a long period of time not taking time off except for illness (2 weeks a year typically), about 5-7 years. Burn-out is difficult for someone with a job who races a lot. Training a lot, I can see burn out. Racing a lot, not so much.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:54 PM
  #36  
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I think a lot of it depends on where you get your motivation. I kind of did what you're speaking of last year which was also my first year of racing. Fear of sprints, crashing, and some general frustration led to it. So I can understand the fear of a pack sprint. Even now if someone challenges me for a spot and it's at all sketchy, I'll give it up as I'd rather race another day. All that said, I love a good sprint, it's why I race. So how do I do it? First of all I have a tendency and train to go early, this gets me to the front of the field and usually weeds out the hazards. Another tactic, a good team lead out that strings out the field, again this helps to weed out the hazards although I have yet to experience one for myself. And then of course there's the obvious, go on a break. Talk to racers on other teams that are in a similar situation and establish a plan to go for a break. Another good one to work on your sprint with lower risk....primes. Often times it's only a limited number of guys going for it...good practice and you might even find yourself in a break after doing so. If it gets sketch, shut it down but stay close to the sprinters to be ready to go.

I'm kind of going through a similar thing right now. Cat5 and 4, pretty easy for me to power my way to the podium (I worked on power and core A LOT in the off season). Now it's open masters and Cat 3+ races, it's becoming quite clear that's not going to work so well and I have a very small team. So what do I do...give up, concede, only run races that suit me? Hell No! I'm drawing even more motivation from it this time. I'm now reaching out to others in similar situations and making alliances. I'm also doing some of my training with one of the most dominate teams who also happens to have a REALLY strong cat2 sprinter (>1800watts) that KILLS me...hoping it'll pay off.

So I guess my only real point is...are you going to let your limiters be a dead end or a source of inspiration? Winning is great and definitely motivates me, racing with friends, making friends, and improving on my fitness and skills...my biggest inspiration....but I still want to win. Do the races, work the other aspects of racing them and improve while building up to the races that suit you.
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Old 05-12-11, 08:32 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by mcjimbosandwich
you mean the CRCA races aren't just for S!ht and giggles? I had always thought that since it's a club race, it didn't count
Well, CRCA races still don't count. But all other park races (spring series, Charlie's series) count. Sorry, misunderstood you.
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Old 05-12-11, 08:39 PM
  #38  
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I'd recommend racing at Floyd Bennett Field. For those that don't know, FBF is an abandoned air strip at the far end of Brooklyn. Very windy, very flat, very hard. The field will usual split up enough that a good break rider can finish ahead of a field sprinter. But *****, even if you don't end up getting results at FBF, it's still great training, and it will make you strong as balls if you race there enough.

Do some out of town races. Because, frankly, besides Floyd, there's little chance for glory in the cat 4 field without a sprinters skillset.
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