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Training for First Time Racer?

Old 01-26-12, 10:33 AM
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laserfj
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Training for First Time Racer?

I just started cycling more recreationally in the last two months of last year. This coming summer, I want to try a few races (local road races or crits).

I've been reading lots of books on training and planning, and I've tried to check out all the info in this forum. Most of the books emphasize the idea of periodization during the year.

My question is--give that I'm a complete beginner (slow and weak), should I try to follow the periodization idea and do lots of base first, or should I start riding harder right from the start?

I know that at my level, I'll get improvement from whatever I do. I just want to maximize my gains for the time I put in.
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Old 01-26-12, 11:14 AM
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Read all of this.
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Old 01-26-12, 11:40 AM
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The sticky is very good. I would just add to not get too serious about training. You need to start building general cycling fitness. The common advice is 'ride lots'. It doesn't have to be fast or structured. If you want to ride on a certain day, ride. If you don't, don't. If you want to go hard, do that. If you don't, don't. Mostly just go out and enjoy riding.

Enjoying yourself is how you will maximize your time on the bike. If, after 5-10k miles, you still want to ride and race, then maybe get a coach and start some actual training. Until then, I wouldn't worry about it much.
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Old 01-26-12, 11:52 AM
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^ those. IMHO if youre a novice cyclist, forget about periodization. Like Fatso said, ride as much as you can, rest as best you can, rinse, repeat.

and find the fastest, meanest group ride and join them. And you dont get dropped, find a group where you do.
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Old 01-26-12, 11:59 AM
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And listen to me...

Remember that this sport is trying for the best of athletes, in most cases it takes time.

What would help is what is your background, i.e. what other sports have you done? Age? Height? Weight? Commitment level? Etc.

Like fatso and punk said have fun with it (I've never read a damn cycling book in my life) and learn as much as you can from this collective of knuckleheads.
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Old 01-26-12, 01:07 PM
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I'm just starting my second year of racing and my biggest suprise in year 1 was how critical the 'non-fitness' stuff is.

Yes, you need a decent level of fitness to be in the race (especially a hilly one), but I can attribute almost all of my failures last year to lack of racing experience. Most of that was crit racing, but I found the same issues in a couple road races (but to a lessor extent).

Early in the season last year, I just focused on racing as much as possible (at least once a week) and forgot about any super-structured training. I'm not saying that's right for you, but I feel I'm in a better position now to leverage my fitness (or lack there of) because I've developed some basic skills. The fitness alone isn't much good unless you're one of those freaks that can ride off the front and drop everyone.
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Old 01-26-12, 06:59 PM
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Ride as much as you can for a year then ask about race training. Do tons and tons of miles. The more climbing you can do the better. Get a base of 7k miles for a year with 30,000 feet of climbing a month and then come and start race training. You will be ready to kick a s s by then.
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Old 01-26-12, 07:22 PM
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lolwut
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Old 01-27-12, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by chefxian View Post
Ride as much as you can for a year then ask about race training. Do tons and tons of miles. The more climbing you can do the better. Get a base of 7k miles for a year with 30,000 feet of climbing a month and then come and start race training. You will be ready to kick a s s by then.
what crit race in LA are you going to use all that climbing base???? There is only 3 real RR in socal per yr.
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Old 01-27-12, 03:13 PM
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Thanks for all the replies and good advice!

It sounds like the consensus is to go out and ride my @ss off.

@ rkwaki:
26 years old
6'2"
150lbs
willing to spend 12-12 hrs / week
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Old 01-27-12, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by laserfj View Post
Thanks for all the replies and good advice!

It sounds like the consensus is to go out and ride my @ss off.

@ rkwaki:
26 years old
6'2"
150lbs
willing to spend 12-12 hrs / week
Damn son you're a wee fella.
Get out and ride - there more the better, for the first bit I wouldn't follow much structure other than time.
Try to find some group rides, start with a b ride then progress up from there.
We all know my take on weight training, if you are slow and weak like you say I'm all for some sort of weight routine a few times a week. Clean up that diet (though at your size I am not sure you need to) and experiment with what works best for you.
The sport takes time to develop in, give yourself that time and enjoy the road getting there.
It will get frustrating at times but that's where the rest of us knuckleheads come in to help motivate, direct, encourage.

Oh yeah and stay out of the 41...

Other sports?
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Old 01-27-12, 03:36 PM
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6'2 150#? If you have aerobic capacity that's screaming "I can climb". If not... welcome to the real world

12-12 hours a week limits your choices a bit, but I figure you meant something up to 12 hours? If so you'll be fine. Do group rides, learn how to ride in a group, ride hard on Sat/Sun, maybe a Tues, go easy and practice form and such when you ride on your own, and you'll be more than good in 3-4 months.

If you haven't cycled a lot in the last few years then give yourself a year or two to get most of your muscles up to speed.

have fun and post questions here.

cdr
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Old 01-27-12, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Doggus View Post
This.

Really.

end of thread
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Old 01-27-12, 04:01 PM
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rkwaki
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Thread closed Mollusk has spoken. Bwahahaha
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Old 01-27-12, 06:48 PM
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OP, I take it you're a dinghy sailor?

Flatballer has been bitten by the laser bug.
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Old 01-27-12, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
what crit race in LA are you going to use all that climbing base???? There is only 3 real RR in socal per yr.
It's interesting how many pro's we see climbing that are "crit" racers who also race road. Climbing makes you strong, it allows you to cover moves and bridge gaps.

Last edited by chefxian; 01-27-12 at 07:00 PM. Reason: Argumenative, don't want to be put in time out.
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Old 01-27-12, 09:36 PM
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@ CDR--heh yeah I meant to say 10-12 hrs/week.

@ rkwaki: I played soccer for a bit when I was young. Since then it has been competitive sailing. It's extremely tactical, but less physical than cycling.

@jwible: yeah--been racing lasers for 15 years. Melges 24 also.
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Old 02-11-12, 10:21 PM
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This is actually very similar to what i was going to ask. I am:

19yrs
6' 1.5"
148lbs
willing to train from 10-16hrs per week
Ran XC/Track all through high school and freshman year of college putting up 90miles per week
Sub 9:20 2miler.

1 thing, I used to xc mtn bike race from 8-14 competing in Norba races then I had to stop because my dad stopped racing and my mom was petrified that I would get hurt.

How many hours per week should i ride? After a couple months should I follow the cyclist training bible program?
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Old 02-12-12, 07:37 AM
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Same answer, really. Do specifically botto's short "how to race" thing. Find a group ride. When you outgrow them, find a faster group ride. If there are racers in your group ride and you're mixing it up with them, that's good.

Bike racing is based around drafting and therefore tactics. Running - if you start at a 5:30 pace, a 7:00 miler won't be able to stay with you long no matter what. But in bike racing, if you start time trialing at 30 mph, and I'm on your wheel (23 mph time trialer), I'll be there after 10 or 15 or 20 minutes, and I'll be pretty fresh. Drafting is amazingly powerful.

As a trained runner I'm sure you're strong aerobically. In fact I'm sure you're much stronger than me aerobically. That means very little until the road goes uphill, you're in a TT, or you're in a break, all of which significantly negate the draft. Until then you're at the mercy of us wheelsuckers, those that benefit off the strong guys' work.

I just posted a clip about Somerville. A Cat 2 race, I averaged under 180 watts (I think under 160 actually) until the last lap. At the beginning of the clip you'll see us soft pedaling and coasting while going 30-32 mph. Someone strong is at the front, killing themselves, putting down probably 500-600 watts. We're sitting in enjoying life, averaging maybe 90-100 watts.

I have no idea what you ran in track but my fastest ever mile in my life was a 6:30 and that was 30 years ago. I die running 7:00 pace now, it's like sprinting to me. I ran 1.5 miles a few years ago for a test - it took me about 12 minutes on the track. But in many Cat 3 bike races I'm okay. Cat 2s, less okay. It's more about learning how to ride in a group, and that's what group riding does for you.

If you are a good runner (4:30 mile? I don't know what's good anymore) and you learn the tactical stuff in the first few years, and you're not a total jerk in person, you can probably turn pro, and I'm totally totally serious. If you're a absolutely phenomenal runner (4:00 or faster) and you ignore tactics, you'll be a strong and dumb Cat 2 or Cat 1. Everyone loves a strong and dumb Cat 2s. If you're in my area, please forget about tactics, just ride hard

If you want to race well for yourself, learn about tactics. The bike fitness will be there quickly, just a matter of adapting some muscles. Figure a year of riding and racing and you're done, at least that's what ex-pro Chan McCrae said to a friend of his while I was nearby.
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Old 02-12-12, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Same answer, really. Do specifically botto's short "how to race" thing. Find a group ride. When you outgrow them, find a faster group ride. If there are racers in your group ride and you're mixing it up with them, that's good.

Bike racing is based around drafting and therefore tactics. Running - if you start at a 5:30 pace, a 7:00 miler won't be able to stay with you long no matter what. But in bike racing, if you start time trialing at 30 mph, and I'm on your wheel (23 mph time trialer), I'll be there after 10 or 15 or 20 minutes, and I'll be pretty fresh. Drafting is amazingly powerful.

As a trained runner I'm sure you're strong aerobically. In fact I'm sure you're much stronger than me aerobically. That means very little until the road goes uphill, you're in a TT, or you're in a break, all of which significantly negate the draft. Until then you're at the mercy of us wheelsuckers, those that benefit off the strong guys' work.

I just posted a clip about Somerville. A Cat 2 race, I averaged under 180 watts (I think under 160 actually) until the last lap. At the beginning of the clip you'll see us soft pedaling and coasting while going 30-32 mph. Someone strong is at the front, killing themselves, putting down probably 500-600 watts. We're sitting in enjoying life, averaging maybe 90-100 watts.

I have no idea what you ran in track but my fastest ever mile in my life was a 6:30 and that was 30 years ago. I die running 7:00 pace now, it's like sprinting to me. I ran 1.5 miles a few years ago for a test - it took me about 12 minutes on the track. But in many Cat 3 bike races I'm okay. Cat 2s, less okay. It's more about learning how to ride in a group, and that's what group riding does for you.

If you are a good runner (4:30 mile? I don't know what's good anymore) and you learn the tactical stuff in the first few years, and you're not a total jerk in person, you can probably turn pro, and I'm totally totally serious. If you're a absolutely phenomenal runner (4:00 or faster) and you ignore tactics, you'll be a strong and dumb Cat 2 or Cat 1. Everyone loves a strong and dumb Cat 2s. If you're in my area, please forget about tactics, just ride hard

If you want to race well for yourself, learn about tactics. The bike fitness will be there quickly, just a matter of adapting some muscles. Figure a year of riding and racing and you're done, at least that's what ex-pro Chan McCrae said to a friend of his while I was nearby.
Great post CDR - and these type of guys would make me salivate as they are great for a leadout and wouldn't touch my points
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Old 02-12-12, 10:48 AM
  #21  
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It's a "how tall is a tree" question. And answer.

Until you start actually competing or at least start doing fast group rides it's difficult to identify strengths or weaknesses, or even what events you might find the most fun. Only then can you start to develop a training strategy.

Crits, road races, TT's, track, and stage races all have different needs.

My advice would be to do some events, do some group rides, and keep a log.

Training is not about hours. It's about what you do with the hours.

Rest when you're tired. This is key.

If you want a bit better handle on things buy an HRM, figure out your zones, and when you're out riding avoid a lot of time on the top and bottom ends of the spectrum. Middle of Z2/3 will give you a nice foundation to work off of.

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Old 02-12-12, 11:11 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Tavish View Post
This is actually very similar to what i was going to ask. I am:

19yrs
6' 1.5"
148lbs
willing to train from 10-16hrs per week
Ran XC/Track all through high school and freshman year of college putting up 90miles per week
Sub 9:20 2miler.

1 thing, I used to xc mtn bike race from 8-14 competing in Norba races then I had to stop because my dad stopped racing and my mom was petrified that I would get hurt.

How many hours per week should i ride? After a couple months should I follow the cyclist training bible program?
One additional piece of advice from me...don't underestimate the value that long base miles will give you and accept early on that Road Racing is a completely different sport with different tactics and strategies. The only thing that will transfer and help you are bike handling skills, snap from the high torque component of MTB riding, and the mental fortitude/discipline.

I used to race MTB at a high level, took time off from the bike, and then decided to move to road. Last year was my first year road-racing and I finished in the top 3% of racer points (Cat 4/5) for the state of Washington. I realized just how fast I was, and how I needed to build my muscular endurance if I wanted to be successful at this sport. I was golden if I had matches left for the field sprint, my problem, was that I was inexperienced and burnt what few matches I had too early in races and disadvantaged myself more often than not.

Oh, and, crashing on pavement hurts a lot more than on dirt and in shrubs (minus Blackberry bramble), get ready to accept this and buy some Tegaderm.

http://www.amazon.com/Tegaderm-Trans...f=pd_sim_hpc_1
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