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How do you train for a race?

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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

How do you train for a race?

Old 04-18-08, 07:45 PM
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s4one
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How do you train for a race?

The races that my team participates in are mostly crit and tt races. I plan to join them after I feel that I am ready mentally and physically but what will be the best way for me to approach this?

Intervals/crit rides or endurance long distance rides?

I been focusing on endurance/long distances with climbs. I would like to advance in my climbing skills because most of the crit rides includes some sort of elevation and riding crit courses over and over again will kill my legs if my weak link is climbing.

Thanks
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Old 04-18-08, 10:29 PM
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waterrockets 
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You've been riding for a while, so it's time to identify your limiters. Go ride with some groups that will drop you. Figure out what happened that got you dropped(e.g. just not strong enough, couldn't recover between surges, not enough snap out of the corners, climb rate not good enough, etc.).

Once you have a limiter to work on, post back here for workout recommendations to correct it.

Really, you should at least hit the library for Joe Friel's Training Bible.
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Old 04-18-08, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
You've been riding for a while, so it's time to identify your limiters. Go ride with some groups that will drop you. Figure out what happened that got you dropped(e.g. just not strong enough, couldn't recover between surges, not enough snap out of the corners, climb rate not good enough, etc.).

Once you have a limiter to work on, post back here for workout recommendations to correct it.

Really, you should at least hit the library for Joe Friel's Training Bible.
I didn't even know there was a such thing. I will do what you said though. Thanks
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Old 04-19-08, 12:19 AM
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ride lots
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Old 04-19-08, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by s4one View Post
Intervals/crit rides or endurance long distance rides?

I been focusing on endurance/long distances with climbs. I would like to advance in my climbing skills because most of the crit rides includes some sort of elevation and riding crit courses over and over again will kill my legs if my weak link is climbing.
I mistakenly made this assumption as well, thinking climbing was key. After all, when I train, the hardest part of the ride is the climbing.

I found out that the reality is that the flats are the hardest. This is due to the pure speed that you can attain and hold on the flats. The reason why I never rode that hard on the flats is that I didn't know it could be done. Plus it would be sort of ridiculous to ride at almost sprint efforts on the flats and then get to the base of a climb all exhausted and out of breath. But that's what racing is like.

Sort of an illustration of my experience in learning this:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...ic-and-me.html

I think working on your max speed is the best thing to do. If your max speed on a flat road is 31 mph right now, you'll struggle when the field is launching attack after attack at 30-32 mph, and you'll be cooked if they're doing it at 35+ mph. But if your max speed is closer to 40 mph, then 30 is, well, not too bad at all.

http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...sprinting.html

As an FYI the sprint speeds at Bethel (150 meters uphill, 6 or 8% grade) are about 33-34 mph (that's what I was hitting, and I didn't win all the sprints). This is a late jump speed, i.e. we're jumping on the slopes, not where it's flat at the bottom. Based on prior sprint experience on the course, the sprints were on the slow side (due to wind mostly, but also the extremely late jumps and virtually no leadouts). An optimal sprint there would probably top out at 35-36 on the hill but get launched at a higher speed at the bottom (38-40). I wasn't strong enough to sprint any faster so I'm glad that they were what they were

Having said that, I do mainly long rides right now. Firstly I have the time. But second I find it's the only way I can lose weight. I've actually gained weight in the last 6 weeks as I've been focusing on promoting and racing and simply haven't gotten a lot of hours in on the bike. But now that the series I promote is done, I'm returning to riding a bit more. I have at least a couple weeks of non-racing so I'll be trying to do some longer rides while still maintaining some intensity work. It's hard for me to resist trying to draft a big truck even in the middle of an all day ride (well, for me it's all day, but it might be only 3-5 hours) so the intensity is always present, it just gets stuck in the middle of a long, not so intense ride..

hope this helps,
cdr
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Old 04-19-08, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by nathbdp View Post
ride lots
+1


Although I can't personally be bothered to take on any particular training regime other than going out and riding when the mood and weather suit me, doing intervals would be good training for crits.
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Old 04-19-08, 07:56 AM
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Great post Carpediemracing! I too, being an eternal wannabe, thought lots of hills would be the best way get in shape for my first race.... damn! 32, 33, 35+ mph on the sprints, that's intimidating to say the least! But mine's a CAT5/4 race, so I'm not too concerned about hitting those speeds on the sprints. I'm more concerned about hitting the turns w/ riders all around me, I haven't figured out a way of training for that.

In a previous post Mr. Botto pointed me to your blog, I've spent the last 2 days reading through all the post. Great stuff! I think it's a great place to start for anyone who wants to learn how to race. And the Youtube vids are great too.

Keep up the good work. Maybe I'll make it down to Bethel (as a spectator of course) next year.
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Old 04-19-08, 07:59 AM
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pick a climb that gives you a problem. climb it until you throw up. rest one day, repeat.
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Old 04-19-08, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post


As an FYI the sprint speeds at Bethel (150 meters uphill, 6 or 8% grade) are about 33-34 mph (that's what I was hitting, and I didn't win all the sprints).

hope this helps,
cdr
I didn't realize it was possible to sprint that fast up a 6-8% grade, but I plugged some numbers into a power calculator and I guess it is (1500 +/- 200 watts depending on rider weight, etc). That's awesome. Now I realize how slow I am (38-39 MPH on level road).
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Old 04-19-08, 11:04 AM
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Lsd
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Old 04-19-08, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BarryJo View Post
Great post Carpediemracing! I too, being an eternal wannabe, thought lots of hills would be the best way get in shape for my first race.... damn! 32, 33, 35+ mph on the sprints, that's intimidating to say the least! But mine's a CAT5/4 race, so I'm not too concerned about hitting those speeds on the sprints. I'm more concerned about hitting the turns w/ riders all around me, I haven't figured out a way of training for that.

In a previous post Mr. Botto pointed me to your blog, I've spent the last 2 days reading through all the post. Great stuff! I think it's a great place to start for anyone who wants to learn how to race. And the Youtube vids are great too.

Keep up the good work. Maybe I'll make it down to Bethel (as a spectator of course) next year.
The CAT 4/5 crit I did last weekend started off by going about 26-27mph and I dropped out of the race because I wasn't feeling good and started cramping up really badly.

I did the same race today, and I felt a lot better because I was expecting it. There were surges that were faster, and the accelerations out of the corner really kept me on my toes since there are two of them right next to each other. That's what makes crits hard, it's constant power output with very few places to recover, so if you go too hard you're cooked if you can't recover fast. In the lower categories, having to slow down and speed up in the turns really takes it out of you if you can't recover fast.

I can sprint in the mid-high 30's without a leadout and I'm a CAT5, so I wouldn't say that 4's and 5's can't sprint into the mid 30's. There are some who will probably be faster than that. I've seen myself hit 34 up a slight incline before. Then again, I'm not a sprinter by any means. Not yet anyway. I'll be working on that

Last edited by ridethecliche; 04-19-08 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 04-19-08, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by davidwaller View Post
I didn't realize it was possible to sprint that fast up a 6-8% grade, but I plugged some numbers into a power calculator and I guess it is (1500 +/- 200 watts depending on rider weight, etc). That's awesome. Now I realize how slow I am (38-39 MPH on level road).
Ah, dude, I hate to break it to you, but 38mph on the flats is not slow. I struggle to get into the low to mid 30's on the flats.

But then again my training seems to be falling into a pattern which probably isn't a good thing. Pedal moderately hard on the flats and then try and accelarate hard up and over the climbs (I still blow up on a lot of the longer ones), recover on the downhills and keep repeating.

But the average MPH keeps coming up, so I'll stick with this for a while.

And thanks again CDR for putting your perspective on things too. Now I have a little better idea what to expect.
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