or Connect
Cycling Forums › Forums › Bikes › Cycling Training › How to keep up with those guys at the front?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How to keep up with those guys at the front?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

In training to begin crit competitions, I've been riding with this group a' fellas that keep quite a quick pace. I manage to keep pace with them for a few miles, but I'm having difficulty keeping pace through changes in elevation, namely, some very steep inclines here in Central Tx.

I routinely ride 15-25 miles at pace and commute everyday by way of bike, so I'm in pretty good shape. Something is missing though. What do these guys have that allows them to continue their sprints long after I need to recover?

I time my meals adequately and feed myself nourishing foods prior to any serious riding. My ride is a Specialized Allez Sport w/ Ksyrium Equippe. 20lbs or so.

 

Help a brotha out.

post #2 of 10

You are simply not strong enough to keep up with them. (I use the phrase "stronger enough" to mean being able to put out power of sufficient quantity for sufficient time to keep up.)

 

The solution is to get stronger. Train harder. Train longer. Rest harder. And maybe you can get there.

post #3 of 10

Okay brotha'.  Initial thought is that it's not the bike holding you back.

You gotta keep ridin' with 'em and pushing yourself to your limit.  Then rest and repeat.  You'll get faster, and find you can hang with them for longer periods; but always remember that "it" never gets easier...

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice fellas. Will do.

 

post #5 of 10

Being a strong competitive cyclist and being a strong recreational cyclist are two different levels of fitness.  I am not saying that you are not a fit cyclist, but the training that some of us go through to be this fit is pretty intense.  Plus training for those types of events, especially a crit involves a different focus than riding to work or cycling at pace 15-25 miles. 

 

It is certainly not the bike either, sure a light, stiff, shinny, $5k bike is nice, but I win races with basically the Trek equivalent to what you have with some lighter wheels and a couple of minor upgrades.  I need to quit winning so I can give my wife a good reason why I need a new bike, LOL.

 

Also crits are all about covering the surges and cornering efficiently without creating gaps, if you can't do that well, then a crit will be much more difficult than for someone who can do it well... 

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgoetz View Post

Being a strong competitive cyclist and being a strong recreational cyclist are two different levels of fitness.  I am not saying that you are not a fit cyclist, but the training that some of us go through to be this fit is pretty intense.  Plus training for those types of events, especially a crit involves a different focus than riding to work or cycling at pace 15-25 miles. 

 

It is certainly not the bike either, sure a light, stiff, shinny, $5k bike is nice, but I win races with basically the Trek equivalent to what you have with some lighter wheels and a couple of minor upgrades.  I need to quit winning so I can give my wife a good reason why I need a new bike, LOL.

 

Also crits are all about covering the surges and cornering efficiently without creating gaps, if you can't do that well, then a crit will be much more difficult than for someone who can do it well... 



This ^. Also being able to hang in with guys keeping a stiff pace has everything to do with training and miles. Put some miles in the bank and you wont find it so hard :). Tip is - Miles miles miles miles.

post #7 of 10

I don't race, but do ride in some pretty sporting groups. The hardest part I find is the repeated changes in pace, acceleration that take place. If you are commuting and riding solo a lot, you may find yourself training primarily in one zone, a fixed level of intensity.

 

Lately, i have mixed in some interval work on my commutes. By getting my heart rate and power output to jump beyond what is comfortable, I am more prepared for riding with the A group. I also find that after a good hard interval, my recovery pace is as fast as or faster than my usual commuting pace.

post #8 of 10

Those good hard group rides are certainly great training for the hard effort, quick recovery ability that you will need during a race, short of racing it is really hard to duplicate this effort while training unless you are doing a hard group ride.  That said having started down the racing path while doing hard group rides, a race is typically quite a bit different in the sense that no one works together and most of the times you can't just pull off and rotate to the back and recover at will, expecting to make it back to the front whenever you need to.  Plus in most group rides there is still some level of educate, in the sense that you don't drop the hammer on your fellow cyclist when they are on the ropes.  We have a couple of training rides that are like this, but they are short, and they need to be because after about 10 miles of doing this there are typically just a couple of us left, LOL

post #9 of 10

Go racing, that's the best way to get stronger.  You can train hard, which you have to do, but you can't simulate the psychology that goes along with it.  You'll eat a lot of humble pie, but eventually you'll start to dish some out too.

post #10 of 10

There can be a myriad of things I focus on with my athletes to address exactly what you are experiencing. Here are a few that can be overlooked when trying to spank that spirited group ride:

 

(1) Don't under-estimate your commuting miles.  If you commute everyday, you will acquire a cumulative fatigue that will certainly strip your top-end. You'll be able to hang when the tempo is steady but fall off and struggle to recovery when the pace picks up or the road tilts upward.  Keep this in mind "top performance comes with full recovery".  If you are going to use a group ride to supplement your training, prepare for it.  Rest, eat well and take a day or 2 off the bike during the week to ensure the legs are fresh.  Make those group rides count!

 

(2) Relax and stay near the front of the group.  It is eye-opening how much energy we waste because we are nervous or uptight when we ride.  Tight muscles are contracted muscles which require oxygen, fuel and eventually fatigue.  Relaxing preserve your energy, fuel and will help keep your heart rate down giving you more of a top-end to respond to changes.  Try to stay close to the front of the group (within the top 5 positions). The farther back you go, the more the tempo changes and bike-handling wanes. Staying at the front also lets you SEE what is happening so you can "respond" to the changes without "reacting" to the changes.

 

Stick with it and approach those group rides with a purpose. Cheers, Tom.

Cycling Fusion™ provides the best resources for indoor cycling to improve your outdoor riding through increases in fitness & knowledge.
Reply
Cycling Fusion™ provides the best resources for indoor cycling to improve your outdoor riding through increases in fitness & knowledge.
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cycling Training
Cycling Forums › Forums › Bikes › Cycling Training › How to keep up with those guys at the front?