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Micro-managing the week of a stage race.

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
I have a stage race coming up.  The format/schedule will be Sat. crit first then TT, Sun. road race.

I've never placed well in the GC because of disastrous road races.  The crit is a 4 corner with turns 1 and 3 narrowing the road.  In the past 2 years the group has slowed way down (15-17 mph) then jumped hard out of those corners... There are time bonuses for 5 sec primes and top 3 places (20, 15,10?)

The TT course is flat windy almost rectangle with 3 right turns.  Allegedly the results from this stage set the GC.  I've finished 5th and 7th with the 2 worst TTs of my life but as I said never finished well in the GC.  On a great day I *would* win the TT, on a bad day I *could* win the TT.  I've never tried to prepare as thoroughly for this race as I have this year I've pre-ridden the RR loop and TT course twice now, and will hit the TT course again 1 more time.

Normally when I race on Saturday I do light active recovery or take Thursday off, then do an opener Friday.  For this race I'm thinking of resting Friday, letting the crit open up my legs and focusing the week towards Sunday. Does that sound reasonable, how would you structure the week of a pretty big two day event?
post #2 of 40

I definitely would not take a complete rest day before a crit like the one you describe with a known slow and go section where you're going to want to have the legs to be right at the front as early as possible in the race and to stay forward as much of the race as possible. Don't go into a race like that with legs that take some time to open up.

 

I'd rest Thursday and perhaps back down Wednesday a tad if that's a hard day in your schedule or do less total work if that's a long day in your schedule. Don't go crazy in your Friday openers but get out for 45 minutes to an hour, do some easy riding,  a few minutes near Threshod, a couple of minute or two bursts up into L5, a couple of very fast 20 to 30 second bursts and a fast short sprint or two then spin down and refuel.

 

That's about it other than making sure you keep up with fueling yourself that week and probably don't go hog wild on any huge or record setting riding in that final week. After that trust in your overall base and fitness and don't over rest. If you've got GC ambitions your base fitness should be able to handle that just fine and too little riding leading up to the event is just as dangerous as way too much riding.

 

Also as I recall you're a pretty good crit rider so get the weekend off to a solid start which can help tremendously in terms of mental focus in the TT. The biggest thing during the weekend is to get good recovery drinks on board immediately after each event then get cleaned up changed and straight into recovery mode in whatever way works best for you. Don't hang around watching your friends race or rehashing the crit or TT, I prefer to get away from the scene get back to my hotel room shower, put my legs up, tank up of food and fluids and relax until it's time to start getting ready for the next event. Standing on the side of the crit course cheering for your friends is usually a very bad way to prep for the following stages.

 

Good luck and let us know how it goes,

-Dave

post #3 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveryanwyoming View Post

I definitely would not take a complete rest day before a crit like the one you describe with a known slow and go section where you're going to want to have the legs to be right at the front as early as possible in the race and to stay forward as much of the race as possible. Don't go into a race like that with legs that take some time to open up.

 

+1. I usually have a better day at my weekend races with an hour or so on the bike the day before that includes a coupla minutes above redline (but nothing too tiring). A full day off before means a longer warmup for me (which usually takes 20-30 minutes), and not so much fun if some yahoo decides to drill it from the starting whistle. My local races are usually only 10 laps around a 3.5 mile circuit so it's best if the pipes are wide open before we even start. Maybe some of that is due to being closer in age to 50 than to 40. Getting to the start late without a warmup is a good way for me to get dropped right after the first little hill if the hammer goes down early.

post #4 of 40
Thread Starter 
Great points about not wanting to go into the crit blocked up...

Dave, I'm just okay in a crit. I've had success when the group has given me some rope because they were tired or didn't think I could stick it, and when I've been in breaks with several guys who had serious power. And at Madera Stage Race no one let's a break finish ahead of the group in the crit...

This year I won't have teammates in as many crits so I will start trying to finish them in better position. I'll keep an eye out for opportunities in the crit, it won't hurt to try as long as I finish with the group.
post #5 of 40

I have done a few of these 3-event stage races and the TT is almost always the decisive event. I think I would just try to stay with the group in the crit and then go all out in the TT. As to riding the day before, I think there are two points of view, probably both valid. Personally, I have almost always taken a day off before target events, but I get in a good 15min warmup before the race and do a few efforts at 500-600W to wake up my legs. I don't have any evidence to suggest my approach is the best one, it's just what I started doing when I started racing because that's what my training partners did.

post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for your replies (and well wishes). I commute by bicycle m-f so I think I'll go ahead and take the long way home at get a leg opener Friday afternoon.

A small snafu is that I'm going to Disneyland this weekend and won't ride sat or sun and may or may not be able to ride Monday... It's not the end of the world but I will have to manage a Tuesday & Wednesday ride to make sure everything is humming along. My legs do not enjoy long breaks these days. Thursday maybe I'll leave it at just commuting.
post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by quenya View Post

Thanks all for your replies (and well wishes). I commute by bicycle m-f so I think I'll go ahead and take the long way home at get a leg opener Friday afternoon.

A small snafu is that I'm going to Disneyland this weekend and won't ride sat or sun and may or may not be able to ride Monday... It's not the end of the world but I will have to manage a Tuesday & Wednesday ride to make sure everything is humming along. My legs do not enjoy long breaks these days. Thursday maybe I'll leave it at just commuting.


What they don't have hotel gym bikes in Anaheim?  Keep the legs moving even if just for short workouts if you can.

post #8 of 40
Thread Starter 
But... But. Disneyland, and sleep. What else is there.

Seriously my workouts may just be as long as it takes for my wife to shower and get dressed. Which could be some pretty epic endurance rides most days, though she usually gets moving pretty quick for Mickey.
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by quenya View Post

I have a stage race coming up.
Does that sound reasonable, how would you structure the week of a pretty big two day event?

 

If I were doing the event, I would have spent some training time replicating the day before and the event.

 

Since you have not done that, set up 3 day training blocks where you do the day before and the 2 days of the event. Practice. Practice. Practice.

post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by An old Guy View Post

 

If I were doing the event, I would have spent some training time replicating the day before and the event.

 

Since you have not done that, set up 3 day training blocks where you do the day before and the 2 days of the event. Practice. Practice. Practice.

 

First, everyone here knows you would never do this event. You'd post on internet forums about how you could kill this event punching out huge power numbers on your rest days while chatting casually about it.

 

But your advice is ridiculous. Sure he'll mimic the demands and event day stresses of a three day stage race with a crit, TT, and RR and then test each possible lead up scenario (including the family Disneyland trip the weekend before) and figure out which scenario helped him best deal with his totally mocked out practice stage race. Yeah, that's very practical advice. Maybe after five or six weeks testing the various approaches he'll be ready to race this event that's rapidly approaching or maybe he should just keep dialing in the best tapering scenarios until next year's race.

 

Quenya, you've done the training, you've done the course recon, you've raced the event before so just don't go in too trashed or more likely with the week leading up to it, overly rested and blocked up. Keep your legs moving if at all possible over that family weekend in the best ways you can. Reopen them in the days leading up to the event and given the light weekend prior I'd err or riding more but not crazy hard or crazy long and have a great weekend of racing.  It's a great race and I'm glad it's still on the calendar. I don't know if all the courses are the same as when I raced it in the '80s and '90s but Madera was always a good weekend of racing.

 

-Dave

post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 
An Old Guy, I actually have tomorrow off and am planning to do exactly that...

Dave, thanks for calling me out on that!
post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveryanwyoming View Post

 

First, everyone here knows you would never do this event. You'd post on internet forums about how you could kill this event punching out huge power numbers on your rest days while chatting casually about it.

 

But your advice is ridiculous. Maybe after five or six weeks testing the various approaches he'll be ready to race this event that's rapidly approaching or maybe he should just keep dialing in the best tapering scenarios until next year's race.

 

I never had much interest in racing unless I was being paid. So you are correct I would never do this event.

 

I don't know what you mean about putting out big numbers while chatting. First. I ride alone so I only chat with myself. If I do that too much, I tend to not pay enough attention to traffic. So I try to not "chat" much. On the other hand I am able to "chat" until my heart rate gets above LT for a while. But big numbers seem to mean power numbers not heart rate numbers. I can do "big" power numbers until my heart rate gets too high. On the other hand you might mean TSS. Long rides at 80-90% get you big TSS numbers. I guess you don't do those often enough to have a valid opinion on them.

 

As for 5-6 weeks of testing. It takes as long as it takes. There are no short cuts. On the other hand he should know how his body reacts to days off and different efforts already so he should need no testing.

 

But I like you don't know how his body reacts. While your advice might be correct, it is just as apt to be wrong. Giving your advice is as you say ridiculous. But you have a keyboard.

post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by An old Guy View Post

 

I never had much interest in racing unless I was being paid. So you are correct I would never do this event....

Funny, all the professional riders I've ever known have started with a deep love of riding and racing their bikes and are paid in a large part due to that desire over the years it took them to achieve the levels of fitness and skill it required to actually be professional racers. I guess they simply lack your natural ability to only enter races after someone has offered to pay you for the honor of your participation wearing their kit.

 

We are humbled by your greatness.

 

Rationalize as much as you like, but when you start a post with 'If I were doing the event...' you lose all credibility if you don't actually do such events and have no intention of doing such events nor any evidence that you have ever done such events or guided others through the process. Perhaps you have when you were a younger rider but you have never posted anything that leads us to believe that such is the case.

 

Post some compelling evidence that you have that background as a rider or coach and your credibility may rise but as you've constantly ignored challenges to post power files when you question topics in that arena I'm not holding my breath that you'll make any effort to establish your credibility in this arena either. Those of us that don't hind behind anonymity don't claim to be great riders or great racers but our results are out there for inspection and at least we speak from the standpoint of pinning on race numbers and actually racing.

 

-Dave

post #14 of 40

Really guys, stop feeding the troll...!
 

post #15 of 40
Thread Starter 
So I hammered out a practice crit trying to mimic the neuromuscular and metabolic demands of the crit portion (40 mins AP 280 NP 310, lots of L7/6 bits) of the stage race, then did the actuall TT course yesterday.

Did a 24:20 for the 10.4 mile course in my aero kit (not aero wheels), AP was right on my FTP, for a short tt I'd like to have seen a bit higher power but it is what it is... Race day will provide rabbits ahead of me and a number pinned on and should give me a few watts extra. Also I'm tired I've been riding several days in a row with a L6 focus with anticipating the weekend off and really didn't expect too much out of today. It's confidence building to know that I can trash myself a bit and still do a decent combo.

I learned something on the tt course that I feel like I should have already known. The wind was blowing opposite of normal for the area, which usually only happens in foul weather. I didn't check it so I had a cross wind on the usual sections but a head wind between the first and second turn and a tail wind on the finish after turn 3. Had I realized before I started I'd have pressed harder into the head wind and ramped up for the finish much sooner. Next week I'll be more mindful.
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