bgoetz: I have brought the intensity of my training way down since that last race in September and only throw in a sprint here and there to keep things fun. Here is my schedule:
Tues: 15min warm up, 3 min in 53x12 gear/60RPM @ around 260 watts/Tempo...Recover for 3 minutes and repeat 10 sets
Wed: Level 2 spin night ride 1.5 hour
Thurs: Same as Tuesday.
Saturday: 3.5 hour level 2
Sunday: 2.5 hour level 2 (this is where I throw one or two county line sprints in with the guys to keep things fun)
I haven't had any consistent level 3 training or higher since September and I'm getting hungry for getting back to working at FTP (my coach has me aiming for that in January).
Thanks for the vote of confidence on the upgrade to CAT 3 but that is not on my mind for 2012. I want to see how far I can take things with the PA BAR points in CAT 4, get a handle on my weight, stay safe, increase fitness, and then see what happens for a upgrade in 2013. This is only my 2nd season riding a bike and I need to improve my base (and everything else) to compete with those CAT 3's and the distances they race.
In the short time I've been around the race scene it seems like there are a fair amount of folks that move to CAT 3 and kind of burn out with racing because they are finishing mid pack and never able to contend with a podium finish or even close to a top 10. By NO means am I suggesting "sandbagging" as a CAT 4 but I want to make sure I have to physical/mental ability & training time to invest in cycling before I consider upgrading.
I would imagine that you are on whole other level of training and competition than I am. So you you work on increasing threshold in November? Do you take any months to tone it down and only work at endurance & tempo levels? I'm really liking these low RPM intervals I'm doing. They help me "feel" the entire rotation of the pedal stroke and hope it improves my pedaling efficiency.
Yep, a strong sprint is worth absolutely nothing if you can't make it to the final 200-400 meters with some gas in the tank. That last race of the season I maxed at 1,447 watts in the sprint. The pace of that race was so slow it was almost boring till the last corner so it wasn't a problem to produce numbers. The week prior to that race I held an average power of 996 watts for 20 seconds to take 4th place in a CAT 4-5 race (1st place CAT 5). That field was awesome and the 4th place finish among the best CAT 4's in the state (PA BAR champ and ultimately 2nd, 3rd, & 4th place BAR points contenders) felt so much better better than wining the CAT 5 race.