5 days to race day (6-18-2005).. How to spend them???

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by stormer94, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    My first important race (to me), is this weekend, 25 mile round trip ride with about 1000 feet of climbing, and one 1/2 mile stretch of 11%+. It's my only local race, and I'd like to do well. Frankly, I would like to win. And have the confidence, we'll see about the legs and lungs.

    I'm 41, I've got my miles in, I ride 140-200 miles a week, I eat fairly clean, my power is better than it ever has been. I did a 17 mile TT last week, solo, in 47 minutes (2:45 miles) and slacked away the first 12 minutes. I'm pretty happy with that. I'm no cycling God, but I'm trying, and that's all anyone can ask for. I think I can do that TT in 45 minutes if I pay attention (2:38 pace).

    How should I be spending my last 5 days before the race?

    Gonna be rainy here all week. :mad: :mad: :mad:
    Monday (today). I did "watt sprints" on the Computrainer. 90 minutes. I pick a wattage and hold it for a mile, whatever the HR is, it is. Started at 150 watts, did a few of those to warm up, then to 180 watts for a few sets, then 200 watts for some sets, then back to 180's and cool downs. The 200's for me, on my setup, end up finishing about 90-92% of my maxx HR with an average of 83%, it's about a 3 minute flat sprint, every time. Sprint is likely the wrong word, as I just try and hold a wattage.

    YOUR THOUGHTS:????

    Monday Done. Did 90 minutes of HIIT.

    Tuesday? Was thinking 50 road miles @ 135-145hr

    Wednesday? Maybe a nice 30 mile ride, few hills, 140-165hr

    Thursday? Maybe just some light peddling, 120-125hr, 30-45 minutes

    Friday? DAY OFF

    Saturday? Race, 9am
     
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  2. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    I'm not an expert but common wisdom is that to ride the day before. Do an hour or so fairly light but with a few harder efforts to open up your legs. Maybe take thursday off. Some intervals wednesday but not enough to fatigue you, again, just keep you fresh. And probably less than 50 on tuesday unless thats nothing for you.
     
  3. topcat

    topcat New Member

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    I back that, mind you everybody is different. I know people that dont ride the day before and do well and others ride the day before, peronaslly i prefer to just to a fairly easy spin the day before and then just warm up on race day. just got to find what suits you best really....
     
  4. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    First, I assume this is a road race. Second, I assume there is an age group category of 35+ or 40+ and that you will be entered in this category. You didn’t say where the climb(s) occur on the course, so I’ll assume that at least one of them occurs late in the race. Your first problem is to be with the lead group at the finish. Unless you don’t have many competition cyclists in your part of the world, this is going to require that you stay with them during surges at 25+mph. Your second problem (actually, a sub-part of the first problem) is to stay with the lead group on the last climb. I classify this as a separate problem only because it requires a somewhat different form of training. Your third problem is the sprint finish, assuming that you are with the lead group at the finish.

    I suggest that you use both Tuesday and Thursday for high intensity training. On Tuesday, after a warmup (say, 20 minutes), I recommend 4 sets of 5-min intervals at 24-25mph with a 5-min recovery at about 18mph, followed by 2 sets of 1-min intervals at sprint pace with a 5-min recovery at easy conversation pace. The purpose of the first four intervals is to be able to stay with the lead group during surges. You can handle these better if you have convinced yourself with training intervals that you can go that hard for up to 5 minutes and recover and then do it again. That’s how the race will go – surge, rest, surge, rest. On Thursday, after a warmup, I recommend three of the 5-min intervals above, followed by a 5-min climb at high intensity. The purpose of the climb is to build confidence that you can put in a high-intensity climb at the end of the race. On the training sprints, you want to get in your largest gear at about 20-22mph. At the beginning of the minute, get off the saddle and ramp up your cadence to about 100. Then, get back in the saddle and push as hard as you can to the end of the minute. In the last 10 seconds, go all out. These should raise your HR to near max. The purpose of the sprints is to build confidence that you can go all out for a minute at the end of the race.

    What you do on Wednesday and Friday is largely inconsequential, so long as you don’t do any high intensity riding. You can either take the day off or take a 30-mile ride at light intensity (easy conversation pace).

    In the actual race, assuming you are in the lead group at the end, get near the front and stay in the outside of the lane so you don’t get boxed in. Someone will jump early. Get on his wheel and stay with him until no more than about 100 yards from the finish. Then, pull out and go by him fast. When you pull even with him, he’ll try to accelerate and stay with you. It’s key that you accelerate by him hard, to demoralize him and get him to throw in the towel. If you go by him too slowly, he’ll be encouraged that he can stay with you. Try to make it look like you still have one gear left, even if you’re dying. Throwing your hands up in a victory salute is optional (if you do, just be sure your medical insurance is paid up).

    As this is your first race, I think you should be thrilled if you are with the lead group at the finish. This is a major achievement. In all likelihood, there is a sprinter in the group. He will have drafted the entire race, saving his energy for the finish. That’s one of the reasons for the surges, to wear these guys out. But, at least one of them will probably still be hanging around. He’ll be hard to beat.
     
  5. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    It's my third "serious" race. It's local, road race. The main hill is one mile from the start, and it's murder. I've practiced it about 8 times at race speeds. I know how fast I can go up it, and still have something for the rest of the race. Right after the main hill is a 1/4 mile of 1%, then 1/2 mile of 5%. There's a lot of climbing right off the bat.

    I've practiced this finish, on the race course itself, 5-6 times. You come DOWN the 11% hill, it's curvey, has some spots where there is gravel on it, and it's kind of creepy (I'm cautious, but have looked at it a lot and understand how to go fast on it). I've come down it at over 45mph, then it's one mile to the finish. I've practiced, this last mile using as much of the hills speed as possible, usually about 35 when you hit the bottom because of the last corner. I've held 30mph for the next mile to the finish, but it's torture.

    I'm only worried about 1 other rider, the guy that won it last year. I've done the math, and I can match or beat his time. BUT, that was based on his fitness from LAST YEAR. If I can hang with him on the first climb, share some of the work, I think I can take him in the sprint. You just never know who will slow or speed up when it's "TIME" to start thinking about the sprint, those are nervous moments... I love that part. :D

    I know the course and it's distances, so I have the advantages of knowing the hills, corners, times.

    My Aero-position is pretty good. Can't wait. I want to race NOW!

    I think that's why taking Friday off is better for me. Makes me WANT to be on the bike, chomping at the bit, full of excitement and energy... LETS GO ALREADY!!!! If I'm not fit enough we'll know in about 70 minutes. :D
     
  6. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    As you describe the course, it's all going to be decided in the last mile after the downhill. It's almost impossible to get away on a downhill section, so I'd draft him on the entire downhill and at least the first 3/4s of the flat section. If it were me, I'd probably draft him until about 100 yards to the finish. If you go early, he's going to just get on your wheel and then take you in the last 100 yards if he's a good sprinter. Races this short aren't about time -- they're all strategy and tactics. It isn't long enough to wear a guy down. Assuming you don't get dropped on the climbs, the whole thing is about setting up the last mile. Based on the course description, I'd probably modify my training this week and do several more flat-out sprints.
     
  7. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    Tuesday: Ran out of time for more miles, did 32 pretty easy miles. A few sprints, some hills, did over 700 feet of climbing. A pretty laid back day. Even though it was a laid back day I managed to set a record on one of my favorite climbs. Beat my old time by 15 seconds... I felt like an animal, climbing in the big ring, etc.

    I don't know how much of a sprinter he is. Or just how lazy he's gonna allow me to be (as I plan to be a wheel sucker of the highest order). :D What I do know about him is that he runs no computers or HR equipment, goes all by "Feel" on race day. Must be working for him, the guy is winning some larger events around our state. Don't be fooled into thinking I'm letting this guy get the mental edge on me. I want this guy, and I'm ready to work both of us hard. REAL hard. All I've got. I'm tired of hearing about him. I want to hear people talk about how "I" worked him like a mule and kicked his butt!!! (how's that for attitude!!!) :)

    I'm leaning toward 30-40 easy miles tomorrow,
    (wednesday), or 2 hours, whichever comes first. Maybe some hills, small stuff, 3-4 minute stuff, and a few all out 20-30 second sprints.

    I don't want to work to hard. Whatever glucose and glucogen I'm accumulating I would like to have on Saturday for an all out effort.
     
  8. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    I've never had only one guy to think about in a race, so this is a different strategy situation for me to think about. But, let me speculate on what he'll do. If he's used to getting away well before the finish, he'll be surprised that you're staying with him. If I were him, I'd throw surges at you repeatedly, to test your strength and your will. If you were still with me in the last mile, I'd hold a steady pace until very late and wait for you to jump. That way I'd still have plenty of jump left and plenty of gear. If you go early, I'll get on your wheel and take you late. If you wait, I'll take my chances in a clean start. Who knows what he'll do, but that's what I'd do.
     
  9. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    Wednesday: Ended up hooking up with some cross country riders that were passing through, spent 45 minutes riding with them at like 110HR. Then got in another 20 miles with 3 good sprints, and 4 serious hills. Good semi-recovery style of ride with some effort tossed in.
     
  10. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    Rapdaddyo,

    I pretty much agree with what you are thinking. That first 12% climb will sort some folks out. I just need to make sure I'm at the front when the first climb is over.
     
  11. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    True, but if he gets away on the climb just be sure he gets away alone. If he gets away alone, you can chase him down after the climb. That'll rattle him.
     
  12. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    Thursday Did, 26 miles. A few hills, a few sprints, tired not to let the heart rate wander much over 156. Tomorrow, day off. Maybe some stretching, some carb loading.
     
  13. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    FRIDAY: Did nothing. :)

    Got 10 hours of sleep. Knowing full well I won't sleep well tonight because of nerves.

    Woke up stretched out. Had an apple and some vitamins, supplements, etc. Gonna go eat lunch, I'm thinking a Chicken sub on wheat.

    Going to load bikes, figure out how to put a speedometer magnet on a disk wheel??? and get ready for tomorrow.


    :)
     
  14. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Sounds like you're ready. Good luck. BTW, when I was racing I would watch my competitors heads for a cue to their remaining strength, especially in a sprint finish. If they kept their head up, I felt they had plenty left. If they dropped their head, I figured they were pretty close to tapped out and that I could take them. I always tried to keep my head up, regardless of how I felt.
     
  15. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    Hmmm. Good advice. Gonna look for that.
    :D
     
  16. Lonnie Utah

    Lonnie Utah Banned

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    Good luck. Go get 'em Ace!!!

    Post a report after the race, OK?

    L
     
  17. Catabolic_Jones

    Catabolic_Jones New Member

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    Good Luck, can't wait to see how it turns out. Sounds like you've laid the groundwork, now you just need to reap the rewards.
     
  18. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    Thanks guys for all the kind words and advice. :D

    Race is over. Did it go as I hoped. Yes and no. I have no regrets about my performance, not one. I'll post my race info and thoughts here:

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/showthread.php?p=1954514#post1954514
     
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