Criterium Training

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by trekryder, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. trekryder

    trekryder New Member

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    I know this has been asked before but I'm thinking of riding my first criterium and I would like to get any possible training tips or programs. I know the big one is get out and ride the crits but I'm hoping for some good ideas on what to do to get prepared, diet, training, etc. I've already found a lot of great info here but I'll take as much as I can get. Everyone here seems to be really great.

    A little on me... I'm 6' and weigh 223. I know I need to drop some weight and I'm working on that with riding and trying to watch what I eat. I've never raced. I usually do charity rides. The first crit I saw was the 4th Street Criterium here in Winston Salem and I loved it. I've recently started doing sprint intervals and working on my cornering skills. Unfortunately, due to family and home responsibilities, I haven't been able to get in any good long rides lately. I ride a Trek 1000 (yeah, it's the cheapy but I like it). Maybe next year if I get into the racing enough I can upgrade.

    Any thoughts, advice, tips is greatly appreciated.

    Steve
     
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  2. Fletch1

    Fletch1 New Member

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    It's been a while for me but I used to race quite a bit. If you have not raced before, a crit will be like a roller coaster ride. Long steady rides are nice and develop endurance for prolonged steady efforts but criterium racing requires lots of repeated jumps to maximum or near max speed coming out of corners. Obviously, interval training is a must if you are to avoid getting spit out the back of the pack. I remember one of our state TT champs getting smoked in a club criterium even though he could beat everyone handily (sub 57 minute) in a 40k TT.

    Prepare yourself with fast group rides to develop and maintain pack riding skills and make sure you do some slow rolling start sprints to help with your jump.

    The rest you will learn with experience. Don't push too heavy a gear, don't try to go with every breakaway, don't stay too long at the front, don't drift too far back, don't overlap wheels, don't get psyched out by your computer speed (35 mph?! OMG, I can't go that fast!).

    Good luck and have fun.
     
  3. trekryder

    trekryder New Member

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    Thanks, Fletch. I doubt I will even think to look at the computer in the middle of all that. I've been working on intervals and cornering. My main problem right now is finding a group. Almost all of the groups I know of are leisure riders.

    I found a really good way to get interval training in. I went for (what I thought was) an easy ride Saturday. At just about the half-way point, I was cruising along at about 20 mph and next thing I know, here comes a dog. The little bugger was fast and just about the right size to grab an ankle. I hit 35 in no time out of sheer panic. My major issue was I had to go back the same way. And yep, he was waiting for me. I seriously didn't think I could do 35 that quick. Maybe if there were dogs in the crit, I could keep up :D . I won't even be worried about the breakaways. Right now, I just want to try it to see if I like it.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Steve,

    first off crits are great fun. they're fast, furious, exciting, and very exhilirating. they're also intense (read painful), prone to produce crashes, and can be scary fast!

    once you've done your first crit, you'll have a feel for your fitness level, as they demand a very high fitness level, and good bike skills (cornering at speed). it's possible that you may get dropped in your first one, this is common for most people. however, you should persevere both with that race (until the officials pull you out) and others.

    between now and your race, practice a good warm up routine (see http://www.cyclecoach.com/articles?article=Warmup&ext=.htm for some ideas). once warmed up, from a stationary start practice getting your foot clipped into your pedal promptly, as in a crit there's no easy bit at the beginning, it's just go, go, go!

    you should also ride in a group a few times to ensure you know what it feels like to ride in close proximity to other riders when you maybe bumping into them.

    although a crit seems to be sprint into a corner, brake, sprint out, it's the ability to recover from these sprints that set the riders apart. this is directly related to your aerobic fitness, and can be increased by doing hard, steady efforts of say 30-mins. you should also practice doing 30-sec intervals, 30-secs on hard as you can, 30-secs recovery, etc. maybe doing 4 of these to a set and completing 1 to 3 sets.

    exercises, assume that you are fit and healthy with no underlying problems. if you aren't then don't do these (or the crit).

    ric
     
  5. trekryder

    trekryder New Member

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    Ric,

    Thanks for the advice. I'm not too worried at this point about getting dropped. From what I've seen, I don't really stand too much chance of keeping up with some of those people, but it looks like fun. Serious but fun. The one thing I can say for myself is that I don't give up easily. I pretty much have to be taken out or just completely fall apart before I'm finished.

    I'll try your recommendations. Any thoughts or advice on time trial training? I've seen those on TV but never in person. That looks like fun, too.

    Thanks again.

    Steve
     
  6. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    are you mad...? :eek: :D TTing is never fun...

    one to four intervals of 15 to 30-mins, once or twice a week, at just below TT effort.

    ric
     
  7. trekryder

    trekryder New Member

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    lol... Mad, insane, whacked, yeah, pretty much. I seem to be a glutton for punishment. :cool:

    Thanks for the tips and advice.

    Steve
     
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