First race educated pointers appreciated...

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Psycolist, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. Psycolist

    Psycolist New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I decided Saturday I am going to embark in my first road race. I have MTB raced as a young child, and motocross raced, and raced motocross quads since then, as well as some car racing. None of them I have been as anxious about as my first road race. I am really just looking for pointers. Ways to prepare, how much should I pace myself, and what to expect in the race itself. I have been ridding allot thinking that, ridding should be good training for it. I figure I won't ride the day before, and rest that day. I rode a good long 82 mile ride on friday, and I took a break Saturday, Sunday I rode a little, maybe 20miles, and today I rode 20 miles as fast and hard as I could. Tomorrow I plan to ride around 50-60 miles as hard and fast as I can. The race being only a cat5 racer is only a 28mile race. I have been ridding lots of hills, and enjoying them at a generous pace. Does any of that sound wrong? Come on guys help a newbie roadie out!
     
    Tags:


  2. blaronn

    blaronn New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
  3. Rob Havemeyer

    Rob Havemeyer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0






    Hey Congrats on your decision to enter a road race ! My first was only in June of this year. I've entered 12 so far and have learned more every race..It has really kept me on the bike every week this summer just knowing I have another race the following week...

    (background) When I was younger (decades ago) I raced BMX...Loved it..And I had been out of shape for years over 204lbs I'm 5'9".. I bought a bike in May starting dieting and riding like an animal, within 4 weeks I thought I had already lost close to 20lbs...what the heck why not give racing a try? Whats the worst that could happen? However I had read sooo many posts on getting dropped that I was mentally prepared to suffer such a blow.. I think for most people starting out or moving up a class getting dropped is a right of passage..



    Not knowing your conditioning level or the type of race it's a little hard to comment on but here is some advice from what I've learned so far..

    • Crit race..In Brooklyn where I often race the pace is pretty fast the first lap or two but then settles..(Its only a 17 mile race with a 3.4mi loop and one climb.)
      • Average speed is between 23-25mph depending on who is pulling.
      • Start in the first third of the group. If you end up off the back it's harder to catch up because each acceleration from the front of the pack gets amplified in the back. You'll end up working pretty hard in the back. No-Fun
      • Conserve your energy!!! Stay in another riders slipstream..If you do end up in front (example 2-3 guy and they pull off and if it's your turn to pull..DONT go crazy take a hard 10-20 pedals maybe 30sec or so and drop back..(Dude trust me I've thought I was some kind of a hero in the front in my first few races & tried to pull real hard just to run out of gas and blow up..don't do it..
      • Watch out for other riders.. Cat 5 is challenging because most people are new. What that translates into are riders who cannot follow a line. (they weave all over the place) This can be dangerous!! Almost every race I've been in there has been at least one crash. So when you are looking for someones wheel to get behind size them up. Do they look like they have been riding for a while ? Are they erratic ? If so stay away..
      • Don't chase down other riders.. Almost every race in Cat 5's there is some rider who thinks he can break away and win... Hey in my first race I was one of them...I broke away in the third lap and blew up.. all of the other riders eventually caught up and blew by me..I was done.. Bottom line is that in 12 races I've never seen an attack/break away stick everyone gets caught. At least in the 5's and where I race.. So when a rider goes off the front allot of newbies who are full of adrenaline says go go and waste their energy..I don't chase any more because I know the rider is doomed..
      • Set up for the finish...Now that your rested the race really only comes down to the last lap and the positioning for the finish. If you want to win or place you need to work your way to the front 2 rows of riders the first 10 guys or so. But dont wait to make this move, do it early enough that if you expend allot of energy moving up you can recover for the sprint finish. Keep in mind many riders dont want to go for the win. They are just content finishing. So you need to look for the guys in the front that are determined and who will be in the final sprint. With 1/2 mile to the finish the pace will be very high..25-27 mph.. Deciding on when to GO for the finish is part strategy part luck..(especially if your solo No-Teammates) Your going to want to look and wait for someone to make a move first. The objective is to jump on their wheel ASAP to conserve energy leading up to the finish. I've rarely seen a rider break from the group solo at 26+mph and hold onto the lead for the win.. It's the guy on his wheel who will win. (this is called a lead out) when your following someone’s wheel leading up to the finish. At 200-300 yards from the line you need to make a move to launch by the person in front of you for the finish line.. Hopfully you have conserved enough energy for a big final sprint effort..
    • Rest and Nutrition: Try to get as much rest as you can. You'll be nervous but try your best to get sleep the night before. Eat a decent dinner the night before to make sure your glycogen is topped off. Don't stuff yourself but a good meal of complex carbs & protein should do fine. Hydrate well start 2+ hrs before the race. I like gels so I typically do I gel pack 1hr + before the race and another right before the start. I also do Accelerade in the water bottle.
    • Training You seemed to be on a good track with the miles you’re putting in. Yes rest the day before of go out for a light spin. I'm doing 140-180 miles a week on avg. (For Me a typical week is) Since I race on Sat, Sundays I do 60 miles (pretty hard mixed rollers etc.) Mon, 20-25mi at 5am Hill's, Tues 20-25mi 5am Hard Intervals, Wed 20-25mi 5am Hills, Thurs 20-25mi 5am Hard Intervals, Fri Spin/rest, Sat RACE
    I hope this helps
    Good Luck !!

     
Loading...
Loading...