Focus of training

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Bob West, Aug 21, 2003.

  1. Bob West

    Bob West New Member

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    Presently I'm finishing regularly in the top 5 at a senior 3 races. I have never won on though. Most of the races have been a sprint finish. I believe sprint finishes have a degree of luck and not soley ability. At any rate I would like to solo a finish for my 1st win if I ever do. So far I have been able to get away in breaks and I have enough jump to get away on my own but I end up getting caught but it takes them awhile. As a result of this I think I should be training my TT abilities solely. Presently on my TT bike I can manage 41km/hr for 20km (2 turnarounds). I have been looking at the avg speed of the races that I've been in (all crits) and they are usally around 42-43km/hr. Based on that If I could boost my TT speed to 45km/hr I think I should be able to stay away and solo it. My question is, is this a bad tactic. If not where could I find some info on TT training or should I fork out the money for a coach???
     
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  2. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Hay, its not a bad tactic if you can get away!

    Your sprinting may suffer with more TT training. Check out some of the threads on this site, particularly the ones with Aztec and TTer in.
     
  3. Bob West

    Bob West New Member

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    For the last month and a half I have been doing 5 min intervals well above my LT, I hold it at 173-175bpm ( Yes I have plenty of base millage prior to this). My max is 181 my LT is 164. (I'm 39 years old). I do at least 6 intervals at 5 min with 5min rest in between sets. I do this once a week. On another day I'll do cruise intervals, 2 of them 30 min each. On sundays I'll do a club ride which is very fast as we have some very good riders in my club some of them race or have raced in Europe. The remaining days I spend doing easy rides below 120bpm. I take 3 days off at the end of each month. No I don't feel over trained. My question is would I gain more keeping in mind my tactic at the begining of the thread, from doing cruise intervals in place of the 5 min interval day??
     
  4. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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    Bob
    As 2-lap says, have a look at some of the other threads. They describe training sessions at your LT to increase your LT. Your 5 min sessions are obviously helping you (eg in making the jump), so I'd suggest replacing the cruise intervals with either an LT session or even a TT. I assume by 'cruise' that you mean 5-10bpm below LT. This sort of training is good for lactate clearing, but you need to go a little higher and get your body used to tolerating higher levels of lactic acid, ie getting used to the pain you'll experience when you go into TT mode in a race.
     
  5. zakeen

    zakeen New Member

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    Maybe try some tactics!

    If you are always getting caught, try breaking away later! remeber always breakaway when the strongest guy just did a turn and is boxed in!

    I understand you can do 41 for 20km what about for 10 or 5km what do you think you can avg??

    Its not always luck, like what you stated above, its being in the right place at the right time! You must learn to read a race, know the good guys, know when to go, know how long you can go for at what speed and is that speed faster then what the group is moving!

    Numbers will beat you, but if the numbers dont want to work then you can beat the numbers, the only reason numbers can beat you is because number can have a rest where you cant! If you break away with 20km to go! Thats a lot of rest they are having and little you have!

    The best way to improve tactics is to race when you are unfit! That way you make yourself think more! and you try harder, while racing when you are in good form you tend to work more and dont worry because you can do the extra work! So the next time you think you are not fit enough for a race, just use it for tactics!!
     
  6. Bob West

    Bob West New Member

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    Shibumi, your right. I preform the cruise intervals 4-10 beats below L.T. I was kinda thinking that the cruise intervals done 4 - 10 beats below would cause my body to adapt or get better at removing lactate without having to go to my L.T.
    So if I do a TT in place of the cruise intervals, what would be the duration and how many reps?

    Thx all for responding
     
  7. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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    Bob
    By TT I meant an actual road TT. Thus I'm talking about 10 miles. The next distance up, 25 miles, is probably too far for what you're doing (in terms of intensity). I think it is very hard (mentally) to keep to TT power on a turbo - I can never do it (unless it's the i-magic) - I need the competition. For me TT'ing works because it is all I basically do - I don't bunch race. I've done 40 TTs this year, and I've recorded PBs in 30 of them (ie I keep increasing my speed due to increases in my LT).

    The problem with using TTs to increase LT is that they take a lot out of you, and this is more important for you than me because of your bunch racing. Thus 2 x 20 minute intervals at LT or just above LT will increase your LT without causing you too much fatigue, and this may be the best way to go. But if you can slot the odd 10 mile TT in...
     
  8. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

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    Bob:

    Winning a crit with a solo break is the goal of probably all riders. However, it's the hardest way to win. It can be done though.

    First of all, you need to get faster overall. You need to improve your TT power, as that's the only thing that will keep you OTF. Time trialers don't sprint well, and sprinters don't TT well (usually).

    Some strategies are to work with others in a break. In a 3-man break, the worse you can finish is 3rd if your group survives. Sprinting against 2 riders is better than fighting 25-30 riders.

    Get a rep as a prime hunter. On the last prime, when the pack thinks you will fade back to the pack after the prime go for your long effort. This may be too long for you to stay away however. Chasing primes is fantastic training. If you are not going for them now, consider going for them in the future.

    Tactics at this point may be more important. How long are your races, how many laps, and most importantly, what are your average lap times???

    Most crits are a little under a mile it seems, making lap times usually around 2 minutes or so. Lap times are critical, know what they will be for your next race by checking the distance and using typical speeds for your category.

    So, let's say the 3's are doing 2 minute laps. If you wait until the last few laps, it's too late. The pack will not allow you to escape with only 1-3 laps left in the race. In the beginning laps, you will not be able to last.

    You need to time your attack somewhere in between. The last 1/3 of the race is when you can get away.
    In a 20 mile/20 lap crit, the last 6-7 laps is the time to go.

    Here's how to figure it all out:
    (7 laps)(2 minute laps)= 14 minutes. You need to be able to jam hard for 14 minutes.

    Try doing hard 14 minute efforts above 20 km TT pace. This needs to be at least as fast as typical pack speed (26.5 mph), preferrably higher. You can also do 3-5 minute intervals even faster.

    At this point if you can sit in and rest until the last 6-7 laps, you only need to worry about 14 minutes of power output. Since we are only talking about 14 minutes, pure power is more important, so exceeding normal TT thresholds and generating tons of lactate is ok.

    Good luck!!!
     
  9. Bob West

    Bob West New Member

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    Thx for the info J-MAT
     
  10. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

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    Bob:

    I forgot to mention that you obviously need to get a good gap in order to make your attack work. If not, the pack can easily chase you down.

    Start your 12-14 minute efforts with a rapid acceleration of at least 30 mph and hold for 20-30 seconds, then settle into the pack pace of 26.5 mph. At first you might only last a minute or two or maybe a few minutes. This is the kind of specificity you need.

    Don't get discouraged, you only have to build up to 14 minutes or so. Doing intervals this way is hard, but so is winning a race with a solo break. Just think of how awesome it will feel to solo away and win!!!

    With several top 5 finishes, you have accumulated points towards a cat 2 upgrade. When you upgrade from cat 3 to cat 2, you are essentially upgrading to professional, since the pros ride with the 1's and 2's. You will need this kind of fitness to handle P-1-2 racing.

    Good luck!!!
     
  11. Bob West

    Bob West New Member

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    Your advise makes a lot of sence to me. I can actually see how this can work for me. The sad part of all of this is that there isn't enough races left this year to to work with. I see 2 races that are left. One is this coming weekend, so I think I'll only do one interval workout this Tues or Wed (the one you mentioned). The rest of the week I think I'll do easy rides. The 2nd race is the weekend after next.
    You know I hate Oct - Nov. I feel very fit now and I just want to build on it. Oct - Nov is just base building. It seems crazy to me to do base work when I have years of base on these legs. Sorry for the rant.
    Anyway I'll use your interval advise even though there's not much season left. The challenge to me will be how to figure out how to use it in the future (Jan - Mar)
    Seeing how I have your attention for the moment. Do you have advice or better said, insight as to a coach for the winter. I used Coach Carl last year, He helped but I think I need more specificty as discribed in this thread.
     
  12. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

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    Bob:

    I figured you wouldn't have too many races left this time of year. View these last two races as the most important of the year.

    Maintain your intensity and cut down the volume. Don't do too many intervals though. Only you know how much intensity you can recover from in a few days before your race.

    Take care of life responsibilities during these lighter training weeks so you won't have anything to worry about that will interfere with your racing. Let friends and family know how important the next two weeks are to you. Don't take on big commitments unless you are superman.

    Ideally, if you live close to the course(s) you will be racing on, train there for your intervals. Warm up for 10 laps or so, then figure exactly where you will attack. If your cadence is usually in the 90's use something like a 53x13 for your 20-30 second acceleration (30 mph at 94 rpm), then settle into your 6-7 lap pace, which should be at least 26.5 mph, in a 53x15 around 95 rpm. These gears are just suggestions, modify as necessary.

    It might be even better to just do 3-5 60 second efforts or so, 20-30 seconds at 30+ mph, then practice immediately shifting into your 15 cog and holding your breakaway pace for race-day specificity the remaining 30-40 seconds.

    Doing it this way will give you additional confidence, since you know the gears you choose will work out and get the job done with the course layout, and the timing of your attack will be perfected.

    The 60 second efforts are so you don't get too tired with only a few days left to recover, not so much for a training effect other than the initial anaerobic accelerations. Do long recoveries between efforts, at least 10-15 minutes or longer to ensure maximum quality of the next effort.

    The shorter efforts will also allow you to put more quality into the initial accelerations, which may be even more important at this point than anything else. It's going to be tough to maintain the pack pace or ride above it.

    The only thing that might keep you off the front is the initial gap. You can do some "generic" 3-5 minute efforts also to maintain/improve general high-performance fitness. I would do these after the 60 second efforts or not, it's up to you and how you feel.

    You could also just do 3-5 minute efforts after the accelerations, but again, the greater length might impact the quality of the initial 20-30 second burst. I would stand and sprint hard for 5-10 pedal strokes, then quickly sit and hold your acceleration until your gap is properly established. The inital gap is most important. If you accelerate half heartedly, you will get caught.

    On race day sit in 100% until you make your move. Don't do any work at all, just suck wheels and rest. Pretend you are not on form and tired. Even tell other riders you feel bad if you get the chance. This is as much a game of poker as it is racing.

    Maybe you should take a chance and time your strike with 4.5-5 laps to go instead of 6-7. Since you don't have a lot of time to improve, you stand a greater chance of surviving to the line. Either way, you must give it 100% concentration and effort or you will be caught. 4.5-5 laps to go might work.

    Write down on a piece of paper that you will make your break stick and you will not fade until the race is over and you have won. Write down something like "I will win the 'xyz' crit this weekend with a solo break. I will survive to the line and win." You have to believe in yourself more than anything.

    As far as coaches go, you have to find one that suits you. Kind of like a finding a girlfriend. If you don't get along or whatever, don't expect to make a lot of progress. I coach, lots of others on this board coach, and I think there are a lot of coaches lurking in the shadows as well.

    I have never met or talked to Carl, but I think he is a good guy and has had lots of success. In reality a coach is just a guide. You are ultimately the captain of your own ship, and must sail the waters yourself. Coaches help you chart the right course.

    As far as this weekend and next go, I think you can do it. Take care of obligations ahead of time, focus on your racing, and by all means get lots of rest. You have worked hard this season. Expect only the best for yourself these next two weeks. You can do it!!!

    Good luck!!!
     
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