Questions for experienced racers

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Quadsweep, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. Quadsweep

    Quadsweep New Member

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    What exactly happens when you "blow up"?

    Does your heart rate all of a sudden jump well above the level that you would do anaerobic 3-5 minute intervals at, and then you loose a lot of power? This never happened to me as a runner as runners rarely go anaerobic, except duiring the last 5-10 minutes of a race.

    It seems that this is happening to me in the same general area(short steep hills) of one of my local hard and group rides, and then I get dropped. I feel like I am doing okay but working quite hard ,with threshold and above efforts, and keeping up with the best riders, and then all of a sudden I feel my heart palpitate and I look down at my heart rate monitor and my rate is well above what I do intervals at. Then I am toast until my heart rate drops into my high endurance zone and this can take some time.:(

    I think I developed a good aerobic base this year and then decent sustainable power at threshold. I have done some anaerobic interval work too in the 6 weeks on hills and flats for 3-5 minutes with an equal time bewteen intervals for recovery, for a total of 20-30 minutes a session once a week.

    Do I need to do more interval work?
    Maybe I need to shorten the rests between intervals?

    Thank you for all the help

    Quadsweep:)
     
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  2. Iankatz

    Iankatz New Member

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    I think that you're spinning too fast on your fast rides.
     
  3. Quadsweep

    Quadsweep New Member

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    HUH?:rolleyes:

    I looked up some of your posts and you are not an experinced racer and in fact you are a newbie:cool:.
     
  4. robkit

    robkit New Member

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    it is no fault of yours or your training that this is happenning - i'd say youre simply getting into a situation where youre putting down far more power than you can sustain aerobically - and blowing yourself up as a result.

    in a nut shell, when you are riding aerobically your heart rate goes up fairly linearly - more effort, more oxygen demand, more beats per minute. until your anaerobic threshold, where it goes up a lot faster because you're asking your body to work without enough oxygen, and that is stressful. most people can go significantly anaerobic for upto a minute, but then all that extra power is no longer available, your power output will also dip below max aerobic power due while your body clears lactic acid - the byproduct of anerobic power output.

    you cant train away a physiological limit like this, but you can do more anaerobic training to increase the duration you can stay anaerobic by some small amounts.
     
  5. Iankatz

    Iankatz New Member

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    Do newbies ride with cat1 racers? 33mph at a cadence of 94 is a lot harder than a cadance of 84. If you're the one that can't hang then I guess you have the problem :cool:
     
  6. Quadsweep

    Quadsweep New Member

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    Here's the weird thing.

    I can stay in the middle of the pack with Cat 1-2 riders on long tough climbs of 30-60 minutes, and we go hard, and I am not small for a rider at 5'10" and 160 pounds. So I think my lactate threshold power is pretty good.
    I can also ride at a decent pace for hours so my endurance base is good.

    It's just those really hard group rides and races with a lot of efforts above threshold that pose a problem for me. Often I feel okay even though I am working hard and then it seems that my body has had enough and I think it "blows up" and I loose a ton of power and my heart rate is very high. It pisses me off because before this happens I right with the front group and holding my own, working very hard but not killing myself. I have worked harder doing intervals in training I think, but then again I do allow for recovery after those interval efforts.
    The group rides have a lot of short hills that are done above threshold pace and many times the guys are standing up.:(

    All this is making me think that I need to do more interval work as I have only been doing them once a week for about 7 weeks but I count my hard group rides and races as interval work.

    Then I sometimes think that I need to reduce the rest periods between intervals to less than a one to one work/recovery ratio, but I am not an experienced racer so I don't know if this is wise or even done at all.

    By the way I do take a recovery week every 3 weeks.
     
  7. davidbod

    davidbod New Member

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    I'm not a racer, but I do plenty of intense group riding. I find that this occurs to me more often when it follows an intense above LT effort within the last day or two prior. Like This week I did a short (27 mile) but very intense group ride on Thursday that hammers through city streets basically sprinting from stop light to stop light. I went out on a group ride on Saturday (78 miles) and blew up early in the ride on repeated short steep hills. I could tell right away that I wasn't going to have a good day in the hills. Aeorbically I had no problem, but my legs just wouldn't do what I wanted them to. Had I not done the intense above LT work on Thursday this would not have normally been a problem. I am also at the end of a cycle and next week is a recovery week. I'm curious if you notice something similar or if this still happens to you after a recovery week in the first couple of weeks of your next cycle.
     
  8. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Short, steep hills are a different animal than 30-60 min climbs. While the latter is typically done near LT, the former is about very high power bursts followed by very short recoveries. The stronger riders will go extremely hard in the short, steep sections, and use those climbs to make the group 'selections' (ie, who can hang in the lead group vs. who drops off).

    Don't make the mistake of thinking the short, steep hills are purely anaerobic efforts, though, as your aerobic fitness will dictate how much recovery you need and how many reps of this you can do before you blow up. You mentioned a 1:1 work/rest period in your intervals. I typically do 20 min above LT, with 5 minute rests. Also, zone 5 intervals to improve VO2 will give you a lot of benefit with the shorter hills. Try 4 minutes on, with 2-4 minute rests. Racing is all about the ability to surge and recover quickly, so intervals are a must.
     
  9. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    I may not qualify to respond to your post because my racing experience (~5 years) was a few years ago, but I have been training to race again and have started to do fast group rides and interval work. But, no, my experience was not what you describe. I never saw a spike in my HR, only a loss of power, an inability to apply enough force to the cranks.

    When I was racing, I did all my training rides with a group of other racers. We never did intervals per se, but rather just charged all the hills and someone would go to the front and push the pace from time to time. I think one of the main differences between training with a group and doing intervals solo is that in a fast group ride or race you never recover at a slow pace. After a hard intensity, you drop back to a still pretty fast pace. In solo intervals, I think most of us really drop the pace in recovery. My suggestion is to do high-intensity intervals of various durations and ride your recoveries at, say, 200w-225w.
     
  10. Quadsweep

    Quadsweep New Member

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    I have not been able to hang all the way with this group even after a recovery week.
    Today my legs felt fine and I still blew up.

    I think it the intense pace that is still kept even after those intense efforts up the hills or even on the flats.:(
    I just can't recover enough and then I am toast.

    So I have to take a short cut to catch up with them. Then after about 1.5 hours they settle down to more constant but hard efforts and then I can actually do quite well:confused:

    Then after 2 hours I am one of the better riders as some, even of the very fast guys, seem to loose a bit after 2 hours.:eek:
     
  11. Lonnie Utah

    Lonnie Utah Banned

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    Based on what you've said I'd think a bit about "tatics" If you know you're going to catch them later, I personally wouldn't go to the point of "blowing up" on the hills. I think I would pace myself and plan on catching them later. I think you would lose less time in the process. I know when I totally blow up, it take me much longer to recover than if I'm riding around at 90-95%. Give it a try and see what happens...

    L
     
  12. Quadsweep

    Quadsweep New Member

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    Trouble is if I do that I will be dropped as well. If you are not with the group at the top of the hills then it's bye-bye time as you can't catch them going down hill and especially not on the flats as they are in a pack and moving fast.
    The pack starts with about 40 riders but only the top 20 are in this group. The group is made up of Cat 1-2 riders and some of the better Cat 3-4 riders, as well as a few very tough older guys between 38 and 48 years old!(piss me off).
    The other guys don't even try and they take the short cuts.
     
  13. Fixey

    Fixey New Member

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    Let me sum up...
    You are a bigger guy
    You can climb long grads
    You can ride bunch flat at cadence
    You can get up short steep climbs but get pinged at the top


    First guess...You may be pushing to small a gear.
    Second guess...Recovery is trained by intervals, lots and lots of horrible bloody intervals.
    Third guess...It may be mental...if you focus on getting to the top of a hill you tend to expect to get a rest at the top, if this doesnt happen (And it wont if there are a few cunning buggers in the bunch) then you have a problem, focus on getting 1k past the top of the hill, accept that getting up the hill is only the beggining of the pain, not the end.
    Just some basic ideas
     
  14. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    You're training with a fast group. They probably have a significantly higher average sustainable 40K power than you have at the moment. That's what happens. As the ride progresses, you're spending more and more time above your sustainable power than they are. Eventually, you are going to pay the piper. There are no strategies or tactics that can make up for your overall fitness (as measured by your 40K power). If you were to say that your 40K power was as good or better than theirs, then I'd say there's something going on with technique or tactics. But, as you describe the circumstances I have to conclude that you're just going to the well too often compared with them. Do you ride with a PM? If so, what's your normalized power before you get dropped?
     
  15. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    The best you'll be able to do is try to sit in as much as you can during the tough part to maintain contact with the lead group. Definitely don't try to pull through during this portion. Sounds like you're confident you can hang/work with them if you can get through the selection process.
     
  16. jimbo30

    jimbo30 New Member

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    That's right, sit in and wheel suck. Inexperienced riders get all concerned on training rides that they aren't working hard enough, then all of a sudden the intensity sky rockets and they get dropped. Cycling is about patience.

    I'd lose the heart rate moniter, at least for bunch rides and races.
    cycling doesn't have this measured duration where you can do half hour at this intensity, an hour at another. It is about holding the wheel at all costs. Sure sometimes you can't, but when I am in a race and there is a real attack on I don't hold back anything, and I sure as hell aren't looking at a heart rate monitor, or cycling computer.

    If you have wheel sucked all day and you hit a climb and your legs are fresh, then go all out with an attack. Once again you have to ignore what your heart rate is doing. Look at some of those pictures of Danilo Di luca attacking in the spring classics early this year: do you think he wasn't completely anerobic?
     
  17. hilljunkie

    hilljunkie New Member

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    I'm not a racer but I think your problem is strength. Start ridign a fixed gear in bigger gear than you feel comfortable in and you won't get dropped anymore. You might even find yourself riding off the front and pulling the group.
     
  18. frenchcycling

    frenchcycling New Member

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    do all out intervals of 4 mins with 1 min rest in between. (do this 4 times). if you can repeat the power, do 4 more intervals (with 10 min rest between sets). It can be on any terrain (except down hill), up hill, flats anything that gets ur heat rate up. after this you will have no problem and you will be able to gage ur efforts. remember the more difficult you make your training, the easier groupriding/racing will be (relativly).
     
  19. Quadsweep

    Quadsweep New Member

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    UPDATE!

    Today I took much of the advice from this thread and applied my training and to the group ride.

    I took some direct training advice from TiMan. I did two days of VO2 max intervals back to back, one session on a hill and the other on my trainer with the CTS tape called "Time Trial", and then took two days of recovery. Then I hit the group ride. I REALLY watched my efforts early in the hammer session. I watched and limited my "pulls" more but stayed right up with the top 10 dudes. Almost got dropped once but managed to recover on someones wheel. Then later on in the ride I was able to do some great pulls and efforts.

    Thank you all. Especially to TiMan. I really do think I was stronger during this groiup ride after those two VO2 max sessions followed by two easy recovery ride days.
     
  20. 3_days

    3_days New Member

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    Can you copy Timan's advice on this post - I'm your size, I don't blow up but I'm no natural climber. I believe that I could get some great benefit from your experience here.

    I pushed a hard hill - interval day yesterday and I'm curious about the duration, number and length of the intervals that worked for you - for example, I did 10 miles of tough intervals on a short, steep hill -.6 m but averages 14 - 15%. I'm not as physically tired from it as much as I'm feeling those first subtle symptoms of overtraining (irritable attitude, bad sleep).

    I also have the CTS, TT video and use it fairly regularly - do you use the pedal cadences described in the video (I tend to push a lighter gear at a higher cadence to limit tire wear a bit). I actually think that video is very helpful.

    Finally, in comparison to your intervals, let me know what you use as your recovery ride.
     
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