Racing throws cold reality on training


May 17, 2006
For years, I did a lot of training, strava watching, and group rides, but no racing. You can really delude yourself into thinking you are fast simply because you can hang with a fast group, beat your riding buddies regularly, or your watts look good on a trainer session. When you jump into a race, usually a lot of those recreational riders are gone, and you are in the company of folks who are pretty darn serious about going fast on a bike, and train just as much or more than you. Those same guys that let you take a hill on a fast training ride, bring the pain unmercifully in a race.

My first racing season, cross, in a long while has been very humbling. When I was younger, I didn't have to balance work, spouse, kids, and other activities; training and racing seemed effortless fun. It's much different when you are the one trying to stick with some group and hang on for dear life. I've learned a lot and realize that I've got to change the way I train, if I am going to be even reasonably competitive with the folks who are regularly racing.
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You're right.
I'm racing every Thursday night and it really sorts out who really has the lungs up the hills and the legs on the flats. The people who're ok training are soon off the back.

I train at a pretty slow speed - partly because my training bikes are slow and I'm not there to show off but come race night/day I have my fastest bike, lightest weight and fast attitude.
It makes a big difference!
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