training before races

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by BullGod, May 8, 2008.

  1. BullGod

    BullGod New Member

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    In order to get the hours in to prepare for the classics I have been doing 2 - 2,5 hr training rides (easy endurance) and then (immediately after) riding a training race of 90 - 100 minutes duration. Ride home afterwards and it's usually 4-5 hrs on the bike. I do this midweek, once or sometimes twice.

    Is this "good" training? It certainly can make for a tough last 30 mins of the training race - especially throwing in some attacks.

    Is there a difference between this plan, and just doing the training race, then a 4hr standard endurance ride another day?

    i tend to use training races as a substitute for intervals. In fact, apart from some weekly sprints from standing start on 53x17 I haven't done any intervals for some time. I figure with a crit or a classic every week there is no need?
     
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  2. ctgt

    ctgt New Member

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    I'm hoping you'll be able to tell us in a month or so. To me, it seems like a great way to maximize your training, and to avoid racing away your base ("spending your CTL" is what I should probably call it). I know that I recall reading how Erik Zabel used to do up to 50 km before and/or after each stage of Tirreno-Adriattico to get ready for Milan San-Remo.

    Last year I started doing the same thing with my weeknight MTB races (not every week), but then I have a full-time job and 3 kids, so it's a slightly different motivation.

    In my case, I figured why am I driving 35 km to a race, riding 2-3 W/U laps and leaving without a cool-down, when I could simply ride there, skip the W/U lap (it's a weekly series which means 2 things: I know the trails well, and no one race is all that important anyway-they're for training and fun), ride the race, and ride home for extra endurance. I leave at about the same time, and get home about 30 minutes later than when I drive.

    A couple of years ago, I really got into running for a season, and I recall one coach's advice was that to avoid racing away your base, all you really had to do (in his experience) was an extended cool-down at endurance pace following 5k and 10k races. Sounds sort of similar.

    To sum up: I think what you're doing is good training, but I too will await the replies of those with far more experience and objective analyses to tell us we're right.
     
  3. strader

    strader New Member

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    Why wouldn't you do your endurance ride after the race? I could see doing an hour or so before as a good warm-up, but two hours?
     
  4. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    i used to do the same thing back in the day... works good... end of that day i would come home un-hitch my jaw and tip over the fridge into it :)
     
  5. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    can't speak for BullGod but for me... training races were in the evening so 1 hrs after the race and it was pitch black outside... so it just wasn't practical.. and it's a total waste of a day to just do the training race with 1hr warmup... if you are doing a crit on a sunday... if i'm building... go do 2-3hrs after... or in ontario if you're a master you can do your master race and the 1-2 race after (just sit in an get some miles)

    back in the day i actually had two training races a week and on tuesday i would do 1.5 hr with sprints in the morning.. training race in the evening... with the 1-1.5hr or so ride before and ride home after. but on thursday to get the volume up i'd do... 2 hrs with intervals in the morning... go home eat and go to sleep (man it was great when your parents were paying the bills) get up eat do 2hr endurance, ride the training race and ride home... eat two dinners... a good 5-6 hr day.. makes you mentally and physically tough.. but you can't just start doing this.. you need to build up to it.
     
  6. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Yes, I think it's good.

    From a volume-building/CTL-building standpoint, it's useful. If that's what you need before a series of races, then go for it. Just be sure to taper your volume long enough before the important races. I also think it’s specific to racing as it mimics the fatigue you would have at the end of a harder or longer race.

    FWIW, from a physiology standpoint, I think it might have some implications for muscle fiber recruitment. I'm thinking of that old trick of fatiguing the easily recruited slow-twitch fibers by doing a long ride and then you start using more of your fast-twitch fibers the longer you go. At least that's my understanding anyway.

    I am not a coach or an expert but I think that in the global scale of things (zoom out to the big picture), doing it before or after the race may not matter. Just the fact that you are doing it matters.

    Lots of pro and elite riders do this. I do this sort of thing when I need some volume. On a Sunday morning, I'll ride for ~3 hours, hit a local training race then ride home, sometimes taking a longer route. I've done 150-180km that way no problem. Lots of people do the same thing for the Tuesday night race here but I would have to take the subway for part of the trip home or bring lights, which makes it more complicated.
     
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