Want to try racing

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by chris30, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. chris30

    chris30 New Member

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    Need some advice. Living in London and want ot try some racing. Can somebody advise me on where to go, what to do etc. Fitness level is reasonable ( doing aprox 30 to 40 mile a week ) plus what would i need to be able to reach in terms of fitness level to race?

    Cheers
     
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  2. fondriest

    fondriest New Member

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    I dont race myself, but i would think you need to be doing your 30 - 40 mile at least 6 times a week. What speed do you average over this distance?
     
  3. chris30

    chris30 New Member

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    I average about 12 miles an hour,to do that sort of mileage you'd have to be a full time cyclist!

    Cheers
     
  4. fondriest

    fondriest New Member

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    I didnt mean to put you off the idea. How long have you been riding? If you REALLY want to start racing then a commitment to train practically daily would be needed. You need to build up to that level gradually though. If the idea of riding 30 mile a day frightens you that much at the mo then i would forget about next season and concentrate on working towards the season after.

    Hopefully someone else a bit more experienced than myself can give you some tips on here.
     
  5. chris30

    chris30 New Member

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    since i was a kid but i have only began to road ride in the last 6 months as i have always been into mountain biking. I like both as much as each other but was interested in trying out road racing. Thanks for your advice by the way

    Regards
     
  6. packmagician

    packmagician New Member

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    Here in the US the guys who race only occasionally, in the lowest category, almost never place, but are fit enough to have fun are probably riding around 125-150 mi./week, much of that with small training ride groups where the average speed is 17-23 mph., with occasional surges up to 28-29 mph. These are the guys who do 40k time trials around 1:03 - 1:07 on a good day. To get there you should be riding 5 or 6 days a week, with one of those days a longer ride, maybe a group ride, of 40-60 mi. It may take a few months of consistent training before you can stay with the main group in typical entry-level races, depending of course on your beginning fitness level, the speed of the entry level races in your area, the terrain, and your recovery ability. Sometimes the best thing to do is to go ahead and enter a race with the expectation of getting dropped, just to see where you need to be.
     
  7. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

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    I wouldn't mind racing i average about 100miles+ a week i sprint 5 miles or so with an averaqge speed of between 23 / 27mph i can achieve around 40mph on a flat road and i have a pretty good power output for hills, i can maintain a high/very high kadence for long periods of time depending upon the gearing, unfortunately i lack motivation, so unfortunately i ride when i have to, but when i do now adays i put 110% effort into my rides. long work hours (latenights etc)

    what would make a good racer, what speeds etc over times? surges of 28/29mph scoff, 30/40mph i ride between 23/27 with surges upto 35/38 so i'm sure pro's achieve a little greater speeds than I.
     
  8. packmagician

    packmagician New Member

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    First off, get the idea of average speed out of your head altogether. Getting across the finish line first is what counts! If there is one strong attack on a hill or something, it won't really matter what your average speed is if you are off the back when it counts. Speeds of the pack in races depend on a lot of things, including the pack size, so there isn't really anything to compare them to. Typical local and regional level races around here will end with sprints (then they do end in sprints) that max out anywhere from 35 to 42 mph. The fast parts of road races (on flat ground) would usually get up to 31-32 mph. , often for extended periods of time. The pack gets strung out and if it lasts long enough things start to shatter and if you're too far back you have to be able to see what is happening and make the effort to close the gap before it's too late. Knowing when to wait for someone else to close the gap and when to do it yourself is an art form that you learn with experience. The bottom line is that you have to get in a race in order to get a feel for what it is like. Some entry-level races can actually be slower, on average, than a group training ride.

    What you need the most at first are basic race survival skills. The ability to maintain a decent position in the pack so you don't get gapped off by someone ahead of you; The ability to recover quickly enough from one hard effort (closing a gap or responding to an attack) to be able to respond to the next one; sufficient basic endurance for the distance; basic riding skills so you're not dangerous or so nervous you're hanging on the back the whole time, and of course a good helping of determination. These are the things you train at first. Finding the local group training ride and doing those rides regularly is a good start, particularly if you need to work on your pack skills and if there aren't many races available in your area.

    I've seen lots and lots of guys who are very strong and can time trial quite well, but end up off the back in road races and especially in criteriums because they aren't prepared to handle the accelerations, cornering, hils, etc. The beauty of bike racing is that the strongest rider doesn't always win!
     
  9. ksteede

    ksteede New Member

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    packmagician gave some good advice.

    I bought my first road bike in August and started racing immediately.

    I would go to your local bike shop and ask about clubs and races in your area. There is sure to be a novice categeory that will allow you to gain race experience.

    The most important thing is to build a good base by increasing your mileage and time on the bike. I ride between 5 an 6 hours a week. 3 or 4 sessions for a total of 100 - 125 miles per week, each session is between 90 and 150 minutes. Also try to increase your average speed to about 17mph. That should put you in the middle of the novice categeory (Cat 4 or 5).

    You may also want to add one or two sessions of intervals and/or hill work.

    The main thing to have fun and don't overtrain.
     
  10. Roleur

    Roleur New Member

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    I think Packmagician gave some really good advice. I just have a few thoughts. Join a club. You will learn a lot about riding in a pack in a "non-aggressive" environment. You will learn skills like maintaining position, not letting gaps open and pacelining. You will need to put in some good mileage and your basic goal should be able to spin the big chain ring. If you can go up a gradual rise or smallish hill in the big ring without problem then you know you have the basic strength.

    Join a club, learn from the good riders and stick to it. Competitive cycling is hard and you need to hang in there. As Greg Lemond once said, "it doesn't get easier, you just go faster"
     
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