Where to from here?

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Where to from here?

Postby Rider123 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:38 pm

I am looking for some advice as to how to progress forward in terms of racing bike race.

Just a quick snapshot my cycling progression:
I started cycling about 2 years ago (15 years of age). I had a Kmart Huffy bike as my first ever one and I started really enjoying cycling, almost 2 x 3hr sessions after school/weekends a week.

About a season ago, I started doing some triathlons as I was a bit of a runner. Came about 2nd last in my first ever race and the next few races were something like this: 8th, 5th, 2nd, 1st, 2nd.

Earlier this year, I decided to give bike racing a go. Started in D grade and found the going really tough, especially the accelerations and tactics that i wasn't used to in triathlons. Just hung onto the main group in my first criterium (about 30th out of 40th)

Bought myself a bike trainer and started doing interval training. A typical week would look like: 2x20min Interval (85-87% of my MHR)l, Couple of VO2 Sessions, <3 min intervals) and a 3 hr long ride on the weekend. Have raced about 5 times since my first ever bike race and I have steadly improved with a 5th place and a 4th place in my last ITT.

I have read online about the benefits of a Power Meter.
I was wondering what I would be best of doing at the moment:
Continue training at my level which is about 175 bpm for my 20min interval.
Try to race more frequently (i.e. once a week)
Buy a powertap and get some structed training.

I'm asking these questions because I am starting to feel a bit frustrated with my near-misses and am starting to question what I have thus, been doing. Also, is it unusual for someone to race in D grade 6 times without ever place?
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by BNA » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:37 am

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Re: Where to from here?

Postby BarryTas » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:37 am

training + TIME = results, ie keep at it.

Also do some more group rides
when do we stop for coffee???

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Re: Where to from here?

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:46 am

You won't become a world beater over night and you won't win races unless you have fitness to do it. So in other words train more and smarter and forget about power metres. There is plenty of info on this site to help you train better and smarter but unless you have the base Ks in your legs of course you are not going to see results. You shouldn't (in my opinion) be expecting to win things for a while, get to know tactics and how to ride first! :wink:
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
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Re: Where to from here?

Postby MichaelB » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:05 am

Not into racing or Tri's etc, but rather than spend a lot of money on a power meter before understanding what to do with it and what it tells you, the best advice I've seen given on here is to get a coach and learn how to train properly, so that you get the most benefit for what you want to achieve.
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Re: Where to from here?

Postby vander » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:12 am

Powermeter is a very useful training tool. So is using your HRReserve (HRR) and HRR is a much cheaper option. Also if using a powermeter you have to have a max test (or atleast a good submax test) regularily (approx every 6 weeks) for it to be effective. Training using HRR much cheaper and pretty much as effective. +1 to getting a coach.

PS - HRR = HRmax - HRrest, and is a much more effective measure than HRmax technique. Train at 65-85% of HRmax for Aerobic training zone.
Equation is 65%HRR = (HRmax - HRrest)x0.65 + HRrest.
PPS - Training using intervals also is very effective and more like what you will experience in a race.
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Re: Where to from here?

Postby Chris249 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:29 pm

From my own limited experience, you don't actually need coaching or a powermeter to get up the grades (although my own moves have been on TT times which is unusual). There seems to be plenty of good information on the web and in books, like Friehl's Cyclist's Training Bible and Chris Carmichael's Time Crunched Cyclist.

Having said that, from my experience in my other sports, a good coach can really short-circuit the improvement process and also pick up bad habits that can hold you back. In one of my other sports, a guy who I would beat easily in racing noted one area where I was making a critical mistake that really hurt my performance in certain conditions. I'd been aware of the performance issue, but not the body position that was causing it. That convinced me of the basic worth of coaches and I'm thinking of getting an intro session from Alex or a local who coaches one of our club's Masters world track champ/record holders.

"Scuse me if I'm teaching you to suck eggs, from your tri experience it seems you really know how to get those legs moving. In fact, doesn't being a good runner harm your riding legs? Is that just a rumour or is it just that you have to get the tri out of your system (so to speak) before being able to win at crits?

One of the frustrating things for we noobs is the lack of good books on tactics. I've got one, but it assumes that you are road racing in a semi-pro team, so a lot of the info is useless at my much lower level (club B Grade, but only winning in TTs). There's also very little in mags. In my other sports I got major breakthroughs from watching even mediocre competitors race, so I'm planning to head down to the Dunc Gray Velodrome to watch the track racing and absorb more of a feel for the way the good guys do it.
There are many types of racing cyclists. There is the sprinter, the rouleur, the stagiaire, the danser, the descender.... sadly, I'm a mediocre. :-(

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