Help me be able to race!

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Help me be able to race!

Postby nickalas » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:19 pm

Hello everybody,

I just wanted to get some advice about a good way to go about training. My goal is to compete in the road race (112km or so) at the 2010 Australian University Games (28september - 1st october).
The 2009 race was 10 laps of the "Tour of the Scenic Rim 2009" in QLD. http://www.cyclingprofiles.com.au/HTM/C ... 2009RR.HTM
It's in Perth this year, but ultimately I'd be training for a similar sort of ride to that.

I'm not interested in winning. I'd just like to go along, have a fun time, and finish in a reasonably OK position!

Ive had a read of these training forums and theres just endless amounts of information and I wouldn't have the slightest idea of where to begin.

To give you a bit of a background of my fitness and skill etc:

- I've been riding my new road bike since just before christmas. I believe i am reasonably fit.
- I've just turned 20, and from about age 16-19 i did absolutely zero exercise. i used to be a sporty fit kid, but then turned into nothing
- I must have some pretty natural fitness, because I've ridden a few bunch rides since I started riding and am pretty comfortable in medium pace groups (mailing room ride)
- I did the Herald sun run for the kids (14.4km) with one training run (5km). That was the only time i had run in 12 months prior to the event. I did it in a very respectable time, so I would say I do have some fitness in me, despite only having ridden since xmas.

I'll give you some info about my cycling:
- I've been riding pretty frequently since i got my bike. I would say on average between 80-150km per week.
- I ride everywhere as fast as I can. no cruising. out of the seat on most hills.
- I have begun and plan to continue riding a morning group ride which is a 27km (45km after getting there and back) once or twice a week.
- yesterday I did my first 100km ride. I did it pretty comfortably, averaging about 29kmh. However about 65km of this was along beach road (which i realise is cheating as its pretty flat).

So I guess i'm asking for some advice of how to prepare myself for a race of that nature. Maybe help setting up a training plan?

Any help is much appreciated,
If u have any questions, put them here and i'll check regularly and answer them

thanks in advance,
Nick
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by BNA » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:28 pm

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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby Chaderotti » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:28 pm

You're fitter than me to do 100km at 29 km/h and I've been riding for about 15 odd months :roll:
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby Parrott » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:25 pm

Join a cycling club and enter a few races. They'll probably start you in the lowest grade and you'll find your way from there. As long as you see it as a bit of fun it should be :)
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby DanielS » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:17 am

Parrott wrote:Join a cycling club and enter a few races. They'll probably start you in the lowest grade and you'll find your way from there. As long as you see it as a bit of fun it should be :)


+1, start racing ASAP. Half of racing is learning how to position yourself in the pack and minimise energy expenditure, so you need to start racing soon to learn all of this.

I did the unigames RR in 2008 - it was tough, I got dropped after the first lap, along with quite a few others. I think it depends who shows up though - this was in Melbourne and the unis there have pretty strong cycling clubs. I was racing C-grade here at the time.

As to a training plan, this is dependent on a lot of things. You've got six months, which is a while. I would say, for the moment, just race as much as you can and keep doing the group rides. Just get the experience. With three months to go, you can start to think about intervals etc, but by then you should have some idea of your strengths and weaknesses and the demands of racing.

Good luck, hope that helps.
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby nickalas » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:10 am

aahhh that sounds like it would be an extremely difficult race then. How strong were you at that point?? when you say get into racing, Are Crits ok?
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby Parrott » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:40 pm

nickalas wrote:aahhh that sounds like it would be an extremely difficult race then. How strong were you at that point?? when you say get into racing, Are Crits ok?


Sure, you are not going start in A grade, just hang at the back until you feel more confident to mix it up a bit :)
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:45 pm

Sorry are you racing now?...if not then start right now.
112 km in the field you are likely to get at that race will be TOUGH!...you might want to have fun and not be to worried about placing.
University students...way too much time to train,some of those guys are already ripping the legs off people in A grade :lol: .
Anyway it is all about the experience...so have fun...just be prepared.
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby nickalas » Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:08 am

It actually surprises me that it would be so strong. Cycling seems to be full of older 24+ year olds, and cycling is virtually non existent at my uni (monash), no club, only organized bunch rides which seem to be predominately staff/alumni...
No I'm not racing yet. I will go in the novice crit next time I have a Sunday morning free, but this is actually difficult due to my part time job shifts and uni field trips.
What should I do in the mean time??
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby puffdaddy » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:28 am

DanielS wrote:
Parrott wrote:Join a cycling club and enter a few races. They'll probably start you in the lowest grade and you'll find your way from there. As long as you see it as a bit of fun it should be :)


+1, start racing ASAP. Half of racing is learning how to position yourself in the pack and minimise energy expenditure, so you need to start racing soon to learn all of this.

I did the unigames RR in 2008 - it was tough, I got dropped after the first lap, along with quite a few others. I think it depends who shows up though - this was in Melbourne and the unis there have pretty strong cycling clubs. I was racing C-grade here at the time.

As to a training plan, this is dependent on a lot of things. You've got six months, which is a while. I would say, for the moment, just race as much as you can and keep doing the group rides. Just get the experience. With three months to go, you can start to think about intervals etc, but by then you should have some idea of your strengths and weaknesses and the demands of racing.

Good luck, hope that helps.

Bingo ^^ Also experiment with nutrition "during training" especially on the high intensity sessions,Different products work for different people,Feeling nauseous during a ride/race is no fun",When training solo I wear a h/rate monitor so ensure I stay in the desired zone "especially high intensity ones" Do some training on the route you are going to race on if possible,This makes a big difference come race day knowing what you are up against,,"but not the who :wink: "
most of all enjoy it ,,I don't :wink:
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby Ant. » Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:24 am

I can assure you the road race won't be as steep this year (that's quite a difficult circuit), but having said that, expect distance to blow out to 180km.


Bring clipon aero bars (as the time trial and pairs time trialling) is quite fun. Try and race as much as you can between now and then.
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby DanielS » Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:12 am

nickalas wrote:aahhh that sounds like it would be an extremely difficult race then. How strong were you at that point?? when you say get into racing, Are Crits ok?


I felt like I went into it pretty strong - I was one of the fitter C-grade riders at the time. And yeah, I got dropped. Most of the people racing there were B or A grade level I would guess, and there were a few PROs (Drapac Porsche guys). Melbourne Uni had a very strong showing that year, and had some pretty gun riders.

Its sounds like your pretty fit, so I think you can get to a level where you can race it in 6 months. Will require gradually increasing your training load and starting racing now though.
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby nickalas » Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:58 pm

Well it seems I majorly underestimated this event, haha. but still, it would be a good challenge and id like to give it a shot! What sort of riding should I be doing? I live in an area with good hills and about 25km or so from beach road with neverending flat. Could you guys give me some sort of rough guide of what I should do? I have all day Wednesday and all day Thursday to ride. 4 hours during the day on Monday. and can get out on weekends depending on my shifts, but don't like making myself too pooped before 8 hours of standing up!
my first chance at racing is in the tutorial style crit for new riders April 11th. Any tips to avoid embarrassing myself?
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby DanielS » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:05 am

If its a just training race on the 11th, don't worry about embarassing yourself! Just do what the coach person says. Everyone else will be in the same boat. Just hold your line and follow the wheel in front of you.

As for your training, you need to do what works for you. As a rough guide, you could do something like:
Wed/Thurs - when you have all day, go out for 2-3 hrs or so at good steady pace, experiment with food etc. Get used to being in the saddle for longish periods of time.
On your other three days (Sat/Sun/Mon), get in a group ride or race for bunch experience, and a day of intervals where you go hard for 15-20 mins, have a 5 min break, then go hard for 15-20 mins again. The third of those days can be a recovery ride: go out and ride really slow for an hour, that's it (could do this one on Sunday, in between the two harder workouts).

You should build into a schedule like this. If you are only doing, say, 6 hrs per week at the moment ,you shouldn't jump straight into 10 hrs per week. Do 6.5, then 7, 7.5, 8, 9, 10 or something like that.

I am not a coach though, this is just the sort of stuff that I would do. Alex Simmons who is on this forum can do you a 3-month training program for around $150, if you got two of them back-to-back you'd be set up until unigames! (and probably would be doing very well by then, provided you follow the plan).
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby nickalas » Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:47 pm

one of those training plans looks like it would be pretty good. i think I could manage to stick to it fairly solidly (pending weather conditions and work shifts)
unfortunately it seems i would have to get a proper computer with cadence and HR?? (dont really wanna spend mega bucks, do i have to?)
I currently have one which has HR but it was a crap as computer on sale for $50 from torpedo 7, and doesnt do its job terribly well.. I think the HR monitor works OK (i dont use it cause i dont really need it and the strap seems annoying - are all straps like that) in that case i guess i could just grab another computer that has cadence?
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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby Ant. » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:30 pm

Forget about cadence. Heart rate should be fine.


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Re: Help me be able to race!

Postby DanielS » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:53 am

Yeah I wouldn't worry too much about cadence. I've never bothered to monitor it (although my PT records it, I don't really look). HR is nice to have though, it will help calibrate your percieved-exertion-meter.

Most important thing to do when you get a HRM is to go out and do a TEST to find out your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (aka. LTHR). Ride a 30-min all out effort, record the average over the last 20 mins. That's your LTHR (well, for all practical purposes it is). Base your zones off that. Too many people own these monitoring tools and really have no idea what the numbers mean without doing a test like this!

Actually, if you are getting a plan from Alex then ask him what test to do to work out the zones, as it could be completely different. The point is to have some sort of reference value.

nickalas wrote:(i dont use it cause i dont really need it and the strap seems annoying - are all straps like that)


I had a polar HRM and the strap seemed okay, so it might just be a thing with cheaper models.
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