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I am in great condition - But I can't finish with the pack!!(12 posts)

I am in great condition - But I can't finish with the pack!!big guy
Jun 1, 2002 11:38 AM
Can you guys give me some insight? Here is a little history: I am 6'0" 170lbs, 6% body fat, I run a 10k in 34 minutes, and I squat 315 10 times. I thought that I would be a natural cyclist because I have the legs and a high LT. But I just started racing Cat5 this spring an I have not even been able to finish with the pack. I've tried Crits and road races and they drop me like a bad habit even though on paper I should be able to punish all of them. What do I need to do? Or am I just not cut out for the bike?
happens to the best of usDougSloan
Jun 1, 2002 11:43 AM
Where do you get dropped? Hills, accellerations, flats...

Are you pulling any? If so, don't and save your energy.

This is not unusual at first. Learn from it, train, and be patient.

Give us a little more info.

happens to the best of usbig guy
Jun 1, 2002 11:50 AM
I am actually good on the hills. In a Crit that I was in last week, I got dropped after about 15 minutes on a 45 minute race. I think it was on a flat. I didn't do any pulling either.
Jun 1, 2002 11:55 AM
That makes me think of a couple of things.

First, you must preserve energy. Get far enough forward in the pack that you aren't getting yo-yo'd to death. Find a good wheel and stay close on it. Don't get out in the air on the sides. Remember to breath, especially when the speed lets up, so your "lactic acid bucket" is empty come the next surge.

Time for intervals. You must get used to digging deep and recovering, then going again.

Keep at it. The races themselve are actually good training. Just think of it that way for a while. That's my consolation for a bad race.

re: I am in great condition - But I can't finish with the pack!!legs
Jun 1, 2002 11:48 AM
there is an old euro saying that it takes 4-5 years to go from being a bike rider to being a cyclist...
and i have found truth to this.. give yourself time and just keep putting in the miles and you will come around (also get a fit kit done on your bike to make sure that your energy is going into the bike in the best way)
re: I am in great condition - But I can't finish with the pack!!big guy
Jun 1, 2002 11:54 AM
yeah, I thought about bike fit. But, I have done quite a bit of reading and I think my bike fits well. And I feel really good on it - that is, until they drop me.
Jun 1, 2002 12:51 PM
feature a lot of accelerations - it's normal for the pack to accelerate after every corner. you should feel bad if you can't deal with this after a year of training, but not now. this is not running. also, different muscles are activated in cycling (more quads, and your squat will not necessarily help a lot here), and until the muscles and brain get used to this, you will be slower than your potential. but at your fitness level, I would expect that you'd get faster quite fast. just relax and continue training.
re: I am in great condition - But I can't finish with the pack!!Ian
Jun 1, 2002 12:50 PM
You didn't say how long you have been riding and how much pack experience you have?

Riding and racing is as much about technique and being comfortable in the pack, as it is about fitness. If you are sitting in the back, 3 feet off the wheel in front of you, then you are using more energy than everyone but the guy at the front.

And even though you may be in great overall shape, cycling uses different muscles. And learning how to spin the pedals can take some time.

Hang in there, it certainly sounds like you have the base for cycling.

re: I am in great condition - But I can't finish with the pack!!zray61
Jun 1, 2002 12:59 PM
Instead of wanting to "punish all of them" why not try to adapt a friendlier attitude. I'm sure the people in the pack would start becoming more helpful to you.
re: I am in great condition - But I can't finish with the pack!!amflyer
Jun 2, 2002 9:32 AM
-----R A C I N G-----
you're probably working too hardgtx
Jun 1, 2002 2:12 PM
First you're probably doing too much unecessary work in the field, even if you don't know it. Packs get an nasty accordian effect going--it's important to stay near the front and leanr to pick the right wheels. You should start training with groups on occassion--get used to riding in a pack and saving your strength. Racing is all about being lazy. Secondly, you're probably working harder than a guy who may have the same fitness level as you but has been at it longer--takes a while to develop a good, efficient pedal stroke. Consider buying a set of rollers. Also, for racing, you should be doing a minimun of 12-15 hours of quality training a week, which includes some interval work. Buy the Friel book on bike racing. Lastly, be patient--you'll get the hang of it. Good luck!
you're probably working too hardS-U-B
Jun 1, 2002 7:25 PM
stay as close to the front as possible without actually being in the lead, that gives you some room to drop back in the pack during excelerations. As soon as the pack bunches up, move around the outside right to the front. There always seems to be one or two good corners where it is easier in crits. I got dropped in my first couple after just a couple laps, but a year later, with experience, crits are easy. Same basic strategy for road races, stay toward the front so you have some room to drop back and still be in the pack, and stay as close to the wheel as you feel comfortable with. It takes time for your body to change for cycling, but it will. good luck and hang in there.