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Dsgning my team's trainng schdl, I need help...Vry Important(3 posts)

Dsgning my team's trainng schdl, I need help...Vry ImportantSwat Dawg
Jan 30, 2003 11:40 PM
Here's the Deal:

Our team (Swarthmore College) is brand new this year. We will be racing in the collegiate road race season this spring, and are really excited about riding together as a team. Unfortunately, our team is really made up of greenhorns, newbies, and guys that haven't ridden in a long time. I raced this summer, was on the bike a lot in the fall to get a good base, took four weeks off over Christmas and New Year's, and have been on the bike everyday for about the last two weeks. Basically, my body is ready for intensity and ready to take things up to race pace. The rest of the guys, however, do not have this base and physical preparation, and therefore aren't where I am. I know that they will hurt themselves if we hop on the bikes and start training intervals, but we also don't have 12 weeks to develop everyone's base (Our first race is March 1st, with a race every weekend after that). The problem, as you can see, is multi-tiered, and pretty complex. How do I bring the guys up to race fitness, without them getting hurt, all in the shortest time possible? I also, don't want to set them up to get disenchanted with too hard of training, or have them become frustrated if they don't do well in races. I know that the early races are out of the question, but I think that our goals should be to build and develop as a team to be ready for the Eastern Conference Championships at the end of April. This would allow us to get used to racing in the first few weeks, take some time off as the races move up to Vermont and New Hampshire (too far from Philly), and then come back trained, focused, and prepared to do well on that big weekend. That leads to the next question: How should we use the early races?

It is important to point out that I have never road raced before, but have good handling skills from mountain biking, and did one training crit in September that I did well in. I also have a voracious appetite for acquiring cycling knowledge. I surf for hours just reading online articles about cornering, handling, and pacelining, all that stuff (I've read the Coach Carl's website a few times). The other riders don't have the practical handling skills, nor the theoretical knowledge. Based on this, I think that we need to have a few weekend sessions that focus on riding technique and bike handling. I am worried that in close peleton riding they might get nervous or lose focus and become a danger to themselves or others around them. What type of drills would develop the skills necessary to be a safe member of the peleton, and are there some things we can do on our daily rides to facilitate the development of these skills further?

Finally, as I said the topic line, I am desiging the training schedule and really don't have a good sense of where to go. I know that we will need to spend time developing the aerobic capacity of the team, and we will need to develop some speed. How should we approach the development of a training schedule that will maximize our fitness development? I have started working on a team tactics binder, but that is useless unless we have the legs to put that stuff to use.

To shut this long thing down, I want to thank everyone for posting such insightful and fun comments. On this topic, like others, everyone's help is greatly appreciated. Cycling, and this team are really passions of mine. I wake up with it on my mind and go to bed with it at night, it really does something to consume me. So any advice, knowledge, or experience will be useful. I'm pretty young (21) and doing this sort of thing is new, but really exciting and invigorating; I am even thinking that I would like to coach a junior team in the future. Anyway, that last stuff there is beside the point. I say it because I want everybody who reads this whole thing to know what this means to me, and how important and appreciated their (your) comments are. So have at it. FasCat, and some of you other aspiring coaches analyze awa
re: Dsgning my team's trainng schdl, I need help...Vry ImportantSpunout
Jan 31, 2003 4:15 AM
I think every rider needs to have a personal plan. Look at each racer's peak times, maybe you can spread it out across your racing calendar. Your team may have a collective 'A' race, make that more important. But, your riders are all individuals and the plan should reflect that.

You should post training and team issues in the Racing forum. Other than that, get building base. Discipline in easy rides, no hammerfests. When doing speedwork, do it alone. One fast groupride per week, flat hills, for ME work in a group.
re: Dsgning my team's trainng schdl, I need help...Vry ImportantRaven1911
Jan 31, 2003 6:52 AM
If the other guys have not been riding then there is a problem. They will not be able to build a base of fitness if they are not in decent shape at all. You guys should have started back in Oct./Nov. Anyhow, probably the best way to develop tactical knowledge is to ride in group rides. Where I live we have group rides on the weekends that get together and ride for a few hours. Getting them comfortable in a peleton is not easy and only experience in a peleton can help.

Fitness wise, they all should have pretty much their own programs going. It is not up to YOU to make sure they are in form, as that is unfair to you and how hard you have worked. Some people are more motivated than others during the off season. My best advice to you is to pick someone you can depend on, maybe one or two guys out of the group that are in decent shape and plan on working and riding for each other in races. Train with them and talk about tactics for road and crit racing. Plan your peaks separately and work for each other in races to place or win. Most of all get riding in large groups in your area. Most likely there are some but you have not found them. It sounds like the rest of the group is pretty unmotivated to race.

Raven