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I want to step it up a Notch , Possibly race next season(4 posts)

I want to step it up a Notch , Possibly race next seasoncjwill
Sep 26, 2003 9:23 AM
I am totally new to the sport of cycling this is my first year of riding (group ride B Level with OCW-still get dropped on hills) I ride home 3 days a week (37 mi. one way "1:33") plus groups on weekends and I know that I have to start hill workouts that's a given, Is there something else I can do to increase speed and endurance/recovery times?

Intervals? Can you explain ... like I said new to the sport?

I think I will be attending the torture clinic next year in January.

Last but not least do you think it is unrealistic that I try racing (RR/Crits) next season?
If the thought gets in your head to race --- then race! (nm)hrv
Sep 26, 2003 9:33 AM
re: I want to step it up a Notch , Possibly race next seasonJon Billheimer
Sep 26, 2003 9:40 AM
Welcome to a great sport, one which you can enjoy for a lifetime! What you're doing now is fine for the winter. Just ride consistently. It'll build your aerobic system.

An interval is an intermittent period of intense effort, always followed by an easy period for recovery. There are all kinds of intervals and the subject can be quite confusing for a newcomer. Two good reference books on race type training are Ed Burke's Serious Cycling and Joe Friel's Cyclists Training Bible. The latter is a training standard for just about everyone. Read and digest both books. Friel's book will strike you at first as very technical and complicated. But over time and with repeated reading it'll start to crystallize for you. It's based on Tudor Bompa's work on periodized training.

Should you try racing next year? Sure. Why not. Start at fun club level races and some time trials. You'll undoubtedly get yelled at, dropped, etc. But that's how you learn, and you'll have huge fun! You'll also get fitter than you've probably ever been in your life.
Sep 26, 2003 10:08 AM
Keep your rides home as a base. Don't over do it on these rides. A short "torture clinic" won't build a lot of strength. You need to do intervals 2-3 times a week for several weeks with easy days in between. (Muscle is built in the recovery period and it takes time)

Find a fast group ride that does a paceline. Get comfortable being 6-12" away from other bikes at speed.

Intervals can be done a lot of different ways. What you are trying to do in an interval is exert maximum or near maximum effort over a short period of time (short can be 2 to 20 minutes depending on if you are after short sprints or longer climbs).

My favorite (fun) intervals are simply selecting a bike route that meets my objectives. There is a 25 mile hill interval route I do with several hills (I use to think were major hills, but now think of all but one as minor hills). Then there is a 20 mile sprint route I do through town in bike lanes. I consists of waiting at lights and then take off and stay with the traffic flow until the next light. (Really cool when I pass the traffic.) The goal is to have periods where you are going all out, time to recover just before you go all out again.

A good place to start racing is a 25-35 mile Road Race. You may get dropped but there should be others that get dropped also. No big deal. You can work with the other dropped soles on a paceline to keep it from turning into a Time Trial.

Crits can be quite aggressive and you have to be comfortable in a tight group so you might want to get comfortable with the RR first.