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How am I doing? (cat 5)(12 posts)

How am I doing? (cat 5)Qubeley
Apr 6, 2002 8:41 PM
Hey, guys. I am a college student, I got into road riding last year, never played any sport seriously before. Had 3000 miles in the past 12 monthes. I did three cat 5 races late last season, finished with pack, did nothing special.
I was never able to find a group to ride with, so I don't know how do I compare to other people. Please let me know what do you think how I am doing:
I did 50-80 miles/week this winter. I can keep 20+ mph by myself for a hour or 2 on flat. I can ride 3-4 hours averaging 17-19 depend on the terrain. I have no problem riding 60, 80 miles as long as there's no serious climb. I did 2 centuries last summer (bear mountain), I can sprint up to 35 mph when I feel good, can't hold it though. Resting heart rate around 45-50, highest observed 185. The HRM usually read 160-170 when I ride, shoot up to 180 on hard climb. I am 5'7, and weigh 110 lb, yes one ten, no upper body, I was malnutritioned when little:) But I can't climb (never climb with anybody, but I don't consider myself climber). Is there such a thing as too weak to climb?
Please tell me what you think, my weakness? potential? useful workout? anything appreciated.
re: How am I doing? (cat 5)Americano Cyclepop
Apr 7, 2002 11:30 AM
Sounds good but what about your age?
I know of alot of 30 something college student's.

Did you really say you weigh 110? You sure have an advantage over me!

re: How am I doing? (cat 5)Qubeley
Apr 7, 2002 12:56 PM
well, I am a undergraduate, 22 years old.
Yes, I do weigh 110lb.
re: How am I doing? (cat 5)Fender
Apr 7, 2002 9:01 PM
does your school have a cycling team?? if so, try to join it. it really helps out with training, racing, etc. if your school does not have a team, them consider starting one. check out or under collegiate.
here's the testRideLots
Apr 8, 2002 8:20 AM
A common test is a ten mile timetrial. Find a place where you can do an uninterrupted out and back or loop. It does not have to be exactly 10 miles, as you are just looking at average speed, anyway. Try to make it flat and on a day without much wind. Either stay in the drops or use aerobars, if you are used to them.

If you can average over 25 mph, you are doing great for Cat 5; over 24, pretty good; under 23, and you might have a hard time on surges or hills (except for your very light weight); over 26 mpg, and you might stand a good chance on a break.

Also might check out your max sprint speed. You'll need to be over 36-37 mph, likely, to have a shot on a one on one or pack finish sprint.
25 mph for cat 5?liu02bhs
Apr 8, 2002 7:42 PM
Does that depend on your region? Cuz over here, cat 5 probably go like 21 mph for 10 mile TT.
25 mph for cat 5 possible if. . .allervite
Apr 12, 2002 1:58 PM
no hills, no wind, perfect pavement. As I have said before, Average Speed is a lousy indicator of performance. My Average Speed at home is usually right around 20 mph on a hard day. The week I spent in LA, I had no problems with averages in the mid 20's.
re: How am I doing? (cat 5)brider
Apr 8, 2002 8:53 AM
Sounds like you've got the basic strength and a good mileage base, and can get the speed going when necessary. The only way you're really going to know is to do it. There's more to successful racing than being strong and fast -- tactics! The ONLY way you'll develop these is to race (or to do a lot of group riding where there's sprints and race simulation). There's probably some things you can do technique-wise to improve your climbing, but not being able to see you ride, I can't make comment on it.
You are doing fine!allervite
Apr 8, 2002 10:58 AM
Forget average speed! Forget max speed! They are fun to look at but relatively useless unless they are way out of line.

At 110 and 5'7", you have the potential to be a great climber. The problem is you do not consider yourself a climber so you probably avoid them. You need to start doing some serious climbing at least two times a week. Throw in a few big gear intervals on those climbing workouts and you'll be dropping 'em like flys on the climbs soon.

I am basing my suppositions on the fact that you seem to have plenty of power on the flats, you just need to translate that power to the hills. Climbing causes you to use your muscles differently, and your body needs plenty of practice to adapt.

Weight X Power = Climbing Potential. You've got the weight variable nailed.
Small correction to Allervite's formuladownunderracer
Apr 8, 2002 9:21 PM
Power / Weight = Climbing Potential

You need to increase your power without increasing your weight proportionally. Unless, of course, you already have a terrific ratio. You say your climbing sucks, so the implication is you haven't, but maybe it's an attitude problem rather than a physical one. Many people don't like climbing, even some who are really good at it.

Sorry, I was a Lit. Major. (nm)allervite
Apr 12, 2002 1:54 PM
you may need more anaerobic power to climb betterTig
Apr 8, 2002 4:09 PM
It sounds like you have a decent base fitness. The lack of having a chance to ride with a fast group or club will keep the learning curve a little flatter though. Learning to not get dropped when the pack surges is one of the most important abilities you need. Riding comfortably and safely within a field is the most important skill.

It takes a while to develop these skills, as well as how to climb well and learn good racing tactics. The best training for racing is racing itself. A few books are available out there to help speed up the learning process too.

You may not yet have enough anaerobic power to climb well. Most people gain this through weight training in the winter, followed by explosive sprints and/or hill climbs early in the season. Trainers may say it is too late in the season to do all of this, but you might be able to create a modified plan to improve your climbing a little.

Friel's book might help, or maybe it's too early in your "career" for it. You might be able to get some good info from the e-books and articles as well.

The main thing is to enjoy the riding, racing, learning, and ever improving fitness. You will be pleasantly surprised by the gains you will see. Oh, and be sure to keep your heart rate monitor at home when racing or training with a fast group. Those high numbers can demoralize and psych you out (as well as dangerously distract you in a group) too much.