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...riddle me this: no speed training, but ok results...(16 posts)

...riddle me this: no speed training, but ok results...JS Haiku Shop
Apr 18, 2003 6:12 AM
last night was our first '03 regular thursday "spirited" club ride. it covers 30 flat to gently rolling miles, mostly wind-buffered by tree canopy or small hills. last year's norm for this one was to cruise the first few miles, then pick up the pace, and try go get OTF in the last 10 miles. at the end of the season, we started attracting a few cat 3/4 riders to our lowly club run. at the end of the season my best avg on this one was 20.4 mph, spitting teeth and bleeding from my eyes, barely sitting in.

last night out of a dozen, the cut was made about 5 miles in, and five of us went clear. i expected to hang on over the first couple hills, then get shelled and ride with the middle pack. surprisingly, i stayed on with no problems and worked equally with other riders, and in the last ten miles, chased down numerous attacks by our cat 3 participants. (these are guys who were schooling me on hills last season, and they've "been training through the winter"). they weren't playful accelerations--these guys were giving it a go. including a 5 mile "neutral" rollout, we averaged >21 mph for 30 miles, at the start of the "season". though it may not be a big number for most of you, it's blazing speed for me! the course has a few challenges, too...

background: i raced for the first time last year, a cat 5 circuit race (4/5/masters/women/juniors), where i executed a scorching reverse attack on lap 4 or 5 going up the lone hill. did my first 'cross races in fall/winter, 3 "C" races, finished ok, nothing spectacular. focused last year on 200k rides and a couple double centuries. since saturday (this week), rode 200k, 35 miles, 15 miles, and 25 mile days, all at effort, with wednesday off. i have about 2100 miles in for 2003, with rides up to 300k.

i've not been "training", especially for speed or jumps, have not been building or tapering, and have ridden most of my distance miles at a steady, moderate pace. i've not concentrated on building form or losing weight. my training parter--stronger than i was (speed) at the end of last year--has worked over the winter on climbing and speed, and has lost a few pounds of baby fat. he fared equally last night.

what gives? is this a side effect of all the distance? or the base? or has mrs. haiki introduced EPO whilst i was snoring? or is it the aerodynamic benefits of shaving my ankles? what can i do to keep up the good results, aside from just riding lots (which seems to be working)?

TIA!

-J
re: ...riddle me this: no speed training, but ok results...Jon Billheimer
Apr 18, 2003 6:48 AM
First of all Haiku, congrats! You're making me jealous:)- My guess is that all the mileage you've piled on over the past couple of years has seriously expanded your aerobic system. Plus, you've done enough intensity to up your cruising speed. Oh yeah, the benefits of nocturnal EPO administration have long been appreciated by a small group of cycling cognosceti:)-
thanks! nmJS Haiku Shop
Apr 18, 2003 9:26 AM
you are starting to see the effects of cumulative seasonslonefrontranger
Apr 18, 2003 8:00 AM
Speed work is good, but you've just been riding a lot. From your posts, you ride at least twice as much as most of us racer wannabe types, and that's one of the keys right there, remember what the estimable Mr. Merckx said. There is no substitute for chamois time, and by that I don't mean sitting around drinking beers in dirty shorts after a ride.

I'd imagine that riding with the buddy / training partner that you do, you've gotten a few hard jumps and hill efforts in your legs just playing around. That's really all you need to put a nice cap on a lot of base for being able to hang it out in the group rides. In addition you've been singlespeeding, which increases your leg speed, hones your form and teaches you to be relaxed and comfortable on the bike.

The base work and deep cycling-specific fitness you've developed over the past 18-24 months won't get you a win in a 4/5 race, but you will most likely be able to hang in the field easily enough now. If you wanted to start winning and/or getting good results in races, especially crits, instead of being pack fill, you'd have to start to specify your focus to serious speed and speed-endurance stuff, but it sounds like you've got the basics down.

Another thing you can't measure with any kind of physiological meter is your willingness to hang it out and suffer more than anyone else, and from your 'cross race and hard ride reports it sounds as if you've got that in spades. That makes a serious difference and quickly separates the men from the boys when the funhogs at the front are turning the screws down. Also, a group ride, regardless of the category of riders in it, never seems to be as brutal as a race, period. When you pay for a race, go through all the rituals involved in showing up at the start line, with your loved ones watching their hero go to war, you just care more about how you do and it makes everyone try harder.

Good work on the group ride, and remember to keep enjoying yourself! In the end, that's the key. Oh and remember to thank Mrs. H for the nocturnal EPO boosters :)
that's what i hoped you'd sayJS Haiku Shop
Apr 18, 2003 9:31 AM
...and what i figured...

you're dead-on about the 'cross races and the death marches. they surely do change the way one views discomfort. i'm not quite invested in what i've read about athletes accumulatling a physio "buffer" to pain, but i'm certain at least the majority of that is mental. i mean, aside from injury, what's the worst that's gonna happen if i go a little further when it's gotten really painful? besides the technicolor yawn, that is...

agreed on the group/race difference. however, we do have a better test--another weeknight ride with all the "big boys", cat 2 and pro triathletes driving. maybe in a few weeks.

thanks for the response. your words are always top-notch and high value.

-J
Move up to the fast ride!willin
Apr 18, 2003 10:35 AM
Why not make the move to the fast group? I am sure you can hang with the pack for all or most the ride, and if you get dropped, you know the way home.

Then this season you can benchmark agaist them. Certainly sounds like you have the endurance base miles down, so should be able to get up to speed quickly. (Sorry for the pun.)

I was speaking Wed with a young rider, probably 28 years old. He's no 2 in the state (Florida) points series, Cat 3. Finished 12th in the field on a Pro 1,2,3 race last week. He spent the off season building base miles (250-300 a week) and riding two or three fast group rides a week. The 30 mile Sun ride is full of Pro 1-2's and he finishes the ride well.

Point is he was able to petition to start the season in Cat 3, for his first real season. I remember him last year from my first race, Cat 5, where he did OK but was obviously a beginner. So if you have the time, a certain amount of base miles, and the will, its possible to get good fast.
did that one frequently last yearJS Haiku Shop
Apr 18, 2003 10:39 AM
and they handed me my papers every time. most i made it under my own steam was about 15 miles into the ~30 mile ride. i will make it to that ride a few times this season, maybe more, as schedule allows. i do realize that a big part of getting faster is riding with faster groups--it's the vomit part i'm not so fond about. guess it's an acquired taste.

thanks!
from hauling that saddle bag all overDougSloan
Apr 18, 2003 9:21 AM
Seriously, though, I agree with LFR. You're still on the up-curve.

Doug
actuallyJS Haiku Shop
Apr 18, 2003 9:35 AM
I made a point to carry the bare minimum on this ride. check out this list:

2 16 oz bottles
tube
co2 inflator
2 cartridges

that's only four lines long! :)

this is the first ride in 3 years i've not carried a cellphone and 2 tubes. no alien, no kitchen sink. geez!

rethinking after the original post (in retrospect), those last 2 illinois rides were in questionable conditions and on a heavy bike loaded with gear and in many layers of clothing. i'm sure much of that is like swinging a weighted bat before my time at the plate. (much as i dislike sports analogies, especially ball sports!)
shocking.DougSloan
Apr 18, 2003 9:46 AM
Maybe there is something to resistance training...

Doug
resistance is futile. you will be carradice-ated. nmJS Haiku Shop
Apr 18, 2003 10:07 AM
..all your saddle-bags are belong to us....;-p NmSpunout
Apr 18, 2003 1:10 PM
call it a "Camel-butt" NmDougSloan
Apr 18, 2003 5:16 PM
Great! I'll be sitting on your wheel for 400K next brevet (nm)Dale Brigham
Apr 18, 2003 11:30 AM
don't hold your breath. if it's windy, i might leave the bikeJS Haiku Shop
Apr 18, 2003 11:34 AM
in the back of my little car and drive the 400k.

stoopid wind!

weather.com says 30% precip chance, showers, 46*F-68*F and 6 mph winds from NE (day), 7 mph winds from SE (night). that means 29*F and icy with 30 MPH winds from all directions, i think.
The wind and me are buds -- I'm a West Texan!Dale Brigham
Apr 18, 2003 8:38 PM
Not to fret. I'm best buddies with the Big Blow (wind). We growed up together on the High Plains (I remember when he was just a lil' breeze), and although he tries to show me what a blowhard he has become now and then, I just take him in stride and bust right through him. We'll be fine.

Dale