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Specific Training for 1 hour flat criterium races

tommy_tommytommy_tommy Posts: 91
I was intending to skip this racing season due to family and work commitments and have spent this winter trying to gain some lean body mass with no focus on improving cycling. To gain LBM, I have been completing 3 weekly gym sessions based around compound moves and 2 weekly sprint sessions on the bike (20 minutes very easy with 6 x 30secs flat out sprints). In 2 months, I have gain a massive 4lb raising from 10st 2lb to 10st 6lb. This despite eating as much possible. I have now come to the conclusion that I am only built to run or ride bikes and abandoned my weight gain challenge.

I have now decided to race again this season but instead of focusing on the long hilly sportive s, I have decided to target a series of short crit races. I rode about 7 of these races last year and all but one race ended in a sprint finish. The races last one hour with about 26 laps. In each lap there is one tight corner which requires a fair sprint to stay with the bunch on every lap. There are occasional longer efforts if you attempt to pull back and attempted break which I did too much of last year. I understand that bike handling, positioning and to a certain extent luck play a part in these races, but what type of training is most beneficial for these shorter races.

Are the 3 to 4 hour temp rides still relevant if the race only lasts an hour? Is it worth going above FTP for 2 to 3 minutes 14 weeks out from the first race? or even possibly continuing with the anaerobic sprint sessions I have been completed to date? These courses are completely flat so staying in the bunch on the straights is no problem its more a case of surviving the repeated sprint efforts out the corners and having enough left at the end of the race to challenge the final sprint. Anyone train specifically for these type of races and what kind of sessions do you include in your training.
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  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    I think everyone who is thinking of racing this year should stick to Zone 1 or 2 training.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    NapoleonD wrote:
    I think everyone who is thinking of racing this year should stick to Zone 1 or 2 training.
    Nice try! :lol:

    I think this is precisely the sort of thing Bill Black was trying to simulate in his patented Hour of Power - be warned that it's a very hard session though - the sort of thing you need to try and build up to.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Great advice Nap'

    Tbh for a crit you need a lot of strength so probably better off forgetting about any bike sessions and get down the gym instead.

    If you do want to do some bike work then 4-5 hour rides best done when it's raining and freezing (good for bike handling skills).

    Inside, do some one legged drills, great for when you accidentlally unclip putting the power down.


    but seriously I know nothing about crits but I'd have a look at the sufferfest vid 'fight club' seems like the sort of thing you'd get in a crit.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    I find training on cobbles really helps too - especially in the wet. Every crit race I've done seems have a really bumpy course. Usually half covered with glass. Oh - and blood from all the wipeouts.
  • Bronzie wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    I think everyone who is thinking of racing this year should stick to Zone 1 or 2 training.
    Nice try! :lol:

    I think this is precisely the sort of thing Bill Black was trying to simulate in his patented Hour of Power - be warned that it's a very hard session though - the sort of thing you need to try and build up to.

    +1 for this workout. Infact I'd recommend it whatever racing you're doing.

    (Tried it for the first time this year last night, managed only half of the workout! :shock: )
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,158
    Concentrate on the sprints and recovering from sprints, chaingangs will help in summer.

    If you can't sprint and you want to be a lot heavier, become a tester.
  • Gav888Gav888 Posts: 946
    I would do some turbo sessions like the hour of power, or try holding high zone 4 for 5min with 5min in zone 5 and repeat, also mix in some all out sprints and return back to zone 4 - for an hour! Another session would be 1min sprints in the hardest gear you can spin at 100rpm, recover for 5m and repeat, plus get in some 3hr z2 / z3 rides to maintain a good aerobic base.
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,492
    Infamous wrote:
    Concentrate on the sprints and recovering from sprints, chaingangs will help in summer.

    +1 +1 +1 That's pretty much all crits are is sprint, sprint, sprint, and more sprints.
    You must learn to be able to accelerate at a moments notice or you're off the back. Never to get on again.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    +1 for sprints.

    Tabata is perfect.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... t=12642618
  • nolfnolf Posts: 2,016
    +1 for chaingangs, they are the best race prep you can do on the bike without actually racing.

    Also cornering skills matter tons in crits, I found last year when I got better at carrying my speed through the corners, it saved me so much effort and meant I could then be more active in trying to get in breaks etc.

    Try track racing as well if you can, great for building on top end speed/sprint strength.

    Also try some road races as well, I find them a nice change to crits, and you get a lot more variety.
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • Bike handling is super important in crits... Not really something you cna do structured training for but, as Nolf says, being able to hold your speed and line through a corner then get the power down as soon as you exit is the key, if you're inefficient in that you'll waste a lot of energy (and find yourself hanging on constantly.

    They're a truly terrifying school of racing.
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • Also sit about 5 riders back and never tap through! :twisted:
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Not sure why sprints are advised, you only have a limited number of max efforts you can do in a session.
    On the track they only normally do a few max efforts at most per session.
    Best form of training for crits probably is chainhang or track endurance training.
  • Not sure why sprints are advised, you only have a limited number of max efforts you can do in a session.
    On the track they only normally do a few max efforts at most per session.
    Best form of training for crits probably is chainhang or track endurance training.
    Keep them short and you can readily do lots. I would regularly do maybe a dozen acceleration efforts of various kinds in a track session.
  • I have 11 weeks until my first race. This the schedule I am now following:

    MON : REST
    TUE : (30 minutes easy with 8 * 30 sec sprints @120% FTP)
    WED: (10 min WU 30min @ 108% FTP)
    THUR: : REST
    FRI : (2 x 20min @ 95% FTP)
    SAT: REST
    SUN: (40 min easy with 5 x 5 min @ 108% FTP)
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Tommy, where did you get those % of ftp figures from?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    My training plan

    MON : REST
    TUE : (30 minutes easy with 8 * 30 sec sprints @132% FTP)
    WED: (10 min WU 30min @ 120% FTP)
    THUR: : REST
    FRI : (2 x 20min @ 107% FTP)
    SAT: REST
    SUN: (40 min easy with 5 x 5 min @ 120% FTP)[/quote]
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    I have 11 weeks until my first race. This the schedule I am now following:
    Is that just Week 1 or are you planning on doing the same workouts for 11 weeks straight?
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,158
    I have 11 weeks until my first race. This the schedule I am now following:

    MON : REST
    TUE : (30 minutes easy with 8 * 30 sec sprints @120% FTP)
    WED: (10 min WU 30min @ 108% FTP)
    THUR: : REST
    FRI : (2 x 20min @ 95% FTP)
    SAT: REST
    SUN: (40 min easy with 5 x 5 min @ 108% FTP)
    So only about 3 hours a week and 3 rest days?

    Get at least one long ride per week in, dare I suggest a club run.... ride with a local racing club, they'll be upping the speed in the next 11 weeks. At the very least you want some sort of regular bunch riding.
  • WED: (10 min WU 30min @ 108% FTP)
    That's pretty ambitious.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,492
    In all honesty, the guys who get really good at Crit racing are the guys who race lots of Crits. Be it the lowly club race or events that are more regional or even national in caliber.
    In any case getting better means racing lots. In effect, using races as training.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    The Real Rides Raceday DVD is pretty good.

    Also try the CTS Crit racing DVD...
  • dennisn wrote:
    In all honesty, the guys who get really good at Crit racing are the guys who race lots of Crits. Be it the lowly club race or events that are more regional or even national in caliber.
    In any case getting better means racing lots. In effect, using races as training.
    +1

    I was wondering how long before someone would say this.

    If you really want to understand the specific physiological demands of crit racing, then an investigation of power meter files using Quadrant Analysis is an excellent way to compare racing with whatever training you might be thinking of doing to simulate and prepare for it.

    Nevertheless, from a physiological POV, then metabolic fitness is still primary (i.e. lift your threshold), the neuromuscular demands can be brought up a bit more rapidly or with fewer specific sessions.

    http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articles/ ... lysis.aspx

    Of course there are many other demands in crit racing beyond the physiological, and that really requires doing some racing.
  • NapoleonD wrote:
    My training plan

    MON : REST
    TUE : (30 minutes easy with 8 * 30 sec sprints @132% FTP)
    WED: (10 min WU 30min @ 120% FTP)
    THUR: : REST
    FRI : (2 x 20min @ 107% FTP)
    SAT: REST
    SUN: (40 min easy with 5 x 5 min @ 120% FTP)
    [/quote]

    Two rest days? tut tut NapD :wink:
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Sheptastic wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    My training plan

    MON : REST
    TUE : (30 minutes easy with 8 * 30 sec sprints @132% FTP)
    WED: (10 min WU 30min @ 120% FTP)
    THUR: : REST
    FRI : (2 x 20min @ 107% FTP)
    SAT: REST
    SUN: (40 min easy with 5 x 5 min @ 120% FTP)

    Two rest days? tut tut NapD :wink:[/quote]

    That's 3 rest days.
  • dennisn wrote:
    In all honesty, the guys who get really good at Crit racing are the guys who race lots of Crits. Be it the lowly club race or events that are more regional or even national in caliber.
    In any case getting better means racing lots. In effect, using races as training.
    +1

    I was wondering how long before someone would say this.

    If you really want to understand the specific physiological demands of crit racing, then an investigation of power meter files using Quadrant Analysis is an excellent way to compare racing with whatever training you might be thinking of doing to simulate and prepare for it.

    Nevertheless, from a physiological POV, then metabolic fitness is still primary (i.e. lift your threshold), the neuromuscular demands can be brought up a bit more rapidly or with fewer specific sessions.

    http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articles/ ... lysis.aspx

    Of course there are many other demands in crit racing beyond the physiological, and that really requires doing some racing.

    I was reading the Robert Millar book last night and he made that very point after he ended his association with BC "The problem with a lot of the training tips I see these days is that they've forgotten they're racing against other people."
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    I was reading the Robert Millar book last night and he made that very point after he ended his association with BC "The problem with a lot of the training tips I see these days is that they've forgotten they're racing against other people."

    After the first lap, I'm usually just racing against myself. (I'm that far back).

    But hey - that was 2009.... :)
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,158
    Obviously racing crits is the best training for racing crits, but the OP wanted to know what training to do in the 3 month build up before the crits start.

    I would argue that concentrating on his sprinting and recovery from sprinting plus doing faster group rides (if possible) would be the order of the day. Failing that, quadrant analysis. :lol:
  • Oh, forgot to add, warm up HARD.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,492
    Pokerface wrote:
    I was reading the Robert Millar book last night and he made that very point after he ended his association with BC "The problem with a lot of the training tips I see these days is that they've forgotten they're racing against other people."

    After the first lap, I'm usually just racing against myself. (I'm that far back).

    But hey - that was 2009.... :)

    Same with me.

    But hey - that was 1980.....
    Or something like that.
    Pathetic racer then as now. :oops: :oops:
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