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Race specific Training

bukowski102bukowski102 Posts: 88
edited January 2011 in Amateur race
Hi there
I want to start cat4 racing next year, I ride 3 times a week 2x30 milers and 1x60 over mostly hilly routes. I think I have quite a good power to weight ratio and seem to climb well and ride in groups. But all the races I have found are on flat circuits, so my questions are :

----Are there any hilly races around <i live in bristol>

And being used to training on hilly terrain what specific race training do I need to do?

Im pretty sure i can hold 20 -25mph in group, but how can I use my climbing skills in a racing environment?

Many thanks guys :P
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Posts

  • MikeWWMikeWW Posts: 723
    The issue isn't really about holding 25 mph it is the changes of pace that catch people out.
    Speed will probably vary between 18 and 35 mph
    If you are good on hills and recover quickly it should hold you in good stead
  • probably best thing to do is join a club- they will have all the local ish ifo on races and you'll be able to speak to guys who can give you advice on prep.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells
  • MikeWW wrote:
    The issue isn't really about holding 25 mph it is the changes of pace that catch people out.
    Speed will probably vary between 18 and 35 mph
    If you are good on hills and recover quickly it should hold you in good stead

    Thanks mikeww
    Interesting you dont reccomend doing a flat route with speed intervals.
    thanks
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,483
    Hi there
    I want to start cat4 racing next year, I ride 3 times a week 2x30 milers and 1x60 over mostly hilly routes. I think I have quite a good power to weight ratio and seem to climb well and ride in groups. But all the races I have found are on flat circuits, so my questions are :

    ----Are there any hilly races around <i live in bristol>
    And being used to training on hilly terrain what specific race training do I need to do?

    Im pretty sure i can hold 20 -25mph in group, but how can I use my climbing skills in a racing environment?

    Many thanks guys :P

    Quite a few this side of the bridge with a few hills (nothing major but certainly lumpy). There are usually quite a few in the Western Division area too but I haven't done any for years. As for race training - intervals, chain gangs, anything that gets you used to riding at a high pace but critically also the ability to change pace and ride at high intensity for short periods.
  • Since you haven't done any racing yet I wouldn't worry about what you are good at. Go do some races (whatever you can get to easily) and see how they go.

    For what it's worth I thought I was good at climbing until I raced, now I know I'm not great at anything (luckily also not bad at much).
  • Since you haven't done any racing yet I wouldn't worry about what you are good at. Go do some races (whatever you can get to easily) and see how they go.

    For what it's worth I thought I was good at climbing until I raced, now I know I'm not great at anything (luckily also not bad at much).

    Cheers, yeah I enjoy climbing it seems to be the point where I leave people behind on club runs and rides with friends philippe gilbert style
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    Theres a hillyish circuit series at upavon through the winter and another through the summer. Its great, unless you're a second cat.
  • g_ripg_rip Posts: 7
    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events ... -Road-Race

    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events ... -Road-Race

    These two races are down towards the Mendips so will have some hills

    However before worrying too much about events like these I would try to get racing experience wherever you can as you only starting out as a 4th cat.
    Try Ilton Castle Coombe and Upavon
  • for speed work i find the turbo the best place to do intervals, it is alot safer and you can taylor your session better, starting off the sort fast efforts and long rest then as you get fitting increase the time your putting effort in and decrease the 'rest' in between efforts, and as other have said you may well be strong in the hills but don't go by club runs i know i go much better in a race than when training, just a mental thing really, even though i feel like i am going flat out in training i can always step it up in a race, against the same guys and can keep up with and even drop other people who drop me in training
  • jonmackjonmack Posts: 522
    I've started doing the sufferfest vids while training on my turbo, so far I've only done Angels and Downward Spiral, both which are good at pushing you to breaking point. Angels is primarily hill climbing based, with random attacks thrown in, and Downward Spiral is out and out interval work, 2 mins on/off 1:45 on/off 1:30 on/off all the way down to 15 seconds, then repeated. Really gives you a good work out and gets you riding hard!

    Dunno if you've got access to a turbo, but if you could find a few miles of flat road then you could certainly do the intervals, I know my fitness isn't bad so I'm training to try and minimise the pain when a break takes place, and to not get dropped exiting corners!
  • Here is a tip, dont compare yourself to Philippe Gilbert if you havent raced yet.


    Sorry, bad day
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    I would not compare climbing on a club runwith races, bad idea.
    I am like that on fast club rides, but in a hilly race with real climbers I am out the back quite fast !!! There is no comparison.
    If Iget really fit, I can just about hang on if I am close to front at start of climb, but by the top I usually chew on the bars and almost throw up but luckily I do not do many hilly races :D though I did get 3rd in a welsh race this year which was lumpy :D though the last climb I got dropped and took it at my pace and it was 10 miles from finish so caught leaders easily on the flat.
    I cannot claim to enjoy climbing in races either as Iknow whats going to happen!!
    I do much better on longer steady climbs like on the continent but we have no races like that and I do not enjoy the short sharp climbs here :D
    My favourite climb is the banking on a track !! :D
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810

    And being used to training on hilly terrain what specific race training do I need to do?

    You need to race, Cat 4 racing really isn't much about fitness - unfit people can sit in to the sprint and really fit people can be dropped. What you need to do is learn how to ride in races and to get as aerobically fit as you can. No need to worry about higher intensity stuff, there's almost no chance that it will limit you in a 4th cat race - most people who get dropped through lack of fitness as opposed to lack of skill do so because they cannot repeat the intense efforts because they are simply not aerobically fit enough to repeat the efforts, not because they can't do the efforts themselves.

    Start racing as soon as possible, don't worry about trying to train for it, that can happen whilst you're learning the skills. And if it turns out you're skilful enough to stay in and fit enough to start thinking about how to win, then you'll soon learn the way you'll have to win.

    As others have said dropping people on club run climbs and dropping people in races are very different things. Hills aren't actually ridden the same way - in races everyone goes hard up the hill and the draft is still enough that every stays in fine. The strength comes from being fit enough to follow that hill up with the last 30-60seconds of it sprinting away to get a gap and then maintaining that gap over the top with 5-10 minutes further of very strong riding. Totally different to a club run.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • I echo Jibber's comments. Last season was my 1st. The 3/4 races were all about accelerations after corners but otherwise a slower average whereas the higher cat races maintained a high average but more steady.

    If you can go from 18 mph to about 25mph quickly and very regularly then you'll be ok.
  • Here is a tip, dont compare yourself to Philippe Gilbert if you havent raced yet.


    Sorry, bad day

    we all have a dream my friend
  • I would not compare climbing on a club runwith races, bad idea.




    Thanks for your help, I use club runs as a warming down and recovery day,
    I normally go out solo as I find it more of a workout.
    The trouble with me is that people say I have potential and could be a good rider, But I am not naturally competitive. Saying that I would still like to give racing a go.

    Thanks to everyone for their help
  • jonmack wrote:
    I've started doing the sufferfest vids while training on my turbo, so far I've only done Angels and Downward Spiral, both which are good at pushing you to breaking point. Angels is primarily hill climbing based, with random attacks thrown in, and Downward Spiral is out and out interval work, 2 mins on/off 1:45 on/off 1:30 on/off all the way down to 15 seconds, then repeated. Really gives you a good work out and gets you riding hard!

    Dunno if you've got access to a turbo, but if you could find a few miles of flat road then you could certainly do the intervals, I know my fitness isn't bad so I'm training to try and minimise the pain when a break takes place, and to not get dropped exiting corners!

    Thanks, I only have an exercise bike that I spin out on icey days. But the set up is very different to my road bike. Is it still worth using though?
  • spinning on an exercise bike is going to be better than nothing!!
  • dulldavedulldave Posts: 949
    I would not compare climbing on a club run with races, bad idea.
    I am like that on fast club rides,

    +1

    I can climb better than many people on the faster club runs I go on. In a race I'm out the back door as fast as you can say "You're not Gilbert mate stop dreaming" And that's not necessarily even in particularly hilly races.

    There's climbing with your club mates and then there's climbing in a race. The speed at which the race goes up hills was the second thing that struck me about 4th Cat racing. The 1st thing was that there's group riding and then there's racing in a group of 80 people.
    Scottish and British...and a bit French
  • Road racing is a strange old game. Even when you are fit you can suddenly find yourself on the wrong wheel / grass. It almost seemed to me like a strength inversion compared to TTing and other forms of cycling - riders who you think will be weak blow you away and vice versa. As for hills, in race mode castle combe has got a censored of a climb every lap... :wink:
  • marykamaryka Posts: 746
    I would not compare climbing on a club runwith races, bad idea.

    Thanks for your help, I use club runs as a warming down and recovery day,
    Sounds like you're a superstar in the making... not only Phillippe Gilbert to your mates' Boris Johnson but when you're only doing a recovery ride at that! Awesome.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Good advice in this thread, but the best advice is to get out and race and learn as soon as possible that it's very different from every other kind of bike ride you've ever done (solo or group, recovery day or hard day). Humility will come in handy.
  • jonmackjonmack Posts: 522
    I think the only way i'm going to know what happens in a race is by actually doing one. My plan is turn up to one of the local races, enter, experience it, get my censored handed to me, go home and realise I need to triple my training to ever get out of cat 4, and repeat that until I get lucky enough to get a few top 10 finishes and get into cat 3.

    That's the plan anyway...

    I lack power in a big way (6ft1, 66kg), so although my build says climber, my body says rubbish at pretty much everything :P still, at 23 i'd like to think over the next few years I might actually get half decent at this and maybe win a few races. We'll see.
  • dulldave wrote:
    I would not compare climbing on a club run with races, bad idea.
    I am like that on fast club rides,

    +1

    I can climb better than many people on the faster club runs I go on. In a race I'm out the back door as fast as you can say "You're not Gilbert mate stop dreaming" And that's not necessarily even in particularly hilly races.

    There's climbing with your club mates and then there's climbing in a race. The speed at which the race goes up hills was the second thing that struck me about 4th Cat racing. The 1st thing was that there's group riding and then there's racing in a group of 80 people.

    Gilbert got to his stage through lots of hard work, training/guidance its not purely genetics, I think its a good thing to aspire to be a good rider.
    If you have time and comittment.
    see you on the roads
  • don't get too disheartened by some of the posts, we do not know what your club run is like, we have a club run that goes on a pretty flat route with all the top guys and basically if you can keep up in that your would be high end cat 3 or 2nd cat at least, it depends who the ride is with? But yeah as you said the only way to find out how your going to do is to actually race
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    It's been said a few times - and the advice you were looking for is probably along the lines of....

    Be able to handle sudden changes of pace. So short, high intensity intervals to make sure you can handle accelerations. And be able to repeat them many times over a few hour race, etc.

    If you CAN climb as well as you think, you'll do well in the hilly races - and wishing you the best of luck.

    And lastly - as pretty much EVERYONE says - just get out there and race. You'll learn a LOT very quickly that way.
  • dulldavedulldave Posts: 949
    jonmack wrote:
    I think the only way i'm going to know what happens in a race is by actually doing one. My plan is turn up to one of the local races, enter, experience it, get my censored handed to me, go home and realise I need to triple my training to ever get out of cat 4, and repeat that until I get lucky enough to get a few top 10 finishes and get into cat 3.

    That's the plan anyway...

    I lack power in a big way (6ft1, 66kg), so although my build says climber, my body says rubbish at pretty much everything :P still, at 23 i'd like to think over the next few years I might actually get half decent at this and maybe win a few races. We'll see.

    That's a good plan Jon.
    Scottish and British...and a bit French
  • g_ripg_rip Posts: 7
    I wouldn't worry too much about hills in cat 4 racing.
    Alot of cat 4 racing is held on closed circuits such as Ilton and Castle Coombe in the South West. These types of circuits on airfields and motor racing circuits are often flat, wide open and very exposed. The wind is almost always a factor. The ability to ride in the correct place in the field and to shelter from the wind properly would give you an immediate advantage over most cat 4 racers. The place to acquire these skills is on group rides with a club and of course in races themselves. Get as much racing as you can, observe the more experienced riders, think about what they are doing, what you are doing and you will quickly learn and progress
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,773
    4th cat racing (not that I've ever done one)is all about the sprint and you'll improve that by experience. Positioning, bravery and holding a wheel will get you up there as much as power.
  • This thread took a bit of a negative turn didn't it?

    There is good advice though, as said racing isn't like club riding so the only way to find out how well you do is to go out there and give it a try.

    I wouldn't worry about how competitive you are as a person, I spent all of this year charging off the front early in crits and blowing up long before the finish line but I achieved my goals (enjoyed myself a lot, got fitter than ever before and proved to myself that I can race a Cat higher than last year). The part of racing that I enjoy most is having the chance (and more importantly motivation) to push myself harder than at any other time on the bike.
  • 16mm16mm Posts: 545
    Here is a tip, dont compare yourself to Philippe Gilbert if you havent raced yet.


    Sorry, bad day

    Isn't everyone in a UK road race pretending they're Phillipe Gilbert? We're just playing at being pro, we just don't mention it out loud.

    So get to a race and see what happens:-)
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