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Some tips for anyone thinking about taking the plunge...

greeny12greeny12 Posts: 759
edited November 2011 in Amateur race
A few people on here know I've been blogging about my debut season as a cycle racer.

After clocking up 17 races I think I've learned a tiny bit about how it all works at 4th Cat level, so in an effort to share some of that I've put together the following top ten tips:

http://cyclingapprentice.com/2011/11/11 ... le-racers/

Hopefully these might prove useful to somebody thinking about taking the plunge next year. If you've raced a bit and think I'm talking bollox feel free to point this out!
My cycle racing blog: http://cyclingapprentice.wordpress.com/

If you live in or near Sussex, check this out:
http://ontherivet.ning.com/

Posts

  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    I'd say that's pretty good. Maybe put something in about eating and drinking, and clothing too.

    Oh and the irony of the fact that you need a car to be able to enter certain road races.
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • PseudonymPseudonym Posts: 1,032
    no 'bollox' in there at all, I'd say. Pretty good summary. My own preference is sprinting on the hoods, not the drops, but I guess the drops make more sense...
  • It's 32 years since I last took part in a bike race, and plan to return to racing next season, mostly riding LVRC events.

    I thought your blog is a well written insight in to taking the plunge in to the world of bike racing, especially liked number 7, just need to remember it.

    If you can write such an interesting blog on racing, maybe a blog about your tips centred around your training learning curve might add weight to your racing experience.
    Live to ski
    Ski to live
  • Really enjoyed reading this, to the point that I'm considering getting out myself next season and having a go!

    As the others have said, some sort of overview of your training might well help out - it's all very well seeing how you race, but I've got no way of knowing how healthy I am in comparison to you without knowing what effort you're putting in through the week.
    Twitter: @FunkyMrMagic
  • greeny12greeny12 Posts: 759
    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    The problem with training is that no two people I ride with do it the same, so it's very difficult to know where to start!

    We have some guys that simply ride their bike for long distances at tempo, others swear by intervals, tabata and all sorts of gym-based punishment. And there are plenty of other options too...

    For me, I've had no real plan or structure to my training to be honest. I did a lot of hours on the turbo last winter, usually in one hour chunks with a fast spin for the final minute of every ten. I also try to go out and ride with the team every Sunday, as well as nipping out a couple of times inthe week (work and family commitments permitting). Plus the 17 races acted as a form of training in their own right. Best of all I did a week in Majorca in April, covering 420 miles, which acted a a superb block of base miles for the rest of the season.

    I am seriously thinking about coaching, or at least obtaining some kind of training plan, for next season because I'm well aware that my present approach is haphazard to say the least. It's why I focused on race experience in my top ten tips, since I'm in no position to critique other people's training plans!

    As for judging comparative race fitness, the only way to truly find out is to do it! I encouraged a guy to do his first ever race at the Eastbourne crit I wrote about on the blog. He turned up with hairy legs and a worried face, then proceeded to stay with the bunch while I was blown out of the back!
    My cycle racing blog: http://cyclingapprentice.wordpress.com/

    If you live in or near Sussex, check this out:
    http://ontherivet.ning.com/
  • Curious you should say that.

    After reading your blog, I went out and borrowed a copy of Pete Read's Black Book, and it was that which made me start giving serious thought to training properly over the winter to give things a go. If you can find a copy, it might well be worth you having a read to see what you think.

    At the minute, my major pain is lack of light and lack of time. I don't have a turbo and I'm only managing 3 commutes a week at most right now, so the only decent miles I'm managing are on the Sunday club run.
    Twitter: @FunkyMrMagic
  • im going to start racing next year, ive got a good fitness base that i have been building up over the last 2 years and feel next year is the right time. do you know what the average speeds are on a cat 4 crit ? i know these will change with all different courses and weather conditions but any kind of knowledge would be appreciated so i can push my speeds up in winter training ,also any advice on riding in groups?
  • The whole blog was a really good read and it gave me a great feel for what racing might actually be like! Has not quite put me off, I still think my Cav style sprint need some work but sounds like a great time. Need to get myself a road bike and join the local club!
  • greeny12 wrote:
    ....... He turned up with hairy legs and a worried face, then proceeded to stay with the bunch while I was blown out of the back!

    Nowt wrong with hairy legs :lol:
    Makes it all the more satisfying as you cruise past the 'smoothies' when you get to the business end of a race... :roll:
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    greeny12 wrote:
    ....... He turned up with hairy legs and a worried face, then proceeded to stay with the bunch while I was blown out of the back!

    Nowt wrong with hairy legs :lol:
    Makes it all the more satisfying as you cruise past the 'smoothies' when you get to the business end of a race... :roll:

    Except with hairy legs, even though you cross the line first, you still lose!
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Brilliant read mate as I am going to start racing on the ludgershall winter series this year your tips are much appreciated. Reading through the rest of the blog now!
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    In response to questions about 'average speeds' and racing forget it - it ain't about average speeds but about your ability to respond to repeated threshold efforts - the riders with the greatest capacity to recover are the ones that fight-out the finish and rarel the 'diesel' who plods his way around at some nominal average. If you're not comfortable pushing yourself into the red-zone, then you're unlikely to enjoy racing.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Monty Dog wrote:
    In response to questions about 'average speeds' and racing forget it - it ain't about average speeds but about your ability to respond to repeated threshold efforts - the riders with the greatest capacity to recover are the ones that fight-out the finish and rarel the 'diesel' who plods his way around at some nominal average. If you're not comfortable pushing yourself into the red-zone, then you're unlikely to enjoy racing.

    This.
    Nail hit most squarely on the head by Monty....
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