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Noob Weekly Volume Question

GuaiaberoGuaiabero Posts: 2
I'm a distance runner but I'm transitioning to cycling. I'm training for two races this summer. They're both mens CAT 5 criteriums that will be about 25 minutes long from start to finish. I'm unsure of how many hours a week I should be cycling in order to be prepared to race when the day comes. So, how many hours/miles should the average CAT 5 competitor be putting in in order to be competitive?

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  • HerzogHerzog Posts: 197
    It's not really about quantity, rather quality (i.e., doing 4 hours of commuting is very different than doing 4 hours of HIIT)

    Perhaps look at The Time Crunched Cyclist by Chris Carmichael.
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,436
    Guaiabero wrote:
    I'm a distance runner but I'm transitioning to cycling. I'm training for two races this summer. They're both mens CAT 5 criteriums that will be about 25 minutes long from start to finish. I'm unsure of how many hours a week I should be cycling in order to be prepared to race when the day comes. So, how many hours/miles should the average CAT 5 competitor be putting in in order to be competitive?

    It's kind of hard to say not knowing where your bike fitness is now, and what your aims are in these races. If you do group rides now, how do you sprint vs other riders that have race experience?

    If your general fitness is good, I'd suggest that you do lots of work on your sprint and as much group riding as possible. These skills will probably have the most impact for you.

    You'll get massively varied suggestions about volume. For me, 7-8 hours a week, where each session is training rather than pootling, is what I can physically handle and recover from. It will depend on your age too. You won't need big volume for a 25 minute race though. Your long ride will be, what 1.5 hours? Train specifically, and recover well. You'll find what volume you can handle.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,037
    Agree with the above.

    Bunch skills are going to be critical - not just your normal being comfortable riding in close proximity to others but given it's a crit cornering in a bunch will be important. If you can hold a position near the front of the bunch you have to sprint less out of each corner as bunch gets stretched out which means you'll be saving your energy, you'll also make the front half any splits in the bunch and if you want be in a position to attack or follow other people attacking.

    Physically it's going to be a hard effort punctuated by flat out effort - something like the "hour of power" which is basically just an hour of sub threshold effort punctuated by flat out sprints every few minutes might be something to do - play about with the duration but the sprints should be pretty much maximal which means short - you wont be sprinting for a minute and if you go all out for that long you wont be able to drop back in to a hardish effort after. Ideally though try and find a fast training group on the road - if it's something like a chaingang that trains on a technical circuit (some over here use industrial estates so lots of cornering) so much the better.
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  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,436
    Agree with the above.

    Bunch skills are going to be critical - not just your normal being comfortable riding in close proximity to others but given it's a crit cornering in a bunch will be important. If you can hold a position near the front of the bunch you have to sprint less out of each corner as bunch gets stretched out which means you'll be saving your energy, you'll also make the front half any splits in the bunch and if you want be in a position to attack or follow other people attacking.

    Physically it's going to be a hard effort punctuated by flat out effort - something like the "hour of power" which is basically just an hour of sub threshold effort punctuated by flat out sprints every few minutes might be something to do - play about with the duration but the sprints should be pretty much maximal which means short - you wont be sprinting for a minute and if you go all out for that long you wont be able to drop back in to a hardish effort after. Ideally though try and find a fast training group on the road - if it's something like a chaingang that trains on a technical circuit (some over here use industrial estates so lots of cornering) so much the better.

    I agree with this. Just for reference, I returned to racing last year after a gap of 18 years. I did some crits and I won two in UK 4th cat. I definitely wasn't the strongest rider there, but I had an OK sprint and some race experience from when I was a young lad. Bacially, having a basic idea of when to burn your matches is a big deal.
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