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Keep getting dropped. Need advice. Help?

St0tanSt0tan Posts: 6
My case:
Cat 4 road racer, would like to get to Cat 3 this summer. Races are typically 40-60 miles in length (I live/race in NorCal). I tend to get dropped once the pace picks up and have trouble staying with faster groups even on the flat.

My question:
Would I be better off focusing on shorter, harder efforts for my steady state endurance workouts (ex. 60 minutes just below FTP) or longer, less intense efforts (ex. 180 minutes in zone 2). Long-distance endurance does not seem to be a limiter for me as I have been able to do back-to-back 4 hour long rides without too much difficulty, however I seem to get dropped constantly by the pack in flat races.

Posts

  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Can you ride a wheel ok ? If you can get into the bunch then you'll be saving so many watts.
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,644
    You sound faster than me, so I'm not sure why I'm offering advice, but here goes...
    If you can't hold a wheel and get dropped when the pace picks up, then you need to get faster - sorry for the obvious.
    So, I would suggest that you need to include some short, intense, 3-5 minute speed sessions as well as some of the longer sessions that you describe.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    It a mix of everything. You need do lots of 3-5 minute intervals, 30 sec to 1 minute intervals, 10 spec sprints and 3 hr rides. Also when you get dropped just carry one as fast as your legs allow and treat it as a training ride. That what I do. I entered a 3/4 stage race last weekend. I knew I was not fit enough to stay in the group and was dropped at the first hill which was at the start but I carried on at a race effort. two days of that was tiring but last tuesday I got points finally. It seems to have woke my legs up after months of feeling flat.

    If its pace on the flat sections that is getting you it will be your lack of ability to sustain power over several minutes or to surge when needed. So vO2 max efforts will sort that.

    I would do 1 minute on/1 minute of sessions x10 then rest then 2 minute on/2 off x5 then 3 minute on/3 minute off x2 with 10 minutes easy in between. come to think of it thats what I need to do. under/overs might help. These sort of intervals really get your heart racing and should build lactate tollerance which is probably the two things that are yours (and mine undoing at present).

    hill reps too 3 passes at FTP, 1 over FTP and one eyeballs out on a 5 minute hill. I hate all this kind of work but it has to be done.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • zefszefs Posts: 484
    If you have already worked on your base and want to add intervals you need to work on both ftp and vo2max and combination of those. E.g:

    Day 1 - 2x20 at threshold with 10 mins rest
    Day off
    Day 2 - 2 sets of 4x4 on off vo2max with 8 mins rest between sets
    Day off
    Day 3 - 2 sets of 2min vo2max - 8min threshold with 10 mins rest between sets
    Day off
    Race Day

    Everyone is different so you add or remove from the training week to be "fresh" on race day.
  • AndymaxyAndymaxy Posts: 197
    From my experience getting dropped seems more like a strategic mistake than lack of fitness. You don't have to be as strong as those around you to stay with them. You have to position yourself right in the pack and actually focus on what's going on around you. If you see a gap, you need it shut it immediately. If you slack and wait, you are never getting back on.

    In terms of training I think being able to put down a 600w effort whe. You need to is more important than holding steady 250w for the duration of the race. In a race situation you are hardly ever going to hold a stead power.
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