To race or not to race? That is the question! - Page 2
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  1. #26
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    I think the term you're looking for is "Muscular Endurance." In any case, crafting a training program is a complex process. Note that I defined the sample week as "Base 2" which for me incorporates Endurance, Force and Muscular Endurance.

    "High Z3" is otherwise defined as "Sweet Spot Training" or "88-93% of your FTP". You'd use this ability a lot in road races that are 2-3h in length, but it also prepares your body for the harder time trial pace training efforts done in Z4 during late base/build.

    Hope that helps.

  2. #27
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    2spokesloose For what itís worth, I agree with just about all ICSLOPPL said. I started racing right after high school in 1970 and continued for almost 10 years. I raced in Belgium and Italy (my home country) and had some meager success. I am 60 years old and here in California, I sometimes ride with a very fast group (cat 3 and 4) and can easily keep up but as I said I have been riding a bike for almost 35 years. I do not race anymore for fear of falling and breaking a bone something I cannot afford at my age and in my line of business. I love the sport and mainly concentrate in Grand Fondos and an occasional TT. Enjoy it and stay healthy and have fun. BTW I train with a power meter and I also use Joe Friel's training plan for Centuries and GF.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2spokesloose View Post
    There are only a couple of serious racing guys and they are pretty high on themselves. Not the types to share and mentor others.
    Just wanted to chime in on this...Have you asked for help? Generally speaking, more experienced racers are glad to help others out, but IME giving unsolicited advice to newbies rarely goes all that well. Usually it results in comments like "...serious racing guys and they are pretty high on themselves."

    -wayne

  4. #29
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    My 2 cents

    I turn 46 this year (so not too old to start) I have been racing for 33 years and due to work commitments have not raced in 12 months. I will be starting in D grade next week for the first one of my season.

    I was talking to a mate on our ride this morning and he said "you will be trying to win the race next week" I said no the intent is to get some race legs and not get dropped. But I am a realist and will probably be dropped.....but thart is OK, there is no shame in it, just means I gotta do more training.

    So in short, train more, race more, there is no training like racing. Like people have said, listen to racers and their advice, try it for yourself. If it doesn't work, try something else.

    Keep us updated on how you go.
    cheers

    Pete

    Trek Emonda SL8 with 9000
    Trek Madone 6.9 with 9000

    >Space reserved for next bike<

  5. #30
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    Tighten your spokes first.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by saird View Post
    Tighten your spokes first.
    Funny.

    OP, it's definitely not too late to start racing. I think your expectations are a bit too high. If I were you, I'd try to enjoy cycling and put in a lot of miles that way - what's the point of cycling if you're not having fun? Beats me.

    After you've got a base aerobic capacity, you'll want to get into racing. Again, do it for fun. Try to stay with the peloton and stick with it until the finish. From there, gauge where you are - can you attack? Get into a break? Eventually, you'll hopefully progress to winning.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by IKnowYouRider View Post
    Just wanted to chime in on this...Have you asked for help? Generally speaking, more experienced racers are glad to help others out, but IME giving unsolicited advice to newbies rarely goes all that well. Usually it results in comments like "...serious racing guys and they are pretty high on themselves."
    LOL, and a really good point. My racing is split among 'cross, mountain and track. And I've found racers to be one of the more welcoming groups of cyclists. I think it helps that the competition is very overt. If I've needed help to be able to start a race, I've generally been able to get it. If I can start, I'm one more person that the other guy can try to beat. If he's in my class anyway. Racers are there to beat people during the race, so they'll be pretty helpful in getting you to the race. Or, such has been my experience.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by saird View Post
    Tighten your spokes first.
    A fellow has to have a few loose spokes to start racing at age 46! You can't tighten the kind of spokes I'm referring to.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by IKnowYouRider View Post
    Just wanted to chime in on this...Have you asked for help? Generally speaking, more experienced racers are glad to help others out, but IME giving unsolicited advice to newbies rarely goes all that well. Usually it results in comments like "...serious racing guys and they are pretty high on themselves."

    -wayne
    Ok I'm busted. There are two bike shops in town. If you ride with one and you talk to people from the other it is considered treason punishable by death. It the stupidest thing, well no its the same as when I was in a Bass fishing club. Competition brings out the worst in people allot of the time. It's very childish and probably has turned more people away from cycling than both bike shops know.

  10. #35
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    Glad I live in Seattle. Everybody is pretty friendly on the racing scene here. Actually it's something I enjoy about riding with a team - if I do one of the more popular training rides, I see a lot of people I know and tons of kits I recognize.

  11. #36
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    2spokes,

    Go ahead and jump in the pool, but remember learning to swim? You need to learn one skill before moving to the next. It may take a few years before you can compete.

    I am 53 now and did a few crits in my 20s and was good enough to place. Flash forward 25 years of no activity due to career and family and I decided to start enjoying life again with hiking, running, and cycling. I've been a recreational rider for 3 years and decided to train to race this year. 1 road race - pack finish, several MTB races - mid-pack & 1 win, and now Cx races with several top 10 finishes.

    I've learned several things my first season.
    There are going to be faster people than you.
    You are going to suffer A LOT.
    The other people are trying to beat you. You need to bring more to the race than them.
    You need to be patient and apply what you learn. Set progressive goals and advance up. Race smart, not just hard.
    In MTB and Cx races, the start is critical. Learn how to be near the front before the funnel or first run up.
    Make friends and have fun at the races, enjoy the experience. You have a job and family, racing is just a recreational outlet.
    Last edited by Egads; 11-10-2012 at 03:09 AM.

  12. #37
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    Yes right no age limit is fix for cycling so swallow the age meter issue and you are right to start cycling for fitness it will be beneficial.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2spokesloose View Post
    Thats great advice Steve, thank you.. I am really just trying to figure all of this out. Its quite frustrating to be so dedicated and work so hard then to roll out and feel like you cant even finish the race expecially when two weeks prior you felt like you could ride up mount everest without oxygen. The inconsistancy is what has driven me to try to understand more.
    Don't get discouraged. Racing is tough. I did my first year last year. I trained like crazy over the winter and still got dropped quite a bit. But I also improved immensely. By mid season I was doing group rides with the fastest guys in my club, something I'd never have done in previous years. I eventually managed a 4th place finish in a large cat 5 race with a field of 50 riders. The 1st and 3rd place riders were my team mates. I could have beat my team mate at the line for 3rd but that wouldn't have been right since we were working as a team.

    Another thing to watch out for is the idea that cat 5 means slow racers. Cat 5 means new racers. Some of which are fast enough to race cat 3 or cat 2. In my area we had elite mountain bike racers come out to try road racing, they had to start in cat 5. We had long time triatheletes come out and they had to start in cat 5. One of my club members was a pure natural genetic freak. He could do a 20 minute time trial faster than all but 1 guy in our club and we have racers in all categories. He had to start in cat 5 and routinely destroyed the field.

    When I did my first race I expected the average speed to be 20 mph. My first cat 5 race averaged over 25 mph for the first 20 minutes or so until I got dropped.

  14. #39
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    Thank all of you for your input! It will be a fun year ahead.

  15. #40
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    Don't worry about racer attitudes. Worry about beating them. Most people who complain about racer attitudes just wanna use that as an excuse not to race. If you think racers are bad, try being in a band. Trust me.

  16. #41
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    46 this year too and will be my first year racing.

    My goals are simple, there are 2.
    1, Enjoy the competition and live in the adrenaline of the Crits.
    2, Have fun.

    That is all.

    Next year number 1 will change but number 2 will stay the same.

  17. #42
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    Heck, go for it. Life is a one way journey so why not? Maintain reasonable expectations and have fun!

  18. #43
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    After a couple of years of recreational riding, I tried my hand at racing at the ripe old age of 47 (three years ago). We didn't have Cat 5 here at the time, so I jumped in with the fours. I got pulled from my first couple of crits, dropped on the climbs of the first few road races. I got stronger with each race and each season. I'm now racing cat 3, so it can be done. I come from a long, competitive road running career, so results may not be typical, but at least some of it comes from busting my ass in training.

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