Training advice and setting realistic goals - need help :)
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Training advice and setting realistic goals - need help :)

    Hello everyone. I'm new to the road biking scene and I've been looking in various places for training advice with little luck.

    I'm 25, weigh 145 pounds and am about 5'7 - 5'8. I used to compete in various sports training at a very high level. I have not competed in any physical sports for last few years and have since taking up biking to not only get back in peak form but to also compete.

    A few questions I'd like to ask are :

    Are there any articles/sites that can tell me what times I should be shooting for over certain distances i.e. miles/% of incline (im not sure what the technical term is)

    Any training advice websites or articles that describe what time of body I should ideally have? I still lift weights just to keep shape and I'd like to know how I should change up my training.

    Also a website that can tell me how races are organized and what determines your class/level. I've heard a few phrases tossed around like cat-5, cat-4, but after searching a bit I have been finding only schedules/meet up dates and not explanations as to how its classified.

    If anyone can help me out I'd really appreciate it. The day I bought my bike, I handed my fiance my car keys, road the bike home and didn't get off till 7 hours later. I can already tell this is a sport that I can grow to love and enjoy.

    Thanks in advance to anyone that can answer these questions. Below is a pic of the bike I bought.

    Its a Fuji 08' Roubaix. I'm told its an introductory road racing bike with front and rear carbon forks. Not to fancy but certainly more than enough to learn on and upgrade when I need to.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Going Nowhere Fast
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    First, your bike is fine.. I've seen Cat 3 racers riding much less.

    Second, Try here first for more information about bike racing.

    Third, Go to your local library and check out books on bike racing.. Always check there first before buying bike racing books.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: upstateSC-rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Find some local group rides. You'll gain experience, get fitter and see how you compare to others before going directly into races.
    You'll probably also meet fellow riders/racers that can help you with local training rides and the like.
    In reference to the Assault on Mt Mitchell...
    Quote Originally Posted by merckx56
    The easier solution is to find a biker bar in Spartanburg the night before, go in and pick a fight. The ass-whipping you'll get will be far less painful than the one Mitchell will give you the next day!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Thanks alot for the reply guys.

    The site was really helpful, but I still couldn't find anything about what the breakdowns of classes are.

    I've signed up to go on group rides on the weekends with the bike shop in my town that I got my bike at. I just don't want to look like I didn't do any research at all before I asked them questions.

    Thanks for the help I look forward to riding and learning more.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Wookiebiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by sted
    Thanks alot for the reply guys.

    The site was really helpful, but I still couldn't find anything about what the breakdowns of classes are.
    Basically when it comes to racing classes...Everybody starts out as a CAT 5 regardless of how fast, fit or skilled you are.

    To move up to CAT 4 it generally requires that you race in 10 mass start races (time trials don't count)...though if you win or place top 5 in 3-5 races they will likely move you to CAT 4.

    Once you are in CAT 4 it's all a matter of points to move up from there. You have to earn a number of points within a certain time frame to move up. The number of points available per race varies based on the number of participants. If it's a big group usually the top 10 or 15 can get points.

    Each category has different point totals to move up in so CAT 4 is different from CAT 3 which is different from CAT 2, etc...

    The CAT 1/2's are usually seen or labeled as Semi-Pro.

    Also just because it's CAT 5 doesn't mean that it will be a slow race by any stretch. In fact the top 5-10 guys in a CAT 5 race are generally very fast.

    At the beginning of the year one of my teammates was a CAT 5 with me this past season and we were both mainly TT guys (at least I was at the beginning of the season). My teammate is an awesome TT guy and one of the top dual-athletes in the state. Even though he was a top level athlete in a sport that includes cycling...he still had to start as a CAT 5 racer.

    His TT times were usually either tops of the day or within the top 3 for the day...finishing the state championship ITT (40K length) with the 5 fastest time in the state (he averaged around 27.5 mph for a 40K ITT)...but he was a CAT 5 to start the season and had just moved to CAT 4 before the state ITT's.

    In the end...just get out and race. If you get shot out the back so be know where you are and how much work you need to do. If you win, you know where you are and what you need to do to move up. But you won't know until you get out and do it
    Voting isn't marriage - it's public transport. You are not waiting for "The One" who is absolutely perfect. You are getting on the bus, and if there isn't one going exactly to your destination you don't stay at home and sulk - you take the one going closest to where you want to be!

  6. #6
    Impulse Athletic Coaching
    Reputation: iliveonnitro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    I would recommend getting clipless pedals. Caged pedals are fine for riding around and training, but you'll want to be clipped in when it comes to racing and some faster group rides.

    Other than that, I think your goals could range to "just hang with a cat5 race" to "upgrade to cat3s in one season." It depends how much you train (especially in winter) and how motivated you are.

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