starting out in (womens?) road racing...

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starting out in (womens?) road racing...

Postby speckybecky » Tue Aug 19, 2008 14:08 pm

So I had a failed attempt at my first road race at the weekend (The Wasp in south wales) but was quite happy to even finish, averaging just over 19mph on a hilly 71 mile circuit. There were only 3 girls in the field of about 80, one of which was Jess Allen (olympic development squad) the other girl gave up after 2 laps. We averaged over 25mph in the first 10 miles, after which I got dropped so I pretty much did a 60 mile time trial.

My question is, how fit do I have to be to race, and what sort of pace to women's road races normally go at?

I don't know any other female racers so it is hard to guage whether I am fit enough, and I am certainly not fit enough to keep up with 1st/2nd cat men!!

Any advice/comments gratefully received!!!



Mike Healey
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Postby Mike Healey » Sun Sep 07, 2008 18:51 pm

I take it that you don't have any coaching at the moment. Check the BC website or the Assoc. of British Cycling Coaches one,, to find out your nearest coach. A good coach should be able to arrange a proper test (turbo-based pain and suffering, I'm afraid) and provide you with a structured programme with sessions at appropriate heartrate levels, etc.

For what it's worth, 19mph on your first race, riding 60 miles on your own, seems pretty good to me. So don't describe it as a failed attempt - you can't make any real judgement about how race fit you are until you can get into a proper women's event, instead of one where you have no valid means of comparison.

Good luck!
Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998

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Postby hopper1 » Sun Sep 07, 2008 20:28 pm

I think it's unfair to yourself to try to compare your effort with that of 1st/2nd Cat men.
Unfortunately, not a great female presence at the race...One 'Olympic Development Squad' and one DNF! At least you hung in there and finished. How far behind the other female did you finish?
Are you in a club?
If not, consider joining one. Most clubs will have a qualified coach in their midst, and will be only too willing to accept a new member, espacially a female who's wanting to race!
There's also a lot more to road racing, regarding strategies and tactics, than just pace and fitness. The experience of other racers in a club could help you a lot.
If you're not already in a club, then respect, bird! For having the 'balls' to get involved! :wink:

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Postby NGale » Mon Oct 06, 2008 22:15 pm

Hey get in there bird, one better than me, just starting for me would be an achievement.

everyone has to start somewhere, so now the only way is up...possibly up a very large mountian, but heck who cares have fun in the process 8) :D

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Postby speckybecky » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:07 am

Hey All,

Just re-checked this post and your responses have been really encouraging, so thanks!

I'm going to stick at it and hopefully next year I'll be able to do some women's only races. I am a member of a club and they are all really supportive, but I am the only girl! It does mean I am now the club female 10 mile TT champion though (difficult not to be really!). It is a bit disappointing how so few girlies race bikes - I entered the welsh hill climb and was the only senior girl to ride as well, so again it was really hard to gauge how well I did in the real world of women's racing. Ah well...maybe next year more girls will enter!

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Postby Ste_S » Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:24 am

Have you thought about setting up a women's only ride at your club ? My club started up a women's only track night and launched it through the local paper, we now have 20+ Women turning up on a Monday night. Quite a few of them have started racing too for the first time this year.

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Postby speckybecky » Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:49 am

I only joined the club in June of this year, so I'm only just settling in. But yes, as I get more involved I may well try a bit of advertising to get more women involved!

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Postby hopper1 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 18:21 pm

Don't lose heart.
Advertising may well lead to more interest.
Nobody wants to be the first, but you are (in your club), hopefully others will follow when they know they wont be the only girl at the club.
I hope you've got a big trophy shelf...You'll need one, unless other women start competing in your area! :wink:

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Postby peanut » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:10 pm

well done Becky thats a plucky first effort . Considering you were only one of two female riders and you spent most of the race alone I would say thats a very impressive pace considering everything stacked against you. A lot of blokes in a similar situation would probably have climbed off.

Have you looked a bit further afield at other clubs within your area that may have more female members or perhaps better coaching support? I used to put my bike in the car and drive 50 miles to belong to a good club as the only other clubs were for eyeballs out racers or social sunday family coffee runs.

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Postby Groover Brisbane » Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:23 am

Great effort and I feel your pain as my first experience was very similar. Don't loose heart. I have seen more and more girls and women of all ages getting involved in the sport over the past three years here in Brisbane. It's a matter of setting an example and getting other females excited. Good luck!

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Postby sarrah78 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 13:38 pm

I wish I was at that level, you should be proud, just keep working away week in week out and your fitness and strength will build up and up.
too fast for you lol

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