How many years to be competitive in races?

When drugs don't work: training and health tips!
jacksun22
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 19:45 pm

How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby jacksun22 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 16:33 pm

Hello there. After racing my first race yesterday, and getting dropped fairly early on, I was wondering how many years of cycling consistently does it take to stay with the bunch for cat 3/4 races? I've been cycling for a year now, so am not expecting the earth, I guess I'm just interested in hearing anyone's story of how long it took them to progress, and what it took to get there.
Thanks.

Imposter
Posts: 5221
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 17:17 pm

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby Imposter » Sun Mar 10, 2013 16:48 pm

It's not the years - it's the fitness. Sounds like you are lacking the intensity to cope with race speeds.

Stueys
Posts: 768
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 18:18 pm

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby Stueys » Sun Mar 10, 2013 18:30 pm

Cyclists training bible reckons it takes 3 years for your body to make the adaptions needed to be a top cyclist. No idea if that's true or not.

Imposter
Posts: 5221
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 17:17 pm

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby Imposter » Sun Mar 10, 2013 18:32 pm

Stueys wrote:Cyclists training bible reckons it takes 3 years for your body to make the adaptions needed to be a top cyclist. No idea if that's true or not.


there's probably a bit of difference between becoming a 'top cyclist' and 'not being dropped in a 3/4'

Danlikesbikes
Posts: 3871
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 22:10 pm

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby Danlikesbikes » Sun Mar 10, 2013 18:33 pm

TBF most people tend to get dropped in their first race pretty early on - keep your head down & if you can last with the 4th cat (assume your 4th not 3rd) group for 4 laps you should be fine and then need to learn your race craft.

As imposter says its about being able to do the intensity of work and understanding when & how to hold your place which you can only really learn in racing. Though if you get on your local chaingang and persist you should find that final 10%-20% extra soon comes to you.
Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.

jacksun22
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 19:45 pm

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby jacksun22 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 21:21 pm

Thanks Dan. That helps. I was thinking that i should have put more oomph into the first laps, as once they got away, they were away. The plan next time is to gamble with my energy and stay nearer the front at the start. Oh and do some harder rides between now and then!
Cheers.

Danlikesbikes
Posts: 3871
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 22:10 pm

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby Danlikesbikes » Sun Mar 10, 2013 21:56 pm

I know I was dropped in my first race after a few laps & though I'd never be able to keep the pace and I was no slouch in training either. However back I went & tried again it was just as hard but after a while it calmed down a bit. Was more about staying in place and not letting yourself drift back to far, but race craft comes with practice.

Good luck with your racing!
Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.

okgo
Posts: 3708
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 14:13 pm
Contact:

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby okgo » Sun Mar 10, 2013 23:39 pm

There is no time limit.

Some people take weeks, others place in their first races, others never get there. Just keep going along and you'll get better. It you have time to train then it's usually always intense efforts/recovering/another intense effort that needs working on, so try to replicate that.
Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com

Danlikesbikes
Posts: 3871
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 22:10 pm

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby Danlikesbikes » Sun Mar 10, 2013 23:46 pm

Presume you live close to the race you did?

If so I'd find out from some of the other racers where they train what club, chaingang etc.

Or just ask on BR and someone will know of a good group near you. You can then try and get your race fitness up against the people you will be racing against next time.

No race is the same but that can depend on where the race is. Some are all go from the off for a few laps, others are a bit slower.

Sounds like you enjoyed it though which is the good thing & glad to hear that your looking forward to getting stuck in next time.
Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.

cojones
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 17:14 pm

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby cojones » Mon Mar 11, 2013 22:01 pm

This is heartening to read, I.e. it's not just me getting dropped! I'm in the same boat as the OP although I am a Paracyclist. I had the same experience in my first two races (against able bodied 4th cats), dropped after 3 laps in the first and dropped after 5 in the second. I drifted far too far back in the second race due to lack of confidence in very wet, tight conditions and it took too much out of me dealing with the concertina effect. I'm sure that a few more dry races will help with the experience/confidence and I'll hang on for even longer. There aren't many para rides at all so if nothing else racing against you able bodied lot is good hard training!!

Danlikesbikes
Posts: 3871
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 22:10 pm

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby Danlikesbikes » Mon Mar 11, 2013 22:32 pm

Unless your uber fit & just moved over to 4th Cat pretty much everyone is in the same boat & the most gains are sprints at the end and technical knowledge of when & where to be in the pack. Or that has certainly been my experiences of it.

There was a thread not to long ago viewtopic.php?f=40041&t=12904484 covering how hard 4th Cat racing was and there were a fair number of posters who advised their first races were really hard. But once you can do the first initial racing all should be OK.
Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.

poynedexter
Posts: 198
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:42 am

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby poynedexter » Tue Mar 12, 2013 13:25 pm

what i found/ find tough is when the bunch stretches a bit and i have to push hard to hold a wheel. you just have to forget the pain and realise it will ease soon. if you drift back 3 or 4 meters you are gone. also the acceleration out of corners can stretch the elastic a bit and its these changes in pace which hurt. there is a lot of craft to be learnt to avoid putting yourself in the red. learning to cope with a higher intensity takes time.

its almost easier into a headwind as this can ease the pace at the pointy end and allow some shelter in the wheel. once the tailwind arrives the speed can be hard to live with.

i found my cadence had to be much higher than usual and my training had to reflect this.

AK_jnr
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 14:58 pm

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby AK_jnr » Tue Mar 12, 2013 20:57 pm

I had my first race on Sunday. I came 10th but I think I could have won.

I started cycling last May.

User avatar
amaferanga
Posts: 6595
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 16:44 pm

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby amaferanga » Tue Mar 12, 2013 21:10 pm

AK_jnr wrote:I had my first race on Sunday. I came 10th but I think I could have won.

I started cycling last May.


That's what everybody says!
More problems but still living....

AK_jnr
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 14:58 pm

Re: How many years to be competitive in races?

Postby AK_jnr » Tue Mar 12, 2013 21:25 pm

Haha true but with reason.


Return to “Training, Fitness and Health”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests