Can't stay with the pack - why?

Talk about your races - Time Trials, Road Races or Cyclocross.
Kryton57
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Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby Kryton57 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 20:41 pm

Just started racing at Cat 4 - I'm 3 races done. The problem is I can't stay with the pack for more than two laps. I'm mid forties, 15years mtb and 3 road with the last 18 months riding with a good club. I'm fine on the club rides except when there's a high pace on the drags when I can't keep up. I can ride solo 50 to 100ks at 27-31kph no problem. Currently I'm training intervals with TrainerRoad with 3 clear days pre-crit to rest. I'd consider myself fit, 6ft, 12stone but seemingly lacking power in my legs. My last this weekend 3/4 averaged 30 kph, the race itself averaged 36kph for the winners. I'm trying not to be despondent. FTP though is only 2.8 per kg.

So, what's wrong/what can I do?

gattocattivo
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby gattocattivo » Sun Mar 30, 2014 20:48 pm

What kind of circuit is it (hilly / flat / technical)? Where do you find yourself losing ground (uphill / round corners / when it surges)? How wasted do you feel once you've lost contact (totally spent / plenty left in the tank, just couldn't keep up)?

Kryton57
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby Kryton57 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 20:53 pm

It's Hog Hill. I'm not a climber so do lose on the hill, but the main issue us that I can't keep up anywhere on the circuit when it surges. I am able to take corners faster than some others, and I can complete the hour, catching a few as they drop off. Not where I want to be of course...

Those first two laps is red line though, about 3bpm over my calculated max hr.

ongej
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby ongej » Sun Mar 30, 2014 20:58 pm

Well done for taking part! :) FWIW, it took me a number of races (2-4) before I could keep up with the bunch. I guess the question is does your race have corners or sharp-but-short uphill stretches? Also, where are you in the pack? Front, middle or back? It might be those that are killing your race, as it was for me. Also, technique can save lots of energy too...

In my first few races, I wasn't prepared for the very frequent short-but-sharp sprints out of every corner. I tried training intervals using TrainerRoad, but to be honest, I could never motivate myself to do the intervals as high a power as those in races and as frequent. But in a race, its either do or drop.. so after a few races, my body adapted. But also, technique is important, the first few races, I braked before *every* corner, and had to sprint really hard to keep up riders free-wheeling past corners... With correct technique, it the sprint out of corners was much easier and lower power, but with the same resulting speed.

Another thing to keep in mind is that crit-style racing is all about lots of short high-power sprints, then lots of coasting, and surprisingly little steady power... so recovery from sprints is very important.

Also, staying at the back of the pack is not good unless you like to sprint all the time...

jibberjim
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby jibberjim » Sun Mar 30, 2014 20:58 pm

With a 2.8 w/kg FTP you're going to struggle at hog hill to spend enough time with the bunch to get the experience of bunch survival, get to one of the flatter circuits, even with the experience, I suspect you may struggle. You really need to get fitter for that. Get over to Hillingdon, or Milton Keynes, less technical circuits, you'll have a chance to gain some experience.
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gattocattivo
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby gattocattivo » Sun Mar 30, 2014 21:06 pm

Kryton57 wrote:It's Hog Hill.


Have you raced there the last two Saturdays in the Eagle 3rds/4ths race? If so, take it from me - the opening laps have been f***ing brutal, no shame in getting dropped (I did, and I've raced there loads of times). The first two laps were 25mph yesterday, which is really going some on that circuit. By contrast, I've been in 4th cat only races at Hillingdon and Dunton where the whole race has been at that speed, but doesn't feel anything like as difficult and 90% of the bunch stays intact.

Kryton57
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby Kryton57 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 21:11 pm

I was yesterday, not the week before. Windy yesterday wasn't it? In my first 4ths at HH I was able to make a lot of time up the hill at the back then down the slope and through the bends at the bottom. Not so yesterday - solo up that hill was hard.

I'm glad the hear it was a hard pace, makes me feel better. I stayed in on those but lost the pack at the bottom before the climb on the 3rd Lap.

gattocattivo
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby gattocattivo » Sun Mar 30, 2014 21:19 pm


Imposter
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby Imposter » Sun Mar 30, 2014 21:27 pm

Kryton57 wrote: Those first two laps is red line though, about 3bpm over my calculated max hr.


To put it simply - you are not training hard enough. If you have been measuring your efforts against an HR number which is evidently inaccurate then this will not be helping.

Also, giving yourself three rest days before a race just means that you are losing out on at least two days worth of training per week. You really shouldn't need that much rest.

Kryton57
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby Kryton57 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 21:33 pm

gattocattivo wrote:Find yourself here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/irl2010/s ... 3121827754


Erm, I'm assuming your not giving out those for free? I've found me, and I'd like a copy. Do you have a website?

Kryton57
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby Kryton57 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 21:35 pm

Imposter wrote:
Kryton57 wrote: Those first two laps is red line though, about 3bpm over my calculated max hr.


To put it simply - you are not training hard enough. If you have been measuring your efforts against an HR number which is evidently inaccurate then this will not be helping.

Also, giving yourself three rest days before a race just means that you are losing out on at least two days worth of training per week. You really shouldn't need that much rest.


I'm using virtual power with TR. I am over the guidelines of the intervals - about 5% on average - and have been sick felling at times, and usually come off the Turbo wobbly legged. Point taken about the rest.

simonparker
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby simonparker » Sun Mar 30, 2014 21:37 pm

I'm a 3rd and I got dropped after 15 minutes in the race on the 22nd. Tough race. My FTP is north of 3.5 w/kg (70kgs) and I can sprint well enough (1375 peak 825 30 sec) so don't worry about it. I got dropped by being to far back and stuck behind multiple splits so I guess the answer is to stay close to the front. Obviously this is easier said than done with the large pack.

What are you using to measure your power though, even on the flattest and least interrupted route a 20mph solo ride is gonna take me around 200w so if you can do that for 3 hours easy you're FTP should be above 210w.

Kryton57
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby Kryton57 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 21:42 pm

Just TR's virtual power. Admittedly I performed it's 8 min test in a hangover, AND it was my first effort ever on a focussed interval on a turbo. Watts was recorded as 183, I suspect you are right, in reality outdoors it's higher.

Imposter
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby Imposter » Sun Mar 30, 2014 21:43 pm

Kryton57 wrote:
I'm using virtual power with TR. I am over the guidelines of the intervals - about 5% on average - and have been sick felling at times, and usually come off the Turbo wobbly legged. Point taken about the rest.


I would ignore the TR virtual power stuff for now and just go out and train yourself to tolerate for longer the kinds of effort levels you have been experiencing when racing - 20sec, 1min and 3min intervals at the highest level you can sustain for the duration of the interval. Then repeat.

gattocattivo
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby gattocattivo » Sun Mar 30, 2014 21:44 pm

Kryton57 wrote:
gattocattivo wrote:Find yourself here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/irl2010/s ... 3121827754


Erm, I'm assuming your not giving out those for free? I've found me, and I'd like a copy. Do you have a website?


I didn't take them (I was in the race!). You can contact the guy who took them through flickr, but if you just want to download one for personal use I don't think that's an issue. If it's for more commercial purposes or going on a website then you'll need permission, I think.

simonparker
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby simonparker » Sun Mar 30, 2014 21:47 pm

TR power is great for intervals, if you have a turbo that's consistent, but I wouldn't use the absolute values to compare to other peoples power meter data.

Kryton57
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 19:56 pm

Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby Kryton57 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 21:54 pm

simonparker wrote:TR power is great for intervals, if you have a turbo that's consistent, but I wouldn't use the absolute values to compare to other peoples power meter data.


I am only using it for myself to gain my FTP for my setup. TR has my trainer in its list so I used that.

simonparker
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby simonparker » Sun Mar 30, 2014 22:01 pm

Yeah it's great for that, it was just that someone replied that you're FTP wasn't high enough to stand a chance of sticking with the pack in a race at Hog Hill.

Bear in mind things like tyre pressure and how hard you tighten down the turbo will affect it's resistance so even if TR has the power curve for your turbo it's still unlikely to correlate to actual power but it will give you the repeatable efforts you need for you interval training.

DeVlaeminck
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby DeVlaeminck » Sun Mar 30, 2014 22:34 pm

From the OPs post I'd say he just isn't fit enough. There is nothing there that suggests he has the basic speed to race. The ftp is poor (if possibly inaccurate), the training speeds are nothing to write home about and not many racers get dropped on a drag on a club training ride unless you mean fast chaingangs with a sprinkling of higher cats.

What to do?
Dpends what you do now. I'd get off the trainer and do more fast group rides. Stop tapering for a crit, a day off is enough and even then not always necessary - train more and with better riders. Do more hours and more miles. Forget about short intervals for now, you are trying to ice a cake you haven't baked yet by doing them.
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Imposter
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Re: Can't stay with the pack - why?

Postby Imposter » Sun Mar 30, 2014 22:49 pm

DeVlaeminck wrote: Forget about short intervals for now, you are trying to ice a cake you haven't baked yet by doing them.


Not sure about this. He's getting dropped because he can't ride fast enough - not because he hasn't done enough base work...


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