Welcome to the Berkeley BiCYCLE Club
For Road and MTB Racers
By now you should be racing or doing one or two hard club rides every weekend, and you should be beginning to have a feel for speed and a tolerance for hard work. Before each race, get a generous warm up of at least 40 minutes. A full hour is better. Start with 20 minutes very easy. Then gradually build up to three LT intervals of two minutes with three-minute rests. Finish with five minutes easy spinning to end about fifteen minutes before the start.
Warming up brings up muscle temperatures and causes some hormonal and metabolic changes that support effective racing. If a race starts hard and you are not well warmed up, you will be at a disadvantage for the whole race, even if you do eventually warm up in the race. Once you are warmed up the effects will last at least twenty minutes if you wear warm clothing.
Going hard without warm up will limit your endurance and your chances of placing. Ask if you want the physiological details. If you’d like a detailed warm up with heart rates and times built in, send your maximum and LT heart rates to ScottSaifer@WenzelCoaching.com. If you don’t know them, call Ron (925-337-1219), Meredith (415-516-0409), or Scott (925-933-7306) to set up an LT test and training zone determination.
The warm up is time to review your race goals and plans, which should have been developed in conversation with your teammates over the previous few days. If you are doing hard club rides, make a point of going easy for 20-30 minutes before it gets intense. If you can’t count on your partners for that, ride a bit before joining the group.
Immediately after a race get plenty of fluid with some carbohydrate and optional protein. (Clinical research has shown that chocolate milk and Gatorade are both more effective for supporting recovery than are commercial recovery drinks with the “magic” 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein).
Then go for your post-race ride. The most important training of the week occurs immediately after racing. How much should you ride post-race? Add 1 1/4 hours to the length of the longest race you will do regularly this year. This is how much time you should generally put in on race day. If a particular race is long, then after the race you can just go for a half-hour cool down ride. Spin easy for ten minutes during which the pain in your legs should fade and the strength should return, then crank it up to the endurance zone and cruise for at least twenty minutes. If the race is shorter, go for a longer endurance ride to make up the difference.
If the race was easy, or if you went out with a mechanical and didn’t finish the race, do some intervals and sprints on your post-race ride. If you are feeling really tough and a certain race is not that important to you, you can do a long endurance ride before the race. This is the best training for strong riders who intend to enter harder races later, but will impact your race performance.
This Month – a typical week
The rest of the week focuses on maintaining your base and getting you to the weekend fresh and ready to race.
Monday is strength maintenance day. If you’ve been lifting, go to the gym, warm up thoroughly and do a lifting workout that hits all the muscle groups with light weights. Legs could get six sets of 10 reps, with three sets of six reps for the arms, back and belly. If you are using appropriate weights, the routine, not counting warm up and stretching, should take twenty to thirty minutes and you will never feel a burn. If you haven’t been lifting, don’t start now. Just do an easy spin and a good stretching routine on Monday.
Tuesday: This month Tuesday becomes the “focus” day, as far before the weekend as possible. Take advantage of the opportunity to develop a skill or fitness dimension that has been holding you back. Work on your sprinting, TT position, descending, cornering, group riding, basic skills or whatever else will help you in your next races. Don’t just practice what you are already good at. Talk to me about how to work on your chosen skill. Make the whole day’s ride at least 90 minutes and up to the length of your longest race.
There are hard midweek rides and races available. Attend them only if they support your racing goals, or if they are your racing goals. If you’ll race on a given weekend, skip the Tuesday-Friday World Championships the week before. If you raced the weekend before, only go hard mid-week if you are fully recovered from the previous weekend.
Wednesday is endurance maintenance day. Go for a long spinning ride at a strict endurance pace. No hammering, no breathing hard, and preferably no steep hills unless you are strong enough to spin whatever gears you are carrying.
Thursday: If you are racing Saturday, Thursday is a rest day. Take it off or do a short ride of up to 30 minutes at a very easy pace. Thursday is the day to get your bike and kit ready for the weekend and also to set your goals for the races. If you need parts or professional assistance you’ll have all day Friday to take care of it.
Friday: Friday is also tune-up day for the weekend’s races. Do a half hour or more at an easy pace to get loose and warm, then one interval near LT for five to ten minutes depending on your strength. Finish off with at least fifteen minutes of easy spinning. If you are lucky enough to have the free time, it’s good to drive to where you’ll be staying the night before the race and do the tune-up there.
In any case, don’t do the tune-up ride more than 18 hours before the race if you can avoid it, and always have a good meal with plenty of low and moderate glycemic index carbohydrates shortly after the Tune Up.
If you are racing Sunday but not Saturday, do a short endurance ride on Thursday, take the rest day on Friday and do the tune-up Saturday.
The above schedule is general for people who are racing every week and who don’t count any race as much more important than any other. If you have a special event coming up and the next few races are not so important you will want to follow a schedule with more hard work during the week, and more easy riding and days off in the week before the big event. Talk to me for suggestions.
For Cyclocross Racers
It’s time to start ramping up the intensity again. Pick two non-consecutive days per week for intervals (Tuesday and Saturday are a common combo, but whatever fits your schedule is good).
The first two weeks of March, do Moderate Intervals. Warm up for at least 20 minutes with easy pedaling. Then do three 15-20 minute intervals in your Moderate or Tempo zone, above endurance but safely below LT. Rest for five minutes between the intervals. Do one of the interval days on flatter roads, and one on challenging race-like terrain, whether that is dirt for MTB racers or hilly stuff with corners for road racers, or around and around in a parking lot for those focusing on crits.
At mid-month, if the Moderate Intervals are going well, switch from Moderate to LT Intervals. To do an LT interval session, warm up for 20-30 minutes before doing up to six intervals of 3 minutes on, five minutes off. Keep doing intervals until it becomes harder to raise you heart rate, you are going slower despite similar effort or you’ve done six. Don’t kill yourself to complete the intervals. If you get six good intervals in one session, add two minutes to the intervals and three to the rests in the next session.
The remaining days, get in as much road Endurance time as you can. Pick one day for Push Endurance (~70 rpm in the Endurance Zone) and the rest of the days do Spin Endurance (90-110rpm in the Endurance Zone). Aim to get at least one 3-hour ride per week if you are a four or five, and a 4-hour ride if you are a three.
The other rides can be as short as an hour and still be effective, but longer is better if you have the time and energy. If you are lifting, keep lifting 2-3 non-consecutive days per week. Racing will start in mid-April so if you haven’t started to lift yet, don’t bother to start now.
Take at least one day completely off every ten days. Take days off more frequently if you ever find yourself tired at the beginning of rides.
Call or write me for help setting up your training zones. I’ll need your LT and maximum heart rates to set them up. We can arrange testing if you don’t know them already.
All Club members are entitled to a limited amount of free consultation. Training programs with calendars, exercises and generous consultation start $68. Call Ron (925-337-1219), Meredith (415-516-0409), or Scott (925-933-7306) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check our web-site at www.WenzelCoaching.com.
Scott Saifer, M.S.
BBC had a strong showing with Stefan, Alex, Lloyd, new guy Mate, Neil and myself. After finding the guys before the race it was decided that they would all do their best to work for me since I am a few points away from my upgrade. My own plan was to race conservatively and hope to be in a good position at the final turn towards the finish to be in the sprint, if it came to that. The team plan was to help me do this with the guys chasing anybody that got away and controlling the nearly 70 other riders in the field. This was a big ask since there were plenty of other teams trying to do exactly the same.
The 35+ 4 race was 4 laps of a very bumpy 12 mile loop of narrow roads, no shoulders, tight turns, dogs and rollers to soften the legs. The finish comes after about a 2K bumpy high-speed straight away to a tight 90 degree right hand turn to a 250M uphill finish. The finish is all about positioning in that final corner to set up for the uphill sprint.
Once the race started Alex went to the front and helped set the pace like he always does. The pace was good and kept people from attempting any real break attempts. A few guys tried to go off but BBC was right there to help pull them back. I stayed in the group, out of the wind as much as possible, ready to go if I thought a break would stick.
The guys and I kept in constant communication during the race; we kept tabs on where each of us was, asking how each other felt, marking other guys and discussing tactics. On Lap 3 I asked if Alex, Mate and Stefan if they were able to pick the pace up a bit, I wanted to really try and pop as many guys as possible on the last few kilometers of the race. All of the guys completely buried themselves for me at this point! I watched from mid pack as each of the guys attacked and counter attacked. Each attack shed more and more guys from the front and strung the field out nicely, preventing anybody from really getting away. It was awesome to see the team work together. At the final 5K everybody pitched in to get one last dig in before the final 2 turns. The team had done a perfect job of popping guys off the lead group and at the 1K sign I was where I wanted to be before the final turn. I hit the final right turn on the outside at full gas and started my sprint to the finish. It was a drag race to the finish but I was in good position to have a clear run in and held onto 6th across the line.
This race was a lot of fun for me. The team worked well together and I couldn’t have gotten in a good position for the finish without them. I own these guys big time! I have my necessary upgrade points but I don’t plan on upgrading until after Copperopolis; I want to help the guys as much as they helped me. So BBC, until then, if any Cat 4 wants to have help racing for the next few weeks I will work for you! Let’s have some fun!
2014-02-21 03:21:24 RIDES Read more... 0 comments
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