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· I ride in circles..
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So... I'll be racing in 5 days.

My first bicycle race and it's a circuit race. Closed course and in a decent area (I believe).

I'm signed up for the 10 mile citizen’s race in the morning along with the 23 mile cat4/5 in the afternoon. Not really sure yet how many people there will be or what level the competition will be at. I really don't care either way. I'm going into this race with no expectations other than I want to do as well as possible.
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My plan includes warming up well enough before both races.. and having fun.
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I’m really not worried about the 10 mile race because I know I can hold my LT for that long. Of course I don’t want to get too confident because as I’ve already stated.. it’s my first race. I have no idea what to expect. I know there will be surges and fast/slow groups of people. I’m going to treat this race as a learning experience.
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I really want to watch the other races and see how they handle things.
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The 23 mile race is the one I’m a little more nervous about. 23 miles is nothing, however I’m really interested to see how well I can hang on with people with more experience. As long as I do well I’ll be happy.
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I’ve been training for a while now. Not as much as I would like.. but I’ve come a long way. I can sprint 5 miles at nearly 185bpm.. and I can hold 175bpm for a decent amount of time. 160-170 is a decent zone for me.
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Anyhow.. I’m planning on a little speed work this week, along with plenty of stretching. I’m also planning some pace work for mid week. Wednesday I’m going to do some anaerobic stuff with a long warm down. Friday I’m riding super easy in the morning before I pack up my bike and drive 3.5 hours to my friends place. Hopefully an easy spin Friday night too.
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Just wanted to share, but any suggestions are welcome!
 

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Good luck! Ride predictably and watch out for riders who aren't. It'll be harder than you think, but don't let that discourage you. If you learn something from each race you'll get better.

Bring plenty of food/fluids for between races, and maybe something to sit on.

BTW, sprints are a few hundred meters, not 5 miles. That's a time-trial-like effort.

Ignore your HRM during the races. You have to ride at whatever effort the race dictates.
 

· I ride in circles..
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4,990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just said sprint because thats what it feels like.. haha.

I'm sure it'll be harder than I think thats why I'm mainly focusing on just doing my best.

I'm bringing a cooler with some easy to eat food.. Plenty of ice to keep water cold. Sandwiches and energy bars. Basically a variety so I can enjoy the day and not be too full or hungry.
I'm bringing my tool box.. and repair stand. So Short of a whole overhaul any mechanical problems will be able to be dealt with.
 

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What is probably going to happen..

ZoSoSwiM said:
So... I'll be racing in 5 days.

My first bicycle race and it's a circuit race. Closed course and in a decent area (I believe).

I'm signed up for the 10 mile citizen’s race in the morning along with the 23 mile cat4/5 in the afternoon. Not really sure yet how many people there will be or what level the competition will be at. I really don't care either way. I'm going into this race with no expectations other than I want to do as well as possible.
<o></o>
My plan includes warming up well enough before both races.. and having fun.
<o></o>
I’m really not worried about the 10 mile race because I know I can hold my LT for that long. Of course I don’t want to get too confident because as I’ve already stated.. it’s my first race. I have no idea what to expect. I know there will be surges and fast/slow groups of people. I’m going to treat this race as a learning experience.
<o></o>
I really want to watch the other races and see how they handle things.
<o></o>
The 23 mile race is the one I’m a little more nervous about. 23 miles is nothing, however I’m really interested to see how well I can hang on with people with more experience. As long as I do well I’ll be happy.
<o></o>
I’ve been training for a while now. Not as much as I would like.. but I’ve come a long way. I can sprint 5 miles at nearly 185bpm.. and I can hold 175bpm for a decent amount of time. 160-170 is a decent zone for me.
<o></o>
Anyhow.. I’m planning on a little speed work this week, along with plenty of stretching. I’m also planning some pace work for mid week. Wednesday I’m going to do some anaerobic stuff with a long warm down. Friday I’m riding super easy in the morning before I pack up my bike and drive 3.5 hours to my friends place. Hopefully an easy spin Friday night too.
<o></o>
Just wanted to share, but any suggestions are welcome!
Here is what is going to probably happen. Since this is your first race, chances are good, you're going to get dropped. Don't worry, and or fret, because this has probably happened to most, if not all of us.

Be wary of 10 mile citizen races. Why? The folks who tend to do these races are normally very fit, and are just too lazy to get a regular racing license. I learned a long time ago not to take ANY race for granted, mostly because the guy who most looks like can't beat you down, will do just that. For example, I had a friend of mine from Maine. He was and probably still is a total hippy (long stringy hair, skinny, and a little dirty, but a heck of a nice guy). He used to come to races with us, and people at the first race were laughing at him behind his back. Why? Cut off jean shorts with a chamois underneath, and he was kicking a tank top (this was a mountain bike race), AND he was riding a single speed. Gun goes off for the sport race, he moves to the front, and is never seen again. About a month later, he was racing expert/semi pro and kicking butt over men who had been racing for years on end.

Anyway, don't do a big warm up for your second race. No need really. Why? You've already raced once on the day, and don't need to get loose very much. Just spin around for about 10-20 minutes before, line up, and go.

As others have said, you can't sprint for 5 miles. That's (depending on where your HR zones are) probably more of an interval. For example, back in the day when I actually trained a lot, my long interval days were 40 minutes x 3 at around 180-185 BPM. But as others have said, ignore your heart rate, ignore everything else during the race that has to do with speed or electronics, and do what is required to just stay in the race.

Good luck.
 

· I ride in circles..
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank for the input. I'm excited and I'm pretty sure I'll get dropped. Simply because I've never done it before. I just wanna put up a decent fight!
 

· merckxman
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The sandal guy

Reminds me of a guy that showed up at a double century in sandals....and broke the course record!

magnolialover said:
Here is what is going to probably happen. Since this is your first race, chances are good, you're going to get dropped. Don't worry, and or fret, because this has probably happened to most, if not all of us.

Be wary of 10 mile citizen races. Why? The folks who tend to do these races are normally very fit, and are just too lazy to get a regular racing license. I learned a long time ago not to take ANY race for granted, mostly because the guy who most looks like can't beat you down, will do just that. For example, I had a friend of mine from Maine. He was and probably still is a total hippy (long stringy hair, skinny, and a little dirty, but a heck of a nice guy). He used to come to races with us, and people at the first race were laughing at him behind his back. Why? Cut off jean shorts with a chamois underneath, and he was kicking a tank top (this was a mountain bike race), AND he was riding a single speed. Gun goes off for the sport race, he moves to the front, and is never seen again. About a month later, he was racing expert/semi pro and kicking butt over men who had been racing for years on end.

Anyway, don't do a big warm up for your second race. No need really. Why? You've already raced once on the day, and don't need to get loose very much. Just spin around for about 10-20 minutes before, line up, and go.

As others have said, you can't sprint for 5 miles. That's (depending on where your HR zones are) probably more of an interval. For example, back in the day when I actually trained a lot, my long interval days were 40 minutes x 3 at around 180-185 BPM. But as others have said, ignore your heart rate, ignore everything else during the race that has to do with speed or electronics, and do what is required to just stay in the race.

Good luck.
 

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Your plan to be well warmed up is great because I think you may be impressed by the initial speed. Hopefully things will kind of settle after the fast start and you be fine. It's a great chance to go faster than you thought you could for longer than you thought and see where your training is.
 

· I ride in circles..
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm getting really excited. Basically all I've thougt about for the past few days.. and as the hours tick away I'm getting more and more antsy to go.. I'm taking Thursday off from work to relax.. ride a decent medium ride.. pack.. Friday I'll be packing my car and driving. Shouldn't be too bad of a day.
 

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Here's a couple of tips:

Try to not 'second-guess' yourself on anything. By this I mean like don't go changing your cassette at the last minute or figure your tire is worn too bad and change it. Do all that right now, then ride 'your plan' later on this week.

Stick with what you've done successfully in training. Same drinks, same gels, same bike adjustments, gloves shorts etc etc. Don't go trying out something different just because you're hyped up for the race and think it "might be better"..

Take a few seconds by yourself before you race and think about it..Races are complex endeavors. Many new racers think it's all about 'strength, conditioning, who's got the biggest ba**s, etc etc' but that ain't all there is to it...It's also about figuring out exactly what you must do in order to acomplish your goal(s) for the race.

If you just want to 'do well', you will want to approach the race differently than if you wanted to say..put a teammate across the line in first, or beat your best buddy, or win your self.. 3 different goals-three different strategies called for. For your first race, a realistic goal might be to race safe, watch the more experienced guys to learn what you can. Being fit enough to race your first race is a good start...but developing racing skills takes time and concentration too.

Also, each race is different. Even if you do a weekly series on the same course with many of the same riders, the races will all play out very differently. You have to keep alert and adaptable.

Mostly, have fun and enjoy all the work you've done to get ready for "Your First Race" an epic milestone in your cycling career..
Don Hanson
 

· I ride in circles..
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Awesome! Much appreciated!
I certainly wish the cycling scene was bigger around me.. I would love to get more experience and race more often. I enjoy the competition.

I’m sure I’ll enjoy this race. I love watching the races when I can.. so it’ll be fun to watch the better riders going at it.
 

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I did my first race last weekend -- Wheels of Thunder in Denver. I'm really more of a mtber than a roadie, but I put in enough miles on the road bike that I thought I would do okay. I asked an experienced racer what category I should race and he advised 45+ Masters. So that's what I did.

Slight uphill start, then slight downhill into a left, followed immediately by an uphill. I started at the back, was pretty hesitant on the straightaway, and very hestiant in the corner. By the time I started pedaling, there were only a few guys near me. I was stunned at how the whole pack moved away even though I was hammering. I have a power meter and it shows a couple 800w spikes with 0w dips from the start to the corner. I was stomping and then got nervous in the pack and started coasting, then stomping and more nervousness so more coasting. I have pretty much zero pack experience, so it was nerve wracking.

Anyway, I was doing 500-600w on the uphill and not keeping up. Left turn, kind of downhill, the pack was cruising but I was still having to hammer to try to get back with the group. I caught them at the next turn but once again got nervous and hesitated and didn't pull the trigger until they were all going. The net: I was dropped before the end of the first lap. I did the entire 45 minute race, but it was a bummer. I rode alone and ended up getting lapped.

I averaged 304 watts. Got dropped and lapped.

I've heard from other racers that I should have done 35+ Cat 4. The 45+ Masters is full of guys who used to race Cat 1/2/3 but can't keep up with the kids any more so they race the age group category. But they are still very fit and very fast and excellent pack riders.

So my advice on your first race: don't hesitate! commit! pedal before or when everyone else pedals, not after. I think if I had been pedaling all the time and just varied how hard I was pedaling, I could have responded and stayed with the pack. Once off the back by yourself, racing is a bummer.

Just my $.02.
 

· I ride in circles..
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Suffering is fun. I'd still be perfectly happy if I puke after the race.
Swimming in college I had to be dragged out of the pool after a 500 yard swim.. I went all out and had one hell of a time. I was destroyed though. So I'm used to that feeling. It'll be fun to see how I feel after this event!

Oh.. and Sunday the day after the race my friend(also racing) and I are doing a nice 42 mile trip to a waterfall 84 miles or so total.. So I'll be nice and dead come Monday!
 

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Multirider's experience during HIS first race kinda sums it up. It will come as a shock to you seeing how hard everyone races. Most cyclists who have not raced underestimate the intensity of racing because of course, they've never done it. Thinking "Oh, I can always keep up with the group rides, even if someone really hammers"...well, you will see.

I always get a chuckle out of riders who say things like.."I beat everyone in the "______ Century ride" so I should be OK racing" You don't "Beat" anyone unless they are racing, too...and then it's more difficult than you'd think..

Don Hanson
 
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