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Hello,

I have a couple of short 25-30 mile races coming up. I ve done these races in the past and after the finish I always think to myself that they could of been won by my team if my team would of organized a breakaway and gone like mad like we do in training rides. Instead we all sit in the peloton and wait for someone else to make a move. This usually happens at in the last 3 miles.

Well this year I am going to change these races!

My questions are:

1) In what zone would I want to train at to be a breakaway rider? I was thinking low zone 4 and high zone 3.

2) How long can the average person ride in the zone 4?

Thanks for your advice!

Gall
 

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Gall said:
My questions are:

1) In what zone would I want to train at to be a breakaway rider? I was thinking low zone 4 and high zone 3.

2) How long can the average person ride in the zone 4?
That depends on how you define your zones doesn't it? I can ride Zone 4 for an hour (by definition).
 

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asgelle said:
That depends on how you define your zones doesn't it? I can ride Zone 4 for an hour (by definition).
Since Level 4 (Coggan) is defined as anywhere from 91%-105% of the power you could sustain for ~ 1-hour, then by defnifition you could ride in L4 any from say 10-min to 2 hours.

Break aways need to first create the gap, often an L7/L6 effort - then increase the size of the gap with an L5/L4 effort and then maintain/manage the gap with an L4/3 effort. Sometimes a gap can open up without an L6/7 effort, they are nice opportunities - happened to me one day and I went onto win by tapping it out in L4 until the finish line in a 2-man break.

Take your pick but improving FTP / TT power is the most important component by far.
 

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Alex_Simmons/RST said:
Since Level 4 (Coggan) is defined as anywhere from 91%-105% of the power you could sustain for ~ 1-hour, then by defnifition you could ride in L4 any from say 10-min to 2 hours.
That's nice, but my name isn't Coggan and I can define zones however I please. Still, the fact remains we have no idea how the OP defines any of the zones, so how can anyone answer those questions?
 

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Easyl, asgelle. Coggan uses "level" rather than "zone" for the specific reason of avoiding the confusion that the term zone creates. 10 different coaches will define zone 4 with 10 different answers.

It doesn't matter how you define it. You need to raise your 20-60MP to do well in any race, and especially in breakaways. Alex is right, backing up an L6 effort (anaerobic) with a strong TT to get the break forming is the hardest part. After that, it's just a rotating paceline at a slightly higher pace than the field, which is still almost exclusively dependent on your FTP. The simple answer is raise your FTP and learn to suffer.
 

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asgelle said:
That's nice, but my name isn't Coggan and I can define zones however I please. Still, the fact remains we have no idea how the OP defines any of the zones, so how can anyone answer those questions?
True dat. But you'd have an awful lot of narrow zones that way!:D

In the end, improving sustainable TT power is the most important physiological thing a rider should work on to improve their ability in any aerobic endurance activity (such as road races, crits, track endurance racing, pursuits, MTB, cyclo cross etc etc) irrespective of how one defines their zones, levels whatever.

Then overlayed on that is working on specific components of fitness required for target event.
 

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iliveonnitro said:
Easyl, asgelle. Coggan uses "level" rather than "zone" for the specific reason of avoiding the confusion that the term zone creates. 10 different coaches will define zone 4 with 10 different answers.
Which was exactly my point. The OP talks specifically about Zones 3 and 4 without giving any definition for them. It's impossible to answer his question in those terms until he does. I agree with what you've written about the abilities needed to establish a break, but you can't translate these back to Gall's terminology without understanding his (?) definitions.
 

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iliveonnitro said:
It doesn't matter how you define it. You need to raise your 20-60MP to do well in any race, and especially in breakaways. Alex is right, backing up an L6 effort (anaerobic) with a strong TT to get the break forming is the hardest part. After that, it's just a rotating paceline at a slightly higher pace than the field, which is still almost exclusively dependent on your FTP. The simple answer is raise your FTP and learn to suffer.

You mean you have to ride faster to ride faster :lol:. Who knew............... that at some point you'd have to raise your FTP to raise your FTP. Pretty simple. In "normal" zone/levels, Zone 4 is not going to get you into a break and might bring one back and might keep you in one.

Alex is correct, you need the 20/60 to win and you need the VO2 (under 5 min) to get there.

Starnut
 

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Gall
Individual effort is much more effective as a part of a team effort..

If you are talking "Team effort" to win these races..it will require most of the team giving up their own chances and working self-lessly in order to put one of you across the finish first. This is something many 'teams' say they understand, but lots of teams just go out and race with the loose understanding that some other guys from the team are there, too...

A well executed 'team effort' is a thing of beauty! It can be so simple if all goes as planned, but planning is required. Your team must devise an appropriate plan for the specific course and the 'cast of characters', both with you and against you..and then go with the plan. If you have a strong team and a good 'lead rider' you should be able to devise a plan that will put your lead rider over in first..If you all just say..."Hey, let's attack, ride away from the field at the start"...That's not a plan..

Crit plan: (Saw this in a California crit recently) Team came (San Deigo) with 5 - 6 riders. They went hard from the gun, 27-28 mph average, with just three guys doing all the work. They kept this on for about 5 laps, cooking off about 10 of 30 riders. Then they backed off a little and began doing the "yo-yo" with the two 'rested' guys creating gaps while the 3 'designated hitters' rode hard at the front and the pack had to continuously go round the other two..With about 15 minutes left in the 45min crit.(and everybody in the pack pretty 'cooked')..The two rested guys moved through, and coming out of a slow corner, they went, while the three blocked..Only one guy made it with the two team guys, who got a gap of maybe 25 meters and then just rode away, being 'fresh' from riding behind their teamates.....The other three team guys?..one finished near last, the other two were totally spent and retired...The two team leaders "worked" the only non-team guy in that break and put him into third place.

A prefect plan, perfectly executed, appropriate for the existing race and the competators there that day Talk your team into *really* working as a team..It will win you the races...

Good luck, use your head.
Don Hanson
 

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Gnarly 928 said:
Gall
Individual effort is much more effective as a part of a team effort..

If you are talking "Team effort" to win these races..it will require most of the team giving up their own chances and working self-lessly in order to put one of you across the finish first. This is something many 'teams' say they understand, but lots of teams just go out and race with the loose understanding that some other guys from the team are there, too...

A well executed 'team effort' is a thing of beauty! It can be so simple if all goes as planned, but planning is required. Your team must devise an appropriate plan for the specific course and the 'cast of characters', both with you and against you..and then go with the plan. If you have a strong team and a good 'lead rider' you should be able to devise a plan that will put your lead rider over in first..If you all just say..."Hey, let's attack, ride away from the field at the start"...That's not a plan..

Crit plan: (Saw this in a California crit recently) Team came (San Deigo) with 5 - 6 riders. They went hard from the gun, 27-28 mph average, with just three guys doing all the work. They kept this on for about 5 laps, cooking off about 10 of 30 riders. Then they backed off a little and began doing the "yo-yo" with the two 'rested' guys creating gaps while the 3 'designated hitters' rode hard at the front and the pack had to continuously go round the other two..With about 15 minutes left in the 45min crit.(and everybody in the pack pretty 'cooked')..The two rested guys moved through, and coming out of a slow corner, they went, while the three blocked..Only one guy made it with the two team guys, who got a gap of maybe 25 meters and then just rode away, being 'fresh' from riding behind their teamates.....The other three team guys?..one finished near last, the other two were totally spent and retired...The two team leaders "worked" the only non-team guy in that break and put him into third place.

A prefect plan, perfectly executed, appropriate for the existing race and the competators there that day Talk your team into *really* working as a team..It will win you the races...

Good luck, use your head.
Don Hanson
... which is why a time trial is the 'race of truth.' :D

It's nice when a plan goes well, but keep in mind that they often go awry because other teams are executing their own plans, and the more elite the race, the better the cyclists, and the better the strategists.
 

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They did..in fine style..

They looked at what would win the race for their team, planned their race and raced their plan. Very sharp, well done. Most Masters fields don't have that kinda teamwork..This was a 'walkover' but I've seen plenty of races where effective teamwork is lacking. When a good team takes the line...Look out.
Don Hanson
 
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