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Apa kabar?
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wanting to train for the Ironhorse bicycle classic (Durango, Co to Silverton, Co). First a few stats on the race:
1. 47.5 miles- first 13 miles are relatively flat
2. Two mountain passes- One is six miles and 1800 vertical feet, the other is four miles and about 1000 vertical feet climbed.
3. Total there is roughly 5500 vertical feet climbed.

I did the race (my first and only) last year with limited training (10 rides of 15-25 miles) prior to the race. I was new to cycling and just wanted to finish. This year I want to try and be more competitive, and have set my goal of finishing under 3 hours. My time last year was 3:27.

Last year I was good until I hit the first climb, then I got dropped by the pack and struggled through the rest of the race. I was just wanting some insight on training ideas to help me reach my goals. Mileage, hours per week of training, climbing techniques and training, how you motivate yourself on climbs, anything that will help. I'm very competitive and getting dropped like I did is not a feeling that I want to have again. Thanks a bunch!
 

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Expect it.

B-Fun said:
I'm wanting to train for the Ironhorse bicycle classic (Durango, Co to Silverton, Co). First a few stats on the race:
1. 47.5 miles- first 13 miles are relatively flat
2. Two mountain passes- One is six miles and 1800 vertical feet, the other is four miles and about 1000 vertical feet climbed.
3. Total there is roughly 5500 vertical feet climbed.

I did the race (my first and only) last year with limited training (10 rides of 15-25 miles) prior to the race. I was new to cycling and just wanted to finish. This year I want to try and be more competitive, and have set my goal of finishing under 3 hours. My time last year was 3:27.

Last year I was good until I hit the first climb, then I got dropped by the pack and struggled through the rest of the race. I was just wanting some insight on training ideas to help me reach my goals. Mileage, hours per week of training, climbing techniques and training, how you motivate yourself on climbs, anything that will help. I'm very competitive and getting dropped like I did is not a feeling that I want to have again. Thanks a bunch!
You will be dropped again. But it's ok, continue to hate it cause that's what motivates you on the climbs. What do you weigh and what's your power at LT? Power to weight ratio is the key to climbing. Drop weight and increase power. Your hours a week should be what you can get in. For most Cat 3s it's around 14 hrs a week. 4s it's probably 10+. Being at the proper race weight is probably the easiest thing to do to improve climbing. Well that and climb a lot of stuff. Get in as many 4+ hour rides as you can this time of year.

I hear that's a tough race. Are you from CO? Altitude may play a part if your not.
 

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Being able to hang in for any period of time with that little riding under your belt is pretty impressive.

Generally for race training, one puts in a good amount of basemiles at the beginning of the season. Then as you get closer to your goal events, you up the intensity and lower the volume.

Base miles are done at a moderate pace. An old rule of thumb is that you don't start interval training until you have ridden 1000 base miles. Once you have a good base and are comfortable with 50 mile rides, you can work more climbing into your rides. I'd do a bunch of long climbs at a pace that'll get you to the top, then as you get closer to the race, work on shorter more intense climbing intervals i.e. 4x5mins as hard as you can go. The pack will sometimes surge and you want to be able to hang in when the hammer is down.

For tactics, you should know how hard you can go and when you are going to crack, so you can pace yourself. Riding climbs with other riders who go hard is a good way to practice, and to get some higher intensity work done in a way that is more fun than solo intervals.

I motivate myself on climbs by passing other riders, or hanging on behind riders who are faster than I am.
 

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a jumped up pantry boy
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1.lose weight
2. like someone else said, learn when your at the limit so you dont crack
3.practice.
4. good luck
 

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I've always wondered..

yarble said:
1.loose weight
2. like someone else said, learn when your at the limit so you dont crack
3.practice.
4. good luck
I've always wondered how one "looses" weight.

Anyway, to me it just sounds like this guy just has to do some more riding.

Essentially, forget all this training mumbo jumbo, and go and ride your bike. If you lasted that long on such little riding, throw in a ride every day for about 1.5 hours, and then something longer on the weekends, and you're going to be a-OK. Maybe throw in some harder rides, maybe some intervals, you know, just a little training, and maybe do a couple of other races before this one. You'll be all good. Don't make this complex if you're only doing a race per year, or maybe just a couple, there's no need to do this much at lactate threshold, and what is your power to weight ratio. Just ride the bike, it'll be all good.
 

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Good Point

magnolialover said:
I've always wondered how one "looses" weight.

Anyway, to me it just sounds like this guy just has to do some more riding.

Essentially, forget all this training mumbo jumbo, and go and ride your bike. If you lasted that long on such little riding, throw in a ride every day for about 1.5 hours, and then something longer on the weekends, and you're going to be a-OK. Maybe throw in some harder rides, maybe some intervals, you know, just a little training, and maybe do a couple of other races before this one. You'll be all good. Don't make this complex if you're only doing a race per year, or maybe just a couple, there's no need to do this much at lactate threshold, and what is your power to weight ratio. Just ride the bike, it'll be all good.
Listen to the soothing recommendatons here. Just ride, don't think about anything. Just ride at 16 mph and then on occasion go 32 mph and if something gets in your way, turn. Great advice if you want to be pack fodder. You know what really motivating, not passing people on climbs and riding beside them and being able to talk to people while they are going cross eyed, that's pretty motivating. Work hard and smart on the bike, you'll never regret it.
 

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Apa kabar?
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Discussion Starter #7
Answer to questions

Thanks for all of the advice so far...definitely some good info.
To answer some of the question from above, I don't live in Colorado, I'm in souther NM. Kinda makes hill training a little tough. I'm 6'2", 205. Played college basketball until march of last year, and now I've filled the void left by no longer playing ball with cycling. I love the competitiveness involved and plan to do quite a few races this summer. I have no idea what my power to weight ratio is. Don't have a power calculator on my bike. I guess that's about it. Thanks again.
 

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Do you have a heart rate monitor?

One of the best training tools I've found is to get familiar with riding with a HRM. It's nice to have one built into your cyclocomputer but not necessary--a cheap wrist-mounted unit will do just as well.
Learn what your limits are by training with one. There are lots of posts on this website that talk about HRM training. Then when it's time to conquer the hill, you can ride just below your limit. When going up hill, if you blow up, you never get a chance to recover. Blowing up is why riders in the Tour lose 30 minutes on a mountain stage.
One other piece of advice is to get to Colorado as early as possible to get acclimated to the altitude. Your HR limits will be different at altitude.

B-Fun said:
Thanks for all of the advice so far...definitely some good info.
To answer some of the question from above, I don't live in Colorado, I'm in souther NM. Kinda makes hill training a little tough. I'm 6'2", 205. Played college basketball until march of last year, and now I've filled the void left by no longer playing ball with cycling. I love the competitiveness involved and plan to do quite a few races this summer. I have no idea what my power to weight ratio is. Don't have a power calculator on my bike. I guess that's about it. Thanks again.
 

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Actually

crestlinefarm said:
One of the best training tools I've found is to get familiar with riding with a HRM. It's nice to have one built into your cyclocomputer but not necessary--a cheap wrist-mounted unit will do just as well.
Learn what your limits are by training with one. There are lots of posts on this website that talk about HRM training. Then when it's time to conquer the hill, you can ride just below your limit. When going up hill, if you blow up, you never get a chance to recover. Blowing up is why riders in the Tour lose 30 minutes on a mountain stage.
One other piece of advice is to get to Colorado as early as possible to get acclimated to the altitude. Your HR limits will be different at altitude.
It takes awhile, weeks for some, months for others, to truly acclimate. The recommendations that I've read say that if you're going to compete at altitude and you don't have time to acclimate, try to spend as little time as possible at altitude before the event. The reasoning is that after about 12 hours your body does begin to acclimate and that process can inhibit performance.

If you had access to a power meter I could give you some goals in terms of power to weight but without it I can recommend to lose (or loose) as much non-cycling weight as possible. I ride with a guy that's 6'3 and weighs 150 and has flies up hills.
 

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a jumped up pantry boy
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magnolialover said:
I've always wondered how one "looses" weight.

Anyway, to me it just sounds like this guy just has to do some more riding.

Essentially, forget all this training mumbo jumbo, and go and ride your bike. If you lasted that long on such little riding, throw in a ride every day for about 1.5 hours, and then something longer on the weekends, and you're going to be a-OK. Maybe throw in some harder rides, maybe some intervals, you know, just a little training, and maybe do a couple of other races before this one. You'll be all good. Don't make this complex if you're only doing a race per year, or maybe just a couple, there's no need to do this much at lactate threshold, and what is your power to weight ratio. Just ride the bike, it'll be all good.
i dont feel like going back and correcting mistakes, but i do think your advice has been the best so far.

edit: ok ok i do feel like going back and fixing it.
 

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B-Fun said:
I'm wanting to train for the Ironhorse bicycle classic (Durango, Co to Silverton, Co). First a few stats on the race:
1. 47.5 miles- first 13 miles are relatively flat
2. Two mountain passes- One is six miles and 1800 vertical feet, the other is four miles and about 1000 vertical feet climbed.
3. Total there is roughly 5500 vertical feet climbed.

I did the race (my first and only) last year with limited training (10 rides of 15-25 miles) prior to the race. I was new to cycling and just wanted to finish. This year I want to try and be more competitive, and have set my goal of finishing under 3 hours. My time last year was 3:27.

Last year I was good until I hit the first climb, then I got dropped by the pack and struggled through the rest of the race.
Not to rain on your parade, but unless you have made some sort of superhuman effort in training over the last year, you will still be getting dropped like a hot rock on the first climb. (or at least feel that way). You've got about an hour to make up if you want to be with the "pack" when you finish.

I rode last year at 3:01, and I made it to the second hill with the "pack".

Now while it may feel like you are getting dropped by the pack, the reality of the situation is much different. I am guessing you rode in one of the open age groups, not in a cat?

What you've got to understand about those climbs, is that there are a bunch of locals who climb up that hill every week. If they aren't on that hill, they are climbing another hill just as steep, or steeper. I dislike using the word sandbagger, but if you look at the times, some of the top open times are competitive with the Pro / 1 / 2 times. There are some very good cyclists that ride that race that are not officially ranked, and that may be the only formal road race they do all year.

What happens is that there are about 7 guys out of 50 - 60 that pull out as leaders, and the rest of the group splinters gradually between the bottom of Shalona and Needles. Since it is a solid climb, there is no real advantage to being in a pack (other than motivation) so a whole lot of people are out there feeling like they got dropped by the pack, when there really is no pack to speak of. Just one little group of leaders and 55 soloists. Since it is an open class, there are no teams or team tactics, so you just end up out there by yourself.

I rode that first hill about 40 times last year after the IHBC. I am determined to get my time down by at least 15 minutes this year.
 

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Apa kabar?
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info

wasserbox said:
Not to rain on your parade, but unless you have made some sort of superhuman effort in training over the last year, you will still be getting dropped like a hot rock on the first climb. (or at least feel that way). You've got about an hour to make up if you want to be with the "pack" when you finish.

I rode last year at 3:01, and I made it to the second hill with the "pack".

Now while it may feel like you are getting dropped by the pack, the reality of the situation is much different. I am guessing you rode in one of the open age groups, not in a cat?

What you've got to understand about those climbs, is that there are a bunch of locals who climb up that hill every week. If they aren't on that hill, they are climbing another hill just as steep, or steeper. I dislike using the word sandbagger, but if you look at the times, some of the top open times are competitive with the Pro / 1 / 2 times. There are some very good cyclists that ride that race that are not officially ranked, and that may be the only formal road race they do all year.

What happens is that there are about 7 guys out of 50 - 60 that pull out as leaders, and the rest of the group splinters gradually between the bottom of Shalona and Needles. Since it is a solid climb, there is no real advantage to being in a pack (other than motivation) so a whole lot of people are out there feeling like they got dropped by the pack, when there really is no pack to speak of. Just one little group of leaders and 55 soloists. Since it is an open class, there are no teams or team tactics, so you just end up out there by yourself.

I rode that first hill about 40 times last year after the IHBC. I am determined to get my time down by at least 15 minutes this year.
Just wanted to write and say thanks for the response about the IHBC. 3 hours is my goal, and so I was wondering what type of preparation you did leading up to the IHBC. I know that since I am a newbie to the sport that it is going to take a few years to actually increase my overall biking fitness, strength, and ability, but I was just curious to see if you had a set program. I was also wondering if you thought that my goal of being under 3 hours is do-able.
Here is my plan for a program:
I bought a cycle-ops fluid 2 trainer and am working on building up a base right now. I've been putting in 1-1.5 hour rides three days during the week, and then 2, 2 hour rides on Sat and Sun. I plan on increasing my time on the bike during this base phase up until the end of march. Through April I'm going to start working in one or two days a week of interval training to go along with my volume work. I plan on cutting my volume down in May and then increasing my intensity. Hopefully this will allow me to be fresh for the Ironhorse.
This is just a basic idea of what I have planned. I would really appreciate knowing what you think.
Thanks a lot...and good luck to you!!
 

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B-Fun said:
This is just a basic idea of what I have planned. I would really appreciate knowing what you think.
Thanks a lot...and good luck to you!!
I don't train very well. My life is not conducive to scheduling.

Last year was really screwed up for me - I hurt my knee in the muscle-building stage of the game in December 04. I finally got it straightened out enough to ride in April, but I only had about 5 weeks on the bike by the time the IHBC rolled around. Then I wrecked really hard in the Mountain Bike race on Monday (after the RR), and couldn't put much stress on my torso until the bruising went down. I didn't really hit my stride until the end of June - halfway through Ride the Rockies the pain was finally manageable..

This year I am taking it very easy - my knee still bugs me a little - lots and lots of stretching, and my heartrate hasn't been over 160 since October ;)

Lots of watching movies on the trainer right now. I'm up to about 1 1/2 hour sessions 3-4x a week.

End of March I'll start doing some road trips out to Moab - I do most "interval" style training on my MTB. Then around April I'll start climbing the nasty hills here.... at least that's the plan right now. It'll probably really involve watching TV and eating cheetos while I try to figure out how to pay off my contractors and pass inspections.

If you can swing it, you should come up here a couple weeks prior and ride at least from the Ski Area to the top of the second pass. That'll help you remember how much fun you had last year.

Good luck to you to - The 3hr mark is what separates the casual cyclist from the dedicated enthusiast. It's totally doable. I'm shooting for 2:45 (or better) - by the end of the year I was hanging with some guys that had finished around 2:35 last year, so I may have a chance.
 
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