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I'm a former racer who took a couple of years off. I'm interested in doing some racing again this summer. The problem is that with work and family committments most (if not all) of my riding during the week is limited to trainer time in front of the television. On the weekend I can get 2-3 hours outside each day, though. Is it possible to be competitive with most of you miles indoors? Is there anything I should concentrate on? Thanks.
 

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You could if you are doing intervals on a trainer. Lately I've been doing Spinervals on Tues and Thursday nights. They are something to keep my interest anyway. I need to find one that focuses more on longer intervals though, maybe 10 minutes or more at a time.
If you can keep the intensity up and stay focused on a trainer, then it should work fine.
 

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I've ridden with guys at SuperWeek, the Bensonville race stands out, who had huge engines but no pack-riding skills. Couldn't drop 'em, but didn't want to be near them in the corners either. One guy with pale, hairy legs, a t-shirt and a seatbag, stuck like glue but ended up taking out a bunch of guys in the penultimate corner.

So I would say you can get great fitness in the basement, but need to ride in the group once in a while to develop other skills. Even if you used to race, you need to get rid of the rust on group rides, IMHO.

chris
 

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Robert M. said:
You could if you are doing intervals on a trainer. Lately I've been doing Spinervals on Tues and Thursday nights. They are something to keep my interest anyway. I need to find one that focuses more on longer intervals though, maybe 10 minutes or more at a time.
If you can keep the intensity up and stay focused on a trainer, then it should work fine.
Carmicheal Training Systems MTB workouts are 30 sec on, and (if i recall right) 30sec-1 minute off, pretty harsh, and is small enough recov's (im leaning towards the 30) that you dont really get to lay off much.
Not sure if it really works for MTB'ing and/or your purposes, but the CTS Climbing DVD has 10 minute "muscle tension" workouts where you crank away in a big gear at 50-60rpm for 10 minutes 2x, then 5 minutes 2x, etc.

-estone2
 

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I totally agree about riding with others in a pack. There's nothing that can substitute for it. Try to get out on the weekends for any group rides in your area, then do your trainer workouts during the week, that's kinda what I'm doing at the moment.
 

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Old, slow, and fat.
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I've BTDT. Left a few winters faster than when I went in. Actually LOST fitness over the spring as I transitioned to riding outdoors.

Keep alternating with rollers and you'll be better off. Trainers alone build bad habits.

M
 

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He said he is a former racer, wouldn't take much to get comfortable again. Yes, you can get plenty fit on the trainer during the week. I actually think I can get stronger on a trainer than I can on the road. Nothing like 2 hours of non stop pedaling and being able to control your intinsity perfectly. No coasting, no stop lights or stop signs.... nuff said.
 

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alot depends on your cat

i can only speak for cat 5

I got competitive(consistent top 5) in local cat 5 races by using the stairmaster and trainer inside, and mtb'ing on the weekends. key diffs:

1. cat 5 racing is all tactics, less about conditioning, although you do need a solid base
2. in a cat5 race, I often have to stop pedaling while in the pack. on a trainer, you never stop pedaling
3. my PE on the trainer is usually higher than in a cat 5 race. with the exception being the last mile or so of the cat 5 race, where PE goes to 10
 

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bauerb said:
i can only speak for cat 5

I got competitive(consistent top 5) in local cat 5 races by using the stairmaster and trainer inside, and mtb'ing on the weekends. key diffs:

1. cat 5 racing is all tactics, less about conditioning, although you do need a solid base
2. in a cat5 race, I often have to stop pedaling while in the pack. on a trainer, you never stop pedaling
3. my PE on the trainer is usually higher than in a cat 5 race. with the exception being the last mile or so of the cat 5 race, where PE goes to 10
I'm gonna fine tune that to reflect MY experiences: Cat 5 (and to some extent 4) is all about positioning in the last lap(s). Pick the right leadout and you're golden. Goof up and you may as well ride it in. DAMHIK about this!

If you've got a TEAM (not a collection of individuals riding in the same silly clothing) you'll HAVE a leadout. If not, then you're on yer own like I've almost always been.

HTH,

M
 

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For endurance, you'll need as long of a ride (on the weekend) that you can manage to get in. Think LSD...Long, Slow Distance.

God Bless you if you have the mental capacity to train strictly indoors!!!
 

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I just read where doing speedwork is better than long slow miles. It said something about to many garbage miles in the long slow distance.
 

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I don't really think there is such a thing as "garbage miles." Anything will help, endurance, recovery, intervals.
If you're worried you might be getting too many garbage miles, get on a fixed gear.:)
 

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LSD defined

Neibe said:
I just read where doing speedwork is better than long slow miles. It said something about to many garbage miles in the long slow distance.
LSD = long STEADY distance, not long slow distance. It is not meant to be hours of riding at recovery pace.
 

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I am in agreement that the trainer can be a very disciplined way to get into shape. I like the focus that it brings. But the boredom is hard to overcome, especially when daylight is extended, and that old sun is out longer and longer. I am not going to sit in the garage at times like this.

I have lost fitness in April too, as I transition from inside riding to outside riding.

Don't underestimate strong fitness for the need to be positioned correctly. If you are very fit, and are smart, you'll be in good shape at these 4/5 races. Heck, crit racing is really all about being a monster in fitness, and knowing how to ride. Being smart. That's how crits are. Dangerous, and you have to keep your wits and eyes alert.

Finally, this whole idea of "garbage miles" is somewhat misleading. While I understand that this professional trainer has said this about zones, and that professional trainer has said something else about zones, those of us who work 40 (I wish), 50 (maybe), or 60 (more like it) hours per week have to spin the pedals when we can.

This time of year, around tax filing deadling, I am resigned to the fact that I will lose fitness. i'm working round the clock for these moreons who bring me their taxes on April 10. That's fine though....They gladly pay double at that late hour to get it done, and done right...
 

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Kerry Irons said:
LSD = long STEADY distance, not long slow distance. It is not meant to be hours of riding at recovery pace.
LSD has always been Long Slow Distance. Check any running website...most good cycling training websites as well. Not the Steady isn't right (cuz it should be a steady pace), but it started with running a long, slow distance.
 
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