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Training for races

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Training for races

17 Jul 2016 22:42

So most training plans say endurance rides need to be ridden in low heart rate or power zones.
If training for a race, is this the general rule of thumb to keep up endurance and do high intensity training mid-week? I dont have a problem with 120-130km weekend rides but should I be smashing it or rather keep it slow and steady even though I know I can go faster.

Just looking for some thoughts on how folk usually train for a 200km race I'm planning to do on about 3 months time. What sort of kms would you do in the months/weeks leading up to the race.
zombie05
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17 Jul 2016 23:11

If you expect to be in the 'lead group' of this race, then you'll BOTH speed and endurance to not get dropped from the pack. Usually, that also means having a few friends or teammates who can work together when someone is having trouble - e.g. mechanical problem, hills, etc.

If the event is not a full-fledged race, then just find a group of similar ability and get a good paceline going - but be careful about drafting so close that you can't react to surprises.

For more specific suggestions, tell us about the route (hills, etc.), name of the event, your experience doing long rides, etc.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
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Re: Training for races

17 Jul 2016 23:25

Thanks the reply.

It is a race although amateur race so I'm no exactly competing with anyone other than a personal aim of 6h45 for 200km. Route is quite hilly, approx 2300m climbing with about 4 climbs at 8-9% that are anywhere between 1.5-3.5kms.

Have done several races of up to 160km distance and can maintain a 27km/h average on a 130-140km solo ride - undulating route. Hope that gives you an idea...

Need to add that I'm not expecting to lead the bunch, rather hang on and some work in front to be nice to the others!
zombie05
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18 Jul 2016 14:09

Ok, if this is the case, I would look to build up the endurance first, until around 3-4 weeks to go. Rather than focusing on speed, keep your heart rate at the level it should be when sitting in the bunch, maybe slightly higher at times and making the routes very slightly hillier each week.

Then, from 4 weeks out, you should have the endurance sorted and can focus on the more intense efforts. Since you said that you want to be able to stay with a certain group, focus on the type of effort you need to close gaps. This is to simulate when the bunch starts to break up or people attack. Your mileage should almost halve and be easy efforts apart from the 2-3 short interval sessions.

2 weeks out, have a recovery week with easy rides only, race week should be similar to 3/4 weeks out but with a rest day 2 days before and an easy ride the day before.

Good luck!
User avatar 42x16ss
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Re: Training for races

18 Jul 2016 18:21

What sort of Kms do you suggest I should be doing for the endurance rides? Race is 200kms.
zombie05
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Re: Training for races

18 Jul 2016 21:05

zombie05 wrote:What sort of Kms do you suggest I should be doing for the endurance rides? Race is 200kms.

I'd aim for the longest ride to be around 160-170kms, or a similar length of time to your race but at training pace. Build up to it gradually, with your longest ride about 3.5 to 4 weeks out.
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Re: Training for races

19 Jul 2016 02:00

42x16ss wrote:
zombie05 wrote:What sort of Kms do you suggest I should be doing for the endurance rides? Race is 200kms.

I'd aim for the longest ride to be around 160-170kms, or a similar length of time to your race but at training pace. Build up to it gradually, with your longest ride about 3.5 to 4 weeks out.


Thanks - been a great help! Race isn't till end-Oct so will keep up my endurance rides for now.
zombie05
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Re: Training for races

19 Jul 2016 09:51

zombie05 wrote:Thanks the reply.

It is a race although amateur race so I'm no exactly competing with anyone other than a personal aim of 6h45 for 200km. Route is quite hilly, approx 2300m climbing with about 4 climbs at 8-9% that are anywhere between 1.5-3.5kms.

Have done several races of up to 160km distance and can maintain a 27km/h average on a 130-140km solo ride - undulating route. Hope that gives you an idea...

Need to add that I'm not expecting to lead the bunch, rather hang on and some work in front to be nice to the others!

If I may add something. A race like that - assuming it's a proper road race with a reasonable sized peloton, rather than a Gran Fondo type event - will be all about those four steep climbs, which will be ridden hard above threshold. You need to practice putting a few of those in the middle of your long rides and get used to digging really deep on them. If you lose contact with the peloton there - then it's pretty much race over. There will be plenty of time to recover in a bunch on the flatter parts.

Even if it's not a real race as such, but you're just riding for the best possible time, you will still need to go very hard to follow the fastest group you can on the climbs; otherwise you'll be stuck in a much slower group and will be losing loads of time on the flatter sections.
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