Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thursday Night Crit Report

The good news is that I improved over last race. The reality is that I couldn't hang on to the pack after the 5 laps to go card was pulled.

I got to the track before the first race which was the Cat 3/4 men so that I could warm up. I had a good warm up and decided to do one more short spin up the road to stay loose. I wasn't paying attention to the time and when I got back to the track, the Cat 5s were already lined up. SHIT! This week there were probably 40 people in that race which also included the Masters 4/5 Men and the Women 4s. So, I rolled up to the back line at the start. Not good at all.

The race started pretty fast in my opinion. I pushed it off the start and after about 1/2 lap, I was probably in the bottom 1/4 of racers. As the race went on lap after lap, racers started dropping off the tail end of the pack creating gaps. So I was forced to go around and bridge up to the pack. I only had so many of those in me before I couldn't bridge up and got dropped with 5 to go.

The biggest problem was my inability to move up in the field and avoid the chaos at the tail end. There are two reasons for this. The first is that for my skill level on a course that is basically all corners, it is hard to advance. The second is definitely my fitness level which is just not there. The low HR workouts I have been doing are designed to help me lose weight, not become a crit monster. I can say that I gave it all I had at the end because when I got dropped I was at my max measured HR. That was all I had. All in all it was a good race for me. Even though I am not really competitive in the end, I am still learning how to race crits. That will be valuable later in the summer when I get the fitness issues taken care of. My average speed was 22.5 mph which was 1 mph faster than last race.

Have a good weekend.


Blogger bryan said...

I think the key to the race is in your last paragraph. You used it all up. For my money, that's how every race should end, especially a one-off night like this one. Lay it all out there and see what happens. Sooner or later, a lot more will happen. Great effort.

4/28/07, 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Fendergal said...

You really ought to think about ramping up your intensity, once you've established a sufficient base. High HR workouts will really shed the weight.

And never start a crit in the back. For crits, my biggest stress is getting to the line. After that, it's cake.

4/29/07, 7:08 PM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

Your making an effort and seeing results. That is the most important thing. Improvement is improvement; big or small.
Hope you had a great weekend too!

4/29/07, 8:43 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Avg speed 1 mph faster - dang - that's a HUGE improvment - the pack may have been faster, but you also held on longer so who-ra! for you!

Also Fendergal - said it best - your a big boy, muscle you way to the front and don't let go - more fun up there anyway! not so many butts to watch....

4/30/07, 8:09 AM  
Blogger velogirl said...

it's so much harder (physically) to sit at the back of the pack, Chris. you're required to respond to all the surges and slowing -- it's like doing 30sec on 30sec off intervals (I guess that's your intensity work, eh?). be patient with the process. work on your skills, be assertive (within you ability level) and be consistent. you'll see results.

if weight-loss is your primary goal, just include one or two HIT sessions each week (the crit would count as one) and then keep doing your lower-intensity, longer rides.

however, I will share that weight-loss is much easier with a larger caloric deficit and shorter workouts. with deficits, you just don't have the energy to sustain the longer rides.

4/30/07, 5:56 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Bryan - thanks.

Fendergal - Thanks. My back start was by accident. Totally a boneheaded move on my part.

Velogirl - thanks so much for the advice. This week I am going to seek out a near front start and hopefully I can maintain it. At this point weight loss is my biggest goal. My coach feels that I am too heavy to be truly competitive and wants me to work on my weight now with the hopes of peaking in about 3 months.

4/30/07, 6:22 PM  
Blogger sydney_b said...

Nice work, Chris. When you give it all you've got, then you've done what you what you could and should be pleased. Next time, get lined up front. :)

5/1/07, 1:13 PM  
Blogger Eclectchick said...

AWESOME improvement! Way to go!

I'll never be a crit baby. Y'all are insane doing those things.

5/2/07, 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

Yours is almost exactly my crit experience, even when I start at the front. And it is most definitely harder in the back. I try to rationalize what a great workout I'm getting and one day, it'll really pay off. Wish I could offer some solid advice, but at least you know you're not alone!

5/3/07, 2:27 PM  

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