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Thread: Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

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    Default Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

    So, I'm curious, for those of you that have these locally (we've got 'em on Tuesday and Wednesday nights)....

    How much "training" actually goes on aside from actual racing? Ours are broken up into A/B/C/D flites (with two heats, usually - A/B race on the same course separately, then C/D an hour later). Results are tracked for those that want to take part and buy a numberplate, but not to USAC.

    I want to float the idea of doing actual race training for a bit before the heats - teaching about an echelon, blocking, attacking, dealing with wind, etc (essentially the entire "tactics" section of Eddie B's book: Amazon.com: Bicycle Road Racing: The Complete Program for Training and Competition (9780941950077): Edward Borysewicz: Books). I feel like it would have the potential to greatly improve the quality of the local racing and getting our guys ready to race out of state/make a decent showing.

    Anyone's local series do something similar? I once heard rumors that members of the A flite would do "ridealongs" with the C/Ds, which could also be pretty rad...but I'm noticing that even the Cat 1-3s here lack a lot of basic race skills (beastly fitness notwithstanding), and no one seems to care to share the knowledge outside of screaming in the pack.
    NK

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    Default Re: Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

    The Early Bird Series in Fremont (Bay Area) does a great job with pre-practice crit training. I know it helps all the squirrely-bird first timers feel better...but practicing tactics is smart at any level.
    I wish the Port of Oakland practice crits would be slightly more organized in that manner. I stopped going down there after I saw dudes with full on tt rigs and fixies...
    I say do it! I learned a lot from riding with friends that were Pro 1-2. There will be young guys who really appreciate it.
     

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    Default Re: Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

    Back "home" this training/teaching actually takes place. In Asheville, the TNW ride is an out and back with 3 marked sprints and a finale at the top of a "climb" (~3km at 3.5%). A paceline is under strict orders until at least the 1st sprint. Regrouping usually happens (friendly or not) after the 1st and 2nd sprints but the 3rd is often the cracking point. Attacks start to fly with the lead in to the climb. Groups are split A, B, C, etc with more "teaching" and regrouping happening with the lower cats. A group ride time is about 45' with avg speed over 25mph. Fantastic training ride that taught me a lot and ripped my legs off weekly.

    This ride is maybe unique because a) the particular road (low traffic, relatively flat, no stops or turns) exists and is well suited, and b) there have been several vocal members of the cycling community who had no qualms about barking orders (and had the legs to screw you over if you didn't ride with your head). When your hard training ride includes safety pins and a number, the whole dynamic changes. I'm bummed we lack a proper TNW ride...
     

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    Default Re: Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

    I'm gonna say 'good luck with that' unless you're the coach of a specific team/club and require it.

    Cycling and UW Hockey seem to be the 2 sports I've ever done that have minimal drills/skills practices. Pretty much everyone wants to show up and ride/play.

    M
     

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    Default Re: Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

    Great idea. The CVC club runs a few clinics at the Rentschler Park crit course in E Hartford, CT. But I think they're aimed exclusively at women and juniors.

    Another idea is to script the race a little, break it into subgroups that work together, force-form an echelon, neutralize portions or even stop and critique. Give them a problem to solve.

    The A with B ridealongs are a good idea in theory, but like you say the strongest guys aren't always savvy with skills and/or tactics. And those are the guys to keep away from your up-and-comers.

    @ned, I used to go on one of those rides. A hilltop sprint, then regroup and reform paceline. Final sprint was the end of a low-traffic road and the hammer could drop as far as 8 miles out, or in the last mile. Regrouped again to ride back to town, a controlled cool down.
    Last edited by thollandpe; 04-18-2012 at 07:28 PM. Reason: NCC memories
     

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    Default Re: Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mookies View Post
    Port of Oakland practice crits
    you mean the cat 1/2/3/4/5/hipster TNWC. That being said, I still like the P.O.O ride. Motopacing on acid. Great training if you can stay outta trouble.
     

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    Default Re: Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

    We have tues nite races A,B,C, and D groups. All groups do the same cousre and leave at about ten minutes apart. Yes the B's may pick up stragglers from the A's and so on but it all works out. The entire month of April is training. We split up into small groups about ten in a group and a couple A racers lead and instruct in each of these small groups. We usually ride out to the course stop for ten or twenty minutes and explain what were going to be doing. Then take the rolling classroom on the road. The A racers will ride up and down the group explaining and critiquing. After the ride we meet back in the parking lot and answer questions and discuss what went well and what we needs more work. After a month of that all the newer folks have a pretty good handle on at least the basics. Every year before the season starts we also have a class two saturdays in april where all race tactics are taught.

    Mike
     

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    Default Re: Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

    In Australia, we have regular weekly club racing. Melbourne and Sydney have mid week racing through summer because of daylight savings and teh whole country races just about every weekend. The norm is A, B, C and D grade with some venues catering for D grade. There is some junior coaching sessions by some clubs. What is severly lacking, especially here in Brisbane is any form of instruction for new riders. Most of the time they only learn from someone berating for doing something they were unaware of and afterwards most fo the time they still don't know what they did wrong. When I started as a junior, the older more experienced guys would always let you know with out yelling at you and then after the race they would pull you aside and explain the full story to you and what would ahve been a better outcome given that situation. Everything from proper corner entry and exits all the way through to the tatics/nuances of racing.

    Nowadays the only instructions I here/see are, "Watch your line!" followed by "Fuk you/off!" followed by "No, you fuk off!". Not a great environment to bring the younger riders up through.

    In recent years the number of crashes seems to be growing. I would bet that it is probably in proportion to the numbers racing but I also see the number of crashes in A and B grade increasing.

    The evidence is increasing that we need to bring a more structured approach to 'coaching' new comers to the sport and some of the guys who have been racing for a few years that started in this non instruction era. I don't know what the immediate answer is but it can't be ignored really.
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    Default Re: Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

    I'd love to see something like this. As someone who raced more than a few Boston-area weekly training races (looking at you, Wells Ave and Wompatuck) in the late 80's and early 90's, there used to be an instructional (albeit informal) vibe to the lower-end races. If you did something stupid there was usually some experienced salt in the "B" pack or who was racing Tuesday night with the noobs instead of Wednesday night with the 1-2-3's (maybe s/he was injured and taking it easy, or just wanted to sit in for the speed training but who would hold back for the sprints, etc) who would let you know you were being a jerk. In the mid-90's this turned into the crash-filled hammerfest we all know, and I stopped racing them because they scared the crap out of me (oh, and also because I sucked, too). From what I hear things have gotten worse since then, but I wouldn't know from first-hand experience.

    I think the sport - at least at the lower levels - really needs a return to "instructional" training races, or at least develop an atmosphere where the nail that sticks out gets hammered down by the old salts of the sports, ya know?
     

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    Default Re: Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

    Quote Originally Posted by monadnocky View Post
    I think the sport - at least at the lower levels - really needs a return to "instructional" training races, or at least develop an atmosphere where the nail that sticks out gets hammered down by the old salts of the sports, ya know?
    IME there's been a gap in instruction for a lot of years. I was taught things early on became basic knowledge: echelons, if the wind direction changes, so does the rotation of the paceline, etc. I don't see a lot of that knowledge any more.

    IDK if its because the Lance Effect brought people into cycling from different backgrounds or what. Maybe someone else has an explanation. I certainly don't.

    M
     

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    Default Re: Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

    if the instructions are being shown on their dashboard stem then no one wants to hear it from "you"
    watts, avg speed, HR, ftp, blt, atm
    "make the break"

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    Default Re: Your local TNW/"Training" Races and actual training.

    Racing is the best training. Where I live we have a Wednesday night race series on an automobile race track. It's about a 2 mile loop and includes some curvy sections and some up and down riding, so it's not just a loop on the local NASCAR track. Pretty good place to race. It's a locally organized event and is not affiliated with any sanctioning body. A and B groups. The As are the 1/2/3s and the Bs are the 3/4/5s. It's fairly fast in both groups and is really great training to get leg speed and power up and it's as safe as racing a bike will ever be because there are no curbs or trees to hit and no sharp corners, etc. It's an awesome way to get the competitive thing going in a safe environment - way safer than the pirate races that exist all over the US on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

    This is not to say that we don't have our own version of the Tuesday Night Worlds but folks hoping to race well on Wednesday usually don't go hard on Tuesday. And Wednesday is serious racing even though everyone says it's only a 'training' race. It's a great way to keep sharp for the weekend of sanctioned races.

    As for instruction? I wish there were more but I hate going on rides that include lectures on how to draft and basic group riding skills. I REALLY f*cking hate those lectures, but they are needed. I sort of wish people had to 'graduate' to the more skilled groups and I supposed this is why roadies are seen as elitist snobs. Yup, I am one.

    On the Wednesday night races you have to move up to the As from the Bs. Can't just start out in the As.
     

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