What's new

Race The Training Thread

So Ibukiyama turned out almost exactly as expected. I had a target time of 45-47 minutes, ended up just under 45. I thought I could hold 5.1-5.3w/kg and ended up doing 5.26, or 329w average. Data is below and here's my long-winded recap of the scenario on the road.

The main difference from the plan is that I "raced" the bottom of the climb more than anticipated. I decided to follow the surges within reason for the first ~10 minutes of racing or until I felt I was starting to risk going into the red too long. A small move of 4 guys went up the road and at first I stuck to my guns, but I realized the peloton's pace was yo-yo-ing under / over my target power and we weren't getting closer to the group out front. So I put in a dig to bridge. My target power was basically the same pace the riders out front were riding, minus the surges. That front group kept putting in little digs, softening each other up.

At some point 2-3 riders bridged to us, some tried to follow the digs, then blew. Leaving the race situation mostly unchanged. 4 guys "attacking" each other + me on & off the back. Next thing I knew I was seeing a 5km to go sign. It was then that I knew I was in for a podium place, maybe even a win. I think they took me "getting dropped" as me being shelled, not riding within my self. The moments I made sure to be on the back of that group (flat spots & dips in the road) they never looked to me for a turn.

Unfortunately 1st place put in a decisive attack at ~4km. One rider chased. One rider exploded. One rider maintained his pace, but started to fade. I passed the blown rider, soon caught the fading rider and passed him, then kept 1st & 2nd within sight. 1st had a good rhythim going and was uncatchable. I caught 2nd with ~500m to go like I said above, then faded around 250m to go. Finishing 3rd overall.

My only regret is that I didn't absolutely destroy myself in the last 500m fighting for 2nd. I followed my plan a little too well. I was so honed in on my pace, and a little afraid of being caught by a late attack from behind, that I didn't go for an all out acceleration in the final. I should have pushed myself. But my rev-limiter kicked in and I settled for 3rd, 9-10 seconds off 2nd. I kept something in reserve for.... well, nothing? Good lesson on my tolerance or lack thereof for pain. Never got that ragged breathing, slobbering on yourself, eyes about to pop feeling. Just kind of rolled it in.

Screenshot 2024-04-15 at 07-00-52 TrainingPeaks - Plan your training track your workouts and m...png
Above: Not bad Pwr:Hr. My power balance is a little off... I found out I was riding with the wrong spacer in my crank when I replace my BB. So I actually think some of this may be due to my legs "re-balancing". I'm usually closer to 49:51.


Below: You can see in the profile how much surging was going on the beginning. Then when I settled in it flattened out some. I made some small efforts here and there to make sure I was in the draft at certain points. And then in the final you can see my catch of 2nd, then drop.

Screenshot 2024-04-15 at 07-00-07 TrainingPeaks - Plan your training track your workouts and m...png


Overall I'm happy with the day. After back-to-back 20 hour weeks I had minimal rest going into this. Fitness, strategy, nutrition (even a bit of a tailwind), it kind of all came together. Some good lessons learned. Looking forward to 3 more weeks of being on the gas before starting a taper down to Ontake. Plus I won that towel, so that's pretty neat.
 
So Ibukiyama turned out almost exactly as expected. I had a target time of 45-47 minutes, ended up just under 45. I thought I could hold 5.1-5.3w/kg and ended up doing 5.26, or 329w average. Data is below and here's my long-winded recap of the scenario on the road.

The main difference from the plan is that I "raced" the bottom of the climb more than anticipated. I decided to follow the surges within reason for the first ~10 minutes of racing or until I felt I was starting to risk going into the red too long. A small move of 4 guys went up the road and at first I stuck to my guns, but I realized the peloton's pace was yo-yo-ing under / over my target power and we weren't getting closer to the group out front. So I put in a dig to bridge. My target power was basically the same pace the riders out front were riding, minus the surges. That front group kept putting in little digs, softening each other up.

At some point 2-3 riders bridged to us, some tried to follow the digs, then blew. Leaving the race situation mostly unchanged. 4 guys "attacking" each other + me on & off the back. Next thing I knew I was seeing a 5km to go sign. It was then that I knew I was in for a podium place, maybe even a win. I think they took me "getting dropped" as me being shelled, not riding within my self. The moments I made sure to be on the back of that group (flat spots & dips in the road) they never looked to me for a turn.

Unfortunately 1st place put in a decisive attack at ~4km. One rider chased. One rider exploded. One rider maintained his pace, but started to fade. I passed the blown rider, soon caught the fading rider and passed him, then kept 1st & 2nd within sight. 1st had a good rhythim going and was uncatchable. I caught 2nd with ~500m to go like I said above, then faded around 250m to go. Finishing 3rd overall.

My only regret is that I didn't absolutely destroy myself in the last 500m fighting for 2nd. I followed my plan a little too well. I was so honed in on my pace, and a little afraid of being caught by a late attack from behind, that I didn't go for an all out acceleration in the final. I should have pushed myself. But my rev-limiter kicked in and I settled for 3rd, 9-10 seconds off 2nd. I kept something in reserve for.... well, nothing? Good lesson on my tolerance or lack thereof for pain. Never got that ragged breathing, slobbering on yourself, eyes about to pop feeling. Just kind of rolled it in.

View attachment 40339
Above: Not bad Pwr:Hr. My power balance is a little off... I found out I was riding with the wrong spacer in my crank when I replace my BB. So I actually think some of this may be due to my legs "re-balancing". I'm usually closer to 49:51.


Below: You can see in the profile how much surging was going on the beginning. Then when I settled in it flattened out some. I made some small efforts here and there to make sure I was in the draft at certain points. And then in the final you can see my catch of 2nd, then drop.

View attachment 40340


Overall I'm happy with the day. After back-to-back 20 hour weeks I had minimal rest going into this. Fitness, strategy, nutrition (even a bit of a tailwind), it kind of all came together. Some good lessons learned. Looking forward to 3 more weeks of being on the gas before starting a taper down to Ontake. Plus I won that towel, so that's pretty neat.
Solid effort, congrats!
Next time you go deeper on the finish, you still have time to digest it.
pushing hard to stay on the draft on flat sections really helps. That's usually when I don't commit enough and get dropped 😆


I wonder what is the thing with umbrellas. My wife raced a "ciclocross" last year and the podium had umbrellas as part of the prize. Are we underestimating this item?
 
I wonder what is the thing with umbrellas. My wife raced a "ciclocross" last year and the podium had umbrellas as part of the prize. Are we underestimating this item?
Since moving here I have learned to appreciate umbrellas more. I'm still usually a rain jacket kind of person. Maybe rain pants too if it's really gross out. But maybe that's not the aesthetic many folks are going for.

It wasn't even a folding umbrella. It was a full blown, could double as a cane, type of thing. At least I'll use the towel.
 
Some great numbers and well done again. Those towels are always handy on the trainer. And the podium photo is the real prize anyway :)
Make sure to slobber all over yourself at Ontake though, and take pics!

With all that attacking seems like it was ridden like a road race, which I guess makes sense as it's JBCF. More fun that the usual hill climbs where a pace is set and it's all about holding on to the pack. Probably more painful though.

Been trying to get my fitness back for the JBCF race at Gunma on Sunday. Just hard group rides this week, last one today, and fingers crossed my legs will actually recover in time (no chance). Will have to employ all the tricks to do as little work as possible and try and hold on to the end.
 
Make sure to slobber all over yourself at Ontake though, and take pics!
I've had my eye out for the JBCF Gallery upload. I hope there's one coming from Ibukiyama. I saw some photographers out on the climb and hope I had an adequate pain face... It makes me think a lot about seeing World Tour pros totally blasted, covered in drool / collapsing across a finish line. Not just the physical feat, but the ability to push that hard mentally. Yikes. The closer you get the further you realize those guys are.

Been trying to get my fitness back for the JBCF race at Gunma on Sunday. Just hard group rides this week, last one today, and fingers crossed my legs will actually recover in time (no chance). Will have to employ all the tricks to do as little work as possible and try and hold on to the end.
Hopefully it goes well! Guess you're all healed up from the early season misfortune?
 
Sunday is Gravel Ride Rally Stage 1 of 3 in Shizuoka.

I was motivated to try to take the overall in a series for the first time in a few years...

Only to get knocked sideways by Covid this week!

On the plus side, bored and in isolation, it gave me the chance to do some paperwork and tidy up the website a little for this summer's Sunset Street in Kashiwazaki.

First time to be sick in a while, hopefully get a clear run from here on in!

Andy

 
Maybe this yellow dust cloud passing over Japan has put you down? I had a bad reaction last year at this same time and thought I might had finally caught Covid too but a PCR test was negative. It's pretty bad here today so I'm staying inside.
 
Maybe this yellow dust cloud passing over Japan has put you down? I had a bad reaction last year at this same time and thought I might had finally caught Covid too but a PCR test was negative. It's pretty bad here today so I'm staying inside.
No it was a positive test.

I too thought it was a hangover or hayfever on Monday, a common cold on Tuesday, and then Covid on Wednesday.

A heavy weekend of riding, hanami, event meetings and nomikais was probably the sucker punch!

Andy
 
@Tsuga
Those pro tour guys must really like their job though. Can't imagine I'd ever go through that much hardship for my current job. Barely have the motivation to work through a sore throat, nevermind all sorts of physical misery.

My wrist is pretty much there. Still not full range of motion but enough for racing. Got a follow-up appointment with my doctor Monday afternoon though so crashing is totally out of the question!
 
@Tsuga
Those pro tour guys must really like their job though. Can't imagine I'd ever go through that much hardship for my current job. Barely have the motivation to work through a sore throat, nevermind all sorts of physical misery.

My wrist is pretty much there. Still not full range of motion but enough for racing. Got a follow-up appointment with my doctor Monday afternoon though so crashing is totally out of the question!
That's true. Definitely wouldn't put up with similar conditions for my current work. And as much as I have dreamed about being a pro cyclist... I also don't think I'd put up with what they put up with haha.

Glad the wrist is on the mend.

No it was a positive test.

I too thought it was a hangover or hayfever on Monday, a common cold on Tuesday, and then Covid on Wednesday.

A heavy weekend of riding, hanami, event meetings and nomikais was probably the sucker punch!

Andy
Hope you're feeling better!
 
That's true. Definitely wouldn't put up with similar conditions for my current work. And as much as I have dreamed about being a pro cyclist... I also don't think I'd put up with what they put up with haha.

Glad the wrist is on the mend.


Hope you're feeling better!

Thanks! Did a gravel ride today after almost a full week of total rest. Kind of like detox!

Was watching the JBCF races at Gunma and this photo came in my FB memories.

His legs are long enough to pedal it by himself these days.

Andy

FB_IMG_1713605370783.jpg
 
JBCF Gunma was fast as heck in E3. Average speed of 39.8 km/h. E2's average was ~39.0, so was E1 (of course E1 had twice the distance...) I got insta-dropped again.

Training block focus this next three weeks is on short repeatability, i.e. 30x30s. Hopefully this gets me in better shape for Oiso in three weeks.
 
JBCF Gunma was fast as heck in E3. Average speed of 39.8 km/h. E2's average was ~39.0, so was E1 (of course E1 had twice the distance...) I got insta-dropped again.

Training block focus this next three weeks is on short repeatability, i.e. 30x30s. Hopefully this gets me in better shape for Oiso in three weeks.
Last year for JPT races I had a similar mindset. So many of the JBCF courses feel like they are centered around key points that are 60-90 seconds in length. Either short hills or hard accelerations into / out of corners. In JPT it was so attritional in an almost "negative racing" kind of way. Basically it'd be like a crit start from the gun... a group of the big teams would eventually break away, then everyone else was kind of "blocked" in the peloton and just trying not to DNF. In the last lap or two of a race when people realized they wouldn't get pulled they'd start sitting up.

I wish I had done this year's training last year. I've had a big shift to focusing on VO2 work. 5 x 5 minutes at 110%+ FTP has become my go to interval. Loving the longer days and warmer temps since I can get out after work now. Yesterday I hit 370, 415, 410, 370 & 370. Kinda hate the 400s because it gave me a new metric for what I "can" do... but it's not pleasant. It's a new 5 minute PR at 6.55w/kg though.

Also makes me wonder if I may have unintentionally peaked a little early, Ontake is still 3 weeks away. So I'll see if I can manage this form until then.
 
Last year for JPT races I had a similar mindset. So many of the JBCF courses feel like they are centered around key points that are 60-90 seconds in length. Either short hills or hard accelerations into / out of corners. In JPT it was so attritional in an almost "negative racing" kind of way. Basically it'd be like a crit start from the gun... a group of the big teams would eventually break away, then everyone else was kind of "blocked" in the peloton and just trying not to DNF. In the last lap or two of a race when people realized they wouldn't get pulled they'd start sitting up.

I wish I had done this year's training last year. I've had a big shift to focusing on VO2 work. 5 x 5 minutes at 110%+ FTP has become my go to interval. Loving the longer days and warmer temps since I can get out after work now. Yesterday I hit 370, 415, 410, 370 & 370. Kinda hate the 400s because it gave me a new metric for what I "can" do... but it's not pleasant. It's a new 5 minute PR at 6.55w/kg though.

Also makes me wonder if I may have unintentionally peaked a little early, Ontake is still 3 weeks away. So I'll see if I can manage this form until then.

I know how you feel! I never had much spark anyway but you lose it even more as you get older! So I haven't done JBCF road races in a good while...

But! I just put in our entry for two ultra cycling events this summer. The Alps and the Peaks.

Something to aim at!

Andy

 
Gunma was a long one in E1 at 138 km and 23 laps. I don't follow any sort of training plan per se, but measure myself against the guys I train with. Based on that, my legs were not what they could be. Decided to hide in the pack whatever happens and try and sneak my way to full distance. Almost got tailed off a couple of times around 4 laps in, but as more and more hitters disappeared off the front the pace loosened and things got easier. Will also do the road race this weekend near Kyoto. Another long one on a circuit course that looks similar to Gunma, so legs should be more prepared this time. I was told the top ten in E1 qualify for the national road race champs, so hoping to deny someone that priviledge.

@Tsuga
You mentioned on Instagram about looking for a 5-minute hill climb race. Can you keep that form until September? There is a JBCF race in Niigata that seems to fit the bill. :)
 
@Tsuga
You mentioned on Instagram about looking for a 5-minute hill climb race. Can you keep that form until September? There is a JBCF race in Niigata that seems to fit the bill. :)

Ontake is May 19th.... I think my form will be gone May 20th, haha. Perhaps even evaporeating as I descend the mountain on the 19th. I plan to ease up on training from then on and shift to more personal goals. I have a 500 km one day ride from the Sea of Japan to the Pacific on my calendar.

Also... my wife and I are actually moving 👀 - We'll be in Japan until August 20th. Ending our time with a 3 week roadtrip around the country with lots of camping and cycling. Then it's off to America for a month, maybe a couple of local gravel races to see friends. After that we'll be moving to the Netherlands in September. I love training so I imagine after a short respite I'll start doing intervals again. But the current plan is to spend most of the summer with bike touring & fun rides to enjoy our time here.
 
First race of the season didn't went so well for me. But also not so bad.
Course was 8km, but basically 5km flat and 3km stupid steep.
My plan was to stay with the fast guys until the final of the 5km and i managed to do that. The steep section was hard on the legs already burning. That's usually where i get to pass some people, but this time everyone was already too far. Managed to catch a few towards the end, but dropped my chain in the last 200m (gradient eases off so the idea was big ring) and most of them passed me back. In the end, it didn't make much of a difference, but a bummer anyway.
In terms of numbers, it went worse then expected… though i could push above 4w/kg to the end, but it was hard to keep the power high. Also, couldn't lose any weight since December 😆😭
Result gave me mixed feelings. Top 30% in the overall and top10 age group, linda like my usual place. But some 30s faster than my previous time (when i was lighter and on a better form, relatively speaking)

C609E4B3-85F8-4C7D-9C4F-2E2A60611FEB.jpeg
 
Result gave me mixed feelings. Top 30% in the overall and top10 age group, linda like my usual place. But some 30s faster than my previous time (when i was lighter and on a better form, relatively speaking)
30s faster, with a dropped chain. That seems pretty good! And it's a lot of time in the perspective of 8km.

Sounds like an interesting event. Was it mass start? I'm curious about how that works. Seems like it'd be so wild.
 
30s faster, with a dropped chain. That seems pretty good! And it's a lot of time in the perspective of 8km.

Sounds like an interesting event. Was it mass start? I'm curious about how that works. Seems like it'd be so wild.
Yep, mass start (in 3 waves i think). In the last two editions, not everyone jumped to the front, this time was different. I think the group was 50 ppl, and more than 40 were in the front group. That's where i took those 30s 😆
I was hoping for a PR in the steep section, but here's where the dropped chain made an impact
 
Last edited:
Short report on last week's JBCF race at Harimachuo Park. Another cycling circuit next to a cycle park! Japan seems to have an endless supply of these. Not complaining though, a bit of course variety is always a good thing. Can't be racing Gunma every weekend. Older and more technical first half of the course had the pack lined out, then newer and less technical second half had the pack gasping for air up the final 700-metre climb. Altogether a fun and very attritional course. We did 110 km, which I think is 16 laps. I got dropped on the climb with about 4 laps to go then crawled round to barely make the distance. After taking a month off for my wrist just wasn't ready for this level of intensity and distance, so a fair result. Next race is the JBCF criterium at Oiso. Just a typical carpark hotdog crit, but it's a local race so should be fun.

Also... my wife and I are actually moving 👀 - We'll be in Japan until August 20th. Ending our time with a 3 week roadtrip around the country with lots of camping and cycling. Then it's off to America for a month, maybe a couple of local gravel races to see friends. After that we'll be moving to the Netherlands in September. I love training so I imagine after a short respite I'll start doing intervals again. But the current plan is to spend most of the summer with bike touring & fun rides to enjoy our time here.

A 3-week road trip is something I bet everyone wishes they could do but never does. Great way to spend the summer hols.
 
Back
Top Bottom