Race The Training Thread

speedwobble

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Jun 26, 2017
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Out of interest, I had a bit poke about looking for Japan Cup info and here is Nicolas Roche's Strava from 2018 when he was fourth.

The sharp part of the climb, the Kogashiyama(?) segment, is 1.1km at 8.4%. I guess it must see lots of attacks. It's ridden fourteen times(!) with ten minutes "rest", so one for the climbers, not the punchers. They'll punch themselves out.
Nice to see Roche slow down to a more human 1400-1500VAM on slow laps. You need about 5w/kg for four minutes to keep up on one slow lap. Cat 3 on the Coggan chart.
 
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leicaman

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I had two heaping bowls of rice at 5 a.m. and mashed potatoes the night before. I felt great during the opening lap, but I really wanted to have a gel before the race. Unfortunately my girlfriend had my bag with the gel on it and I couldn’t find her.... oh, well. Some salt candy would have been a good idea.

My weight was a little low, so I suspect I wasn’t 100 carb loaded.

I think part of my problem was grinding at 50-60 rpms and 300+ watts on the uphills, which tore my legs to shreds. Once I could spin it wasn’t so hard to put out reasonable power.

on the second lap I was clearing my throat at about 96 decibels.... haha
How does the Japan cup work? I thought it was only for pro teams. Do they have an amateur race before/after the pros?
 

leicaman

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Ignore my last post. I’ve just seen your post about the race. So there are amateur races held the day before. Is it exactly the same course? Sounds cool.
Do you have a link to your ride on Strava?
 
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baribari

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Ignore my last post. I’ve just seen your post about the race. So there are amateur races held the day before. Is it exactly the same course? Sounds cool.
Do you have a link to your ride on Strava?
Yes, same course. It makes the real race much more fun to watch on TV (I couldn’t get up early enough to make it back to Utsunomiya for the road race yesterday but am heading to Bank League right now. Gonna ride the track, too!
 

andywood

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It seems to me you weren’t geared properly: 50-60 rpm on a road bike (or any bike) will tire our your muscles as it stresses your muscles rather than your cardio vascular system. I was reminded of this today when I ground myself up the Chilean mountains.
Definitely 50, 60rpm is in the strength training range.

The heart rate was also right up there which shows how hard you were going.

On the limit both aerobically and physically.

You can make the physical aspect easier though. So you definitely want to be spinning an easier gear.

If I was doing the Japan Cup I would switch from my 53/36 11/25 road bike set up to 50/34 11/28. You may even want to go a few teeth higher on the back.

Best is to try it out in training. Find the gear which you can produce the optimum cadence on the steepest section.

For me I would want a gear that I can knock out 80rpm with on a hill that replicates the JC climb.

I have a TT on Sunday. I just changed the cassette on my TT bike to 11/28 as reading last years' blogs and looking at youtube videos, I might need it for the climb.

For the TT I want to be able to stay in the big ring if possible.

I'll check the course on Saturday and maybe change it but I imagine I'll stick with the 55/42 11/28 set up...

Andy
 

andywood

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Ignore my last post. I’ve just seen your post about the race. So there are amateur races held the day before. Is it exactly the same course? Sounds cool.
Do you have a link to your ride on Strava?
Before they introduced the Saturday evening criterium in downtown Utsunomia on Saturday evening, you used to get massive crowds cheering on the amateurs on Saturday.

It was like Alp de Huez on the climb!

Andy
 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
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For me I would want a gear that I can knock out 80rpm with on a hill that replicates the JC climb.
Hi Andy, Would you apply this to much longer climbs too? Should your lowest gear be something you can spin at 80 while climbing at FTP/CP60?
 
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andywood

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Hi Andy, Would you apply this to much longer climbs too? Should your lowest gear be something you can spin at 80 while climbing at FTP/CP60?
When I used to hillclimb seriously, I used to try and sit at 180LTHR / 80rpm for hour on long climbs like Kusatsu, Tsugaike, Utsukushigahara, Norikura etc.

Never used power for a HC, but presuming your FTP is accurate and you are fresh enough, then FTP or just below should be sustainable.

Again, there is no substitute to getting out there and simulating it in training. Get to know your ballpark numbers to aim for.

Andy
 

OreoCookie

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If I was doing the Japan Cup I would switch from my 53/36 11/25 road bike set up to 50/34 11/28. You may even want to go a few teeth higher on the back.
Yeah, seconded. At the Akagiyama Hill Climb 34:28 was a little too light, and I needed it only for a few places. But that was at race pace. On a normal day at a more casual pace, 34:28 is definitely nice to have even if I need it only in some circumstances. However, I find it is (almost) always better to be undergeared than overgeared. So if you need 34:32, then give yourself such a low gear. You are not your gearing. And you shouldn’t grind up a hill. People did it in the old times, because they had no choice. We do :)
 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
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Thanks. I am 51 and will never be competitive. It's just about self-improvement. I live in Nagano, so I hit climbs every time I go out. I used to look at climbing speed, VAM, as a measure of my fitness, but I got a cheap power meter second hand early this year and now use that. The good doctor who invented VAM says its actually a good proxy for W/Kg.

The power meter crank I bought came with 52-36, so my lower gear changed from 34-32 to 36-32, but I might change back to 34 front, just to spin more and give me more of a cushion on the steeper sections (10%+). I just wondered if there were any guidelines or "rules" on what an optimal lowest gear should be. A lot of cycling is simple maths, gear ratio and cadence gives speed etc. so linking preferred lowest gear on the bike for a given gradient to FTP would just be another part of that.
 

andywood

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What is the best gear for you on a given gradient will depend on how strong your legs are and how adapted your cardiovascular system is, versus how heavy you and the bike are.

I imagine there are charts and calculators which tell you the best gear for a cetain power to weight ratio on a certain % climb. But still I say there is no substitute to checking it out by yourself.

Nagano is great for cycling and if you are doing hills you will probably never feel overgeared.

If you are clicking for an extra gear on your favorite climb but you don't have it, you are undergeared. Always better to have too many gears than not enough.

The 34 will make it easier but you need to test whether or not it will work with the 52. I got 53/36 to work though Shimano don't sell that combination or advise it. I assume they don't sell 52/34 either?

Enjoy the riding in Nagano. I love it just over the hill in Niigata!

Andy
 

baribari

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Before they introduced the Saturday evening criterium in downtown Utsunomia on Saturday evening, you used to get massive crowds cheering on the amateurs on Saturday.

It was like Alp de Huez on the climb!

Andy
There were still quite a few people cheering us on! It did help a little bit. lol.

Honestly, if it wasn't for the technical wet descent (I think GPS glitched and gave me a top 10% time on Strava just 12 second behind Phil Gaimon) and being overgeared I probably would have been reasonably close to my ramp test estimated FTP for the 45 minutes. Although RPE probably would have been lower with some electrolytes and carbs.

I can't wait until I can do a race where I am not pegged above LTHR. Haha. Either that or learn how to rev my engine up another 15 bpms...

Yesterday and I went and did laps at the Utsunomiya velodrome together with JPT pros. I lost about an hour of data in the middle because my computer was paused, though....

As usually I was constantly clearing out my throat, but this time I also had some mild acid reflux, which I hear can affect breathing by hurting the vocal cords.
 
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speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
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Thanks again Andy
I do have compact rings and used to use them before I fitted the power meter. It came with 52-36, so that's why I changed. I can do 70 cadence on steep climbs of around 10%, but yeah higher would be better. I'm a lightweight and spinning is going to suit me better.
 
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OreoCookie

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I can do 70 cadence on steep climbs of around 10%, but yeah higher would be better.
There is also no shame in going even smaller by either putting even smaller chain rings on or using a mountain bike cassette in the rear. For casual users road bikes are ridiculously overgeared on the top end.
 
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stu_kawagoe

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I’ve got a 52/36 and 11-30 and I’ve found that setup to be a good test of fitness. 12 weeks ago it was excruciating climbing up 10%+ gradients but now what I’ve got feels totally fine. I don’t have a cadence sensor or power meter, though. For me, I find I can’t just lock in to one cadence. I seem to be riding in bursts up biggish climbs recently.
 

andywood

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I'm doing a taper this week for the Japan Masters TT on Oshima Island on Sunday.

In the middle of a taper is a chance to do a bit of race simulation and see how your body is responding to the rest.

I did some race pace today and the sensations were good.

The usual blog link and cut and paste below.

Cheers, Andy


「race week race pace」

in the middle of a taper
lots of rest
and early nights

today some race pace

high cadence
short bursts
legs feel great in the warm up

to the jyonnobi TT

the usual tailwind out in the afternoon

easier to set a good time with a headwind out and a tailwind home

still the legs are fresh

the target is Yamada san's 43.2kph KOM

today he starts first
I give him the hold for a standing start

I have the advantage of a rolling start

3,2,1 Go!

up to speed quickly
HR up to 170bpm in 30 seconds

48kph average after 1km

overpacing

ease off a little
aim for 45kph with the tailwind
sitting on 174 LTHR

up the climb
Yamada san is coming down the other way
a quick wave

44.4kph av. into the turn
43.5kph after the turn

need to hold this average now

back home into the headwind

try to keep low
keep the momentum from the downhill into the uphill

the last drag
180HR now

fading fast
it's difficult to find the right gear

too light!
too heavy!

squeeze it all out by the line

43.7 kph average for a new KOM

173 HR is right at LTHR

a good HR response and fluid legs
are the results of quality rest

good watts too
352W is similar to what I want on race day

the japan masters TT is twice the distance though

so I want to be fresher still

and need to be careful to pace it properly

5 days to race day

here we go!
 

joewein

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joewein.net
The 34 will make it easier but you need to test whether or not it will work with the 52. I got 53/36 to work though Shimano don't sell that combination or advise it. I assume they don't sell 52/34 either?
Shimano double FDs are all specified for a maximum gap of 16T, i.e. 53/39, 52/36, 50/34 are all within spec but 53/36 and 52/34 are outside though they may still work.
 

baribari

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@andywood any tips on setting up ISM saddles? I find that its very comfortable to sit on and makes it easier to sustain an aero position, but I keep getting saddle sores in the same spot. I think I will take a few days off to see if it heals. My saddle post only lets me tilt it slightly up and slightly down, not perfectly level. Slightly down is more comfortable, but I think slightly up lets me sit further on the tip, where it's narrower.

I ride with a bunch of different chamois pads, though, so I wonder if I shouldn't err on the slightly too low side than the slightly too high side.

On another note, I bested my previous TT segment time by 12 seconds without even going all out (actually made a point to hold back in the first half and averaged a few watts lower overall). That time would have got me the KOM (I still don't have any KOMs, hahaha) except that two guys riding together took 1st and 2nd place in August. Dang.

I think it might be time to buy some faster tires and lighter inner tubes.... I definitely could have used more grip on the wet descent last Saturday.
 
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andywood

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@andywood any tips on setting up ISM saddles? I find that its very comfortable to sit on and makes it easier to sustain an aero position, but I keep getting saddle sores in the same spot. I think I will take a few days off to see if it heals. My saddle post only lets me tilt it slightly up and slightly down, not perfectly level. Slightly down is more comfortable, but I think slightly up lets me sit further on the tip, where it's narrower.

I ride with a bunch of different chamois pads, though, so I wonder if I shouldn't err on the slightly too low side than the slightly too high side.

On another note, I bested my previous TT segment time by 12 seconds without even going all out (actually made a point to hold back in the first half and averaged a few watts lower overall). That time would have got me the KOM (I still don't have any KOMs, hahaha) except that two guys riding together took 1st and 2nd place in August. Dang.

I think it might be time to buy some faster tires and lighter inner tubes.... I definitely could have used more grip on the wet descent last Saturday.
For the ISM saddle, I only use it on the TT bike. I sit right on the end so very minimal contact or chance of saddle sores. But these are just 10 to 30 minute efforts.

I guess if you are using it on a road bike, you need to find a compromise. Maybe sit further than feels natural at first?

Strange that you can't set your saddle horizontal? I always set mine dead flat using an electronic spirit level at the bike shop.

For tyres, I recommend getting some race tyres.

I train on Continental Gatorskins and switch to Continental Competition for RR or Podium for TT.

That way you also get a little boost on race day!

Andy
 
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