How long to be a credible Cat 4 or am I just crap (road content)

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  • How long to be a credible Cat 4 or am I just crap (road content)
  • Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Steepest section is right at the end irritatingly! I’ve got a PowerTap, but wasn’t planning to use it, as it’s a pound heavier than my Race X Lite rear wheel. I know in reality it makes negligible difference, but psychologically I’ll know it’s there!

    jonba
    Member

    I do hill climbs. Fairly similar to a standard time trial normally. You get you alloted time and race the distance against the clock.

    I guess you know most of this but as they are short make sure you are well warmed up. You’ll be going from a standing start to your limit so I do some short sharp efforts in my warm up at or close to my maximimum.

    The road is open but it has never been an issue for me on the ones in the North east.

    I’d say power to weight is everything so if you don’t need it don’t carry it. I use my standard road bike but remove all the stuff like bottles, cages etc. As helmets are not required I even lose that and the gloves although at this point it is more mental prep than actual help. It gets me in the right racing mindset.

    Pacing is interesting. Get a look at the hill, scout it if they will let you. In general on the shorter ones of 4-5 minutes I just wind it up hold the pace from the start. I prefer to sit and pedal a high cadence although if it is variable gradient I generally stand up and power through the steep bits rather than drop a gear. Having some knowledge of your own ability will help you. In a 4 minute climb my legs will be burning 60 seconds in. By 3 minutes I’ll feel sick and wonder if I’m going to make it. If at the end you can’t taste blood then you had more to give. Knowing that you aren’t going to explode even though your mind is telling you that you can’t keep this up is part of the battle.

    Premier Icon njee20
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    Excellent, thank you! My standard approach to TTs (10s) is to go flat out and regret it, it should be <4 minutes, so I’m hoping that will work!

    I did wonder about disassembling my road bike in the name of psychological advantage from the weight savings, but as I’m aiming for the lofty heights of the top half of the field I’m not entirely sure it’s worth it! I can blame the weight of my outer chainring and my bottle cages on my mediocre performance!

    That said… on the Strava segment I’m 163rd out of 11678, so I’m planning to extrapolate that to predict my result. There are 80 starters IIRC, I’m in the top 1.4%, so I reckon I’m on for 2nd… Happy days.

    LS
    Member

    Steepest section at the end is a good thing as you’ll be caning that bit anyway, it’s when it’s in the middle that the problems occur as it can push you right over the edge and then you have nothing left.
    Nice analysis, like it 😀

    TiRed
    Member

    Forget the power meter, your vision should be too blurred to read it 😉 . As above, just like an ordinary TT, but shorter and more intense. Be sure to warm up with some sprint sessions before you roll up to start. Go off hard and just try and go harder. No point saving anything for a four minute effort. If you can’t taste the blood or aren’t sick, you took it too easy 😉

    I did wonder about disassembling my road bike in the name of psychological advantage from the weight savings

    Based on some of the top competitors; remove top cap, cut down the bars as you won’t need the drops, remove chainring and FD… Well you get the idea.

    I’m racing 2/3 Surrey League Sunday, after a series of Hillingdon E123 circuits. Double the distance of previous races 😕

    EDIT: And a shameless plug for my most recent race report – but it does have some links to forthcoming racing. If anyone fancies planning to start, the Imperial Winter Series is an excellent place to have a go.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Good luck njee.

    I’ve just formulated my plan for 2015. I’m going to diet like a bastard until Christmas, with minimal riding done gently. Then in Jan/Feb I’ll do some base training and start introducing speed work in March or so with a few to some XC races in the summer.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Based on some of the top competitors; remove top cap, cut down the bars as you won’t need the drops, remove chainring and FD… Well you get the idea.

    The things that leapt to mind were removing outer chainring, front mech, rear brake (or do you still need two, ie fixed and front, or front/rear?), but I’d probably end up dropping my chain or something, and it really wouldn’t make any meaningful difference!

    I’m going to diet like a bastard until Christmas, with minimal riding done gently.

    Seems a long time for minimal riding molly? Even with the dieting like a bastard I’d want to keep ticking over, the two can go together IMO.

    Premier Icon kilo
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    So, the aforementioned hill climb is tomorrow, never done one, slightly nervous!

    How do they work? Is the road open to cars? Ms njee20 is planning to come and watch, presumably she’ll just have to walk up to a suitable vantage point?

    This is the hill, so not that long (it is Surrey!), ridden it many times, but always as part of a ride, so unsure how to pace myself!

    You’ll be fine, it’s one of the more relxed HC’s, always a good atmosphere and will only hurt for a bit. The road is open to cars but tends to be fairly quiet on a saturday morning, there are marshals at the junctions but you have right of way anyway. No scouting the hill once the race has started I’m afraid (11.08hrs) Two seperate brakes are required, so not much scope there unless you go fixed, a la Pete Tadros.

    Mrs Njee could drive up Tanhurst Lane which runs sort of parrallel to the course, there’s a NT carpark near the top which is pay and display now -it’s well worth her going up just to shout abuse at you from cowbell – corner bit of a flavour here;(kwcc hill climb)
    The one bit of advice re pacing I can give is the hill goes up after cowbell corner, don’t blow because you’ve been egged on by the crowd. If you are going to stay on the hill to watch get your mrs to bring a warm top for you as it can get a bit nippy.
    There will, hopefuly, be a mountain of cake at the HQ.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Seems a long time for minimal riding molly?

    Yeah I’ve found that if do much exertion then dieting goes out of the window. When I say minimal, I’m looking at 2-3 rides or runs a week, but keeing it very gentle. Trying not to withdraw too much from the bank, or I end up having to eat.

    Premier Icon offthebrakes
    Subscriber

    Good luck Nick! Should be ideal prep for Sunday 😯

    Hardly ever do that climb, always end up climbing Tanhurst Lane when I’m over that way. Might be a good option for a warm-up, as long as you don’t puncture!

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Awesome, thanks Kilo! I know the area well, so I wondered about sending her up Tanhurst Lane, I was forgetting the car park at the top though, was thinking Starveall was the first one (and thus hard to get at), that would work! I was keen to suggest she goes higher up, knowing that’s the interesting bit, but imagine I’d be met with disapproving looks if I suggested she just walk up there!

    Not sure if seeing the video helps or not!

    Yeah I’ve found that if do much exertion then dieting goes out of the window. When I say minimal, I’m looking at 2-3 rides or runs a week, but keeing it very gentle

    Fair enough, as long as it works for you!

    Seems a long time for minimal riding molly?

    +1. Each to their own but the way i lose weight is 4-5hours of z1-2 both Saturday and Sunday from ~ October to Feb. Its so easy that i’m not tired when i get in so no hunger/sugar cravings, plus my base is built then so it is a win all round.

    I don’t think anything in z1-2 should increase hunger/cravings. Eat real food on the bike and ditch any energy products.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Good luck Nick! Should be ideal prep for Sunday

    Yes, I’m learning from George with the “double race weekends”, I figure it’s only 4 minutes, surely it can’t make that much difference! Remind me I said that on lap 5 on Sunday!

    Hardly ever do that climb, always end up climbing Tanhurst Lane when I’m over that way. Might be a good option for a warm-up, as long as you don’t puncture!

    I always avoid Tanhurst, the surface used to be horrific, although I think it’s better than it was, always do the HC route, so certainly one I’m acquainted with, obviously only ever done it as part of a ride, never a standalone effort!

    Premier Icon offthebrakes
    Subscriber

    If ‘learning from George’ includes borrowing his legs, then you’ll be fine!

    Looking forward to hearing about it on Sunday 🙂

    Premier Icon jam bo
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    Each to their own but the way i lose weight is 4-5hours of z1-2 both Saturday and Sunday from ~ October to Feb.

    10hrs of riding every weekend! No kids then…

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I don’t think anything in z1-2 should increase hunger/cravings. Eat real food on the bike and ditch any energy products.

    Just don’t get me started! I’ve got young kids so the days of 10 hours riding on the weekend are gone. I’ve got a lot of experience in this area and this plan is my best bet I reckon.

    beaconjon
    Member

    If you want to get faster, interval training on a turbo is priceless. Get signed up to TrainerRoad, it’s cheap as chips and their 40k TT 12 week program is perfect. It added about 30 watts to my output in that period and set me up for a great TT season.

    Many people confuse quantity with quality. Riding hours and hours at 18mph will get you ready for just that and not much else, you will become fatigued and slow. Short (1-10 minute combined in a 1 hour session) anaerobic efforts on the turbo will push everything in the right direction including your endurance. I was only bagging about 5 hours a week but made good strides and took chunks of my PB’s.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Riding hours and hours at 18mph will get you ready for just that and not much else,

    It’ll give you good base fitness, that’s what it’ll do, and you need good base coach 🙂

    TiRed
    Member

    It added about 30 watts to my output in that period and set me up for a great TT season.

    Yes but what did it do for your 120 km road races?

    I think a mixture of both; High Intensity Intervals for attacks, and some long rides for endurance. I’ve found that my circuit racing has come on leaps and bounds with intervals, but am still struggling with longer races.

    beaconjon
    Member

    Well I managed to cover 89.5 miles in a 4 hour TT this season off mainly short sessions with the odd zone one weekend spin.

    If you’re riding 120k road races I doubt they’re cat 4.

    You’re right, you don need a mix but the longer rides are almost a recovery effort.

    If you’re pushed for time, intervals are your only friend.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    If you want to get faster, interval training on a turbo is priceless. Get signed up to TrainerRoad,

    That, and some real riding. I’m getting about 2-3 Trainerroad Turbo sessions, 1x weekly 1:15 ride and a Sunday 100k in every week, currently riding a sweet spot base plan.

    Since February I’m +22% in watts, and my pain tolerance/focus/FTP face when on the front of club runs is reaching Kiryienka levels of ability. Well almost….

    TiRed
    Member

    All set for the Hillingdon Imperial Winter Series on December 8th, then 🙂 Saturday afternoons at 1PM for 4th Cat racing. Later for the E12/3 race. Eight races, three in December and five in the new year.

    I didn’t score a single point in last year’s series! The riding was, however of an excellent standard.

    monkeyfudger
    Member

    Hmmm I decided I was calling it this year after getting smashed out the back of a 2/3/4 RR on Sunday but I keep looking at doing one of the Autumn point builder crits in Lancaster…bloody addictive!!

    I’ve been way to slack recently so I’m down on power, what’s the course like anyone?

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Anyone know why there’s no circuit racing up North over the winter? Is it just because the weather is worseand the risk of crashes higher? Or cos there’s more focus on Cyclocross or what???

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Lancaster (Salt Ayre I presume) is a big fairly oblong shaped circuit. About 2km in length, no sharp hairpin bends, a few twiats but ultimately a very simple course.

    Suited me whan I raced there in May cos the pace tends to be fairly steady with no big accelerations every lap like there are when there are hairpin bends.

    Oh, and tree roots are starting to make the tarmac a little lumpy in places, but nothing to worry about.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    All set for the Hillingdon Imperial Winter Series on December 8th, then.

    My first will be in the a ELV winter series in Jan. After being distracted away from any proper experience this year I don’t want to go off plan. If I’m feeling frisky And the weather is ok I might pop down for one though, I’d like to experience Hillingdon before the spring/summer series.

    crosshair
    Member

    All set for the Hillingdon Imperial Winter Series on December 8th, then Saturday afternoons at 1PM for 4th Cat racing. Later for the E12/3 race. Eight races, three in December and five in the new year.

    I didn’t score a single point in last year’s series! The riding was, however of an excellent standard.

    Saturday 6th?

    I’m very keen to pop my racing cherry and this is the only Dec one I can make so might well give it a go!

    TiRed
    Member

    DOH! Sorry, yes Saturday December 6th. This is an excellent series and the 4th Cat racing is of a good standard – read very few crashes (far less than the E12/3 race).

    I will be there for our new 4th Cats, and then race the E12/3, in my pursuit of 2nd Cat status – bwahahahaha!

    Entry will be on RiderHQ and the 4th Cat races will sell out VERY QUICKLY!!!

    Keep watching here

    http://www.imperialracingteam.com/

    crosshair
    Member

    Cool- if I get a place, I’ll give it a go.

    TiRed
    Member

    In that case I’ll post last year’s guidance again – must update it for this year.

    http://www.twickenhamcc.co.uk/tcc/are-you-race-curious/

    I might actually make this year’s Club Championships too 🙂

    Here’s the happy 4th cats from last year – excuse the long socks, I couldn’t find my leg warmers before I had to dash to the circuit.

    Now you really want to join, no?

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Just don’t wear daft socks like that bloke on the right 😉

    Hill climb passed, disappointed with my performance, legs just felt a bit shit! Never mind! Will of this parish smashed it with 6th place though, just out of the prize money.

    TiRed
    Member

    Met Kryton for his first Imperial Winter Series race this afternoon, and he rode very well in a tough race with some experienced riders. Already looking like a credible 4th cat and certainly not just crap!

    My own efforts in the hE123 race were hard but ultimately futile as I yo-yo’d from breakaway to mid-pack and back again a couple of times, before narrowly avoiding a crash on the penultimate lap and falling out the back due to loss of momentum 😥

    Anyone else racing the IWS? Four more to go before Surrey League (and of course the Gorricks are starting too).

    As for the socks – you should see my CX race socks!

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Kind words TiRed, Thanks. What a difference a year makes. If only I’d kept my eye on the ball and not slipped wide on the corner at the top, and if only they hadn’t surged into the wind after that… But as you say focus was key and I let mine slip, my fault and a lesson learned. As Cav says, keep the mind sharp as well as the body fit.

    I spent and hour with some 3 x 10’s intervals I on the Turbo today reliving the race. I felt really good in the bunch not out of place at all. Can’t wait to do it all again next week, hopefully a bit more sharp of mind.

    TiRed
    Member

    And some great photos by digidave who took the above shot last year.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Ha ha! The pain on my face of chasing back on….

    Premier Icon Haze
    Subscriber

    Good going Kryton, it seems to be the easiest thing to switch off for a second or two to find you’ve lost contact.

    Probably not the last time you’ll get caught out (given how easy it is) but with the benefit of experience you’ll hopefully spot the signs early enough to shut the gap down?

    Anonymous

    Tempted to have a go myself but I’m not used to riding in bunches/holding a wheel as I don’t club ride. Probably futile/too dangerous for me/others?

    Premier Icon Haze
    Subscriber

    You’ll definitely want/need some experience of bunch riding.

    Premier Icon Haze
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    Got my 3rd Cat today, very happy 🙂

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Well done Haze. A good day for me too, finish the race in the bunch about mid pack, possibly in the top 3rd, a landmark in what is my 8th crit.

    I felt good, kept seeing and moving into gaps, allowed myself to drop back for a rest 3/4 of the way through knowing how/where I could come back up. I felt strong at the end and anticipated a fast final lap but it didn’t happen, tactically I should have moved further up with 3 or 2 to go rather than saving energy for the surge that never happened, but was able to push hard in the final 1/4 to make up some places.

    Happy days!

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