Put some Training in your Training Races

The start of the season is approaching and the early spring training race series are about to begin. Many riders see these inexpensive crits and road races as the start of the racing season and they approach the training races the same as they would any other event in the calendar. This is fine to a point, but ideally, training races should act as an extension of your normal training program to help prepare you for the big events in the heart of you racing year.

BJ's Bike Fit Promotion

Bike Fit is important, and now is probably the best time to have it done, if you haven't ever. If you have to make adjustments, you ought to follow them with a period of low intensity riding, which a lot of you are probably doing right now anyway. Plus, you may also be looking at longer-than-average rides, either on the road or on the trainer. A poor fit could make those long slow slogs in the basement even more uncomfortable.

10 Simple Things to Remember when Racing as a Team

This article was first published in 2008

This past weekend, I was working with a team of riders who where preparing for an important local race. As I was writing a pep-talk e-mail, I decided to remind them of all the things that we have been learning the hard way, that we all really already knew but were not putting into practice.

What you gonna do when it starts to hurt?

In every race I have ever done, there comes a point where I get this big surprise when I realize how uncomfortable racing my bike can be. Having to push hard and ride at the pace set by the pack can be painful.  The funny thing is that after over 25 years of racing, I am still surprised when it starts to hurt. Mentally I think that my brain keeps me from quitting the sport by hiding the painful stuff so that I will go back out next week and have another go.

Crit Racing Tips 102 (Beyond the Basics)

Article published in 2017.

I wanted to write an article about Criterium racing, and give some tips, but looking around, most of the tips like “get in a good warmup,” “line up early,” “stay up front,” etc. have pretty much been covered. So I thought about the advice I give my riders beyond the basics.

Tour of Washington County Stage Race

The Smithsburg RR course is an exciting circuit with plenty of ups and downs all the way around. For the climbers, this is an opportunity to put the hurt on the rest of the field. For non climbers, conserve everything you can when the going might seem easy so that you have a full tank when the road goes up.

Play in the Dirt to Make Cold Weather Fun and Productive

I was out riding around my usual farm roads a few weeks back. My hands and face were freezing as usual and I was temped to slow down to reduce the wind chill a bit. But slowing down would mean dropping my power since the roads are pretty flat and fast. So I was thinking how can I maintain my power and intensity while bringing the speed down to a point where the wind was not as big of a factor in making me cold. One way is to find roads that point up. Speed goes down and power goes up, but eventually I would have to come back down.
 

Six and a half hours at Philly

Tom Soladay and the rest of the Mountain Khakis team lined up in Philly for the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championships this past weekend.  One of Tom’s major goals for the season was to be in a position to be able to go for a high placing in this landmark US event.

BikeJam / Kelly Cup

Big race for the DC Baltimore area. Pro teams are here for the NRC points and everyone else is there for the festival and fast fast racing.

Tom Soladay at Beaufort - a Winning Attack

Former MABRA RR champ and Team MT Khakis Pro Tom Soladay put in a couple of winning attacks this week to win his first and second races as a professional in quick succession at the Historic Roswell Criterium and the Beaufort Memorial Criterium, both part of the USA Crits Speed Week. Tom trains and races with a power meter so we can learn a lot from what happens in a race that can help to direct his training.

I was looking at Tom’s power file from the Beaufort Crit, specifically at the last 3 laps and I saw some very interesting stuff.

Carl Dolan Memorial Circuit Race

The Carl Dolan Circuit Race at the Columbia Gateway Center has been going on so long it's become a MABRA classic. We originally raced the other direction on this course, but only for one year and the race was called something else back then.

Tyson's Corner Circuit Race

It may sound like a broken record, but the warm up for this race is super important. With an uphill start leading into a fast descent before tackling the climb of the finishing stretch, if you are not warm and ready to rock from the gun the gaps will open.

Putting some Training in your Training Races

The start of the season is approaching and the early spring training race series are about to begin. Many riders see these inexpensive crits and road races as the start of the racing season and they approach the training races the same as they would any other event in the calendar. This is fine to a point, but ideally, training races should act as an extension of your normal training program to help prepare you for the big events in the heart of you racing year.

Training Camps: Camping out in the back yard

If budget or schedules don’t allow you to hold a camp at some great location like the Lost River Barn, or head out of town to a packaged camp in the mountains of Virginia or the sweet early season temps of southern California, you can effectively hold a camp without leaving home. This applies to teams or individuals. An effective camp is all about getting in specific training with dedicated time for recovery and rest. Nowhere does it say that you have to sleep in a strange bed to make it a camp.

Training Camps: Prepackaged vs DIY

Prepackaged Camps If you are going to attend a prepackaged training camp and you know when you can go and how much you want to spend, then it's just a matter of shopping around for the camp that best suite your needs and personality. Choosing a camp in an exotic location may meet some of your requirements, but may be too expensive. A camp that may be much closer but meets all of your training needs may be a better way to spend your money and time. It is really up to you. It does not make sense to spend your hard earned time and money and come away from a camp feeling like you learned nothing and did not really get much in the way of training or support.

Training Camps: Have a goal and a plan

The trick to holding an affective training camp or choosing from the many prepackaged camps is to first have a goal for what you or your team wants to accomplish. That goal may be tons of flat steady miles, or hours of climbing or dozens of team work drills. Or it may be to learn all there is about training with power or some other training methodology.  If you have a goal for your camp it will be easier to decide where and when to attend or hold your camp and what how much this camp experience might cost. 

Training Camps: Store bought or home made?

There are lots of ways of doing a training camp. A camp can be as short as a long weekend or as long as a couple of weeks. You can also have a camp that is totally self service or a camp that provides all the services you might need like housing, food, mechanical support and more. 

Training Camps: Not just for pros and big teams

Why not get your racing season off to a flying start with an individual or team training camp? A week or even a long weekend of dedicated training time can take your fitness to that next level and help your team form the cohesive bonds that can make a big difference in any kind of race.

Giro di Coppi Road Race

Delayed but not forgotten. The Giro road race is a great and selective course. There are enough tough rollers and hard little pitches to ensure a deserving winner.

The thing about bike racing is that the strongest and fastest riders are not always the ones that win the races and on this course, the deserving winner will be the rider who is not only strong enough to get up the climbs, but also smart enough to save their energy until it counts.

Church Creek Time Trial

Almost every coach will agree that we learn more from mistakes and failures than we do from success and winning. One event that this is the most true is the individual time trial and the best way to really look at a time trial effort is to study and dissect the power file. Many riders will not look at their power meter displays when racing, but will ride with that little extra weight for no other reason that to look back at what happened and hopefully learn from their mistakes.