Reader Questions

Howdy folks.  Sorry for the slow week on the blog.  It’s been one of the rare times I’ve had writer’s block.  Usually the posts come pretty freely and there is something on my mind I’ve been meaning to cover.  Please help me out of my rut and submit questions and/or topics in the comments!  Thanks again for reading and contributing.

About Russell

I have been racing bicycles for a decade. This blog will chronicle my efforts as a Category 1 road racer lining up with the pros.
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13 Responses to Reader Questions

  1. Ivan says:

    Hey Russell I discovered your Blog recently and I’ve enjoyed reading your articles. I’ve been riding for about six years I ride mostly solo which I think it has made me stronger. I never had a training plan but I want to start racing and I recently started doing intervals and I have noticed a difference. I train with heart rate. My question is and I know everyone’s got a different opinion. What would be a good goal to set for next year hoping I dont get dropped and finish in the pack. Maybe solo speed etc.

  2. Sean says:

    You can’t go wrong with all things cyclocross: equipment (gearing, brake set-up, tire selection, pressure, sealant, gluing tires (Belgian tape or not, ever rolled a tire?), etc.), training (fitness, skills, etc), tactics, details about the cross scene in Boulder/CO. I know there is a lot of information already on the web and you probably don’t want to be redundant, but different regions have their particularities and everyone has a different perspective/experience to share. That should hold you over until you can post race re-caps. ‘Tis the season…

    • Jeff says:

      I would 2nd the suggestion of CX-related posts. I’d be interested in hearing how or what you felt has helped your improvement the most. Was it increased power (if so, do you attribute it to increased ftp, 5m power, 1m power, repeatability of <1m power efforts, …)? Improved bike handling (if so, did you focus on it, or just go out and ride singletrack, which in turn helped handling, …)? Accumulated years of CX race experience? Maybe road race experience has helped? Maybe it's all of the above..

      As always, great blog! And given your results from last year (at least up to the crash at USGP), and with your power improvements this year, I'm expecting you'll have a very good CX season this year! Best of luck to you!

  3. rob says:

    I’ve been racing with a powermeter this season, and I’ve noticed something odd for most of my high priority races. For any race that I try to approach well rested for best results, I find that my legs don’t actually have the power that I would expect until day two of racing. Day two I end up doing well, but day one is a bust. How do you effectively/efficiently “open up” your legs before a race without overdoing and feeling tired on race day?

    • says:

      Everyone is a little different, but I’ve found that I can recover from most short term fatigue with two days off. Three days will usually leave me ‘race ready’, but any more and I’ll be a little flat on race day.

      If I’ve had more time off, I’ll do openers the day before the race. For me it doesn’t take much. This year before the State TT (season goal), when my training load had been low for a while, I went on an hour ride with two five minute intervals at 40k pace. I wouldn’t expect you need to ride more than an hour, and have work intervals totaling more than 10 minutes to get ready for the next day, and that won’t leave you fatigued.

  4. Erik says:

    Now the the road season is coming to an end in many parts of the country, how do you wrap up your season? Short break, weights, etc.? Any suggestions for carrying form into next year, etc.?

    • says:

      At the end of road season I took about 10 days off the bike before getting on my cyclocross bike. Some people can take a lot of time off the bike (a couple months without focused training), but I’ve tried that before and it doesn’t work for me, although I didn’t do much cross training, either.

      I think taking a lot of time off is only good if you are dedicated to serious cross training. Some ideas for cold weather areas include backcountry skiing, XC ski racing, and even biathlon.

      Personally I only take about 2-3 weeks of before starting road training again in January. This year I’m planning on introducing weight training for the first time.

  5. Matti Rowe says:

    Your blogged is called the Road to Cat 1. Okay, you’re a CAT 1. Now what? What do you aspire to?

  6. Bill says:

    Part of your effort to go from Cat4 –> Cat1 included getting your weight down. How easy / difficult has it been to keep your weight within your target both during the season & during the off-season breaks between road & CX? What do you find has worked well / not well?

  7. Daniel says:

    I am not sure if you have covered this or if you have experienced this. Recently I was hit by a car by the time I get back on the trainer it will be about 1 month since I got hit (so 1 month of nothing more then walking), by the time I get back on the road it will be closer to 3months since the injury. So what I would like to hear about is how you come back from time off. I missed my main goals but reassessed to some races that will be about 4 months post crash, so how can I come back stronger then ever. When you get back on the trainer do you hit it hard from day 1? What sort of things do you do on the trainer? Any cross training to get the hours up while not on the road?

    • says:

      Yes, this has happened to me. It’s now been about a year since I broke my collarbone and spent a while off the bike. I’ll post a one-year followup soon.

  8. says:

    Thanks everyone for the ideas. I’ll probably be writing up a post early this afternoon.

    For those of you who left a question, I’ve answered above. For the more detailed topics, expect a post in the next month or so.

    Thanks again.

  9. Ryan says:

    You should do a series on your first year weight lifting and how it affects you. I started weights last year and I had a HUGE increase in 5 second and 1 minute power that stayed around up until I stopped because I thought it was giving me too much fatigue (which was a mistake). It would be nice to hear how another racer is able to handle it.

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