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  1. #1
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    What worked for you and what didn't in 2009?

    I guess many of us are either planning 2010 now or have already started base training. So, looking back on the season just gone, what worked for you in terms of improvement and what is holding you back? For me, I can sum it up as:

    Technical ability- I feel I could be loosing as much as 30 secs in a 20min lap to the top technical riders. If I'm to podium next season, I need most of those 30 seconds back, along with fitness gains.

    High end workouts- Everything above Vo2max I cut out last season. Those workouts always seemed to take too much out of me, for little gain. Any high end work I got from unplanned fartlek- seemed to work just fine in 2009; I never felt lacking at the high end when racing.

    So how about you? What revelations did you uncover this year?

  2. #2
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    Working out worked for me. Getting to races did not. I made the podium on my last of 2 races.

    Two seasons my low back and hips have been tight. I changed my riding posture and it helped a lot. I learned to specifically engage my core (this is different than tight abs) and that has help my low back. A lot of stretching in my hips and some deep tissue massage has also help with hips. I'm working on core strength right now to hopefully be more ready for when I start base.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  3. #3
    AZ
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    I didnt do enough work on core strength needed more base training . Working on core and all around strength now .

  4. #4
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    Last season I loged in lots of junk miles and almost zero intervals. I was getting harassed by guys who I could easily beat in 2008.
    I set myself up and trained correctly for a month, and did awesome in what would be my last important race of the season. I now know how to handle 2010.

  5. #5
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    I'm still pretty new to the racing game, '09 was my 4th yr racing, 2nd as Cat 1. It's was also the 1st time I tried a periodized plan throughout the year. I did 3 months of base work, gradually increasing both volume and intensity. I followed that up with 3 months of build, gradually decreasing volume and increasing intensity. During the build phase I also introduced a few specific drills to address weaknesses other than standard intervals.

    I practiced starts by going a hard a I could for a 1/4 mile and then hitting a hill and maintaining LT for 5-10 min, working up from 2 to 5 repeats. These worked well as I was much more able to hang with the leaders at the start of most races.

    I also performed burst intervals were you ride at steady state for 10 min, but do all out 20 sec. sprints every 2 min. You gradually work up from tempo for the steady state to, sweet spot, and then LT. These really helped my ability to respond to attacks and even throw down a few of my own.

    I also tried a couple of peaks for the 1st time were I reduced volume over 2 wks and did a lot of VO2 max type intervals, as hard as you can go for 2 to 3 min. On the three courses that had the same layout as the previous year, my times improved by and avg of 12 min.

    This year Iím moving to the 50+ age group so most of my races will be under 1.5 hrs or 30 min less than last year. I plan to do most of the same things I did last year, except I won't be going for quite as much volume during base. I'll start incorporating tempo, sweet spot, and force workout sooner.

  6. #6
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    I only raced in one race this year, my first race ever so I don't what does work, but I do know that staying out drinking late with friends on Beale Street the night before does not work, even if the race isn't until noon. Finished something like 8 of 9. I'll try something different this year.
    If you ever see a turtle on a telephone pole, remember he had help getting there. Is there anything beer can't do?

  7. #7
    LMN
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    The good:

    1. Improved my pacing ability. Rode the first half of climbs easier and increased my effort for the last climb.

    2. Technical. Always been a strength of mine, but I always work really hard on it.



    The bad:

    1. Didn't do enough group rides, relied too much on structure. The group rides here are stupidly fast and way harder then any interval set I inflict on myself. Next year need to do them regularly and fight for the "win"


    2. Nutrition. I still struggle with getting my nutrition right for racing. I have hard time have consistent energy through a race.

  8. #8
    Lusus Naturae
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    What didn't work: Smoking(not cigs), being lazy and not having any motivation during races? Riding way too few times. Missing beginner race times and trying to race sport.

    What worked? Well, heh, I think some of the pre-rides helped me out. Knowing the course and where I could ride hard and where to recover.

  9. #9
    CB2
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    What worked: Fast starts and gear choice. Once I realized I had a fast start, the season really turned around for me.

    What didn't: Gear choice, descending. A couple of flatter races I was under geared. I suck at descending, with or with out suspension.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henchman
    So, looking back on the season just gone, what worked for you in terms of improvement and what is holding you back?
    What worked? I got in a lot of saddle time. More than ever before. I entered lots of races.

    What is holding me back? Riding is not the same as training.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    The good:


    1. Didn't do enough group rides, relied too much on structure. The group rides here are stupidly fast and way harder then any interval set I inflict on myself. Next year need to do them regularly and fight for the "win"
    .
    interesting observation......i have wrestled with this issue alot.....the most potent stimulus is prob time spent at or above critical power.....often a 2.5 hour hilly ride will have just as much time at critical power as a specific 4on2off min interval times 5 sets ?? but despite what we think we know about training stimulus and response, there is something about suffering your ass of in a fast group ride that makes you faster......

    basically its really pretty simple, whatever you do more of, you get better at.....lots of training at tempo, you get good at riding tempo.....lots at critical power you get better at that speed...lots of time above lactate threshold you become able to tolerate that better..

    power def enhances the quality of structured training, actually where seems absolutely most helpful is riding a trainer, on a fast group ride probably useless during the group ride, but could help some in post ride evaluation.....

    good stuff though, this forum will do more to make you faster than any other forum on mtbr.....lightweight wheels and parts are nice, but can't makeup for suboptimal training

  12. #12
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    The good:
    -some new equipment choices this year: 2x9 drivetrain (29/42 x 12-34), the new RockShox SID, Conti RaceKing 2.2 world cup tires
    -technical abilities generally good

    The bad:
    -couldn't keep up with consistent training as per my plan, and it showed in my fitness. I trained consistently the year before and was clearly less fit this year

    The ugly:
    -my Excel training plan / diary entries pretty much ceased to exist from August onward, hence cyclocross season was more like sport-level rather than elite.

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