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Bikefag Training Tips

February 9, 2010

Well, it’s February now and for a competitive category 4 road racer like myself that can mean only one thing:


Here are some tips to ensure that you get the most out of this important time of year:

#1: Don’t ever “ride.”

“Riding” is for hippies, children, and rappers.  I’m a totally serious-ass racer and I don’t have time to waste on that kind of bullshit.

I don’t “ride,” I “train.”

With this distinction as my guide, I can maximize my time on the bike.  Rather than sitting around coasting and enjoying the scenery, I prefer to tailor a ride to my needs that day.  On Tuesdays, for instance, I do repeats of a hill at the edge of my town for four hours at 87% maximum intensity and tuck down the hill, then sprint to a sign at the bottom.  This way, I have an appropriate fifteen-minute warmup before my workout, but I don’t have to include any “junk miles” in my workout.

On Wednesday, I drive my Cadillac Escalade Hybrid past the hill I do repeats on, then past all the other hills, to a sloping road circuit twenty miles away where I do two-minute/300 watts legspeed intervals for two hours (it should go without saying, but you MUST buy a powermeter if you don’t already have one).

Thursday, I go to the gym for plyometrics and  weight-lifting (stop in March).

Friday I ride an easy “opener.”  I have a great “opener loop” north of town where I ride around a 5k circuit of inhospitable farmland with slightly-sloping roads for 1.5 hours at a steady 150 watts.

Saturday, of course, is my local group ride, where I go talk about my wattage and my training for forty minutes while the pace winds up, then get dropped off the back at the first climb.

Sunday I ride the local group “recovery ride,” where I complain about the tactics used at yesterday’s group ride, complain about the slow pace of the recovery ride, and complain about “sketchy riders” who don’t ride in a peloton correctly.

Monday I either take off or go for an “easy-paced” long ride.  I usually ride my “opener loop” for five hours (or 37 laps) on these days.

As you can see, my training schedule is pretty full and I couldn’t possibly take time out of it to ride “junk miles” such as mountain biking, cyclocross, long climbs, or “fun” rides.

#2: Racing is about winning, not fun.

The point of racing is to compete against and vanquish your opponents, not to ride “with” them or to “better” yourself.  That’s why I train so hard, and why I race in the fours.

If you’re not winning, you should probably find a different sport, loser.

Also, is there anything more annoying than when your bitter rivals start trying to talk to you at the start line?!  What a bunch of douchebags!  I’m here to bury you in the ground, motherfucker, I don’t want to be friends!

#3: Eating

Eating is just as important a part of your training as riding (err, i mean training).  What I’m trying to say is that I take my eating plan very seriously.  I’ve been working on a lot of “base eating” this winter; long, easy meals with a lot of carbs and vegatables, but I’m ramping up for some more serious efforts.  My roommate Gary and I have been doing some more intense “eatervals” lately, intense efforts at 2-300kcal/min, generally consuming blended lean meats and fish with avocados, pasta, veggies, and nuts.  You do five or six of these eatervals for dinner four days a week and I guarantee you’ll have legs as big as Gary very soon (far left).

Just as important as what you do eat is what you don’t eat: no bacon, beer, hamburgers, cheese, white bread, water, coffee, non-organic berries, saturated fat, dark meat, carp, or non-chocolate milk ever again.

When in doubt, I subsist entirely on Gu and wild game.

#4 Proper Racer Etiquitte

Observing proper racing etiquitte during the winter months is absolutely essential.

Always observe the rules of the pack while in group rides.  Never talk to anyone you don’t know.  Never smile while in a peloton.  Always stay near the front.  Never pull.

Just as essential to racer etiquitte is proper racer dress.  Shoes must be white, with white shoe covers in the winter months to protect the white shoes.  White shoe cover-covers may be necessary when roads are wet, but under no circumstances should a racer ever get winter shoes or ride with mountain bike shoes or pedals at any time of year.

It is essential to shave your legs in the winter.  This signals to the other racers that you understand the rules.

So does riding with carbon tubulars in February.

So does riding in matching kit.

Neon winter cycling gear is understood to be for recreational cyclists and must never be worn by racers.

Under no circumstances may one ever wear any kind of backpack-type device, especially a Camelback.  There is no circumstance, no matter how cold, no matter how many miles, no matter what, that a Camelback or similar device may be worn – ever!

#5 Life isn’t All Racing

Life isn’t just racing, training, and eating.  It’s essential that we put in heavy rest intervals or “recreatervals.”  As difficult as it is, I find it necessary to dig deep and put in these psychologically-straining recreational efforts to avoid burnout.

I usually like to do two hours at a time of sitting on my couch at 45bpm heart rate, with a couple of 70bpm intervals of checking my Facebook to update my status with every single mundane detail of my racing life that I can think of.  During the racing season I’ll add a few “excuserval” efforts of updating my blog with race reports of why I lost or updating my Facebook profile about how I’m sick or injured.

Sometimes, I like to just kick back and do some relaxervals at the movies, or have a single drink once a month with my friends and enjoy some conversatervals about people who don’t pull through or about sandbaggers.

With these training tips, I’m sure to get my Cat. 3 upgrade this season.  I’ll update with some excuses about why I didn’t win later.

For now, though, I’d like to thank my sponsors:

14 Comments leave one →
  1. c-murder permalink
    February 9, 2010 11:48 pm

    At least I’m number 1 here, instead of number 33 at Boulevard, or number DNF the next day at Red Trolley.

    You see, while the rest of you suckers in places that aren’t Southern California are “training”, we here in the wild wild west are “racing”. At least I think that’s what it’s called when you wake up really early on the weekend to drive an hour to pay thirty bucks to ride with a bunch of jerks in the cold rain.

    I’d have done a lot better if it wasn’t for all of those sandbaggers.

  2. nooneline permalink
    February 10, 2010 1:00 am

    jesus this is funny. while i’m pretty sure no one person exists who’s an amalgamation of all of the absurdity that’s out there (pretty sure, or at least, damn, i hope so), it’s still funny.

    funny like watching two guys, both with pristine deep Zipp wheelsets, work together flawlessly … off the back of the cat 4 field at a major crit last spring.

    kudos on this post, bikefag.

    • bikefag permalink*
      February 11, 2010 9:07 am

      Thank you, nooneonline. I hope that these tips help you well this racing season. By the way, nooneonline, are you tired of being tired?

  3. Helen permalink
    February 10, 2010 1:56 am

    Haha, killen ’em, bro! Let’s have some conversatervals later on. I’ll tell you about my favorite Gu and boar recipe.

  4. February 10, 2010 2:19 pm

    It took too long to bring up your escalade. Once it was finally mentioned, I became thoroughly engaged. Had you not mentioned your escalade… Well… I may not have finished reading the post. My contribution to the escalade scene: ecospinners. When they’re spinning, they’re charging your hybrid escalade fuel cell (you got the hybrid, right?!). They come in gold. Don’t worry. I think I’m gonna convince big pun to drop some ecospinner science in his next “rap.”

  5. February 12, 2010 1:56 am

    Fuck. No beer? No burgers? Then why am I racing when I’m the motherfucker getting my ass kicked all the time?

    “I’d have done a lot better if it wasn’t for all of those sandbaggers.” – cmurder

    Yeah. THAT must be my problem.

    Hilarious post.

  6. February 12, 2010 3:45 am

    So, what day do you have set aside for contemplating which components you need to upgrade on your Tarmac SL3 to get it to proper race weight?

    @c-murder – Blog comment of the week right there. I think you can apply for your blog commenting categorical upgrade now.

    • bikefag permalink*
      February 12, 2010 4:42 am

      I think C-Murder is already at risk of being a sandbagger by even commenting here, personally. But if he gets an upgrade, he’ll have to move up to Fatcyclist for sure. Better to just stay in the Bush Leagues, I say.

  7. ervgopwr permalink
    February 13, 2010 12:04 am

    I’ve known the C-murder pretty well…he’s a decent dude, been riding bikes for a long time…

    He certainly won’t be upgrading any time soon…let’s just say that when there’s a mustache race, he doesn’t win the race, but certainly wins the mustache part-ay (if you know what I mean) HEY-OH!!

  8. February 19, 2010 3:06 pm


    This is all good, but I do recommend you supplement in certain areas of your training.

    It is nice to see the insightful “balanced training scheme” you have brought to the attention of all of your fellow competitors reading in blogland, and most likely you will remain faster than them because they will be completely skeptical of your well thought out plan.

    If I were a dapper cat 4 racer like yourself, I would not stop here thought. Consider getting into yoga. Yogervals (not to be confused with yogurtvals- which are very important, especially for females at least 1.45 x month) can provide you that uncanny edge most of your competitors will not be capable of understanding. By expanding your mind, as well as lubricating all of the bodies joints, muscles, tendons AND internal organs via a considerable yoga practice, you will be ready for anything. I would not limit this to “rest” days, as I would consider the practice of yoga a direct way to go above and beyond the competition while not threatening your average training load induced by bicycle workouts.

    • bikefag permalink*
      February 19, 2010 7:57 pm

      Thanks for the tips, Beautywild. As you know, you can never train too hard or too long.
      I always thought that yogervals AND yogurtvals were for women only, but I stand corrected. Finally, my edge! Look out, Category 3!

      • bikefag permalink*
        February 19, 2010 8:02 pm

        By the way, Beautywild, at what point in the preseason do you recommend that I ramp up the intensity of my yogervals to race-pace? I started doing some base-stretching this morning, but as it’s already late February, I felt the need to do some hard yogerval efforts, 2 min hard, four easy with a couple of thrusterval “sprints.” I think I might have pulled my groin but I’m planning to “spin it out” on my opener ride tomorrow. I’ll just do a few extra laps on my opener course. Meet me up there for four hours of 5k winderval riding in the snow if you’re interested!


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