This is the third post in a new series where Chad answers training questions. This question came in through email@example.com
I intend to start Sunday morning club (road) racing but I was wondering
what would be the best way to integrate a Sunday race into the Early
Base:Foundation, form & Base plan etc.? Should I just hold off with the
racing until I have completed the first 3-4 training plans?
Any guidance/advice would be greatly appreciated.
Training races have a place in the weekly training routine all year long. Your level of fitness will dictate how active a presence you can be, just how aggressively you race, but group rides and training races are the best place to learn the dynamics of group riding, they’re good measures of fitness, and they’re very often hard, challenging workouts that serve as excellent reminders of how challenging racing can be.
They’re also especially important for riders who train largely indoors for a number of reasons. Not only do they help you become comfortable with group riding, but they’ll teach you how to ride conservatively/smartly when your early-season fitness means you have to ride intelligently or get tailed off the group.
So as you make your way through Early Base, use these training races to hold closer and closer wheels, turn (smoothly and sometimes harshly) in a group or fast paceline, respond to the inevitable surges and mistakes of others – stay relaxed, always – and on the days when you’re feeling great, maybe take some pulls at the front and then smoothly reintegrate into the field.
Good luck, and have some fun!