I am racing crit races in the UK. The course are generally on tracks with at least 2 tight hairpins. Therefore power peaks to 1000w plus or 309-400% ftp our the corners. The criterium plan doesn’t really seem to replicate this race profile. What workouts have people done to train for these type of events?
Some of the training for these kind of races just can’t be done on a trainer. Often bike handling will beat power in these short races. If you can carry the speed through the corner you won’t need such massive efforts.
Disclaimer - I am rubbish at crits😂
Find a 5-6 minute loop with a hill that takes one minute full gas. SPRINT at the bottom of the hill for 10-15 seconds, then get back in the saddle and hold as much power as you can until you crest the hill. Then pedal easy - really easy - until you get to the bottom of the hill again.
Do that 8 times or until your power starts dropping significantly.
Two types of workouts that will assist in this type of event;
- on trainer; Ansel Adams Log In to TrainerRoad or something like Spanish Needle
- outside; high gear stomps for max power
A workout like Ansel Adams is 50 on, 40 off, and will build the repeat ability capacity required to race a 60-75min crit that has repeated high power outputs, with coasting and braking into tight turns. While it looks anaerobic the repeated nature makes it very aerobic after a while.
The outdoor stuff helps you build the maximal power to assist you getting on the power hard out of the turn, especially from low speed (if you are mid-pack the accordion will amplify this).
Being able to hit the 1000W probably isn’t the key target here and doing 1000W+ on the trainer probably isn’t going to be prescribed by TR - as it requires relatively good technique to pull off on a trainer without risk of hurting yourself or breaking something…
I would say that for crits, recovering from hard efforts when you’re already working hard is probably the focus required. Something like Guard or Xalibu would be good places to start as they sit you within the threshold range, then continually push you above it - forcing your body to clear the stress while still working hard.
Workouts like Olancha could also be good if you are simply chasing repeatability of a harder effort. Again, the lower peaks but very small amount of recovery time between peaks still simulates the recovery effort required.
For practise hitting the actual high power required in the races, i’d suggest this is still best done out on the road. If you can practise your sprint and get your peak power well above 1000W (so that 1000W becomes relatively easy) and you have good ‘recovery while still working hard’, this should give you the desired outcome.
Note: Two hairpin type ‘Hotdog’ courses are nasty and they are simply going to hurt. Reducing your bodyweight (if possible) will help with them as you have less mass to accellerate from slow speed.
Thanks for the replies. Like the look of some of the workouts to sub into the plan.
With regards to high power work outside should I be doing that in the speciality stage? If I’m racing once a week plus putting an outside maximal power session I’m starting to run out of time in the week
I think so. Improving peak power doesn’t take long to build, but also doesn’t stay around for long if you don’t keep using it.
Doing some sprint work in the specilaty phase should enable you to hit the numbers required for racing. Once you are racing weekly, you will probably be able to maintain your peak numbers just through race efforts alone.
Where do you race and which category?
I did the crit specialty and it fulfilled 90% of my needs. What I found lacking was the endurance aspect. 5-6 minutes of sustained power efforts, kind of like replicating the work in a breakaway group.
There are a few great crit simulation workouts based on different courses and types of racing style. I like Shark Tooth and Nevada City Classic.