Training races outside or TR sessions?

Hi All,

Was thinking about this for a while and can’t come to a conclusion, which is of more benefit. This month local clubs started training races midweek (Tues and Thurs), they are similar to usual races, except that they are shorter, perhaps 1h+ long (get longer every week). The body of the race is chasing other groups, so everyone works together and finishes are individual. When looking at power and HR data, I don’t see numbers I would normally see while doing a TR session, yet I feel, that these training races make me more race ready, I feel fitter for some reason, also a lot sharper with tactics and final sprints. While races are not long, after finishing them, I go for a steady spin ending up with a good distance and time on the bike that day.

I don’t want to start going backwards in training, therefore would like to hear what people think having the following:
Mon - easy recovery ride, TR or outside
Tue - training race
Wed - easy/mid intensity TR or outside
Thur - training race
Fri - recovery ride TR or outside
Sat - off
Sun - race day

Many thanks

You answered your own question.

Ride and race outdoors when time, weather, and events permit, the trainer will always be there otherwise.

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I am with you on this. Whilst I do TTs I feel that doing B and C races where I am in the outside world handling wind and lumps etc. Helps prepare me for the various courses I will hit. I do a bit on the track and there is no substitute for getting used to that close riding and chasing a wheel or an attack. Must be even more important for road racing.

I do keep reading about people or seeing advice, that says - train inside, then do a big race. Frankly I don’t know how they can do that.

However there is a limit. I feel I am missing some of the structure of TR sessions racing too often in a week. of course there is a periodisation piece here…

Thanks for stepping in. That was indeed what I was trying to ask. Many say and agree that racing is not training, or it is not as effective… therefore I was wondering, in the long term, substituting TR sessions with evening races only, will this have negative physical impact. There is a lot of mental benefit racing outside, the unknown factor every minute, like barely hanging on the wheel, or attacking despite burning lungs and legs, yet in TR session it is all laid out, only need to get through intervals, same power, same cadence. I think Sufferfest had a good bit of this type of unexpected variation, if you recall those videos - stand up, wind it up, sit, grind, don’t let them away, etc…

So the answer is probably somewhere in between.

If you read any of the Sky history or a biography of Bradley Wiggins, there are loads of examples where he says that turning up for a race, which was not an A race, and sitting in the group for 5-6 hours was a complete waste of training time. Just the wrong intensity and effort. He would be much better doing a structured ride on his own and would frequently do that, rather than racing. The old school was very much “race to get fit”. Sky and others (US Postal) started training for specific races and only doing those. There is one race example where Brad attacks every 15 mins ride off the front, stays there for 5 mins and drifts back into the group. Then eventually, after a slightly longer wait he does the same - this time for real… and pulls away.

You are talking about race training, where you specifically practice stuff you need in your races. That is different to simply doing 3 races a week (unless you adopt a specific - in this race i am going to practice this tactic). I am also trying to find that balance. I use my local evening 10s as a benchmark to see where I am, for testing kit and for deliberately pushing hard to see if I can hold the pace and recover, or blow up. But they are not 50 and 100m TTs.

I don’t know about sufferfest, but you could easily add that sort of thing to a TR session - just drop into resistance mode do the attack, or whatever, and then settle back into erg mode. Don’t fancy it myself though :frowning:

Glad that helped.