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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:56 am 
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Hi guys. I'm looking at competing in (read: simply trying to finish) the Melbourne to Warrnambool this year - possibly with another WW or with my local club. Just quickly it's 261km, making it the one of the longest one day races in the world and is also the second oldest bike race in the world (behind my favourite Liege-Bastogne-Liege).

Now I know broad questions like this normally generate a general set of replies, which is great as I'm not expecting someone to have a magic solution. Rather all I'm after is advice on what training I should be looking at in order to prepare for this?

I have 2 months still before the race. My daily time allowances are that I have weekends free but racing normally on a Saturday. I also have Thursday's off. Otherwise am limited to maybe 1.5hr in the morning or 2hrs (max) on the other mid-week days, with allowances to be made for the better half going to the gym (normally any combination of Monday, Wednesday or Friday mornings).


It's always a very strong field, simply finishing the event would be a major success for me. Any help would be :thumbup:


(I'm also not against the idea of a coach, before that's mentioned. But did just want to gather some advice from you guys first)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:15 am 
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Haha, good luck. I've attempted it once and promised myself I'd never do it again. I pulled out after about 200km (and missing the second feed station). I was in the lead group of about 60 and bonked so hard I literally couldn't turn the pedals over and had to sit on the side of the road until my support car picked me up!! This was a few years ago when it was about 300km, it's 'only' about 260 now!!

If you want to have a look at typical training for guys that are local domestic a grade riders I've attached several links below summarising how they approached it. A few difference between the riders, but all include long hours on the bike. My advice would be to set yourself for next year over a big winter prep, it's kinda late now to start preping for this race. It's nothing like anything else.

http://www.carnegiecycling.com.au/?c=Fe ... 0&nid=1069
http://www.carnegiecycling.com.au/?c=Fe ... 0&nid=1081
http://www.carnegiecycling.com.au/?c=Fe ... 0&nid=1082
http://www.carnegiecycling.com.au/?c=Fe ... 0&nid=1098
http://www.carnegiecycling.com.au/?c=Fe ... 0&nid=1108
http://www.carnegiecycling.com.au/?c=Fe ... 0&nid=1115


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Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:15 am 


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:03 pm 
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The race to finish is not such a huge task as long as you keep within your limits and eat and drink enough throughout the day. Once the big boys decide to throw down, for want of a better word, "groupetto" forms and includes a significant number of riders who are there for the same reason you are, to finish, and the pace and agressiveness of the peloton slows down to one where the only thing that will force you to stop will be boredom ;)

Here is some basic advice that can be both mental and physical conditioning: if you think the race will take you 7 hours, make sure you have at least 2 or 3 rides under your belt of that length of time prior to the event (at least 6hrs). It doesn't need to be at race pace, you don't need to cover the race distance in this time, but it helps to know that you can hack that amount of time in the saddle. Maybe not in the first few weeks of your training but once a week in the final 3 weeks of your build will help a lot. It is a bit of old school thinking/training but for someone looking to finish the event more than winning it, it works.

If you were in Melbourne, there are plenty of groups that go and do Sorrento/Portsea return which is around 6hrs and 180-200km for the day which are good to join in (I am pretty sure among others there is a crew from CCCC who do it each weekend leading up to it).

I will be racing it, happy to go into some more detail later if you want.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:12 pm 
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Hey Tinea, nice challenge you got there!

with your available time, i'd try to build a solid base for the next 2 months. 1.5-2 hours is perfect to work at L3-L4 intensities. Think of sweet spot training like an hour tempo, 2 x 20 min, stuff like that. If you can plug in a longer ride at L2 during the week, go ahead. Maybe you could try hitting L5 intensity 3-4 weeks before the race if you really need to work on hard acceleration/liner pace. But to me, survival in the bunch means plenty of L3-L4 work.

Did you finaly bought the SRM ?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:15 am 
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devinci wrote:
Did you finaly bought the SRM ?

Yo V! Nope, didn't end up getting it. Will have to wait until some funds recover. But can try and work out my L3, L4, etc with my heart rates. Already have a semi-idea of where they're at - and whilst they're not as good as power I guess it's better than nothing.

Maverick wrote:
I will be racing it, happy to go into some more detail later if you want.

That would be ace! :thumbup:

Specifically where and when those rides you mentioned take off - as I'm more than prepared to drive up to Melbourne and join in. Otherwise I have the whole coastline down my way at my disposal - although the weather this time of year makes it flukey on what you might get dished up.

Reports of motor pacing at 47-50km/h in the links that mvogt46 popped up initially had me a little dismayed. As I'm again finding myself in A grade for the road season, so don't think my base is s bad that 2 months of prep is not enough time to at least make it to the end.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:38 am 
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In other unrelated but still relevant news, I'll be having a Vo2 max test done tomorrow.

Should be interesting....

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:10 am 
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Good luck with the VO2 max test.

If you are not training with power in the leadup, then this test will be good to get your lactate levels at certain heart rates so you can train via heart rate quite effectively. Make sure to mention to them you are doing the Warrny and any advice to help build endurance levels as they will be able to interpret the results well to give you best results in limited time.

As far as when the rides leave - it would be pretty early start for you to drive from Geelong I would say. Generally they leave between 6 and 7 from Cafe Racer.

As I am currently overseas I don't know what is the current status but if I hear will let you know.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:15 pm 
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G'day mate.

I ridden and finished it 4 times and started about 6.

If you are racing on a Saturday, it might pay to start doing things like riding to / and or from the race to see how your body reacts to efforts after you have more kms in your legs. There is nothing better than getting yourself ready for a long race than actualy doing the time on the bike. I used to try and avoid stopping on long rides except if I had to top up on water or food at a bakery. Otherwise it becomes several individual rides on a day rather than one long session and I don't think your body adapts as well.

It's important to make sure you eat and drink enough, as Maverick said, it is easy to get caught up and forget about it till it's too late. I used to try and eat something small every 30 min or so just to keep trickle feeding the fire rather than trying to eat a whole powerbar ( or whatever ) every hour and a half as you usually will get a surge somewhere when you are eating and almost choke on it as you try to accelerate.

The frist hour and a half is usually the quickest as there are usually a pile of sprinters who enter with no intention of finishing but try to pick up the sprint primes in Altona etc. As it goes through the open fields going down to Lara in front of the You Yangs, it can really split up in the wind, it's important to be attentive to where you are in the bunch as often people lose the wheel in front of you and you will have to jump the gap or get caught in no mans land and have to wait for a slower bunch.

Once your bunch develops, get it going into a smooth rhythm and work together, there is no need to try and break the field up if you still have over 150 km to go. Lots of riders I saw would feel really strong up until the 200 km mark and work like trojans all the way and then completely detonate in the last 2 hours. You don't want to shirk your turns or people will start pushing you out into the wind but don't enthusuastically do heaps more work than anyone else otherwise you risk running out of legs in the finale.

Good luck and happy to give more help if I can.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:13 am 
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When is it TP?
I was also thinking about doing the Warny.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:22 am 
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It's on the 16th of October mate.

Thanks for the tips Mapei :beerchug: You mentioned sprinters going for the prime's, wasn't that part of the issue last year and how the break stayed away? The bunch let them roll off the front to go and slug it out, thinking they would catch them. Only for them being held off and missing out?
I'll see if I can hold on with the main bunch. Not sure who I'll be riding with, so might be called in to domestique duties....

And just need the weather to clear so I can get some really long and decent rides in.


Had the Vo2 max test yesterday, was pretty disappointing to be honest. Firstly I'm 78.3kgs, which was a little more than I was hoping for. Max wattage was 383 so w/kg was 4.9.
Increments went 225, 275, 300, 325, 350, 375, 400 and was feeling really good up through 375. Then 400 hit and the lactate came hard and fast :(

Final Vo2 max was 59.5 (iirc?) - so not even in the 60's. Which again was disappointing as I was hoping to do a little better and make it to the mid 60's. Not sure how realistic that hope may have been though.


Test was also part of a study, so there's certainly going to be a re-test and hopefully the next 2 months can help get me a little higher. Also used a Quarq for some testing after the Vo2 max (intervals no less! :lol: ) and man is it cool! I really see what riders mean when they say there's no hiding once power is involved - being stripped so bare (performance wise) was a little scary as well as being very interesting and (painfully) fun.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:41 am 
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Will be interesting to see the number of the next test, most people suggest Vo2max is genetic and can only be minimally trained.

Would be good to target this to determine if training it is possible in the real world.

Did you also get anerobic threshold data etc to use for training zones?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:21 am 
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No. But I could see the data on the screen as I was going along and my HR and other levels were still quite steady at 375w - going up to 400 was what blew me up.

So I'm thinking somehwhere around the mid 180's is threshold - incidentally that was about where I figured it to be before the test.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:50 pm 
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vo2max is trainable, its proven, I just dont remember the % of improvement over time, but it was quite small.

vo2max is not the only predictor of performance in cycling, otherwise, the same guy with the highes vo2max would always win. You need to consider anaerobic capacity, sustainable power, sprint performance, bunch skill, etc.

Whats HIGHLY trainable is your sustainable power at different intensities. Think about FTP power (1 hour) and shorter sustained effort arround 20-30 min. Endurance cycling is all about sustainable power IMO, you have plenty of room for improvement there!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:51 pm 
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Those test results are far better than my last test. I was gone at about 325W and had VO2max of 53.4.
That was over a year ago now so I am guessing my results might be a little better now. At least I'd hope they were......
Looks like I'll be missing the Warny this year. Can't see myself doing 261Km on the Warny then backing up on Sunday for 250Km on the ATB.

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Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:51 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Tinea Pedis wrote:

Thanks for the tips Mapei :beerchug: You mentioned sprinters going for the prime's, wasn't that part of the issue last year and how the break stayed away? The bunch let them roll off the front to go and slug it out, thinking they would catch them. Only for them being held off and missing out?
I'll see if I can hold on with the main bunch. Not sure who I'll be riding with, so might be called in to domestique duties....



Sprinter's try and get into the break every year to get the primes because it is good cash given how many there are, but that happen's every year and wasn't the reason the break stayed away.

I was in the break, and it stuck because the group was a strong one who quickly started working well together and put in a lot of time very quickly, and very early in the piece the group realised there was a chance of going all the way and kept working very hard all the way through (not even stopping for a pee break). Also, because most of the 'teams' were represented, it was down to a few teams like Fly V and Rapha, who whilst are obviously strong, only had 3-4 guys and they couldn't close the gap.

In respect of VO2 max, the absolute rate of oxygen your body consumes per minute is trainable but not significantly, as has been shown in many studies, however in the more common relative form (i.e. oxygen consumption per minute per kilogram) is trainable as far as lower body weight will yield a higher number, and is where you will see the largest gains.

As far as using the results for training pre-Warrny, I would suggest speaking to a coach for some basic advice from someone who has good experience reviewing this type of data and setting programs which will see you yield your biggest gains in the shortest time (unless of course this study has you doing a set program anyway...)


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