Race Day

This is a Cycling pattern from www.turnstep.com. (pattern 9889)

Race day is a format that will give your students the opportunity to test their limits, their ability to stay focused, and to find out if their training over the previous weeks has been effective. This is *not* an aerobics class on a bike. This particular format has a 10 minute warm-up, followed by 25 minutes of intense flat riding (at 85 - 92% MHR).

In a real race, the competitor who is able to push the biggest gear the fastest, consistently throughout the course -- will win. It's important to tell them to ride their *own* race however. Before doing race day, it's critical to be well trained, well rested, well fed, well hydrated and warmed-up. If any of those pieces are missing, ask them to modify their intensity down, riding at endurance heart rates instead. (70 - 75% MHR)

A heart-rate monitor & water bottle are required.

Once the warm-up is complete, remind them to stay relaxed in the saddle, upper body moving subtly, and breathing rhythmically. Focus on the task, and accept a certain amount of discomfort.

TASK: Keep the HR steady (85 - 92% MHR), cadence steady (100 - no more than 115 RPM), and continue to add small increments of resistance throughout the remaining 25 minutes. If they ever feel like they cannot maintain their intensity for the remainder of the ride, back the resistance off in small amounts until they find a doable pace. Then gradually add resistance back while focusing on breathing rhythmically.

Instead of riding your bike the entire class, get off and circulate unobtrusively -- checking heart-rate monitors, encouraging, coaching form, filling water bottles. It is even more important to observe your class and be available for assistance when riding at these intensities for this length of time. Watch for clenched hands, stiff arms, facial grimmaces and shrugging shoulders. Coach these type A's to relax their face & upper body -- working *into* their pace, instead of working *out*. Muscle tension is purely wasted heartbeats.

When you reach the end of the race, do a 1 minute HR recovery check. While pedaling slowly with light resistance, have your students calculate how many beats they recover in the first minute. A drop of less than 24 indicates their intensity was higher than what they are ready for. Perhaps they are over-trained and need some recovery time. Or perhaps they need more training in the endurance HR zone. Doing nothing but anaerobic interval riding will not prepare them for race day!

MUSIC: Energetic & motivational without being distracting or too entertaining. Here is a sample format that has worked well for me:

**These songs from Power Mix Sports Conditioning 1 have a whistle every 2 minutes. My class appreciated the markers to know how close they were to the finish line!

Ride on!

Added by Jacque Melear at 5:21 PM on Sunday, August 12, 2001 EDT. Add to favorites (view favorites)
(Email: jacque@coolcombos.com)
From: Fort Collins, Colorado (USA)
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