Normally I don’t train very much. I ride around by myself looking at stuff and occasionally get motivated to ride really fast for a little bit. Last year I started riding with groups a bit more but it wasn’t consistent or hard enough to really make a difference I think. Most of my race results were typical – up and down with a normal race coming in around 30th percentile. So regularly I’m good for 30-33rd%, when I have a bad day I’m around 38-40th% but the funny thing is when I have a good day I’m up around 20th%. That’s a bigger increase possible than even my worst days.
Anyway, this year I started riding the Marietta Tuesday Night Crit. A 1 hour + 5 laps open group training race. Last year I did it four times over the course of the entire summer. This year I’ve done it 5 times before the start of July. Over the weekend I did the Red Clay Ramble and was kinda down because my time was a little slower than last year and a little faster than two years ago. But all three times were within a minute of each other so not a big change. Made me think the training crit was a waste of time. I mean it’s fun but it’s not that fun if it’s not doing anything for my actual events.
Then I started looking a little more at the results and have a much more positive view. All told I’m right at 33rd% for my class but overall 17th% so pretty good considering. The course was a ton harder this year – lots of loose gravel and very hot. I think if it would have been smoother like last year and cooler with the bit of rain I’d have knocked a few minutes off my time easy.
So I suppose the training did make a difference looking at it from a different perspective. I’m not sure it’s something I want to do every year but it’s been a really good time so far this year.
Much happier with my result after some math.
Riding in groups is a lot of fun but can be chaotic and takes more time usually.
Training crit is fast but not social at all.