Thursday, August 11, 2011

Been racin' at the track

Man, it has been months since I posted anything here! Not because nothing is going on, but because I've either been too busy, or I feel I've already posted enough about "it" before (whatever "it" may be). Mostly I have been working, sleeping, eating, training... and racing on the velodrome at Hellyer Park in San Jose.

My training has hardly changed in several years: Most weeks I ride 170 to 220 miles, with about 160 minutes in "Level 4" (aerobic threshold) intervals of about 20 minutes each, and 30 minutes in "Level 5" (anaerobic threshold) intervals of about 5 minutes each. Plus assorted miles of mixed riding, racing on the track and commuting.

Track racing is pretty cool. Before I committed to really racing on the banked oval-track, I thought it would be rather dull since the endless laps around the same track would all look the same after a while. And while there may be some truth to that (there's something undeniably epic about long, hilly road-races) the fact is that each race is unique, of course. Different people, different race formats, different weather all combine to make variety.

And it's hard to argue with success: I have been doing pretty well on the track! Not crushing the competition, but definitely one of the top riders in my category.

I've been racing mostly in the Tuesday Night Races; about 15 nights so far. I can leave work about 5:00 and be at the track in plenty of time to register, warm up and the race start at 7:00. I won an Omnium, and placed in several others, also winning quite a few heats, points sprints etc.

I am still a Category 4 on the track (I'm Cat 3 on the road), but I now have enough points to upgrade to Cat 3 if I want to. Do I want to? Hmmm... Earlier this season I raced the "Get Ready for Summer" series, in a combined Cat 3/4 Omnium, with four different heats for us:

  • Kierin race
  • Scratch race
  • Miss-and-out race
  • Points race
It was a ton of fun and I took 2nd place. So I think it's fair to say that I could do well as a Cat 3 track racer too. Though most of the time I'd have to race in combined Cat 1/2/3 races where I'd struggle just to hang on. Some other times I can enter Cat 3/4 races and that would be cool.

I've also been racing on the road, though nothing too exciting. Check my USAC results.

Next up for me:


Wish me luck!