Fixed Gear Crit

Getting Brian back in shape: Preparing for Red Hook Criterium Brooklyn No.11

In the last two articles of the series ‘Getting Brian Back in Shape’ we talked about nutrition, lab testing with Diagnose Berlin and how you can determine your training from it. In the last episode of the series it’s all about how to work towards a goal, in this case Red Hook Criterium Brooklyn No.11. 
Text: Brian Megens
Header Image: Juliane Bötel

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Last year it was in Red Hook Criterium Brooklyn No.10 that I got my motivation for racing back. Without proper preparation, I did 1 fixed gear crit and 1 trainings road race, I ended up winning my qualification heat and getting 34th in the final. The latter is not a great result but I knew that I simply lacked fitness to keep up with the big boys for 45 minutes.

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So for this year I wanted to see if I could get any form back from my days as a UCI pro-cyclist. So I contacted Diagnose Berlin, my friend Cas Fuchs, Wahoo, and Rotor to help me with the project. I travelled to Berlin to get my physical profile determined, from Wahoo I got supplied with a Wahoo Kickr and a Wahoo Elemnt so I could do work-outs indoors and track them, my friend Cas Fuchs who is doing a PhD in sports nutrition to sort out my diet, and Rotor to supply me with the 2Inpower powermeter crank so Raphael from Diagnose Berlin could track all my work-outs and races.

Photo by Brian Megens

So how was my preparation different to the year before?
Raphael didn’t make me do a lot more hours on the bike, although in the winter months I did several longer endurance rides to burn fat, but he mainly made me do short and intense interval training session to work on my weak points and improve my strengths.

Photo by Brian Megens

Although I love riding my fixed gear more than any other bike, I ended up riding my road bike a lot more as Raphael could better track my training sessions through the Rotor 2Inpower power crank. Through the intense training sessions I got back my motivation to do a lot more road races in order to get used to heavy intense racing.

Speed Metal, Spin on These, Rotor, Brooks
Photo by Brian Megens

In the winter months I did several endurance rides of around 3-4 hours combined with strength training in the gym and 1 interval training per week. From February I competed on a weekly base in the local road training race. When the road season started I decreased the amount of endurance rides and focussed on some really intense interval trainings combined with road crits. From early April the quantity of training hours slowly decreased in order to make my body recover and to be fresh for the big goal, Red Hook Criterium Brooklyn No.11!

So in short
– I increased the amount of cycling training sessions per week
– In the winter months I did 1 to 2 longer endurance rides to burn fat and build basic condition. I also slowly started to do some interval sessions.
– When road training races started I decreased the amount of endurance rides and increased the interval sessions
– When the road season started I had some intense weeks with both interval training, road races, and some endurance rides
– In the weeks prior to RHC Brooklyn No.11 I decreased to quantity and quality of training to let my body recover and be rested for the race

And now?
Although I feel a lot stronger and better prepared and I do feel that I did everything I could taking into account I cannot afford to live like a pro anymore. I also know that the level of other riders has increased and that some strong guys will enter the fixed gear crit scene again, so it is never a guarantee for success, but hey isn’t that what makes fixed gear crit racing so much fun?

Photo by David Trimble

Thank you guys!
I want to thank Raphael from Diagnose Berlin, from personal experience I can tell that he is a true expert in his field and I wish I had met him during my days as a road cyclist. Also I want to thank Cas Fuchs for making me lose some weight, and Wahoo and Rotor for making sure I had the right equipment to proceed the project!

Photo by Juliane Bötel