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Old 11-06-09, 06:06 PM   #1
CrimsonKarter21
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Balancing the Season

So I'm thinking about picking up XC racing and dropping a few of my least-favorite races off the schedule.

I know there are a few of you MTB/Roadie guys out there, how do you balance everything?
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Old 11-06-09, 06:13 PM   #2
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paging dr.ZC.... paging dr ZC....
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Old 11-06-09, 06:14 PM   #3
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That's who I was thinking of typing that. UT Dude also, but I haven't seen him in a while.
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Old 11-06-09, 06:33 PM   #4
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I love being able to do both. Throwing in some mtb time is a fantastic remedy for a slight burnout.

However:
It's virtually impossible to compete at the highest level, and do well, in both disciplines. I've tried, it doesn't work. You end up either 1) training for mtb racing, and sucking at everything but long TT's and road races with tons of long climbs on the road 2)training for road racing, and sucking at everything but short track on your mtb or 3) try to train for both, and suck at everything.

This year, I didn't race my mtb at all until collegiate season started in September. Part of that is because the pro license is ridiculously expensive, so I just never bought it this year, but its mostly because I wanted to focus exclusively on the road and see how much faster it made me. The result: I was way faster on the road.

So here's my recommendation: Get the mtb, and definitely train on it. Replace longer endurance type workouts with long rides on your mtb. But stay on your road bike 90% of the time.

Don't avoid racing your mtb, just don't go into it with super high expectations. You're a 2 on the road, right? So that's equivalent to a fast cat 1/slow pro in the mtb world. Race cat 1, you'll do well and have fun with it. Unless the course is tame or you have way more technical skill than the average roadie I wouldn't expect you to be gunning for the win, but that doesn't mean you can't go out and have a great time playing in the mud for 2 hrs, and get a kickass workout while you're at it.

The other thing to remember is that your average XC race will take longer to recover from than all but the most difficult road race. If you race sunday, you're going to be worthless until Wednesday. That's something you have to take into account when planning your training - the extra recovery is absolutely necessary.
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Old 11-06-09, 06:46 PM   #5
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I still see UTdude over slowtwitch occasionally... i'll PM him about dropping by for some words.
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Old 11-06-09, 06:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
I love being able to do both. Throwing in some mtb time is a fantastic remedy for a slight burnout.

However:
It's virtually impossible to compete at the highest level, and do well, in both disciplines. I've tried, it doesn't work. You end up either 1) training for mtb racing, and sucking at everything but long TT's and road races with tons of long climbs on the road 2)training for road racing, and sucking at everything but short track on your mtb or 3) try to train for both, and suck at everything.

This year, I didn't race my mtb at all until collegiate season started in September. Part of that is because the pro license is ridiculously expensive, so I just never bought it this year, but its mostly because I wanted to focus exclusively on the road and see how much faster it made me. The result: I was way faster on the road.

So here's my recommendation: Get the mtb, and definitely train on it. Replace longer endurance type workouts with long rides on your mtb. But stay on your road bike 90% of the time.

Don't avoid racing your mtb, just don't go into it with super high expectations. You're a 2 on the road, right? So that's equivalent to a fast cat 1/slow pro in the mtb world. Race cat 1, you'll do well and have fun with it. Unless the course is tame or you have way more technical skill than the average roadie I wouldn't expect you to be gunning for the win, but that doesn't mean you can't go out and have a great time playing in the mud for 2 hrs, and get a kickass workout while you're at it.

The other thing to remember is that your average XC race will take longer to recover from than all but the most difficult road race. If you race sunday, you're going to be worthless until Wednesday. That's something you have to take into account when planning your training - the extra recovery is absolutely necessary.
Thanks for the info. I wanted to get into racing XC because, like you said, it's great to do when you're getting burnt out or seeking something a little different from the traditional routine.
I don't know if I'm going to train specifically for XC racing, but I do want to give it a shot, and if I suck, then I still have a fun machine for going off road on the off-weekends.
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Old 11-06-09, 08:49 PM   #7
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You're a 2 Mitch?
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Old 11-06-09, 09:47 PM   #8
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Split the season up into blocks, schedule your races, and adjust the training accordingly. Z's pretty much on target about what you'll be good for if you train to race the MTB; a long dirty TT.

I was able to go through an 12 week block and be good enough to win some stage races on my TT ability, some TT's, then win at MTB races at the lower geezers Nats and state level. You can sneak in a crit or RR and do well if you go off so early people aren't going to bother chasing and you can stay out.

Depending on your adaptability pedal speed comes back faster than your aerobic engine, I can get that back in a month usually.

It's all about scheduling and what you're going to focus on.
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Old 11-06-09, 11:05 PM   #9
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Well...

I was never very good at Mountain Biking, but always liked doing it for fun. My coach (when I had one) would always get annoyed when I wanted to do Mountain bike stuff, since (in Texas), MTB season goes up until basically December, while road season starts in January.

We ended up working it out to where I just stopped before the end of the MTB season, and raced the earlier season road races more for training (ie, still race to win, but go in without necessarily having the fitness).

I now kind of despise Mountain biking since I got uber frustrated with having no technical skills, so it's no longer really an issue for me, but...

It can be done, you just need to find the right balance. To do it the right way, you probably need to give up a little of both and don't plan on racing a full season of both, but you know, whatever works for you.
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