There's always a lot of talk about how a cyclocross race involes a 45-60 minute maximum effort or sometimes it's described as a time trial with intervals mixed in or something like that. I understand why it's described that way, but let's talk details.
You obviously can't maintain absolute max for 45 minutes. Everyone seems to go above maximum sustainable for the first lap or so. So where do you get that back?
I'm slow, but I want to do my best. I try to find people at my level and keep up with them. This week, I thought about my pace, and I can't help but think maybe I'm doing it wrong. I went fast (for me) for the first lap, and stayed near the pack. At some point, oxygen debt took over and I started falling back. I spent the next 40 minutes or so huffing and puffing, trying to catch my breath on some technical descents and a few other places that seemed appropriate, but then right back to going as hard as I can.
The thing is, as I watched some of the later races, most people didn't seem to be huffing and puffing quite as much as I had been. Sure they're in better shape, but they could have pushed themselves more and at least sounded like me.
So what do you think? Am I slowing myself down by going as fast as I can?