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  1. #1
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    Best intervals for cross

    I have a long time mountain bike and endurance background - Typically I race longer races, in the 12-4 day genre (adventure racing) and did race some mountain bike this year.

    I just raced my first cross race, and did surprisingly well - upper mid pack 4's after kinda missing the start. I think my bike handling skills are pretty solid, and my mounts/dismounts are getting there, after a lot of practice under a more experienced eye.

    I've always ridden _long_ rides, so I have a huge mileage base, but obviously need to change the way I train to be more competitive. The season has started, any suggestions of specific interval sets to help me get faster? Also, any suggestions for starts? I took off at the start but wasn't quite fast enough, got trapped mid back, and then spent the rest of the race picking off 2 guys per lap...

  2. #2
    M_S
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    I just asked a similar question about intervals. The consensus was that very short, bursty type intervals were the way to go, since 'cross is so stop and go, especially on more twisty technical courses.

    As far as starts go, in my first and only (so far) cross race I did the exact opposite and started out too fast and slowly got picked off. If the race had lasted another 20-30 minutes I might have come in last so I can't really help you there. I did the same thing (starting fast) too often when I ran cross-country, and thus was more familiar with being passed than passing people, as I was onlya middle of the road varsity runner. I just get so darn excited at the line

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S View Post
    If the race had lasted another 20-30 minutes I might have come in last
    Never, never ever, ever again, ever, think this way. Ever. About anything. Period. Just put that...thinking. ......somewhere.
    And bury it.

    That said, now that 'tis the season, I've switched to this: simulated starts. Warm up for a bunch (30-45 minutes). Straddle your bike, then clip and go for three minutes at LT, on a 'cross course or at least grass. Get to LT or race pace as fast as you can. Rest 3 minutes by rolling around, stop, straddle, then do again, for a total of five. Anything you can throw in the mix is great- barriers, run-ups, whatever.

    Also, if you want to blow an evening practicing barriers 20-30-40 times, that's time well spent.

    Good luck
    This is the internet. If someone is being nice to you they are probably trying to **** you.

  4. #4
    M_S
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walleye View Post
    Never, never ever, ever again, ever, think this way. Ever. About anything. Period. Just put that...thinking. ......somewhere.
    And bury it.


    I've done enough competetive sports to know that it isn't actually a realistic thought. If the race had been longer, people would have been racing slower. Pacing and all that. I'm sorry, I thought the one smiley indicated I was kidding. I'll put more next time, how's that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S View Post


    I've done enough competetive sports to know that it isn't actually a realistic thought. If the race had been longer, people would have been racing slower. Pacing and all that. I'm sorry, I thought the one smiley indicated I was kidding. I'll put more next time, how's that?
    A cross race is like a weekend in Reno. It really sucks if you blow all your money Friday night.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I think it's definitely important to sprint to start up front and try to beat the bottleneck at the singletrack/hairpin/barrier/etc. Then ease off a bit. If others are stronger they'll pass you but that would have happened anyway, but it's hard to make up ground from the middle or back of the pack.

    -Barry

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