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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 09-15-04, 08:03 PM   #1
B1105
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Tips for First race training

Hey guys,
I'm stoked to race CX this year, and am planning on my first race in Philly, PA on October 24th. I'm racing Juniors 17-18, and would really like to play decently(maybe win something?).

I'm excited but also nervous. What kind of juniors race? Are they all wicked good, or are some just newbies like me? I dont have my Fuji Cross yet, will be here in a few days, but plan on taking it out a lot once I get it. I have also started running a few miles each week. I hear eveyrone's first cross race is super difficult. What kind of training should I be doing?

I'm currently in soso shape. Since I'm only 16, I have an incredbily fast metablism, and have very little fat, and come in about 130lbs or so. I'm no muscle machine though, and would probably say I'm sub-average shape. I'm guessing just riding is the best way to train? Or should I be running and swimming?

PS-anyone else going to this race?

I rode road bikes about a year ago, and have slowly stopped and just rode trials for about 6 months. I have been running on a weekly basis, but feel I wont last for thr 30-45 minutes in teh CX race. What type of terrain should I expect? The description of the race talks of some sand pits and 2 sets of stairs?

Also, I belive dismounts are somethign whcih constantly need practice? Any tips?

Byron
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Old 09-18-04, 08:13 AM   #2
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im thinking of entering my first race in mid nov, i have the exact same questions as you! im still working on building up a make-shift cross bike also...

i think i should start running now, guess i need to get some running shoes.
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Old 09-18-04, 10:41 AM   #3
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A racer on rbr always recommends Simon Burney's book. Search on Amazon.
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Old 09-18-04, 08:58 PM   #4
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my opinion (never raced - take w/ grain o salt)

jogging is great for cardio until you have a bike. then bike 100%
start slow, get used to the bike.. get your body and joints back into the roadbike thing. then start seeking hills and ride them until you get that wicked burning, taste the blood in your throat feeling. do this often. feel the pump and learn to love it.
do some cardio days (relatively flat mileage at a faster pace, ribcage feels like it will explode) and
do some strength days (taller gear hill cranking burn your legs up. Feel the burn and ride a minute into it. explore the burn, cry with the burn, make the burn your *****. . eat alot of protein to build up the muscles.... get alot of sleep to let your body rebuid. stretch alot and stay hydrated always.. oh yeah rest days.. take them or you will get injured!! do push and pull ups on your rest days (you need a strong upper body to keep the bike in control at speed or in hairy situations) maybe some light jogging or swimming..

just ride man. alot.. find a nice trail with dirt and hills and roots and practice alot in the dirt, definitely practice the dismouts and remounts, Id think these have to be fluid and if yours are 90% worked out youre probably better than most.

and try to ride the course a few times before the race to familiarize yourself with its turns and hills and where you should run or where you can crank.

Have fun, enjoy your new bike, let us all know how the training and racing is progressing!!

~Steve
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Old 09-19-04, 03:06 PM   #5
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did my 2nd race today, came in last, but almost beat someone up until the last lap. Dangit. It's OK for me, this is my first season (Cat C) and I know I'm up against some crit riders and some sandbaggers... My first goal is to finish and then get better every race.

I've been road riding 2 to 4 times a week since last Oct when I got back into it. I used to run about 3 to 4 times a week before that. After my 2 races, I think the running won't help as much as just RIDE RIDE RIDE. The hill and long run up slowed me down a lot. For me, I think the key is to be able to keep the high intensity for 30 min. I'm pretty good for the long haul but the sustained sprint wears me out, especially steep run ups. Riding hills and high intensity is what I'd do, including practicing a lot of mounts/remounts, especially when you're REALLY tired. This is where I lose all technique.
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Old 09-19-04, 03:43 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice, I hope to do a combination of running and cycling. What was the Cat C like? AVg mpg and intensity? What kind of people? I'm pretty good with short sprints, but not too good on the long distance endurance, which is one of the reasons CX appealed to me.
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Old 09-19-04, 03:58 PM   #7
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C's end up being a mixed bag. You get sandbaggers, begginers, casual one-offs, etc so it depends on the race and the conditions. For example, I did this: http://www.velopromo.com/ebcx-ent.htm.

After weeks of heat, today the sky decided to rain. I was nervous because I run Speedmax 30's and wasn't sure if that would cut it. It rained on my pre-ride but cleared up at the start until my last lap. I think I did 4 or so. I'd say intensity was a medium, but for some reason today, I was low energy. Avg was about 10 MPH for me. I haven't ridden enough races to know if this is too slow or not. Course was somewhat muddy but not too bad. it'll be worse for A's and elites later today.

Last week I did this http://www.churchofbike.com/ and pretty much raced w/ everyone: A/B/C and maybe some elites, not sure. Maybe 40 people? I wasn't last there, a number of people DNF'ed but I finished. That was a longer course w/ more singletrack. You can imagine that this race had a MUCH higher intensity. I felt I raced faster here, maybe because I saw more racers and I got lapped by some. My ego wouldn't let me get passed more. Today, there were less riders (10 men and 3 Cat C women) so I didn't have anyone to "motivate" me when I was all alone on parts of the course. I think today was more of a mental problem...
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Old 09-19-04, 05:37 PM   #8
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I was debating going to this race. Only 10 racers in Men's C field? I should have gone! Drat. Where do you train?
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Old 09-19-04, 10:32 PM   #9
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Yeah, I think the rain spooked the other fair weather riders. On the drive up, it was POURING. It was also FREEZING. My fingers were getting numb as I suited up. It cleared up for the race, except for rain on the last lap. I definitely have to get some winter gear.

I live in Menlo Park, near Sand Hill Road. So I do a mostly road training. I'vd done Arastradero where the Velo Girls go, but I've never been there at the same time. Lately I've just been doing sprints on my commute ride to Sunnyvale. Hardest part is riding north via Shoreline. It's against a 15 MPH headwind most of the time.

My problem is that I have to be able to train right from my door. I have a 2 year old, so it's difficult to get the hall pass. Sometimes my training is dragging the burley on my 44:18 SS. That's tough against a headwind. Unfortunatley, there's no good places to do run ups nearby. I've contemplated just going to stanford and doing stairs w/ the bike. Haven't done it yet though.

Where in San Bruno are you? I'd assume there be some decent training areas in the wooded areas. I grew up in South City (Foxridge elementary, Westborough Jr High and South City High) so I'm pretty familiar w/ the area.
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Old 09-20-04, 12:58 AM   #10
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Sweeny Ridge is a nice uphill and on the west side of the ridge there are some dirt trails with some really steep sections that are good for run-ups. From Skyline going up Sneath to the top of Sweeny Ridge and the old missile base is a good workout. Not 40 minutes of 90% HR but close, depends how fast you go I guess. My twice a week spinning class is about 47-50 minutes of 90% HR so that helps. Luckily it's right after work and I hop right on the bike to climb San Bruno Ave back home. On days without spinning class, I start the climb up San Bruno Ave without any kind of warm up.

Let me know if you want to head to Arastradero sometime, I've never been so it'd be nice to have a guide.
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Old 09-20-04, 07:01 PM   #11
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I say ride a lot ands mix it up- road riding , trail riding, and as you get fitter add in intnesity and start to think of a more training-oriented approach. joe friel trainin guru say you should have a few years of regular riding before you get into serious training.

Riding off-road will help you get comfortable on a mix of terrain.

As for mounts and dismounts- I recommend you do a CX style mount and dismount every time you get on or off your bike (not just when you are doing CX practice)

have fun!

marc
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Old 09-20-04, 08:09 PM   #12
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what exactly is a CX style mount/dismount?

from what people have written, ive gathered that there are no portions of the race where running is a must? do people only run when they think it will be quicker than riding?
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Old 09-20-04, 08:55 PM   #13
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Most barriers require a dismount, hop over, and mount unless you can bunny hop a 16" barrier. They also usually try to include some super steep sections that would be too slow to try riding up. In my first cross race I kept riding up such a section before I realized running up it would have been much faster, but by that time I was spent.
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