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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 09-07-10, 08:05 AM   #1
obiwan kenobi
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First cross race on Saturday

Now that I have made the commitment to race cx this season, and I have purchased a Crux, what should my week leading up to the race be like? Normally I do 35 miles @ average speed of 20mph with the race team on Tuesday, 26 miles @ average speed of 19mph on Wednesday with the local club then 31 miles on Thursday @ average speed of 19mph with a local shop followed by an easy social 28 mile ride on Friday. And during the course of the week I through in some bikram yoga classes when time allows.

I think this routine may be too much leading up to the race on Saturday, what say you experienced racers?
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Old 09-07-10, 08:40 AM   #2
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How do you normally feel on Saturday after doing that?

I'd probably cut that schedule down a bit. Maybe drop the Thursday ride, and be sure to keep the pace easy on Friday. You'll probably be OK either way, but you obviously will want to have reasonably fresh legs on Saturday.
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Old 09-07-10, 09:21 AM   #3
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I normally feel fine on Saturday and either do a ride in the hills with the local club or pick up a fast paced 50 miler with a larger group.
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Old 09-07-10, 09:47 AM   #4
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OK since you posted I'm guessing you want to race well.

The two days preceding a race should be pretty low to moderate volume. You want a few short bursts of high-intensity, just to keep your motor skills sharp.

I don't see any cross-specific training in your schedule. That's a mistake, especially since you don't have any cross experience. I'd make Wednesday your cross-specific day, so Tue/Wed is a challenging two-day sequence, Saturday is race day, and the rest is pretty moderate.
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Old 09-07-10, 10:14 AM   #5
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I just did a cross skills clinic this Sunday and will be spending an hour a day on mounts, dismount and barrier clearing. I look at this as low volume/intensity and didn't count towards my training.
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Old 09-07-10, 10:23 AM   #6
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Spend time running and practicing skills. Physical fitness is either there or it isn't. you'd be amazed at how many positions are lost because of poor technique.
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Old 09-07-10, 12:07 PM   #7
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I just did a cross skills clinic this Sunday and will be spending an hour a day on mounts, dismount and barrier clearing. I look at this as low volume/intensity and didn't count towards my training.
An hour per day? Your body will not view it as low intensity, and will count it toward your overall fatigue. You'll also have substantial bruising on your right thigh and right shoulder.

Yes, you need to get your dismounts and remounts sorted out. But more importantly, you have to be able to do them under fatigue, so it's important to incorporate these skills into a high-intensity cross-specific workout.

I disagree that "Physical fitness is either there or it isn't." There are specific demands placed on you during cross racing, and if you train for those specific demands, you'll be in a much better state on race day. If you look a typical training week for pros (see back issues of CX mag), they almost all have a cross-specific workout on Tuesday or Wednesday, even though they're racing on both Saturday and Sunday most weeks.
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Old 09-07-10, 12:25 PM   #8
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Spend time running and practicing skills. Physical fitness is either there or it isn't. you'd be amazed at how many positions are lost because of poor technique.
+1. If you can clear barriers AT SPEED, you'll have a tremendous advantage over those who need to grab a fist-full of brakes, clumsily clear a barrier at walking pace, stutter-step their remount, downshift, then attempt to regain their speed.

Run-ups also present a tremendous opportunity to improve your position, provided you have the fitness to pedal hard once you get to the top.

"Back in the day" I used to do running hill repeats once or twice a week. I lived on a city block with one really steep hill. I'd sprint the hill with everything I had, then jog around the block to recover, then repeat until 45 minutes had elapsed (the length of a typical "B" race). Not very scientific, but it was effective, and gave me confidence in knowing that I could endure that level of suffering for the duration of the race.
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Old 09-09-10, 06:02 AM   #9
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just show up and have fun???
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Old 09-09-10, 07:00 AM   #10
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Spend time running and practicing skills. Physical fitness is either there or it isn't. you'd be amazed at how many positions are lost because of poor technique.
Are you talking about me :-0
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Old 09-09-10, 10:58 AM   #11
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just show up and have fun???
That's my strategy .
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Old 09-09-10, 11:05 AM   #12
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Make sure to get a bunch of alcohol in your system to make your muscles nice and loose. Then it won't hurt so much.
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Old 09-09-10, 11:22 AM   #13
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Which race are you doing this weekend? Is it the Cyclebration in Folsom?
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Old 09-09-10, 05:10 PM   #14
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Which race are you doing this weekend? Is it the Cyclebration in Folsom?
Yes, that is the one. After doing drills yesterday, my thigh is killing me, doesn't help that I drug my shin down the rear tire a couple of time too....
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Old 09-09-10, 09:21 PM   #15
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I'm doing the Master 35+ B at 11:45. Maybe I'll see you out there, I'll be in a Team BEER kit. Name is Chris. If I don't see you, have fun.
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Old 09-10-10, 10:49 AM   #16
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I too will be racing in Folsom tomorrow. My first race...period. Lots of MTB and Road experience but have never officially raced a bicycle before. Pretty nervous but trying to just have a good time. I know my fitness is there but some of the technical cross skills still need work. I have been trying to shake my stutter-step when remounting but just can't get rid of it when hopping back on at speed. I'll be entering the C's which start at 11 I believe. Driving up from Alameda. I'll be riding a white Fuji cross comp.
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Old 09-10-10, 11:22 AM   #17
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I'll be there before the C race and my plans have changed, I'm doing the open B race with the rest of my team. All in all just go out and have fun. Use the first few races to watch and learn, it will be different than you think. There is usually good turn out for this race and there is a beer garden!
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Old 09-10-10, 11:40 AM   #18
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Good luck and let us know how it goes, guys! Post pix if you can. obiwan, how do you like the Crux? It just came out, right? That's the '11? That is a nice ride.
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Old 09-10-10, 05:43 PM   #19
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Make your first one memorable. There will be a point midway through the race where you wonder why the f*&k you decided to do it. Just work through that pain and do your best. Rock and roll.
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Old 09-11-10, 06:37 PM   #20
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I raced the men's C's, pulled the hole shot and was actually in the lead for the first 3/4ths of the lap, too much effort too soon, faded to 11th overall out of 34. Not bad for my first attempt and at least I didn't crash!
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Old 09-11-10, 07:38 PM   #21
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Good job. I finished a few places behind you. There were actually more than 34 entrants. I know at least 2 guys who DNF'd and didn't check in at the end of the race, and their numbers weren't listed. How sketchy was the inside of the rodeo ring? I almost lost it there on every lap. I felt like I crawled through just to stay upright.
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Old 09-11-10, 09:05 PM   #22
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Good job. I finished a few places behind you. There were actually more than 34 entrants. I know at least 2 guys who DNF'd and didn't check in at the end of the race, and their numbers weren't listed. How sketchy was the inside of the rodeo ring? I almost lost it there on every lap. I felt like I crawled through just to stay upright.
I thought there were more than 34 at the start but, that's the finishers I guess? The rodeo ring was crazy, I passed more downed riders there than anywhere else on the circuit. Anyone doing the race down at Fort Ord on the 19th?
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Old 09-12-10, 12:02 AM   #23
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Hmm I was commuting home on Friday from Folsom heading up towards the dam at Folsom Lake and on my way home at around 5pm and as I was riding on the pavement trail I saw this one guy riding hard on the dirt trail. After passing a few "merge"points and "warning - xrace crossing" signs that I figured a group of people were praticing cyclocross. At the end of the trail where it goes up a road into Old Folsom, I usually connect with the bridge, I came around the corner and all these people were standing there... and it was then that I fully realized that I was on a racing trail. Lets just say that I was thinking HOLY CRAP in my head the whole time. Anyway some people started cheering me on even though they knew I wasn't racing which was pretty cool.

Anyway, one guy yelled at me to get off the trail which was very annoying since it wasn't blocked off and I had no clue that a race was even going on and there really wasn't any signs or other routes that would have allowed me to get to the bridge without crossing the race path. Oh well.

At least I did an 18 mile ride home and went along a dirt path from Beal's Point to Folsom Lake Recreation Park which was my first time taking my Crux Comp off road. That was extremely fun.

Where do most of you guys find out about events in this area?
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Old 09-12-10, 07:23 AM   #24
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http://www.kineticcycles.com/Site/Home.html is big time into cross, they have a team, the gear and bikes.

Also check out http://www.bicyclingevents.com/SacCx/Schedule.htm or http://www.ncnca.org/cyclocross/2010/calendar.html
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Old 09-13-10, 09:06 AM   #25
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Glad you both had fun. That was a fun course on Sat with exception being inside the rodeo. That was like marbles on glass. At least they didn't make us do the stair run up like past races there.

I raced B's for the first time (usually master B's 35+) and felt good about the race. The Del Paso Park race in Oct will be much larger.
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