Some background on me first;
I'm in my early 30s, and was never the most endurance minded athlete. I Played soccer and baseball in high school, also I was in the Army for nine years, so running was my main source of endurance training. I got a mountain bike (Trek Cobia) march of 2013 to fight off some weight I had gained and one thing led to another and I started racing in my local series (DFW, Dorba) and was in the top 20, 30 as a CAT 3 racer at most of my races.
I had an epiphany at one MTB race; I was trying to gain on this one guy in front of me in some technical wooded part of the course. I was hunting him for a good 15 mins and caught him and passed him, this race course used some asphalt infield to connect to the off-road sections (Erwin Park Summer Series) as soon as we turned out on the pavement and I tried to carry my momentum up a hills, the rider I had just passed motored passed me again!
This led me to getting a CX bike to improve my cardio and train during the "off" season as my technical bike handling was obviously strong but my legs and lungs failed me.
I bought a Felt F65x as it was perfect for my budget and was a great place to start.
Basically if I distill my concerns from my first two cyclocross races it comes down to this:
- I cannot keep any sort of momentum after an obstacle, on my MTB I just bang a handful of downshifts and I am back in my "power-band" and I get on with it. CX bike is geared so low I am constantly riding in my easiest gear and wishing for something lower to get my wheels rolling and not have to muscle through everything.
-I don't have a power meter or a way to guess but going off my HR monitor. MTB I have peaked around 205 BPM and the settle down around 170 average. CX I average around 170 max 180 BPM and I am absolutely gassed. MTB race one hour, CX 35 mins, major head scratching follows.
-I have legs for the first lap and the I fade FAST, going backwards while not fun I try to learn something each race but the field is much faster than me and I have finished last twice, ahead of the DNFs though. Is Men's 4/5 freaking competitive like this everywhere? Cat 3 MTB is joke compared.
CX is the hardest two wheeled racing I have ever attempted, but I am not throwing in the towel.
Thanks for listening to me vent, if anyone would like to give me some pointers I would be very appreciative.