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12/24 hr races - training

Old 05-25-08, 03:37 PM
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12/24 hr races - training

I have done a 6 hr and 24hr team race in previous years and am looking into doing a 12 and 24hr race this year solo or duo team [August].


Most of the trails here are pretty short so I have been focusing on primarily road with mtb once a week to keep up the handling skills. I have a bunch of saddle time in as I raced in the spring road series.

I was just wondering what other things I should been doing in order to prepare for the races? Do you guys set any goals in your training to test how your fitness is (e.g. being able to ride 100mi pretty easily)? I know one thing that threw me before was eating properly and climbing so I have been focusing on longer rides with climbs and testing out different foods to see what I can eat. I have read the Friel cycling bible but it seemed geared toward XC series (used it for preparing for the road season with good success).
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Old 05-27-08, 10:30 PM
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I'm sort of working out these bugs at this time too. I've good some good ideas from taking a look at the MTBR.com forums for good endurance racing advice.

It seems to be in general, just get a load of saddle time. It doesn't need to be super fast, just ride as hard as you can for as long as you can. A lot of posts suggest back to back long days (6hrs plus).

Another thing that's very important (imo) is to do some rides that are HARDER than what you're going to see on race day. That way you've got the experience in your pocket, and know that you can dig. I've done some stupid hard endurance tests before, and despite not training for long rides this year completed 11+ hours and ~80 miles with something like 12k feet of climbing in Pisgah a few weeks ago. I knew from having pushed until I've broken, and kept going how hard I could go. This is a big thing in adventure racing training too, you have to bury yourself to know what it feels like. You need to do this once every month or so, to keep the memory fresh
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Old 05-28-08, 12:20 PM
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Good plan....I have a nice hilly [road] route with tons of elevation that I save for special days.

Do you plan on doing any of these races when your knee heals up?

Thanks for the MTBR idea....I always forget about checking there first!

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Old 05-28-08, 03:17 PM
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Yeah, climbing is very important to address. Many of the races on the NUE calendar (National Ultra Endurance) have a boatload of elevation gain. That's what killed me more than anything else at PMBAR. I focused hard on crits this year, and did well in them - but suffered mightily on the long climbs of Pisgah.

I'm committed (if my knee cooperates) to do the "Double Dare" race in Pisgah this October. It's back to back 12hr days of racing, with a quasi-adventure race format. I'd like to do some more as well, as I plan to have a much higher volume training plan in 2009 than I was able to this year. How about you, what's on the schedule?
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Old 05-28-08, 04:32 PM
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I was hoping to get out to one of the more hillier mtb courses this past weekend (700 to 1200ft per lap depending on how they route the course) to see how the hill ability has been coming,..but didn't. I expected to do a 105mi gravel road race in April (with 7000ft total climbing) so I had been training for that early in the year and at least for the road, the hills have been a lot easier. I think training for road racing in general has been a big help...at least compared to last year's 'riding/racing into shape'.

Right now, I am looking at 24hrs of 9 mile (only doing 12hr) and then 24hrs of Afton. 9 mile will be on a team or duo in order to test out nutrition in a race format....thinking solo for Afton.
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Old 05-28-08, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Nickel
I was hoping to get out to one of the more hillier mtb courses this past weekend (700 to 1200ft per lap depending on how they route the course) to see how the hill ability has been coming,..but didn't. I expected to do a 105mi gravel road race in April (with 7000ft total climbing) so I had been training for that early in the year and at least for the road, the hills have been a lot easier. I think training for road racing in general has been a big help...at least compared to last year's 'riding/racing into shape'.

Right now, I am looking at 24hrs of 9 mile (only doing 12hr) and then 24hrs of Afton. 9 mile will be on a team or duo in order to test out nutrition in a race format....thinking solo for Afton.
24-9 eh? Are you from WI or close?
Anyways I've never done a 24hr race, but a few guys I know have done them solo, and aside from the pure endurance, you need to get used to riding singletrack at night. Every thing dews up at night, and 9 mile gets really slick, so you need to be ready for that. Go out and ride for 2-4 hours at night, to get a feel for it. Also you tend to forget to drink at night, so set time intervals where you drink every 10 minutes or whatever - every lap - all race. Keeping hydrated and fueled up is a huge challenge too so don't neglect it.

I may be doing the 12 hour race at 9 mile.

Best of luck.
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Old 05-28-08, 10:08 PM
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Yup, close to WI. I did a 24 hr race 2 years ago so I am pretty familiar with the slipperiness. Especially when you are stumbling around in the early AM. I definitely plan on doing practice night laps, mostly to ensure that my gear is working the way I want it to.

I usually force myself to drink every 15minutes. I think I overate the last time I did one of these so I have been trying to dial everything in.
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