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Thread: First Race

  1. #1
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    First Race

    I"m new to the mountain biking world and am registering for my first race here soon. It's a 12 mile cross country race and I am pumped. However, I have no clue how to train for this. I know it sounds odd. Does anyone know of a good training regimen that I can use? And where do you suggest to train (South Mountain, McDowell, etc...)?

  2. #2
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    Lots of options for this one.

    If your just starting out, pick an area that your comfortable with and make sure your riding at least 3 times a week. Start with hour rides and build up from there. Track your speed and times and see if you can pick up speed and then start increasing your distance.

    Once you get moving a bit, start setting up your weeks worth of rides to include, one speed interval ride, one hill repeat ride and one long base ride. Rest comes from there.

    Desert Classic is good base trail for intro to racing, as is Hawes and PMP. Also the McDowell comp loops can be good for interval training and speed workouts.

    Have fun.

  3. #3
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    If it's your first XC race you are probably racing beginner or CAT 3. You will also be grouped by age group. If it's your first race you should just ride as much as you can before the race. CAT 3 is not that competitive except for the top 3 or 5 slots, so just try to get as comfortable on the bike as you can. If I was going to race in the next 6 weeks I'd ride 3 to five times a week 1-2 hours at a time. Also I'd ride the McDowell comp loops 3-5 times or more before the race. Trying to push myself to go faster each time. Mostly though just think of it as a learning experience and a way to have fun. Racing can be a blast or it can be a drag if you push yourself beyond your capabilities or set your expectations to high.

    Good luck and have fun.
    Better than most, not as good as some.

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    RobDice, I too am getting ready for my first Xcountry race in Oct.I will be in the Cat 3 49 yo group. My training goals are to have fun so I enjoy it especially since I am not an expert and have no plans to be. That is easier said than done when my competitive spirit kicks in. I have been mixing my riding up with my FS trail bike at Desert Classic (SoMo), San Tan Mtns and McDowell Mtn (MMP). The mix comes from making a loop on the trail bike then a second loop on my big bike (Downhill bike). I am much slower on the big bike but it sure is more fun. I also have been going to the pump track which is a total blast. Just enjoy yourself and ride as much as you can but most importantly keep it fun! Good luck

  5. #5
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    Try Joe Friels book about mountain bike training. It will carry you through your beginner race and far beyond.

    Ride, ride and ride. On your training rides pay attention to how you feel, where you hurt and where your skills are soft. Work on those- progession is all about pushing yourself in the RIGHT direction.

    CAT 3 is where you will start. You will be nervous and you will screw something up (from not packing gloves to missing your start)- don't sweat it. Have fun and get some Cat 3 races under your belt. It is a learning class for everyone but the top 5 sandbaggers who have learned how to race but not how to be sucessful amongst those in similar physical condition. I have always considered the beginner class a place to learn and hone your race craft- the other classes are where you really race. So get in there, make some mistakes, mingle with the locals and enjoy the race scene. HAVE FUN!
    Find a ride on FB> AZ MTB

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  6. #6
    Meatbomb
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    where is this first race ?

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    Thanks a lot for the tips guys. I'm stoked to get to the first race.

    @Phillbo: I'm entering the Dust Devil Series 3 race over in the White Tank mountains. From what I've read, seems like a good place to start for my racing "career".

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robdice
    Thanks a lot for the tips guys. I'm stoked to get to the first race.

    @Phillbo: I'm entering the Dust Devil Series 3 race over in the White Tank mountains. From what I've read, seems like a good place to start for my racing "career".
    Check out the times in your category from last year, then go out and ride same distance and see how your time is now. That way you can judge how much work/effort you will need to put in to get ready for the race!

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    My advice - go out and have fun and make sure to bring beer, food, shade, etc to hang out after the race - thats actually the best part! For your first race don't worry about training too much - just make sure you are out riding a few days a week and always try to go on rides with people faster than you (very important - try to avoid the rides where you ride for 5 min, stop for 15, ride for 5, stop for 15 - those do nothing good for fitness, but are fun for talking to other people!!)

    After a few races you will know if you like it or not. You will improve very very quickly and meet a bunch of new people to ride with - almost everyone that does the races are super cool and pretty laid back. Come and find me at the race, I will be there in the SS marathon category on a rusted up 29er...

  10. #10
    livin' the dream......
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    Robdice, I was in your situation last year. I did the Dust Devil Series as Cat 3 30-39 and had a great time and met some cool people. I did Dawn to Dusk and then two or three of the MBAA races in the Valley as Cat 3.

    MY question to those of you (tanem00 and other racers). SHould I move up to Cat 2 since I am technically not a "beginner" racer? I ended up in the top 10 for the over all standing for Dust Devil and was in the top 1/3 in the two MBAA races last year.

    What should I do? Thanks.

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    It really depends - you are not required to move up to Cat 2, The distances are a little longer, but the speed is about the same as the top 1-5 cat3 guys in each age group. If your age group had 40 racers in it, and you were in the top 1-3 for each of the races, I say move up...

    If you were in the top third and you did two of the races... you would be fine to stay cat3 or you would probably be top 50% in cat2... depending on if you rode more this year or not...

  12. #12
    livin' the dream......
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    Thanks for the feedback. I picked up a road bike around December from my brother in law and have put about 1000 to 1200 miles on it since I got it, in addition to my mtb rides.

    I also will move to the 40-49 catagory (the Dust Devil McDowell race is on my 40th birthday and my present to myself!). I have ridden more since December to now then at any point in my life. I don't know!

    I think I will wait to see the lap counts for each cat and make my decision from there. Either way, I am stoked and looking forward to these races!

  13. #13
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    In that case, with the extra miles you have put on, and moving up an age group - you would be fine in the CAT2 category, especially in the dust Devil races because there are a lot less people that do the events.

    Have fun and tear it up!!

  14. #14
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    i think its best to treat your first 2 races as learning experiences. just by racing you will learn a fair amount about training and fitness. i would suggest that you work on longish intervals as well as figuring out how hard you can hammer for 12 miles. know your pace and keep it.

  15. #15
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    If you don't know the course/trail, pre-ride it at least a couple times. Familarizing yourself w/the turns and being confident with the trail's flow will yield the biggest improvements in time, IMO. Come race day, you can relax, rip it up, and have fun.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamen00
    In that case, with the extra miles you have put on, and moving up an age group - you would be fine in the CAT2 category, especially in the dust Devil races because there are a lot less people that do the events.

    Have fun and tear it up!!
    Might as well give it a shot! Why the hell not!

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