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  1. #1
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    First 6-Hour... tips?

    I've done a lot of short-course (2+ hour) XC racing. And, I've done a bunch of centuries on the road. But, I've not done a 6-hour XC race. In a few weeks... I will.

    When I ride the course on a typical training/fun/XC race, the laps are right at an hour. So, I assume I'll get 5 laps in - barring any problems with me or the bike - in 6 hours.

    Am I right to approach this like a century, e.g. monitor output, eat, drink, etc. as I would for the 5 (or so) hours of a century?

    I'l have food/fluids staged in the feed/tent zone. Unless I'm cramping, I'm not planning on any stops - other than the time it takes to fuel up.

    Having never done this format, I'm looking at this as a no-pressure learning experience. But... I'd love any simple tips that I'd otherwise overlook. Thanks!
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    I've done a lot of short-course (2+ hour) XC racing. And, I've done a bunch of centuries on the road. But, I've not done a 6-hour XC race. In a few weeks... I will.

    ...Am I right to approach this like a century, e.g. monitor output, eat, drink, etc. as I would for the 5 (or so) hours of a century? ...
    What's your goal? Probably not "in it to win it" if you've never done this format, but if that's it then I'll let others throw in an opinion.

    Typical goals you might be into pursuing (one or more of)

    1. Test yourself in this format, push hard and find out what happens.
    2. Do the best you can, see how you do in terms of placing.
    3. Training.
    4. Fun, have the experience.

    First time I did a 12 hour (I know that's not what you're doing), I was into pretty much goals 3, 1, 4 in that order. I had a big season ahead and I was trying to establish some toughness. So I decided what I was going to do:

    Ride it like I stole it until I hit a wall, then immediately settle into a pace that I could ride for the rest of the time without stopping to rest and recover.

    I hit that wall near the end of my third lap, around 4 hours from the start. I staggered in to pit only to find out that I was in 2nd place. So then suddenly I was interested in #2 to a certain extent. I got right back out there and rode at the pace I could maintain. The guy who was in third passed me during that lap. I rode a decent pace for the next 6 or 7 hours, then got totally stupid. On the last lap I just lolligagged my way along. I even stopped to take pictures a couple times. I didn't know that I'd started that last lap still in third place or I might have sucked it up and kept on the gas. But even then it was a total success. I got the confidence that I could blow through all my fire and then keep riding at an acceptable pace, got some killer early season training, and had a good time.

    Don't know if that helps you at all.

    I will say, if you think that goal #2 is your thing, push a decent pace and really focus on hydration and nutrition, and really monitor how you are feeling. Start feeling crampy or goofy, back off and eat and drink more. And by all means, don't do what I did and start at a full-on XC race pace. Unless you already have a pretty good idea how that will work out for you, it will not be the best strategy toward reaching goal #2.

    I'd recommend goals 4 and 1 (in that order) if you are interested in doing longer rides that also happen to be races.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  3. #3
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    Thanks Tom. You guessed it - in it to have fun and see where it shakes out. I have no delusions of a podium for this one. I did a two-man 6-hour last month for the first time. Our goal was to learn, test our theories (food, pace, etc.) and have fun. We ended up 2nd in our class. It kind of sucked though - after 2 laps, my teammate said "Hey, we're in 4th place - just 30 seconds behind 3rd place; if we ramp it up... " So much for having fun

    But a solo 6-hour is a different animal entirely. To your point - no XC (BMX-style) start. Nope. I'm going to roll off just like I do when I hit the trail on a training/fun ride. I'm going to look at it like I'm out there alone...
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    ...But a solo 6-hour is a different animal entirely. To your point - no XC (BMX-style) start. Nope. I'm going to roll off just like I do when I hit the trail on a training/fun ride. I'm going to look at it like I'm out there alone...
    Good plan. But I've said that to myself before, and then it starts. Everybody around you is gassing up and passing. Easy to get caught up in that and the next thing you know you're pinning it. My old friend and race mentor always told me about endurance; "don't win the warm-up". I've listened to the advice, agreed with its wisdom, then gotten out there and forgotten all about it 20 seconds from the starting gun.

    Have fun!
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  5. #5
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    Keep moving always.
    Even if your in your smallest gear pedaling at a 20 rpm cadence, your still making better time than the guy who stopped to stretch.

    Pace. Hit it to hard off the front and the last lap = s l o w

    EAT AND DRINK. Get the nutrition on a schedule. Hit a gel 15 min before the race starts.

    Pee right before line up.

    Have fun and let us know how it goes!

  6. #6
    mvi
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    I still have to ride a 6 hour with negative splits. And lap times drop dramatically after lap 3.
    Lessons?

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