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  1. #1
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    New question here. First Endurance Race!

    So, I'm gearing up for my first endurance race this weekend. I've done traditional XC races but never a race like this. It's a 4 hour time limit (you must start your last lap by the cut-off) and a 7 mile course. The course is technical and tough but I ride in this area often. There will be an area to have dropped food and drink in coolers but I normally ride with a Camelbak and have everything in there.

    Any advice on the food/nutrition?

    I'm more inclined to keep a cooler full of full water/electrolyte bottle instead of the weight of a camelbak since I'll be able to refill each lap. I can keep food in the jersey pockets and extras in the cooler if needed. My goal is 3 laps but that may be pushing it given the terrain. No delusions of winning, just surviving and having fun. I'm a bit nervous.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    If you have no delusions of winning -- a good approach to your first rodeo -- approach everything in the manner that makes you most comfortable, and seems most familiar.

    Food, drink, bottles, Camelbak, clothes, shoes, tires, tubes, tubeless, etc. -- don't try anything new on race day.

    Have fun. Hang out after the race. Talk to the fast guys. Check out their setups. Go back and crush your second one!
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  3. #3
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    Lots of info in this forum. Basically, Kosmo nailed it. Practice and try things before the race. Be sure you have ridden at least 3 hours at one time before your race. Preferably WELL before your race (recovery). Make sure you are having fun with this.
    If you can be blissfully ignorant to the notion that something is impossible, then you might surprise yourself. -- Andrea138

  4. #4
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    I do the 4hr marathon all the time in Nebraska. Great way to experiment for longer single lap races like Syllamo and Dakota 50.

    For me, I go with bottles and a cooler. If the temps are below 80F then I plan on one large bottle per hour, but I have 6-7 total at my disposal. I eat a big breakfast 2hrs prior, but then only eat a Clif bar during the race (again having a 2nd for emergency bonking).

    For me, I go hard for the initial 15-20min and then settle into a sustainable pace. I know that I'll fade as the hours tick by, but try to push myself on the climbs and relax on the downhills. I start eating a single bite of the Clif bar at the 1 hour mark and every 30min after that (usually each lap around here).

    Enjoy it and have fun. Pay attention to what works and what doesn't. Don't be afraid to save some energy for the last hour. For your first race, your goal should be to ride the whole 4 hours and that is harder to conserve for than many people imagine.

  5. #5
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    Stay relaxed.

    Pre-race, or during the race, dont drink or eat anything you dont normally eat or drink for your normal rides (but stay fueled/hydrated). For your first event, pace yourself, gain experience, and enjoy yourself.

  6. #6
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    I would recommend using the Camelbak for hydration since you said the course was a bit technical. I've also found that having it right there and easily accessible makes me drink more often. I also set my watch or Garmin to beep every 15 minutes. When I hear the beep I'll do a quick body check: Wiggle my toes, relax shoulders, wiggle fingers, stand up and relieve some saddle pressure, drink/fuel.

    I fill my 100oz. camelbak with 6 endurolyte tabs and water. I put a bottle on my frame with my fuel mix (for me I find Perpeteum works but everyone is different). I'll take a quick shot of fuel and then chase it with a hit off the camelbak. My goal is to take in no more than 250 calories an hour. If its hot I also use endurolyte pills to supplement my endurolyte spiked water. I also never race without thoroughly testing my fueling strategy. I have found that most endurance events are ruined not because of fitness but because of a poor fueling strategy.

    One more thing, don't set a ridiculous pace in the beginning. This is much easier said than done. I would rather start easier and then pick people off all day than laid up on the side of the trail suffering cramps. I'm one of the coaches at crifit.net. Check it out.

  7. #7
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    First Endurance Race!

    Awesome responses so far! I really appreciate the wisdom of those of you with more experience.

  8. #8
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    I second the camelback with water and then nutrition in my bottle. I use Infinit Endurance blend and that's 95% of my nutrition for races. So on lapped ones I will have multiple bottles pre-made and plan on roughly one/hour. On a one lap 100k I did last year (NH100) I carried pre-measured bags of mix that I would mix at the aide stations...this was a bit of a pain but it worked. I find it's much easier to drink my nutrition than eating while riding.

    I'd recommend a slow start, really monitoring HR and staying in your endurance zone...easier said than done! On one race last year a 50 miler I got caught up in the racing for the first 30 minutes and definitely paid for it later on!!
    Good luck,
    Zach

  9. #9
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    So I pre-rode the course yesterday and it is a beast! Thanks for all of the feedback, I'll be measuring out my nutrition this weekend and getting ready for Sunday. I'm ready to rock (lots of them) and have fun. I'm quite used to the techy stuff but it'll be interesting to see how my body responds to those rocky descents and rock gardens after 3 hours. Thanks again.

  10. #10
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    So, how'd it go?

  11. #11
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    So, here's what I learned...

    There are a lot of fast mofo's out there (I knew that part) who can ride all day. The course was as expected, rocky and technical, and the winners were mostly pros. It was a lot of fun and a great feeling of accomplishment. I am not sure I'd carry a camelbak on a lap style race again and actually ditched it on the last lap. My homemade energy bar recipe that I got online was great and seemed to provide me with the energy needed each lap. I had 9 minutes to start a 4th lap but decided not to and was happy with my 3. I'll try for 4-5 next year if I do that race again. Went home happy and tired and finished in the back half of the middle of the pack for the men. One more lap, regardless of time, probably would have gotten me directly in the middle. Thanks for all of the advice and well wishes. Mostly XC races for the rest of this year probably unless I get that challenge bug again. Might do the Stoopid 50 in State College, PA as one of the guys I met said this race was harder.

    ~Jeremy

  12. #12
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    Thanks!

    I am doing my 1st 24 at the end of May, and am getting excited!

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