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  1. #1
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    Anyone do wind sprints with your bike as race prep?

    Started riding with a MTB group ride once a week in order to help train for a race in two weeks.

    One thing that seems to happen every week is one rider in the front will drop out of a technical climbing section and everyone behind him/her will lose momentum / dismount in order to climbing the hill on foot until the next flat section.

    Because I don't run wind sprints and only push my bike up hilly trails during group rides, this actually gets me a lot more winded than riding up the hills.

    I have never raced but I'm guessing that having 40 people stop and dismount on a section would cause quite a roadblock, leaving some of the faster runners with an ability to pick up some spots.

    Anyone add this to their training routine?

  2. #2
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    I had two friends that used to train for the inevitable push at the first big hill. I could never get into it though. I suggest that you train to beat everyone out of the hole so you can be out front when you get to the singletrack or the first big hill. Of course now that I think about, the two friends of mine used to beat me on the regular in races.

  3. #3
    hello pot? this is kettle
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    Racing is about getting around the course as fast as possible *with* your bike, not necessarily riding your bike. It's always a marvel to me to see people on a crosscountry course trying to grind out every technical feature. I've won races before because of picking which obstacles to run and which to pedal through. So by all means get to the singletrack first but still be good at running with your bike.

  4. #4
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    For one month, a couple of times of week, I ran a 3-400m sprint (in my cycling shoes) then jumped on the bike and rode for 1:30.

    Here it is the actual performance.
    Le Mans start at the 24-hours of Moab 2009 - YouTube

    I'm in there somewhere. Practicing the run made a HUGE difference on race day. I know this isn't what you're asking, but this was the only time I integrated running into cycle training.

    I jumped on the bike in the top 30% and it was great. No one slower was in front of me for the whole first lap. No traffic jams at all, which was the total opposite experience for everyone else I know who did the run.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
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  5. #5
    g3h6o3
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    I thought about it a couple of times, it makes sense. Many people find it hard to switch from cycling to running and lose a lot of energy and, most importantly, their rhythm. Also, it is often faster to schedule your dismounts as attempting and failing a technical section will also wind you up much more than dismounting and running.

    Funnily, my best race result this season was in a muddy crit in which I chose to run all uphills. I passed many people that we're trying to ride in the muddy, slow grass and placed 3rd.

    With that said, I should incorporate more running in my XC training, it's just not as fun!
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil View Post
    I thought about it a couple of times, it makes sense. Many people find it hard to switch from cycling to running and lose a lot of energy and, most importantly, their rhythm. Also, it is often faster to schedule your dismounts as attempting and failing a technical section will also wind you up much more than dismounting and running.

    Funnily, my best race result this season was in a muddy crit in which I chose to run all uphills. I passed many people that we're trying to ride in the muddy, slow grass and placed 3rd.

    With that said, I should incorporate more running in my XC training, it's just not as fun!

    I can totally see this being the case. Nice job on the podium finish.

    On a group ride this weekend I thought back on this post and decided to sprint up the hills whenever I would stop rolling. I pretty much got my butt kicked and can see I need to work a lot on this part of my game. My heart rate would go from really high to blowing out of my chest by the time I got to the top.

  7. #7
    g3h6o3
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    Quote Originally Posted by string_wise View Post
    My heart rate would go from really high to blowing out of my chest by the time I got to the top.
    Yup, that's exactly what happens!!! I don't quite understand the underlying biomechanical reaction when going from pedaling to running but it feels like your heart goes "WTF are you doing you bastard!"

    I have found that jogging instead of running and trying to keep a steady pace helps a lot.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  8. #8
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    Running with the bike, as well as portage, was always an exercise for my racers. One of the first rules I taught them as new racers is to avoid the bodies. At first everyone thinks this ruefully funny. A little bit of experience on the course, though, proves such an awareness is worth huge chunks of time.

    Suggesting that one simply outsprint everyone to the singletrack is as overly simplistic as saying that to win races you need to go faster. Hello!? Less developed riders and certain parts of the course will always add up to clogging of progress no matter how fast you were to the singletrack to avoid the Conga line.

    So what we worked on is studying each course for the inevitable snarl spots, appreciate the ground around it, look for the earliest view of such problems, and anticipating a tactic for managing it. Early decisions to commit to getting off the bike, avoiding dabbing/crashing, clean dismounts, running with or carrying the bike, and maintaining momentum were emphasized. Calling out for slower participants to move to the right was included but somehow the walkers always seem to take the best line.

    So our drills were hardly a drills of much repetition for power but more one of appreciating opportunity and making smooth transitions. Mostly we worked on being mentally prepared with a plan of attack to deal with the fatigued, dabbed, halted, or stacked-up, getting your bike in a gear for the remount/climb, and quickly assessing your route. In other words: avoid the bodies.
    I don't rattle.

  9. #9
    hello pot? this is kettle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    Suggesting that one simply outsprint everyone to the singletrack is as overly simplistic as saying that to win races you need to go faster. Hello!? Less developed riders and certain parts of the course will always add up to clogging of progress no matter how fast you were to the singletrack to avoid the Conga line.
    It's not that overly simplistic. If you beat the slowbodies to the choke points *there is no conga line for you*.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    Running with the bike, as well as portage, was always an exercise for my racers. One of the first rules I taught them as new racers is to avoid the bodies. At first everyone thinks this ruefully funny. A little bit of experience on the course, though, proves such an awareness is worth huge chunks of time.

    Suggesting that one simply outsprint everyone to the singletrack is as overly simplistic as saying that to win races you need to go faster. Hello!? Less developed riders and certain parts of the course will always add up to clogging of progress no matter how fast you were to the singletrack to avoid the Conga line.

    So what we worked on is studying each course for the inevitable snarl spots, appreciate the ground around it, look for the earliest view of such problems, and anticipating a tactic for managing it. Early decisions to commit to getting off the bike, avoiding dabbing/crashing, clean dismounts, running with or carrying the bike, and maintaining momentum were emphasized. Calling out for slower participants to move to the right was included but somehow the walkers always seem to take the best line.

    So our drills were hardly a drills of much repetition for power but more one of appreciating opportunity and making smooth transitions. Mostly we worked on being mentally prepared with a plan of attack to deal with the fatigued, dabbed, halted, or stacked-up, getting your bike in a gear for the remount/climb, and quickly assessing your route. In other words: avoid the bodies.

    Thanks for the insight. I have a race on Sunday and I will keep this in mind as I know of several choke points already.

    I'm also thinking about wearing a 'VIP' jersey and just walking to the front of the line when congestion occurs. I'll let you know how that works out for me...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by paetersen View Post
    It's not that overly simplistic. If you beat the slowbodies to the choke points *there is no conga line for you*.
    As long as you ride one lap and that is the only chokepoint that works just fine.
    I don't rattle.

  12. #12
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by string_wise View Post
    Thanks for the insight. I have a race on Sunday and I will keep this in mind as I know of several choke points already.

    I'm also thinking about wearing a 'VIP' jersey and just walking to the front of the line when congestion occurs. I'll let you know how that works out for me...
    Sounds like a solid plan.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  13. #13
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    I had broken my chain as i was standing to mash up a hill half way through my first race ever. Not wanting to be "that guy", I made an instant decision to shoulder my bike and run up hill. I got to the top and flipped my bike over. I swear I could have fixed the chain before the group that was on my tail got up. I still cannot believe at how fast I made it. I didn't have a spare powerlink, but now I carry 2!

    At the first time racers clinic they called it a "scheduled dismount". There was nothing scheduled about my broken chain, but I made it up that hill faster than I had and will ever ride up it.

  14. #14
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    had a lemans start against lance at mellow johnny's 6 hour. the running part didn't make alot of difference other then it was total weirdness for me.
    To answer the question, running definitely helps the training regiment. It's a great way to get the heart and respiratory rate up there and hold it there. Good luck.
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

  15. #15
    lgh
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    I'm going to do one or a few SS CX races this fall and have been doing some practice loops on our property. The dismount/run/mount phase of the loop is frickin' brutal. I doubt it is doing anything for my cycling ability and it really throws off any cycling rhythm. It is, however, making a man out of me.

    Larry

  16. #16
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    I run regularly because I have limited time to ride during the week being a teacher and step father to 3 teenagers who are involved in all kinds of activities. I do 17.5 to 37.5 miles per week depending on the season.

    I have been out on my regular rides grinding up hills and have been passed by runners. I also found that running parts of race courses are much faster than trying to run them. I have passed guys trying to ride through sections that I chose to run through. It helps to know the course and where you are more likely to be faster by running with your bike versus trying to ride the course.

    This year was my first year back in expert after finishing 3 in our series last season as a sport. I have been finishing in the upper 50% of the pack in most races.

    Running is a great cross training tool and helps me keep weight off and keep my cardio fitness with limited training time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgh View Post
    I'm going to do one or a few SS CX races this fall and have been doing some practice loops on our property. The dismount/run/mount phase of the loop is frickin' brutal. I doubt it is doing anything for my cycling ability and it really throws off any cycling rhythm. It is, however, making a man out of me.

    Larry
    I have a weekly practice for cross and we do a lot of dismounting and running with the bike. I find even if I'm in decent running shape the ballistic nature of stepping off a moving bike at speed makes me a lot more sore. It's a tough night for everyone.

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