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Thread: First XC race

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    First XC race

    Finished my first XC race yesterday. XC-3 (30-39), finished 21 out of 40(+/-) But with little "real" training and only being able to ride once or twice a week I wasn't expecting greatness, guess mid-pack isn't too bad........BUT IT WAS FUN!!!

    Next one in 2 weeks!!!

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    Great work! What race was it?

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    Florida State XC Series #1, in Tallahasse, FL - Tom Brown Park

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    I haven't finished that close to the front of a traditional-length XC race all year.

    Great effort for your first one. I bet you learned a lot, and you'll be a bit further forward next time.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    I did learn ALOT and it helped me see where my weak and strong areas are. My power is there, however, my endurance is not so great so my power is short lived. I can definately keep going, my pace just falls fairly significantly.

    I've heard road riding is good for increasing endurance, but can't afford another bike, so I'm thinking of some spinning classes at the gym??

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    A friend of mine talked me into taking her spin class. I hated it! I'm sure there are good spin classes and bad spin classes, but the general wisdom for increasing endurance is to ride for a period of time longer than your event at a steady pace. My friend's spin class changed effort level a lot, and from what I've read, that seems to be the general experience. So it's more analogous to intervals. People argue about whether a long ride should be slow or as fast as you can handle for that time or somewhere in between. But maintaining about the same effort seems to be something people can agree upon.

    Building a better aerobic base is a pretty long-term project - good thing to start now, but it's not going to yield results for a while, probably. Pacing yourself better is something you can learn to do in a few rides. Ride some trails that are easy enough that you can flow pretty well the whole time. Try to ride continuously for a while longer than the length of your event. Figure out how hard you can start and finish without experiencing a big dropoff in how hard you can ride. Doing better in your next race could be as simple as not stressing out about the start as much. This is a difficult balance, because in a 40 person wave, you could be putting yourself behind a lot of traffic if you don't go hard out of the gate, but you also don't want to blow up before you're finished.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Thanks for the input.

    I've thought about putting some slicks on my MTB and riding the alsphalt rails to trails areas. But I also have a pretty good intermediate level loop at my local trail that is 5 miles. Looking at the race schedule looks like my distances are going to be 12-14 miles. I can ride the loop at a pretty consistent pace, maybe I'll start riding 4 to 5 laps and concentrate on keeping my pace consistent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anesthesia-matt View Post
    Finished my first XC race yesterday. XC-3 (30-39), finished 21 out of 40(+/-) But with little "real" training and only being able to ride once or twice a week I wasn't expecting greatness, guess mid-pack isn't too bad........BUT IT WAS FUN!!!

    Next one in 2 weeks!!!
    I was right in there with ya, I finished 17th. This was my first full length XC race as I did the novice (1 lap) race at Santos last December. The course was a lot of fun. Where are you at in Fl? I got a lot of work to do as well... I am not a sprinter and these short course races are tough. Have you ever ridden Fernandina?
    Jesse
    Salsa El Mariachi Ti

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    Hey Jesse,

    I'm in Ocala where the Santos system is located. The only 2 places I've ridden with any regularity are Santos and Tom Brown, but I'm looking forward to checking out these other trails as the season progresses. I feel your pain about the sprinting, about 3/4 through the first lap my sprint was gone and I felt I was just bascially pedaling to finish. I would get spurts of energy here and there but nothing I could hang on to. But the course was a blast, I really liked the rooty down hill coming down Cadillac and the flow track was simply awesome.....however the climb out of the flow track (Kudzilla) was a killer for me.

    Hoping I can ride more and get stronger as the season goes on. Are you near Ocala, we could meet up and hit some Santos trails sometime.

    Matt

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    The fact that you had "fun" is HUUUUUUGE. Good luck in your next race man!! I can't say that much more than riding through the finish line had been "fun" for me though... somehow I keep showing up for more beatings...

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    Quote Originally Posted by anesthesia-matt View Post
    Hey Jesse,

    I'm in Ocala where the Santos system is located. The only 2 places I've ridden with any regularity are Santos and Tom Brown, but I'm looking forward to checking out these other trails as the season progresses. I feel your pain about the sprinting, about 3/4 through the first lap my sprint was gone and I felt I was just bascially pedaling to finish. I would get spurts of energy here and there but nothing I could hang on to. But the course was a blast, I really liked the rooty down hill coming down Cadillac and the flow track was simply awesome.....however the climb out of the flow track (Kudzilla) was a killer for me.

    Hoping I can ride more and get stronger as the season goes on. Are you near Ocala, we could meet up and hit some Santos trails sometime.

    Matt
    Matt,

    I am in Gainesville and try to get down to Santos as often as I can as it is my favorite trailsystem. I will keep you updated on the next time I am going to be down your way, it won't be before the FSC#2 race though. So hopefully I will catch you up in Fernandina at the race and put a face to the screen name.
    Yeah that was my first time riding Tom Brown, drove over Sunday a.m., left at 4:45 to get there early enough to get a pre-ride lap in. The course layout was awesome, I had a blast as well.
    Jesse
    Salsa El Mariachi Ti

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    Great job guys. I finished 30th. With almost no training, I'm happy with the results. My goals were to finish and not finish last. I end up beating 3 guys. However, I was way off the back. That first climb killed me and took way to long to recover. Need to start riding and training more. Also crashed hard on my second lap. Way to much fun.

    By the way, we're up in High Springs just North of Gainesville. Looking forward to catching up with you guys at Haile's Trails. Going to skip #2. The boys have soccer.

    Almost forgot to ask Matt. How did your boy do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcrouch355 View Post
    Great job guys. I finished 30th. With almost no training, I'm happy with the results. My goals were to finish and not finish last. I end up beating 3 guys. However, I was way off the back. That first climb killed me and took way to long to recover. Need to start riding and training more. Also crashed hard on my second lap. Way to much fun.

    By the way, we're up in High Springs just North of Gainesville. Looking forward to catching up with you guys at Haile's Trails. Going to skip #2. The boys have soccer.

    Almost forgot to ask Matt. How did your boy do?
    Hey, I am doing training rides at San Felasco every Wednesday night at 6:15ish if you have a light and want to come out. It is about a 21mi. loop I am riding according to a friend's gps our route has 1750ft of climbing. Riding that loop for the last 2 months has really helped my climbing. I suffer a lot on climbs as well but I am working on it.
    Jesse
    Salsa El Mariachi Ti

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    Good job guys! That race was a blast. The Time Trials on Saturday were great too! I'll see you at FSC#2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anesthesia-matt View Post
    Thanks for the input.

    I've thought about putting some slicks on my MTB and riding the alsphalt rails to trails areas. But I also have a pretty good intermediate level loop at my local trail that is 5 miles. Looking at the race schedule looks like my distances are going to be 12-14 miles. I can ride the loop at a pretty consistent pace, maybe I'll start riding 4 to 5 laps and concentrate on keeping my pace consistent.
    Sounds like a plan.

    Mix it up some days too. Variety is fun, and experimenting is how you'll figure out how you're fastest - try really assaulting the climbs some days. Try holding back a little for the first two laps and opening the throttle on the third. Try just going as hard as you can.

    If you keep having fun with racing, shop around for a team. Riding with faster riders is fun and highly educational.

    I find myself strangely positive about racing in general right now. 'Cross race yesterday...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Thanks for the invite Jesse. Unfortunately, I coach my sons soccer team and we practice till 6:30 on Wednesdays. May need to try and move his practices to a different day. I need to find rides on Tuesday or Thursdays right now. Will start doing more rides with Fred from Gator Cycle on Sunday evenings in town.

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    Hey tlcrouch355,

    My son did pretty good, was in 6th for a while then crashed on his last lap and dropped to 9th, but he loved it. He wants to do FSC#2 as well. I'll miss you guys at #3 as I already had a vacation scheduled, but I plan at being at the rest of the races.

    I've been trying to ride with some of the fast local guys here, but seems something always comes up on those evenings. I definately like riding with them though, I usually do a lap where I chase and try to keep up and then a lap out front with them pushing me.

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    Alafia this weekend. Are you guys going to be there? The trails are a hot mess, but it should be a fun race.
    **Team ProEdgeBiker.com / LeRoys Bikeworks**
    FSC XC-2

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    I will be at Alafia this weekend. How bad are the trail conditions from all that rain? Is it like during the 6hr race?
    Jesse
    Salsa El Mariachi Ti

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    Quote Originally Posted by FotoJesse View Post
    I will be at Alafia this weekend. How bad are the trail conditions from all that rain? Is it like during the 6hr race?

    The trails are a hot mess. A lot of exposes roots and eroded climbs.
    **Team ProEdgeBiker.com / LeRoys Bikeworks**
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FotoJesse View Post
    I will be at Alafia this weekend. How bad are the trail conditions from all that rain? Is it like during the 6hr race?
    Ahh, the pain I suffered in that race! haha! BTW, I am also from Ocala. I have a bronze/copper colored Stumpjumper, I ride 3-4 times a week out there, say hello next time your out!

    OH btw, the thing that has improved my endurance/skills the most is going out on the group rides. I typically ride every tuesday with the santos trailhead bike shop and every wednesday with the greenway bicycles shop. These guys kick my butt and I have to give it everything I got to keep up! Come join us tonight, we leave at 6:30 SHARP from the main trailhead.

    Quote Originally Posted by DogBone51 View Post
    The trails are a hot mess. A lot of exposes roots and eroded climbs.
    Sounds like another weekend like the 6hrs, atleast its only one lap this time!

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    I'll be at Alafia too. I will be there Saturday, to hopefully get some pre-riding in.

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    Congrats on the race!!! Its exciting isnt it?!!

    I didnt improve much my first couple of races (finished in the 30+ area each time), so dont be too tough on yourself yet.

    A couple of things that really pushed me forward and helped me improve:

    - Learn to use your energy wisely. I was getting way too worked up at the start and trying way too hard to keep up with the leaders at the beginning. This led to an early fatigue level that hindered me the whole race. Its important to know how hard you can push it at the start without tiring yourself for the whole race. Settle down your breathing and your heart rate when at the starting line. Remember its just a race, noones life is at stake. Tell yourself that its going to be fun no matter what and be happy to be doing what your doing.

    - Continue to pedal throughout the entire single track, glide only when neccessary. I picked this up from riding with much better riders. They pedal almost non stop, even in technical downhill sections.

    - Make sure the gear you are wearing in not restricting your breathing. Heavy cotton tshirts and camel backs that are too tight will cut your breath and tire you quicker than normal.

    - Warm up. I didnt warm up other than a casual stroll through the parking lot my first couple of races. Now I warm up pretty intensely and it definetely helps me out of the gate.

    Good luck and keep us up to date on your races!!

    By the way, im very jealous. I live in WI and our race season is over till next May...
    Last edited by pattongb; 10-13-2011 at 08:55 AM.
    People ask me all the time "who beat you up"? I tell them "a tree". They just look at me funny....

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    Sometimes I think one of the worst things I've done as a racer was win my age group in my first race, in sport class. It wasn't especially well-attended, so I only needed to beat two people to do it. But it got me a gift certificate and a pretty high bar to try to meet in the much better-attended series races I usually do.

    Oh well. It doesn't really matter where in the pack you are, if it's a race there are people ready to contest 54th place.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Going to miss Alafia. Will be at San Felasco.

    I felt much better at Haile's Trails. Had one good crash. Other then that, I wasn't that far off the pace. Good luck this weekend.

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