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  1. #1
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    a good article on the demands of XC racing

    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/nms...ID=619&sID=634
    See pages 5-8 of this newsletter.

    It's a good read. Great description on distilling down the elements of mountain bike racing.

    A couple of quotes that ring true from my personal experience:
    -it is a continuous series of very high intensity work, with little
    or no rest between. The technical elements of most
    courses mean that it is difficult to recover from these
    efforts.

    -They have to be able to extract
    maximum power over a variety of
    surfaces, so they need to have a
    smooth and efficient pedalling
    style, with the ability to rapidly change cadence over a large range.

    A lot of my training is geared towards these two statements: Intervals with insufficient rest, Leadout intervals, and Buttkicker intervals: (alternating 1 minute at steady state race pace, 1 minute at higher pace)

  2. #2
    I love Pisgah
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    Its impossible for someone..anyone, whom has never raced an XC event..to understand how tough the pace is. Hell, I seem to continually forget how tough it is at race pace(regardless of the course and conditions), and I race weekly this time of year, going back to 03. Its just impossible to duplicate unless your racing. Period. I JUST got back from a round of our state series XC race today in N Ga. 35 in class(Sport 40+). Went from 3rd on the start..up to 2nd after a couple miles..caught first place toward the bottom of a twisty fast descent...stayed with in site and for abit then tried to stay with him up a winding climb...and then blew up soon after and started going backwards to about 7th...recovered "some"...started hammering again and moving up and soon after had my first ever during a race tire "blow off" of a Stans setup while leaned over railing a fast rooty turn. Rims don't give much turning traction...so I was on the ground in a split second with that WTF look on my face I'm sure. Damn! It was the same tire I had a parking lot blowoff at the Tsali 12 hour back in 05(after sorta over inflating it). Note to self:don't use that tire anymore with Stans(Conti Twister supersonic).

    What fun tho.

    Duck
    Last edited by Duckman; 04-29-2007 at 07:23 PM.
    "I've breathed the mtn air, man" Johnny Cash

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    . . . if you wanna rock and roll (ac/dc)

  3. #3
    Devil Mtn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckman
    Istarted hammering again and moving up and soon after had my first ever during a race tire "blow off" of a Stans setup while leaned over railing a fast rooty turn. Rims don't give much turning traction...so I was on the ground in a split second with that WTF look on my face I'm sure. Damn!
    Hey Duck, that's too bad! Did you DNF then?

  4. #4
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    Well..yes. The good news is, at least I didn't walk back. This was the first XC race this season that I actually carried a tube and Co2(its a LONG walk back since the course is one 10 mile lap around a bigarse lake). But, I really didn't need to race this weekend(I'm weak tho and have no self control) since I'd not yet totally recovered from the cohutta 35 last week, and have a 12 hour solo next week. I suffered in the Cohutta race, but got a great result(for me at least. open class 9th overall from 70). So I decided to bag it for 2nd lap to save whats left in the legs for next week. They(my legs) were screaming by then anyways. First DNF since 05, I think.
    Last edited by Duckman; 04-29-2007 at 07:23 PM.
    "I've breathed the mtn air, man" Johnny Cash

    It's a long way to the top
    . . . if you wanna rock and roll (ac/dc)

  5. #5
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    That was interesting. The article picked Bart Brentjens, Fillip Meier-epo-haeghe (my spelling may be off) and another rider whose name I forget to show the variability in terms of body type found in successful racers. Ranging in size from 5'4" to 6'3", they all seemed to have a ratio of height in inches to body weight of between 2.1:1 to 2.2:1. I geeked out on that (the article didn't put forth those numbers) since I just read in Friel's book that the optimum numbers for a racer ( a pure climber) are more like 2:1 or a little lower. Just some geekery, but interesting since for my height, 5'11", Joe Friel would have me at 142 lbs. Yeesh.

    The bit about total body fitness being a requirement for successful racing also resonates with me.

  6. #6
    It's the axle
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    Thanks for the article.

    This is my first post in the XC racing forum. I've been riding mountain bikes since 1985. But between the combination of not having to work, having just moved to amazing riding, and a great bike, I'm starting to focus on ME. I'm the weak link in this system. Even though I'm 5'7" and 135 pounds, and can hammer just about anyone I encounter, I'm not satisfied with my performance. I was getting ready to ask questions. But I don't even know what to ask. So this article was a good primer.

    I have had some great days. But I have just had three days in a row where I felt fatiqued. Maybe I'm overdoing things. Maybe it's nutrition.

    I am finally at a point in my life where I can focus on biking. I no longer drink like a crazy young man. So hopefully I'll be able to get more answers from you guys. Or maybe I'm just too old to make progress. I never was able to make much progress in terms of fitness without a ton of time and dedication.

    I'm ready to start.

  7. #7
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    The cadence data was reassuring

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl
    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/nms...ID=619&sID=634
    See pages 5-8 of this newsletter.

    It's a good read. Great description on distilling down the elements of mountain bike racing.

    A couple of quotes that ring true from my personal experience:
    -it is a continuous series of very high intensity work, with little
    or no rest between. The technical elements of most
    courses mean that it is difficult to recover from these
    efforts.

    -They have to be able to extract
    maximum power over a variety of
    surfaces, so they need to have a
    smooth and efficient pedalling
    style, with the ability to rapidly change cadence over a large range.

    A lot of my training is geared towards these two statements: Intervals with insufficient rest, Leadout intervals, and Buttkicker intervals: (alternating 1 minute at steady state race pace, 1 minute at higher pace)
    Great article

    I always thought I had a problem riding on dirt because my cadence seemed to gravitate to about 75 rpm whenever there were bumps (flats or climbs). But this data shows the peak of the cadence distribution for this elite right around 75 rpm. Accept for sprint intervals, I almost always do my trainer workouts at 85 to 90 rpm-wonder if i should change that to 75 to 80 rpm at the same power output? Any opinions?

  8. #8
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    as posted above doing 20+mi at race speed cannot be understood until one does it. I started riding in 2005 and jumped right into sport (after weekend riding for years) well I was outmatched by a long shot (both endurance and my tech skills). I have since worked hard to improve to a decent "sport" rider with the demands of a 50hr work week. It's really a lifestyle change and the Mrs...thinks i'm obsessed. In reality to be able to handle races every couple of weeks you need to dedicate most of your free time. People don't understand that bike maint, diet, hydration, cross training, and training/riding are key components of being able just to compete. This article does a good job at pointing out the things we take for granted when we race. I forget that it's a skill to shift while changing your body weight to be able to go up a steep switchback on loose dirt with a rock in the middle. It get's to be instinct.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB
    That was interesting. The article picked Bart Brentjens, Fillip Meier-epo-haeghe (my spelling may be off) and another rider whose name I forget to show the variability in terms of body type found in successful racers. Ranging in size from 5'4" to 6'3", they all seemed to have a ratio of height in inches to body weight of between 2.1:1 to 2.2:1. I geeked out on that (the article didn't put forth those numbers) since I just read in Friel's book that the optimum numbers for a racer ( a pure climber) are more like 2:1 or a little lower. Just some geekery, but interesting since for my height, 5'11", Joe Friel would have me at 142 lbs. Yeesh.

    The bit about total body fitness being a requirement for successful racing also resonates with me.
    Martinez was 51 or 52 kg, or about 115 lbs. 115/64 = 1.8. There ain't no way he weighed 58kg as the article states.

  10. #10
    XCdude
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    You are so right about that, words don`t describe the

    Quote Originally Posted by Duckman
    Its impossible for someone..anyone, whom has never raced an XC event..to understand how tough the pace is. Hell, I seem to continually forget how tough it is at race pace(regardless of the course and conditions), and I race weekly this time of year, going back to 03. Its just impossible to duplicate unless your racing. Period. I JUST got back from a round of our state series XC race today in N Ga. 35 in class(Sport 40+). Went from 3rd on the start..up to 2nd after a couple miles..caught first place toward the bottom of a twisty fast descent...stayed with in site and for abit then tried to stay with him up a winding climb...and then blew up soon after and started going backwards to about 7th...recovered "some"...started hammering again and moving up and soon after had my first ever during a race tire "blow off" of a Stans setup while leaned over railing a fast rooty turn. Rims don't give much turning traction...so I was on the ground in a split second with that WTF look on my face I'm sure. Damn! It was the same tire I had a parking lot blowoff at the Tsali 12 hour back in 05(after sorta over inflating it). Note to self:don't use that tire anymore with Stans(Conti Twister supersonic).

    What fun tho.

    Duck
    pain. People ask(friends) why didn't you catch him he was only like 35 seconds in front. Dont you people understand that my heart rate was somewhere north of 200 bpm. The few times I have raced with my HRM, is crazy when you at the actual numbers effort and how long you mantain the 115-125% of max, is nuts. Only racing gives you that.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Gregg K]Thanks for the article.



    I have had some great days. But I have just had three days in a row where I felt fatiqued. Maybe I'm overdoing things. Maybe it's nutrition.

    [QUOTE]

    You are supposed to feel fatigued 3 days in a row. That means you're doing it right.

    From my experience there seems to be about 2-3 days a month where I'm riding effortlessly, where speeds are really high but perceived exertion is really low. These are the days to die for. This is what being strong is.

    However, I'm trying to embrace the struggle. The days where you are hurting and pushing and getting dropped and failing intervals. Because this is what it takes to get strong.

    It should go without saying to temper your hard efforts and 2-3day blocks with rest otherwise you'll dig yourself into a downward spiral.

  12. #12
    It's the axle
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    Hey, thanks!

    I went on a ride yesterday, and felt like a pro. I was pounding on the big chainring like I was road riding. And there was no recovery. I just felt great.

    I thought I was doing the right thing. I'm just starting to finally pay attention. And the more I learn, the more optimistic I get. I"m 51, so my vo2max is probably far less than it was at one time. But my lactic threshold is going up. So, I guess I'll just keep riding. And hopefully when the hammerhead I haven't ridin with yet shows up, I'll find out the truth. Haha. It's all fun. That's the best way I approach this.

  13. #13
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moab63
    The few times I have raced with my HRM, is crazy when you at the actual numbers effort and how long you mantain the 115-125% of max, is nuts.
    It's not possible to do more than 100% of your max HR. If it was, then you weren't actually using the correct value for your max HR to begin with. Maybe you're talking about some some other HR value, like LTHR? If it's LTHR you're referring to, a 15%-25% differential between LTHR and max HR is quite substantial, where a smaller differential would actually be better.

  14. #14
    XCdude
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    Something to that effect

    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip
    It's not possible to do more than 100% of your max HR. If it was, then you weren't actually using the correct value for your max HR to begin with. Maybe you're talking about some some other HR value, like LTHR? If it's LTHR you're referring to, a 15%-25% differential between LTHR and max HR is quite substantial, where a smaller differential would actually be better.
    Your recorded max hr, can go much higher during a race number that are only seen during a race period. Thats what racing is all about.

  15. #15
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moab63
    Your recorded max hr, can go much higher during a race number that are only seen during a race period. Thats what racing is all about.
    That's simply not correct.

    It is physically impossible to go above your max HR. That's why it's called max HR, which by definition is the highest possibl heart rate you reach during a specific activity (i.e. max HR for a given subject may be different in cycling vs. running vs. swimming, etc.), and in specific environmental conditions (temperature and other factors can have an effect).

    On the other hand, if you're saying that your personal experience is that you can't reach your own personal max HR in training, but only while racing, that's very common - but not necessarily true for everyone. Some people can reach the same max HR in training that they do in racing.

    However, the numerical example you provided is way off for the majority of people. You're statement about being able to achieve heart rates 15%-25% higher in racing means that you're saying someone who can hit 200 while racing, can only hit only 160-173 while training.


  16. #16
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    Not really This just means you are not able to push yourself high enough without someone's help (additional motivation you get when racing face to face with someone). If you are mentally prepared for this, you can easily reach your max HR during race or training. But it's not so easy as someone might think. Not physically but mentally. People are normally just not made to go to limits.
    And as Circlip said... you can't reach 101% of your max HR. If you did, then your max HR number was wrong on beginning and it was something like 95% of max hr and not max hr. It's like filling bottle of water, which holds 1 liter, with 1.5 liters. It just doesn't go.
    Primoz

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