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  1. #1
    08anthem adv 1x9 23.5lbs
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    Help with fast starts in cat 1

    I am not new to racing by any means. I have been raing for about 15 years. I have always struggled with the fast starts that we do. I have tried every way to warm up, but as soon as they say go, I cn keep up with the top 5 for 800 meters and then I blow up, and can't maintain their pace and end up near the back of the pack. After a bit I start regaining my strength and am able to start picking some off. There has only oneracewhere i went hard off the line and stayed out front the whole race(big bear2005).
    So my question is how do I stay with the front group? I spend about10 ish hrs a wk training, which is not real strict and really have not done any interval work in about 2 yrs. The year I had a strict training program, I think I burnt my self out mid season. Help please.thanks

  2. #2
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    what i am hearing is that you don't warm up properly....
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  3. #3
    08anthem adv 1x9 23.5lbs
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    but i am 40 min total on trainer easy warm up in beginning get hr to 112 for a few then jump up to 12-130 for a few, get off, pee, stretch get back on get up to 130 and start raising it and do two ramp up hard pulls to get up to 165 for a min or so then back off and do again and get off bike and get ready to head to the starting area. sit there for about 15min or so depending if they are on time , hr is around 90 to 100 and then the gun goes off and with in 15sec the hr is up to 167 to 170 and bam . I feel that is a good warm up . got this from some of the pro's out there. What do you have in mind whybotherme?

  4. #4
    CB2
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    I wouldn't worry about it too much. From my experience, unless there is some crazy bottleneck 100 meters from the line going into the singletrack it will all sort out in the end.

  5. #5
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    I think you answered your own questions - intervals. It doesn't sound like you are doing any specific training for those fast starts. You can't really ask your body to do something in a race that you haven't trained for in your training.

    However, I also agree with CB2, depending on the length of the race, the competition, and the ability to pass easily, being at the front may not always be that crucial and you may be doing yourself more harm than good by trying to stay with the fast starters.

  6. #6
    Has skills-will travel
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    I would try these:
    1. Warm UP
    2. Sprint - VO2max - Sprint intervals 5 to 8 reps (w/ 5 min rest between reps)
    Start interval with a sprint for 30sec at 200-300% FTP (start this with 15seconds out of the saddle)
    After the starting sprint - 3 min at 100-110% FTP
    Finish with a 10 second burst out of the saddle at >200% FTP
    3. Cool down

    This should help you start fast and then keep a good amount of power after the starting sprint.

  7. #7
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    Dont warm up! sorta kidding, but try something different.
    If the real structured training burned you out mid season try and think back to what it was that got you burned out....lots of hours, intervals, or just the feeling of "I have to do this today", whatever it was...don't repeat it, or atleast modify it to avoid burning out. What about just having a good start v. top 5, not first but not last and maybe you will have more "matches to burn" in the mid to end of the race. Some people just have a fast start, but can they maintain??? If you are happy with how things are going other than your starts, but dont want to get to structured for fear of burn out...maybe add just one day a week of something like the above mentioned sprint/vo2max interval. It sounds like an a$skicker and will be trying it myself next week. Good luck and sounds like you have some good stuff going for you, but just tweak things a little.
    ATV = fat A$$

  8. #8
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    i am not a golden god of warmups. what works for me may not work for you.

    i have tried several "warmup routines" but what works for me is getting out on course before my race and riding some it. in some cases i ride a full lap. other cases i ride a section (usually when courses are really long i only ride a section).

    i don't train to a plan either. i just don't feel there is much benefit to it for me. my wife, she digs the structure and has a coach and everything. not for me. when i feel good i kick the ***** out of myself, when i don't feel good i back off or rest.

    i don't know what your "training" is like, but think about it this way....

    you need to balance training your aerobic/steady state system (longer rides @ steady pace w/o breaks) and your harder, shorter / anaerobic system (hard climbs that range from 2-10 minutes, repeatedly).

    a good balance is about 80% steady state, and 20% harder/shorter
    My wife's website....
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  9. #9
    08anthem adv 1x9 23.5lbs
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    I figured as much, thanks . Just don't like doing intervals.I always like to go out and some what enjoy my ride and ride hard. Even though I am a very structured person, it definitely doesn't come out when I am training. My season ended early for me b/c of reasons out of my control. So this season I really did not have anything to train for. In the end I was able to do 2races with only a month and a few days of training, ie no intervals. Did ok 11th at first race and 10th at the last one a few wkd ago. Cat 1 35 -39.
    Original plan for this season was Leadville then got 3 staph infections and was taken off bike for 2 + months. Next season will be Leadville again. I hope!

  10. #10
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    You say you don't like doing intervals, but that is exactly what you are doing at the start. Around here bike races are all intervals; sprint in the beginning, then singletrack, hammer some 2-track and repeat.

  11. #11
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    The best way to develop a skill is by repeating and isolating that skill. Seems to work in every sport.

    So you can do 2X10-15 min race starts. Rest 10 min in between. Just go up any hill. Just visualize being in a race.

    I've done this with a partner of similar ability and it hurts like hell. Just make an agreement of when to stop.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
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  12. #12
    08anthem adv 1x9 23.5lbs
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    Yeah I know. Guess I have to imbrase intervals

  13. #13
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    When the roadies and tri guys show up for training rides we drive them nuts as we head into the hills and hammer right off the bat. They are always whining about no warm up and we remind them of how MTB races start, warm up, then sit at the starting line for way too long to get a decent position and bang, 110% right out of the gate
    Like everyone else has said intervals are the key for a good start and a good race

  14. #14
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    My suggestion would be to practice the starts. This should be one of your high intensity workouts in the build period. You should practice the start that is similar to the next course you are racing.

    From a standing start, (just like a race) go all out for 2-3 min, then settle in the rest of the interval, high zone 4. Go for 10-15 min total. Fully recovery before doing the next start, 10-15 min with easy spinning.

    Another good workout is V02 Max workouts. 6-8 3x3 or 4x4. Full gas for the interval, then rest the same duration of the interval. There are a lot of benifts to this workout beyond the starts. You'll notice an increase in power, speed and endurance.

    Yes, intervals are not fun. However, if you are having trouble meeting the demands of certain race conditions, intervals are a great way to adapt to those conditions. Sometimes riding just doesn't do it.

    Additionally, try some openers the day before 5-10 1x1. 1 min on full gas, then rest 1 min. After you are done, shut it down. no more riding. If you are pre-riding a course, you can do the openers on course.

    Good luck with your season!
    MTB Coach
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  15. #15
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    Agree with the adding interval comments. I believe that you can race pretty well on 10 or so hours a week just riding and going hard when you feel like it. This is what I did last year and had a decent season. I think it comes down to how much you want out of your racing. By adding interval training your working on specific aspects of your fitness that will help you to race faster and be able to cope with the speeds. Ive added interval training this year and have noticed an obvious increase in my racing fitness. Yes they hurt, but just think of the bigger picture............interval sessions are also kind of satisfying in a sadistic kind of way :-)

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