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  1. #1
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    Time left on the course

    In triathlon folks speak about "time left on the course". This is just time lost on the course that isn't really related to fitness. Some examples would be slow transitions between disciplines, failure to draft in the swim, mechanicals, etc.

    In xc, I've left time on the course by not pre-riding, by not riding within my limits and crashing, and by blowing up because of poor pacing. Where else is there free time to be had?

  2. #2
    LMN
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    Drinking in the wrong place. Choose spots to drink where you don't lose speed.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  3. #3
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    inability to pass others quickly/effectively

    mechanicals

    avoiding shallow water crossings to keep bike clean (stupid, but people do it)

    poor hydration/food timing

    slow clip in at start if trying to be first to single track

    wrong gear selection (mostly if running ss or 1Xwhatever)

    cramping

    missing a turn

    forced to dismount and run with bike over sections that are totally rideable

  4. #4
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    Getting stuck behind...

    1. someone who blows up (and not being able to get around)
    2. someone who crashes (can't be helped I suppose but it's time anyway)
    3. someone who is riding, for example, 1% slower than you would be if riding on your own--but you get comfortable with the pace and you stay there
    4. someone who randomly dismounts for semi-technical stuff, forcing a dismount on your part
    5. someone who misses a turn (it's almost impossible not to follow them isn't it)

  5. #5
    ups and downs
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    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  6. #6
    likes to ride bikes
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    Shouldda ridden a 29er, Geoff, you wouldda rolled right over that.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by noah19692000
    1. someone who blows up (and not being able to get around)
    2. someone who crashes (can't be helped I suppose but it's time anyway)
    3. someone who is riding, for example, 1% slower than you would be if riding on your own--but you get comfortable with the pace and you stay there
    4. someone who randomly dismounts for semi-technical stuff, forcing a dismount on your part
    5. someone who misses a turn (it's almost impossible not to follow them isn't it)
    These are many of what i was thinking.

    I not sure which criteria it falls into, but I got caught behind a guy last year that was fast going straight, but couldn't handle anything technical, so he would put a bit of a gap on me and I would close and he would jam the brakes on some turn or root, causing me to lose momentum, and he would get another small gap. Repeat.

  8. #8
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    not planning ahead to dismount and run when it is clearly faster to do so.
    Try to be good.

  9. #9
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    It seems like a ton of these answers are related to someone ahead of you screwing up. Not that all of us don't make errors sometimes and maybe it just happens to be at a time when someone is behind you. Actually in XC racing I dont find it to be much of a problem, at least not in cat1.

    But in endurance racing, OMG!!!! Of the last 2 I've done I can say with confidence that I could have improved my time by a good 5 minutes if not for all the jackholes walking or spinning out in granny on technical climbs. If you are that sloppy of a bike handler when you are fresh (surely it won't improve at the end), why the hell are you rushing to get ahead of people going into the trail??? And not only does it eat away at your time (while the leaders are pulling away), but it also requires a lot of extra energy to suddenly dismount and run, or even to break your pedal stride up a climb.

    I'm still an inexperienced endurance racer, so I'm still listening to everyone (and my own conscious) telling me to pace myself and don't burn a lot of matches off the start, but I'm looking at my times and realizing how I narrowly missed the podium, or that I could have had a higher podium spot. I think I'm just going to start all my training rides, especially LSD, with big some big sprint efforts.

  10. #10
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    Time left on course is always something I look at after a race. I've even developed a new mantra; 'keep it moving' to remind me to avoid time bandit situations. The two most frequent for me were...

    1. When you have to dismount take the most direct route, run and hop back on quickly. I would say even practice your dismounting, remounting and pedaling not clipped in. Sometimes its something we don't think about but walking up a runup because you're tired or taking extra time to get your leg over and clipped in could cost a few minutes a race.

    2. Longer enduros tent to have feedstations that you refill your own bottles or food to grab. Have a plan before the race for when you're stopping and what you plan to do at each stop.

    Most of the other stuff (people in front of you or mechanicals) are usually something you can't control.

  11. #11
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    I'd say one issue I've had in the past is getting excited at the start and going too fast. Time to be had there for sure. Along the same lines is not warming up or not warming up well enough before a race.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dainbramage91
    I'd say one issue I've had in the past is getting excited at the start and going too fast. Time to be had there for sure. Along the same lines is not warming up or not warming up well enough before a race.
    This is the biggest chunk of time lost for me. I'm learning to pace myself--but I still screw this up frequently.

  13. #13
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    But in an XC race, the pace is pretty much what it is and you have to deal. Unless you are the one setting the pace, you can't let the group (or even the leader(s)) run away from you. Even if you are confident that they will all blow up later, you'd have to pass every one of them on the way to the front, which takes time and effort. For endurance stuff, maybe this is less important, but I can't imagine letting the leaders go is a good tactic in any XC race.

    My approach is not to be worried about going too fast at the start, but rather to be worried about lack of trainig that keeps me from going fast enough. The starts of XC races are always going to be insane. You have to train for it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by climr
    But in an XC race, the pace is pretty much what it is and you have to deal. Unless you are the one setting the pace, you can't let the group (or even the leader(s)) run away from you. Even if you are confident that they will all blow up later, you'd have to pass every one of them on the way to the front, which takes time and effort. For endurance stuff, maybe this is less important, but I can't imagine letting the leaders go is a good tactic in any XC race.

    My approach is not to be worried about going too fast at the start, but rather to be worried about lack of trainig that keeps me from going fast enough. The starts of XC races are always going to be insane. You have to train for it.
    Actually an XC race is more of a timetrial, so the pace is whatever you can do fastest. If you force yourself to follow the leaders pace, you might end up oxygen deprived, start making errors, or get blown up, all of which will kill your moral. Once that happens your chances are over, especially since it happens at the start, and then the entire time you are just finishing the race in a crappy mood.

    Sometimes I don't really find my stride until the 2nd lap, or maybe I'm able to put in a stronger 3rd lap than the others. In this case you know the leader is out there somewhere and he can be caught. And since XC is usually split into cats and age groups, you dont have a ton of passing to do.


    In an endurance race you might be lined up with 200+ racers, everything from cat2 to pros, making for some epic bottle necks, not to mention tempers and frustration. When you are behind a line of 30 racers on singletrack going slower than you'd like, there is just nothing you can do about it.

  15. #15
    WIRVNTANASHRSH?
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    Well, I guess we have to figure out what works for each of us. Personally, knowing the leaders are "gone" kills my morale and I finish the race in a crappy mood. If there is one guy that takes off from the start that's one thing, he may very well blow up.. I'm talking about when a small group forms and sticks together. The odds of all of them blowing up and you coming from behind are slim to none.

    An XC race is more like a time trial than a road race for sure, but in my opinion there are tactics you have to play out with the other riders. The goal of an XC race is to win, not to get ride your fastest lap(s). Why would you exert more effort than needed? My favorite place to be is on the leader's wheel feeling good, then attack with a few miles to go.

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