1st time Enduro racer advice!?!?!?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    chupicocconut
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    1st time Enduro racer advice!?!?!?

    I have decided to make a commitment to race all or at least most of the California Enduro Series races in 2017. I'm going to go ahead and jump in head-first and do the Mammoth race September 16th this year to give myself a preview. I raced 3 cross country races in the Midwest about four years ago and I used to race Moto before that so I do have some experience with the race environment. But I'm 41 years old and although I ride a lot and consider myself to be in OK shape, I am fat. I've ridden about 800 miles this year and climbed about 75,000', too bad Strava doesn't keep track of pizza or Ipa's. I would KOM that ****!

    It's not for bragging rights or that I care that much about competition. Really just doing it as a good excuse to ride a bunch of really rad places that I normally wouldn't get to and as a good motivator to get back in shape.

    Just wondering if you guys have any advice for a first-time Enduro racer...??.?


    -Beginner or sport?
    -I have approximately 1 month before the race, what should I be training on? What should I be eating- especially the last week before?
    - Is it really necessary to switch to a downhill casing Tire?
    -I consider myself to be an intermediate rider, I live in the East Bay Area and ride places like Tamarancho, JMP, Auburn, and in the summer I am a regular at Downieville..... is the terrain on these courses gnarlier than Downieville?
    - how much climbing is involved within the stages? I am usually one of the first ones to the bottom but one of the last ones to the top in my group, should I give up on this Enduro dream and just race downhill?
    - I'm okay with steeps and gnarly rocks or smaller drops but not too big on gap jumps or really big drops.. Will there be crap like that?
    - So I understand that the transfers are not timed but are the times allowed to get to the top pretty generous? Since it is at a resort will the transfers be on lifts?
    - how important is the practice - pre-ride the day before? Obviously there is a big benefit to see what's coming on the course but would I more than likely wear myself out for Saturday?
    -other thoughts/ideas?

  2. #2
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    With one month to go, just go out and have some fun. Keep doing what you are doing. No need for a drastic change, unlikely to help much at this point. Maybe throw in a few digs and intervals just get used to the higher heart rate stuff. That fitness can come and go pretty fast.

    For next year, lose some weight, hit the gym in the off season; and ride your ass off when you can. It is a fun sport ( both mtb and Enduro racing). And more importantly it is a good excuse to do all that stuff you're supposed to do to be healthy and live right.

    Enjoy
    Making a poor choice while riding is still a good choice

  3. #3
    chupicocconut
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monster Truck View Post
    With one month to go, just go out and have some fun. Keep doing what you are doing. No need for a drastic change, unlikely to help much at this point. Maybe throw in a few digs and intervals just get used to the higher heart rate stuff. That fitness can come and go pretty fast.

    For next year, lose some weight, hit the gym in the off season; and ride your ass off when you can. It is a fun sport ( both mtb and Enduro racing). And more importantly it is a good excuse to do all that stuff you're supposed to do to be healthy and live right.

    Enjoy
    Right on, THANKS!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangrip9 View Post
    I have decided to make a commitment to race all or at least most of the California Enduro Series races in 2017. I'm going to go ahead and jump in head-first and do the Mammoth race September 16th this year to give myself a preview. I raced 3 cross country races in the Midwest about four years ago and I used to race Moto before that so I do have some experience with the race environment. But I'm 41 years old and although I ride a lot and consider myself to be in OK shape, I am fat. I've ridden about 800 miles this year and climbed about 75,000', too bad Strava doesn't keep track of pizza or Ipa's. I would KOM that ****!

    It's not for bragging rights or that I care that much about competition. Really just doing it as a good excuse to ride a bunch of really rad places that I normally wouldn't get to and as a good motivator to get back in shape.

    Just wondering if you guys have any advice for a first-time Enduro racer...??.?


    -Beginner or sport?
    -I have approximately 1 month before the race, what should I be training on? What should I be eating- especially the last week before?
    - Is it really necessary to switch to a downhill casing Tire?
    -I consider myself to be an intermediate rider, I live in the East Bay Area and ride places like Tamarancho, JMP, Auburn, and in the summer I am a regular at Downieville..... is the terrain on these courses gnarlier than Downieville?
    - how much climbing is involved within the stages? I am usually one of the first ones to the bottom but one of the last ones to the top in my group, should I give up on this Enduro dream and just race downhill?
    - I'm okay with steeps and gnarly rocks or smaller drops but not too big on gap jumps or really big drops.. Will there be crap like that?
    - So I understand that the transfers are not timed but are the times allowed to get to the top pretty generous? Since it is at a resort will the transfers be on lifts?
    - how important is the practice - pre-ride the day before? Obviously there is a big benefit to see what's coming on the course but would I more than likely wear myself out for Saturday?
    -other thoughts/ideas?
    You should be training on your race bike as much as you can ,eat what you normally eat. Get the best tires you can get your hands on and make sure you put a little extra air in them until you feel really comfortable not smashing into stuff
    Most enduros have plenty of climbing (so include that in your training, ride to the top and hit it coming down) but if its at a ski resort, lifts are often used.
    It depends on the courses, but yes there can often be some gnarly stuff out there. Pre-riding is best if you can swing it Just bring food and water and dont let yourself get run down. Practice riding 3 days in a row during training if you can and you'll get adjusted to practicing a day and racing for 2

    Train Deliberately- Your training (especially if limited) should be fun and pushing yourself. Go out and do those uncomfortable things that push you right on the edge of your abilities and you'll get much faster and keep repeating those scenarios in every ride Push yourself so you get those little butterflies in your stomach and learn how to handle riding at increased speed. Enduro is all about skill and a bit of fitness in there too- I used to train 15 hours a week for pro XC, now I train 4-5 hours a week at most & all enduro riding and I'm crushing my strava times on every descent each week. This is because I practice deliberately, push into those corners faster than i think i should be, try to double things I'm not sure I can do. Basically anytime I start to approach something that I'm unsure of, I push even harder to force myself to do it. This certainly didnt happen overnight, but each ride, took a little more and was more comfortable doing this type of riding.

    Good luck and have fun!

  5. #5
    RTM
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    I'm not familiar with the specific terrain you mention, but generally speaking:

    1. I'd say beginner. You'll have just as much fun, and be surrounded by the most guys who are there for the same reasons.
    2. with the bike in race trim ride as much as possible, all types of terrain & distances. do a couple easy rides the week before, say Sat & Tues before the first planned day of practice. I'm 45 and find that I actually ride better after a full week off the bike, but its hard to sit around that long.
    3. I am willing to pay more for flat insurance than most, and ride only 2-ply tires. I once flatted twice 6 minutes into stage 1 (day over)...but depending on your course and riding style a reinforced all-mountain tire may be fine. lighter would sure be appreciated on long transfers.
    4. sorry, no experience with Downieville or the courses.
    5. the transfers can be brutal, even some climbs in the stages are tough. if you get someone to race with you, wait for them at the end of a stage and ride up together. an easy way to know which is for you is to think about what you'd be excited to suffer through in order to get better.
    6. at the very least they will offer a go-around for anything that would cause a rider to stop. of course, the more of those obstacles you can clear the better for you.
    7. some races have untimed transfers but a time limit to complete the entire race. some have timed transfers but the max time is usually built to accommodate everyone. you'll be ok. some transfers include a lift. depends on the course layout. if its not realistic to climb from one to another they will lift you up.
    8. I'd hate think that my uncertain, slow, hesitant, and choppy first run was my race run. practice can be tough to manage though. since I don't race a lot I block two days before race day. Day 1, early AM I do an easy ride through the course, where I stop, ride sections a few times. take mental notes. take a long break to eat & rest. then do a quicker run through and take it easy on the transfers. next day i'll go out first thing and do a quicker pace but still stopping to smell the roses. just once through the course and that's it for the day.

    other: bear in mind, no one is there to beat you into submission. they know the bulk of their audience is part-timers looking to have a good time. the pros will execute lines you would never even attempt, but the general vibe its more "hey, glad you came out, how can we help you?" than, "thank you sir, may I have another"
    also - during rest periods I've found stretching and massage with the foam roller and lacrosse ball (check youtube) to be absolutely critical. I'm getting older. I can't recover quickly but they definitely make a huge difference.

  6. #6
    chupicocconut
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    Right on guys, thanks for the great info!!!

  7. #7
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    This might be a bit of a threadjacking, but I, too am doing my first enduro race (well, first ever race) in sept for the kamikaze games in mammoth.

    The concept is somewhat terrifying, but I am super stoked as this has been a bucket list thing for a long time.

    Any tips on what is needed? I will be driving up the day before practice and probably leaving the monday after all the races.

    I'm a little unsure of what questions to ask, honestly, as this is so new to me and did this basically on a whim. Any loosey goosey suggestions on the tip of your tongues?

  8. #8
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    I just raced my first race this weekend at Targhee, it was a blast and exactly what I expected, at least mostly. I consider myself a very strong DH and technical rider, and average to below average with XC and climbing. Here's what I learned this weekend.

    1. These races are won in the straights not the corners like moto races are. You need to be pedaling as hard as you can every chance you get to be competitive. Once I realized this after seeing day one results I did much better the second day.

    2. Pre-ride, Pre-ride, Pre-ride. I was lucky to know and ride three of the five stages we raced. The other two I had never ridden, and I lost a ton of time because I didn't push hard enough on the climbs within the stages. If I had known how long the climbs were I could have just powered through, and not worried about bonking, but instead I sat down and just spun through them, and lost minutes.

    3. They are tons of fun.

    4. Just like moto, crashing or flatting will cost you way more time, then if you had just slowed down a little.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangrip9 View Post
    I have decided to make a commitment to race all or at least most of the California Enduro Series races in 2017. I'm going to go ahead and jump in head-first and do the Mammoth race September 16th this year to give myself a preview. I raced 3 cross country races in the Midwest about four years ago and I used to race Moto before that so I do have some experience with the race environment. But I'm 41 years old and although I ride a lot and consider myself to be in OK shape, I am fat. I've ridden about 800 miles this year and climbed about 75,000', too bad Strava doesn't keep track of pizza or Ipa's. I would KOM that ****!

    It's not for bragging rights or that I care that much about competition. Really just doing it as a good excuse to ride a bunch of really rad places that I normally wouldn't get to and as a good motivator to get back in shape.

    Just wondering if you guys have any advice for a first-time Enduro racer...??.?


    -Beginner or sport?
    -I have approximately 1 month before the race, what should I be training on? What should I be eating- especially the last week before?
    - Is it really necessary to switch to a downhill casing Tire?
    -I consider myself to be an intermediate rider, I live in the East Bay Area and ride places like Tamarancho, JMP, Auburn, and in the summer I am a regular at Downieville..... is the terrain on these courses gnarlier than Downieville?
    - how much climbing is involved within the stages? I am usually one of the first ones to the bottom but one of the last ones to the top in my group, should I give up on this Enduro dream and just race downhill?
    - I'm okay with steeps and gnarly rocks or smaller drops but not too big on gap jumps or really big drops.. Will there be crap like that?
    - So I understand that the transfers are not timed but are the times allowed to get to the top pretty generous? Since it is at a resort will the transfers be on lifts?
    - how important is the practice - pre-ride the day before? Obviously there is a big benefit to see what's coming on the course but would I more than likely wear myself out for Saturday?
    -other thoughts/ideas?
    Hey Tangrip

    The course for Sport and Beginner is the same. If you are a regular at Downieville - I would suspect you should go with Sport. And you should be comfortable with any of the races. The biggest issue is getting use to the terrain - tacky swoopy singletrack in some locations - loose in others - rocks and crazy losse in others - and Mammoth is something all it's own.

    Food wise -- at this point, just eat what you are use to eating. For next year, it's all about what you want to get out of it... if you are looking for an excuse to lose weight and get in shape - do that. The CES races do tend to have a bunch of climbing in them - depending on venue, some are 30miles days with 5000+ feet of climbing - some are 2-day races (like Mendocino) with 25 miles each day and 4000' of climbing (it sounds worse than it actually felt). But the climbs are at a chill pace - it's not a race to the top - bring some friends, make some friends, and settle in for the climb and enjoy the comradery. The transfers have plenty of time.

    Mammoth uses a lot of lift. But there is still a small bit of climbing. The big issue is the elevation - you're going to be at 8,000 - 11,000 feet -- and you're going to feel it, even on the short climbs, and on the stage runs.

    For Mammoth, i would run a heavier casing tire - there are sharp rocks on that mountain. Nothing ruins a good race run more than a mechanical or flat.

    In the stages, there is minimal climbing - but they do have some traverses across the mountain on the longer stages. What you can expect is starting with a moderate DH grade, then some technical section, then some traverse (with small ups and downs), and then back into some technical stuff to the bottom. You can try to pedal hard - but you redline quickly at elevation.

    The benefit of practice is (1) learning a bit about the features on the course - what you can jump, drop, roll, (2) get use to the length of the stages and how hard you can push it (again, yoiu redline fast at elevation) and (3) getting use to the terrain. If you haven't ridden Mammoth before - you're gonna want to get some practice laps just to get use the "kitty litter" pulverized granite up there. It's so different that anything you've ridden - but once you figure it out, it's a lot of fun.

    Good Luck - See you in Mammoth

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgdibble View Post
    This might be a bit of a threadjacking, but I, too am doing my first enduro race (well, first ever race) in sept for the kamikaze games in mammoth.

    The concept is somewhat terrifying, but I am super stoked as this has been a bucket list thing for a long time.

    Any tips on what is needed? I will be driving up the day before practice and probably leaving the monday after all the races.

    I'm a little unsure of what questions to ask, honestly, as this is so new to me and did this basically on a whim. Any loosey goosey suggestions on the tip of your tongues?

    I suggest bringing spare parts.... spare tires, tubes, sealant, deraileur hangers -- wheels if you have them.

    Not saying you're going to break everything -- but it would surely suck to miss out on the weekend because you didn't have the spare parts you needed.

    That all said - SRAM has been at most of the CES races this year and have been keeping folks racing as best they can. I believe they'll be at Mammoth. So will Shimano.

    If this is your first time and you are nervous about it... don't think about it as racing - think about it as going out for a ride in a new location. Honestly, my best results have been when I am just riding -- not when i am trying to be fast -- when i am trying to be fast I try too hard and make mistakes. Enjoy the ride and the experience - you'll likely make some new friends on course as you all transfer and race together - and go say Hi to the CES folks, they are friendly people.

  11. #11
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    I'm not an Enduro racer but I do know a solid 4 weeks of heavy training combined with a cleaner diet can make a notable difference in your fitness level. For example, professional trainers commonly take out of shape movie stars from average to totally ripped in 6 weeks of heavy training and dieting for roles. You can easily get rid of 5# while solidly increasing your fitness in 4 weeks.

    Try to eat cleaner, a lot cleaner. Good luck!

  12. #12
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    Did my first endure this past weekend, I have a few lessons learned that I will use for next time: (no particular order)

    - carb up the night before.
    - have enough food/snacks to last the day. My race was delayed 3 hours and I ended up outside for 6 hours instead of 3.
    - Bring a light rain jacket/wind breaker. Even if you don't think you will need it.
    - The transitions are used to make friends and hang out. Enjoy them!
    - If you get two days to practice, split the course in half and spend one day practicing one half, and the other day practicing the other half.
    - Bring plenty of water, remember me being out for 6 hours? A water bottle wont cut it.
    - Ibuprofen reduces swelling.
    - Don't drink alcohol the few days leading up to the race.
    - Eggs are a super-food for breakfast
    - bring coconut water

    That's it for now,
    We don't ride to add days to our life, we ride to add life to the days we have left here.

  13. #13
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    Hi,

    My first enduro race is coming up next month. On the topic of spares, this is what's in my bag so far: Tubes (2), Tires (1 set), derailleur hanger (1), Brake lever (1) .... Anything else I should bring ? Thx.

  14. #14
    Robertson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syver View Post
    Hi,

    My first enduro race is coming up next month. On the topic of spares, this is what's in my bag so far: Tubes (2), Tires (1 set), derailleur hanger (1), Brake lever (1) .... Anything else I should bring ? Thx.
    Are these things you're bringing with you to keep in your car? Or planning to have in your bag during the race?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syver View Post
    Hi,

    My first enduro race is coming up next month. On the topic of spares, this is what's in my bag so far: Tubes (2), Tires (1 set), derailleur hanger (1), Brake lever (1) .... Anything else I should bring ? Thx.
    How long is the race? how hard are you on your bike? I always have a spare chain with me, bug again the races I go I can usually go to my car after a couple of states at most. Having spare tires in your car doesn't hurt but I prefer to put new tires for the race, go out for a ride and make sure everything is right and you have fresh rubber for the race! Also don't go race if your chain is close to having to be replaced!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpearce1475 View Post
    Are these things you're bringing with you to keep in your car? Or planning to have in your bag during the race?
    Things I am bringing with me.

  17. #17
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    The bike & everything on it is is 3-month old. I am flying it from Hong Kong to Chiang Mai for the Thai Enduro Series for the first time. I do not know the length of the race. I am trying to get more more information from the organisers. All I know is the event is over 4 days with 2 days of practice and 2 days of race (multiple stages: liaison + special). I am not hard on my bike except for the occasional crashes. I expect some rocky terrain and a good dose of heat and humidity there. A spare chain seem like a good idea. Thanks for the tip.

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