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  1. #1
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    How fast should I be going?

    Looking to have a go at amatuer racing at the weekend, but I didn't want to make a complete tit of myself.
    Just been out tonight on an 11 mile blast and did it in about 50 mins. An average of roughly 13 mph? I was completely knackered after about 8 miles as I need to pace myself a bit.
    So is this completely off the pace or should I just give it a go anyway?
    What sort of time should I be aiming at for 11 miles?
    I'm in the UK and my 11 mile blast was on rocky/dirt singletrack and on road aswell (all dry).

  2. #2
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
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    Too many variables.

    My average speed will go from 7 to 15 mph depending on the course. It's really impossible to say what is fast enough. Can you compare to any past results?
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  3. #3
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    No not really. Just wanted a rough idea, so as not to completly embaress myself.

  4. #4
    College Boy
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    I might like to point out speed is a relative number for a course. Some trails are quite frankly a lot faster than others. It all depends on how much hill climbing there is and how tight the turns are. One of the trails I ride on there is a lot of hill climbing and to top it off it near impossible to carry much speed into the following climbs because so much of it has to be bleed off to make some of the turns.

    Also remember you can never match race pace. I did my first race this weekend and I blasted though the track faster than I ever had before and the last time I road it before the race I pushed my self and felt pretty beat and at the race I still went faster.

    and by the sounds of it you are going in for you first race. My advice. just go do it and enjoy yourself. Do not really care how are you doing compared to the others. Hell most of the people at races are pretty cool and will cheer you on at the finish line no matter what place you are in. I think the only way one could embarsses themselves is if they have to take a dnf for just being 2 tired to finish the race and have to walk their bike off the course and quite racing mid race.
    Now a DNF for any other reason is fine and it just sucks to get. But getting a dnf not because of equipment failure but just because you phycialy can not make the course is where it goes wrong.

  5. #5
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    No one is going to have a problem if your slow, just do it.

  6. #6
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    Ok thanks. I realise there are a lot of things to take into account.
    But 11 miles in 50 mins, is that incredibly slow or not as I have nothing to compare to.
    Its a pretty quick curcuit with a couple of technical bits but no sharp turns. A few hills but nothing major. Its a curcuit so as many ups as downs.

  7. #7
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    No have some confidence.

    When you get there look around, pick somebody you think is just a bit faster than you and lock on his tail.

    When you tire, relax if you have to and finish.

    Set a target of finishing other than DFL.

  8. #8
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    Ok will do.
    Thanks for the advice guys.
    Will let u know how I get on.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Grump
    No not really. Just wanted a rough idea, so as not to completly embaress myself.
    part of beginning to race is embaressing yourself at some point. This is the only way to learn. It's impossible to jump into a race and compete with others that have raced for a while. Racing and riding are a lot different....I think racing is a skill as well as your mountain biking ability.
    As for your speed....I went out and got a Garmin 305 to chart my riding and as a poster above said you can only test yourself from previous rides with similar elevation gains and trail conditions.
    Just get out there and your adrenaline will take over....you will then see where you can make improvements.

  10. #10
    College Boy
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    ok to help you out some speed wise. The race I did this weekend had a 6 mile course. I did it in 33:30 2nd place awas about 31:40 and 1st was 26:something.
    to me 11 miles in 50 mins is pretty good but it also depends on the course.

  11. #11
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    What was your course like timeless ?

  12. #12
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    I just did a race yesterday that was 20mi total with about 3300+ feet of climbing and I did it in 1:31. To compare I also did a race a few weeks ago that was 13.8mi with 1,542 ft of climbing and did it in 1:29....on this course there were not a lot of places to get a long distance of speed and it was much more technical.

    remember that unless you are riding on the trail that you have timed yourself on you will have a different time. Knowing a trail well....will give you a much better time.

  13. #13
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
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    Seems good

    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Grump
    Ok thanks. I realise there are a lot of things to take into account.
    But 11 miles in 50 mins, is that incredibly slow or not as I have nothing to compare to.
    Its a pretty quick curcuit with a couple of technical bits but no sharp turns. A few hills but nothing major. Its a curcuit so as many ups as downs.

    I have a few races where I average 13.5 to 14mph on a 8 mile loop with 700' of climbing. I consider that the be a fast course. I can only think of one race where I averaged a higher speed. You will go way faster during the race than you ever could during a training ride...it's just different!

    Good Luck and have fun!
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  14. #14
    rj2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptfmb71
    I just did a race yesterday that was 20mi total with about 3300+ feet of climbing and I did it in 1:31. .
    Were you in the MTBR shorts at Firestone? I was in the San Jose kit.

  15. #15
    Devil Mtn
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    Are you riding with a group at all? While it won't simulate race conditions exactly, faster group rides will give you an idea of where you stand ...

  16. #16
    CB2
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    Being able to go all out for 50 minute is a better measure than you speed.
    Most beginner races are about that length so give it a shot.
    I won my race (singlespeed open, which is run with the sport class) on Sunday with a pace of just over 13 miles an hour, but it was a very fast course. 12.75 miles in 55:38 with only about a 1000 feet of climbing.
    On other courses the winner of the expert class might not even break 10 mph.
    So speed is all relative.

  17. #17
    College Boy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Grump
    What was your course like timeless ?
    best way to put it about 1/2 the course was fast and flat and the other 1/2 was slow and a lot of climbing and tighter turns.

    I pushed my self to hard in the beginning and paid for it. But I want to say for the first 2 miles I want to say I was running between 15-20 mph the high being 22 (or at least that is waht my computer was saying) and then on the 2nd part my speed drop down to 5-10 mph and hovering around 7 and dropping as low as 3mph before i would give up on that climb and go on foot.

    If you noticed there is a wide range in my speed on a single lap. I went maintain 15-20mph with out much trouble to another part where I would struggle to stay about 5mph.

    Speed is all relative.

  18. #18
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    Website?

    Not sure if they do this in the UK too, but I can't think of a reason why not.

    In the southeast US (and I'm sure other places too) there is a dedicated website for regional races with links to local websites for race-specific information. Before my first race I went to the website and looked at the previous year times for beginners in my class (This is assuming the course is the same as the previous year). I then went to that specific course and rode it at a fast pace to see if I was even close to what they were running the previous year.

    If you have access to the trail where you want to race, this may help. If not, I agree with the others who say just go race and have fun.
    It is difficult for some people to use the two words "too" and "to" appropriately.

    "I had to go where I went, to get where I am. Any other path would have taken me elsewhere, and I may have missed the joy."

  19. #19
    Pauly
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    Pick up the pace, Lardass!

    Timeless,

    You are going much too slowly. On race day you must pick up your pace or you will be humiliated and laughed at by both the spectators and the racers.

  20. #20
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    In Florida woodland trails 11 miles in 50 minutes is way fast. On a gravel road it's pretty darn slow. It sounds like you won't embarass yourself any worse than any rookie.

    Ron

  21. #21
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    ok thanks for all the info guys, gonna give it a go anyway =:]

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