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5by3MTB series

WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
edited February 2013 in XC and Enduro
Well decided I would give it ago and enter my first MTB race. Found it seriously harder than I thought it would be but still enjoyed it all the same came 35th out of the 39 that did finish. Did what I set out to achieve which was finish and not come last. Was really impressed with how it was organised and got so much encouragement from other faster/better riders as I struggled on the last lap.

It hasn't put me off and i'll be at the next round in 4 weeks time, got to get a lot fitter and aim higher now.


  • Well done that man ;0) sounds weird but to get faster you need to get your base fitness sorted first, get yourself a heart rate monitor if you can and go out and ride 3 to 4 times a week keeping your heart rate below 130bpm and pedal about 80rpm. You will be surprised, mentally all you will want to do is go out training hard and get your heart rate up and sweat but it don't work like that. Recovery days are so important. Make sure you take them after each session, ride for as long as you can 1 to 3 hrs depending on how much time you have with work and family
    Don't expect to see results straight away as it will take a while.
    Good luck in the next one, let us all know how you got on
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Cheers Jimboliana, yes I would agree it is all down to base fitness for me. Work and family first and the best I can get to do is time on the turbo a few times a week, I have been getting on the MTB every weekend plus the road bike so I'm trying :-)
  • Christ, if you have a turbo then even better if you can bear the boredom as you can set resistance to get your desired heart rate and away you go, I use mine about 3 times a week for an hour, I think you get more out of a turbo as you are constantly peddling and no free wheeling!
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    3 times a week for an hour is my aim too. You get more out of riding really as it's working all your muscles more. The boredom is easy, radio, ipod, TV
  • ollie51ollie51 Posts: 517
    A few things echoing/contradicting the posts above:

    Before I say any of this, the overriding aim must be to have fun! We are not professional athletes, it's not fun don't do it!

    Firstly a common misconception is what building a 'base' is and what its purposes is, a lot of people associate it with long slow distance rides (LSD) and think building a 'base' is necessary to the 'weekend warrior' type of rider, when in my mind it's a type of training intended to improve your ability to metabolise fat, and to a certain extent endurance - something which isn't so necessary in an XC race, but is in 100mile+ road race. The idea of riding slowly, maybe even as slowly as you can is a farce - when has anyone gone to you 'hey, I wonder how slowly I can go in this race'. Remember your training needs to be specific to what you are trying to achieve, assuming you want to improve you race performance.

    Next, I'd say that you should pay little attention to heart rate (although if it works for you, use it) in my experience it has proved to be too variable for it to be an accurate measure of intensity, and without a power meter it's difficult to contextualise. If it feels hard, it probably is, if it feels easy, it probably is, I'd advocate training by feel and analyzing heart rate data afterwards to check you were on the right track.

    Turbo training is when you get your really specific training in, something like this: ... /sh1ts.htm would be a good investment in time (ignore the gear selction guide, just go hard for the length of the interval.) + it'll make it far less tedious!

    Doing the above session once a week, a fast paced mtb ride, a 2hr road ride and a fun skills focused mtb ride + basic core and flexibility work could see you well on your way to achieving something more than 'just finishing'.

    I thoroughly recommend you give the therford winter series a try:
    and mud sweat and gears during the summer:
  • If your into a bit of reading and have the money for a power meter two great books I could recommend to help you on your way to your goal are 'The Mountain Biker's Training Bible' by Joe Friel and 'Training and Racing with a Power Meter' 2nd edition by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan and as Olli51 says 'Have Fun' enjoy yourself
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Cheers for the advice ollie51, entering the MSG series is an aim. I was basing training/improving fitness around needing to compete in 1-2 hr races, all my MTB rides have been getting faster so I have now been increasing the distance. The bit that took it out of me this weekend was the climbs some of that is technique which I can work on, I kind of felt like battery running flat :-)
    I am also looking at changing bikes soon, just need to decide HT again or FS, i've seen a Giant Anthem X4 at a decent price.
  • Nice bike, I started with a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Elite that i started racing with, it was a bit of a do everything bike and was light enough for XC but in reailty as i got more and more into racing I bought a raod bike for my Turbo Trainer and get out on the road quite a bit now but then bought a Cannondale Flash Carbon 3 HT purley for racing XC as it's light and only 100mm instead of 140mm on the Stumpjumper and a lot lighter

    All depends what you want to use it for, looks like a nice bike though as for the hills, you just have to keep going up them to improve! again and again and again
  • stylishstylish Posts: 168
    Windy g, well done on having a go at the weekend, it was a good fun little lap i thought, plenty to keep you thinking and nice and fast. Im like you, kids family eetc take up so much time, its a lottery to find time where you can train to get a good level of fitness.

    One thing i would say is, spending hours on the bike is good, but varied, sessions on a turbo will bring results faster, but they need to be tailored to what sort of races you want to enter, my situation is ive been off the mtb all year, after an operation, this meant i have done lots of miles on the road, which has kept me fit, but i lost a bit of top end power, but gained strength, sunday was my 2nd race this year and i felt awful for the first 20 minutes, but after that it seemed to settle down and at the end i did my best lap, according to the garmin on the bike.
    i may well have come past you at some point (Revel outdoors Kit) and offered some cheery words.

    Im at the next one with my son, who does the kids race, so come and say hello.

  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    edited October 2012
    Darren I do remember you, you did give me a bit of support when I was running out of steam just before the left turn onto the tarmac. My daughter was in the U12 race at the back with the Iceni Velo rider.

    Looking forward to the next one.
  • C0LL0C0LL0 Posts: 271
    Your never that polite when you pass me Darren......;-)
  • stylishstylish Posts: 168
    Thats because youre on a clown bike Collo!

    I remember now WindyG, that must have been the last lap i reckon, i quite liked that slope up there, not much in the way of traction though, kept spinning the rear!

    The lap for the kids was a cracker, my son loved it, he did moan about the uphill bits though!
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Yep last lap, I was getting pretty good grip the weakness was me!
    That drop from the woods to the grass was a laugh I gave up trying to get down it properly and decided to jump out instead and that last bit grass near the end of the lap I cut the corner through the bush on the left more grip that way :-)

    Mine sort of loved it, she knew though she didn't try and just rode it which was fine for her first race, she reckons she's up for trying next time plus we might have another 2 in tow.
    We were stood near you when kids were racing I think I remember your lad he was doing well despite not changing gear?
  • Windy G there could be a photo on my Flickr page, Pictures from the last race on Sunday.
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    I did grab a couple of pics of myself on there, you took some decent pics
  • stylishstylish Posts: 168
    dont look too hard at the pictures you might find me having the start of a bucking bronco moment!

    I try hard too not be a "competitive dad" but i do like winding the boy up when he rides, he loves it, and he does well for 11, plus he is a skinny little censored , was proud of him on sunday though, he hates mud and getting his bike dirty!

    Give the Thetford races a look, have a go in the fun race, its a longer lap, around 8 miles, and faster, not as twisty as sunday, and can range from wet through to frosty, and you can then watch the fast mob in there races too learn a bit.
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Next round tomorrow, looking forward to it and hopefully will improve on last time now I know what to expect, looks a tricky layout though.
  • stylishstylish Posts: 168
    I was chatting to one of the helpers the other day, and he reckons tomorrows lap is more twisty and up and down than last time, so it should be good.
    Taking the boy as he is proper keen, and still pondering over the seniors race, been suffering with back trouble all week, but riding might help.....
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    My girl says she's more up for it this time....I'll wait and see after her practice lap.
    Only heavy rain will put me off, been ill most of the is week but what the hell I can carry on suffering next week :-)
    The down I don't mind but the up not so much.
  • stylishstylish Posts: 168
    just try and pedal as smooth as you can going up, sometimes a too low in gear choice can make you wobble and waste energy that would be better served pedalling, if i do ride tomorrow, i will be in my Revel outdoors kit, be more than happy to do a practice lap or two with you if you like.
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    May well take you up on that offer.
    Either way I'll come and say hi to you and your dad
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Well that was a good challenge, thick mud just about everywhere, still ended up near the back but enjoyed it and happy to finish it and learn some more.
    Good to meet you properly Darren.
  • stylishstylish Posts: 168
    Good to meet you too, gutted I didn't last more than half a lap, feeling quite sore now, and you're right, it was a cracking lap made more fun by the lack of grip..
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Yeah that was a shame for you as I thought you would have been a real contender too. Steve the guy on the Cube took a huge whack in the shins of a pedal which is gonna come up proper good. Your dad got some great pics again.
  • stylishstylish Posts: 168
    Its on the facebook page, but in case anyone missed it, tomorrows race at fritton is CANCELLED due to the snow.
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Bit of a shame I was well up for this one too, hopefully we'll get a new date for it.
    Darren are you entering MSG?
  • stylishstylish Posts: 168
    I was looking forward to it too, didnt ride at round 1, and it looked like a good little lap.

    I am indeed doing MSG, need to sort an entry out soon, and check the dates! didnt race them last year, so looking forward to a summer of monthly races again this year.
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Well final race of the series over and that was my best so far, held my own off the start to get a good race position, got a few injuries to show for it, got hit in the ribs buy a branch, fell off proper on a drop and battered both knees and a thorn bush cut my leg, loved every minute of it. No idea on results yet hopefully later, gutted I lost one place on the last lap when I messed up section up over some roots and someone got a cheeky pass on me. I can certainly feel the improvement in my ability since the first round.
  • stylishstylish Posts: 168
    If you have got better with each round, thats something to be proud of, each course has been really good, and i know the ones i had a go at i really enjoyed. My son enjoyed the kids races, and its been good for him to keep riding through the winter.
    MSG next, and you will enjoy that, longer laps, fast races and good fun, as im there for the kids race with jack, i will be out and about watching, before the veterans race in the afternoon.
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