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newbie to racing

marcuswwmarcusww Posts: 202
edited October 2014 in Cyclocross
I'm thinking of having a go at racing and reading all the threads looks very friendly. I'm a club rider / sportive rider and would like a bit of advice on training for fitness rather than bike handling.
Is it best to train in short high effort bursts? any advice would be gratefully received!

Posts

  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Yep. Ideally you want to get used to going well into the red for 10-20 seconds, and then recovering as quickly as possible without backing off *too* much. It's all about intensity rather than duration, and in particular that quick recovery. You're looking at spending an hour above 90% max HR, with frequent bursts at higher intensity. Get used to riding *flat out* off road; took me a while to get my head around this.

    Reading the above makes it sound pretty unpleasant. The truth is, it's so much fun, and requires so much concentration, you completely forget how hard you're working!
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • As above. Just as an example my first race I wore my HRM, my max HR is 188, my avg for 50mins was 184. You're in the red from the off and never recover but it is awesome fun.
  • antsmithmkantsmithmk Posts: 717
    Does your club do a time trial league or weekly event? Good training for knowing what its like balls to the wall
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    One other thing I should have added: You can still ride round the course at 80% max HR, slow down when you get kn*ckered, walk the bits the leaders are running etc. You're not going to be picking up any prizes, but you'll still enjoy the race, you'll still find someone near you to battle against, and the other competitors won't think any less of you. So definitely go and do the training, but don't be scared to have a go if you're not in tip top form; you won't be the only one.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • marcuswwmarcusww Posts: 202
    antsmithmk wrote:
    Does your club do a time trial league or weekly event? Good training for knowing what its like balls to the wall

    Yes but could not find the time to do any time trails this year. I did a bit of training going flatout for 7 miles ish on a little circuit where I live so will probably give that a go a couple times a week.

    Very interesting about the HRM I think I will give it a go again as I stopped using it on club rides etc. It will be very interesting by the sound of it.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,777
    How important is to have a good dismounting technique? I can do the trick to a point (not got to the hand on the top tube trick yet), but I am sure in a race under pressure I'll censored it up and end up in the mud with a foot still clipped in
  • On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
    I raced for the first time recently, and I had concentrated on my dismount technique, I found it important and it did earn me a bit of rest time versus those around me. But in the race I did I found the obstacle areas very crowded so it had little advantage until alter in the race.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    How important is to have a good dismounting technique? I can do the trick to a point (not got to the hand on the top tube trick yet), but I am sure in a race under pressure I'll fool it up and end up in the mud with a foot still clipped in
    To begin with, not that important. At this time of year you're probably dismounting 1-2 times per lap, for maybe 6-8 laps. If you can save a couple of seconds a time that definitely adds up, but accounts for quite a small fraction of the time between you and the leader. Ditto remounting. If you're anything like I was, you'll probably lose 80% of your time by being too slow/wimpy on the rideable technical sections.

    If you're learning dismounts, I'd be wary of stepping through (ie right foot goes down in front of left foot if you're a non-drive-side dismounter). The potential gains are small, and vastly outweighed by the inevitable yard sale if anything goes wrong with unclipping your left foot. Not that you're going to eliminate the yard sales, but it obviously helps to keep them to a minimum. Most of the pros don't seem to step through, and I'm currently trying to unlearn it.

    Can you make it to Hillingdon on Sun 31st Aug? Central League are running a training day aimed at everyone from beginners upwards (and all ages) which should be very good.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Best to train doing high intensity efforts - nothing like a TT which is sustained. Try and find yourself a small circuit of 5-8 minutes with a few obstacles, even to practise a dismount, run up a steep bank and remount. Don't worry about everyone else, you'll be so engrossed in your ride, enjoying yourself. Very few pros are proficient dual side dismounters and the risk of slicing your calf on a chainring isn't often worth the risk.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • woolwichwoolwich Posts: 298
    Good tips so far. Oddly for cx training I often go into town. Sprint between lamppost, steady between lamppost, sprint between lamppost and on and on. A few sessions of this up and down the local high street works a treat and I find it a lot easier to get motivated for this than a trainer session that does the same. Good luck
    Mud to Mudguards. The Art of framebuilding.
    http://locksidebikes.co.uk/
  • morphmorph Posts: 63
    TGOTB wrote:
    Can you make it to Hillingdon on Sun 31st Aug? Central League are running a training day aimed at everyone from beginners upwards (and all ages) which should be very good.

    After having a go at the event Crawley Wheelers did last weekend and really enjoying it, I'll be coming along to this. :)
  • antsmithmkantsmithmk Posts: 717
    woolwich wrote:
    Good tips so far. Oddly for cx training I often go into town. Sprint between lamppost, steady between lamppost, sprint between lamppost and on and on. A few sessions of this up and down the local high street works a treat and I find it a lot easier to get motivated for this than a trainer session that does the same. Good luck

    You can do something similar on the CX bike on grass too.... Find a bank and keep flying up, and rolling down, repeat as many times as you can!
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    If you cycle to work, you can practice your starts (including the critical clip-in) by nailing it away from the traffic lights. Don't do it at every single set of lights on every commute though, or you'll have no legs left for any other form of training! Worth doing it with studs attached, to avoid refining a clip-in technique that doesn't work with studs (don't ask me how I know this!)
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • crossedcrossed Posts: 237
    Definitely practice dismounting and picking the bike up.

    Joey says it's easy to get wrong :lol:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEGAIYKTZ9w
  • marcuswwmarcusww Posts: 202
    Well just thought I would give my opinion as I did my first CX race on Sunday in Wessex CX League in the Vets.

    First of all it was tough!
    But an amazing Buzz and am hooked! Im doing the next one for sure.

    Despite high intense road training, nothing could really prepare me for what was about to come. Absolute pain - and that was not from the stinging nettles that I brushed past with shorts on!

    Learning the dismounts was definitely good but still have not got the guts to jump back on the saddle as a bit scared of missing the saddle properly and knackering the knackers!

    Thanks for all the good advice!
  • Marcusww wrote:
    Well just thought I would give my opinion as I did my first CX race on Sunday in Wessex CX League in the Vets.

    First of all it was tough!
    But an amazing Buzz and am hooked! Im doing the next one for sure.

    Despite high intense road training, nothing could really prepare me for what was about to come. Absolute pain - and that was not from the stinging nettles that I brushed past with shorts on!

    Learning the dismounts was definitely good but still have not got the guts to jump back on the saddle as a bit scared of missing the saddle properly and knackering the knackers!

    Thanks for all the good advice!

    Congratulations Marcusww. I always warn friends who want to dabble that CX is addictive. It's my favourite form of cycle sport. Keep getting muddy and practising those remounts, this is my second season and I still skip.
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