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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive pretty much resigned myself to the idea that my MTB season is going to just be a training season for 'cross, but I had some questions about focus. Im thinking about doing some endurance events, 5-6 hour variety and was wondering if this was a good move to build a big base for cross, or should I just focus on XC races and go for the intensity. Im figuring I can ramp up intensity starting in August to get the short-interval stuff in, but Im not sure which would be a bigger benefit between now and then- 90 minutes of MTB at an XC race effort, or dial back intensity a bit and go 4-6 hours at an endurance-race effort? Any help from the gurus would be much appreciated. Thanks!
 

· eat live sleep cross
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everyone's been telling me that THE best preparation for a cyclocross type effort is to race crits, crits and more crits...

little else matches the intensity and duration or cross like a nice many cornered crit...

that said - i ain't much of one for crits... i said I was gonna do a bunch last year and did a total of zero... maybe next year I said, still this year, i'm saying, maybe next year I'll race a crit or two again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
rich caramadre said:
A CX race is only 45 to 60 mins. long. If you train at a 4-6 hour intensity your going to get lapped.

R
Even if I ramp up the intensity and shorten the duration in August? Im thinking this would be a great way to get a huge engine that would make it easier to recover on the shorter stuff when the time comes? Im not talking about staying in this mode all year, just until the beginning of August. At that point I would switch over to shorter/higher intensity training like crits and STXC.
 

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I think you should train for something that will motivate you. If you train for those endurance XC races, you might start the cross season a little less sharp, but maybe all those miles will pay dividends toward the end of the season.

You could also hedge your bets by including a day per week of higher intensity, cross-focused training.
 

· raging results nerd
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pretender said:
I think you should train for something that will motivate you. If you train for those endurance XC races, you might start the cross season a little less sharp, but maybe all those miles will pay dividends toward the end of the season.
I agree with this. You can worry about what specific kind of training is best for cross, or you can just get out there and race *something*. Whatever gets you out the most the best.
 

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Spinning Classes

I have never trained for cross, but think this year I will try to add some specific training to see how it works out. My plan (how much I'll hate doing it), will be to start hitting a few spinning classes a week starting in August. 1 hour of intense intervals - don't see how this could hurt.
Since I end up riding by myself 99% of the time, group efforts are necessary to keep my intensity up.

Michael
www.MLKimages.com
 

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Ha! I'm just starting to really get back into crit racing (didn't race road last year). I'm on good nor-cal cat. 1/2 team and it's fun to help the sprinters and other guys that are faster than I am get it done and have some wins. It's the first year tha I've had a radio in my ear and it's a lot of fun to just go out and ride in breakaways and just sit on the front when our guys are up the road- I think I followed about 200 bridge attempts last saturday.

I'm just not that motivated to try and get in the move and then see how long I last in these 75-100 mile road races. I'll do a few, but they're seeming pretty hard to me these days and basically for training.

MTB is good training too, particularly short track. As long as you get some good racing in you'll be better in the fall.

My BPG/Montano Velo team site: http://www.rhvilla.com/montanovelo/index.htm

Check some of the recent race reports- we've been holding it down in the last few weeks.
 

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A few advantages to spin are this. One you can completely concentrate on just spinning at a huge, riduculious rate, gettign that heart rate thru the roof. LOL LOL
Two, the people in spin will be great to keep you motivated, it's good to get away from your pack brothers and work on your intensity.

Cross is all about max intensity. Also try to incorp some running into it also. Not a lot, just a mile or so of sprints. Short intense efforts will yeild the best results.

Bill
 

· Game on, b*tches!
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Fwiw

All of my training rides last yr were no longer than 2 hrs with the exception of a handful of rides. I think Gripped did the same. But if long XC races and rides are what get you out and racing, then by all means. I did this because
1) I can free 2 hrs a day up at least 5 x a week
2) longer rides are a bit harder to line up....
I train hard in the late spring and then do a few crits (last yr it was 4) and just ride in June/July and then ramp up the intensity in Aug/Sept. But then, I suck, so you may not want to folllow my advice:D
 

· waterproof*
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I'm no role model for CX training; but I just race crits all year and then when CX season looms, I put on the running shoes and do 30 second hill repeats.

But, race what you like.

./ late edit: I only "train" about 5-6 hours a week.
 

· More Cowbell!
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Kram said:
All of my training rides last yr were no longer than 2 hrs with the exception of a handful of rides. I think Gripped did the same.
Yeah, that's pretty much correct. But I have some more anecdotal stuff I'll throw into the flames ...

The guys who won the Cross Crusade 35+ series last season was a solid top ten finisher the previous few years. Very good but not great. I talked to him about what changed to allow him to win some races outright and win the overall. First, he said that it was the first time in a few years that his personal life was in balance. He also reported that he started doing four hour rides with his buddies during July and August.

FWIW, YMMV, HTH, NTTAWWT

I think the most important thing is that you formulate a plan and stick with it. You can be successful racing with as little as 6 hours of training a week as long as it's focused. You can be successful if you have four to six hour training rides as long as you are also training the intensity at other times.

Make a plan. Stick with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Im not really planning on focusing my training for the endurance MTB events- more using them AS training to build a big engine. As the summer progresses, Im planning on making shorter and shorter efforts with increasing intensity, but still plan on being able to maintain race-pace efforts for 90 minutes just to make sure I always have 'something in the tank' when cross comes. Thanks for all the suggestions, it sounds like the bottom line here is to keep moving and then ramp up the intensity in a big way as cross season approaches. Thanks!
 

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Keep in mind that during your first few seasons you may well want to race twice in one day- this hurts but the more times in the scrum the better while you're on the steep part of the learning curve and your progress will be much faster. In order to not make your second race a complete waste of time, eg off the back before the second lap you have to have some decent reserves in your tank. So you're really training to be able to put out for 90 minutes or more, not 45. While you definitely need to focus on high intensity as Sept. approaches, the longer endurance efforts through most of the Summer will be a real advantage in being able to train at an intense level later. Also keep in mind that the cross season is short, and if you're really taking advantage of it you'll be racing both Saturday and Sunday on many if not most weekends. This will give you minimal time to recover during the week, training at any intensity mid-week will be very difficult without a big base. I've made the mistake of shifting focus to cross too late after a summer full of short intense crits- my speed and power were pretty good during the first few weeks of cross carried over from road racing, but without the base I couldn't recover fast enough to continue training at any intensity during the week once the season started, the party eventually ended and my fitness and my results eroded through the season. So don't underestimate the value of an endurance training base, especially if you want to maximize your racing opportunities, and even more if you're a master's rider- the recovery time gets slower with age.
 

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Race Marathon, Cross Specific In August Fine

Hi

I would echo the sentiment to train what you enjoy, which will get you on the bike more. Training for marathon level MTB races should improve your endurance engine and handling skills. If where you live has a weekday training crit, that is always a great way to inject intensity at least one day a week.

Once CX season gets closer, I would suggest ramping up intensity. I used this workout (see link) with mods which ran in Bicycling magazine most of last season to good effect. This workout was perfect for me, as we had a 2yr old and a baby on the way during most of the season, and it was evidently designed for a pro-level CX racer with only 6 hours a week to train. My mods were doing a training crit every other week during the week, and extending the long weekend ride to 3-4 hours every other week. The crit was for intensity with fun, and I feel the longer endurance rides really helped me late in races.

http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6610,s1-4-403-16480-1,00.html

Regards
 

· Game on, b*tches!
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Also, FWIW, etc etc. I'm probably going to do some longer rides this yr, mostly during the summer. Ride with friends, maybe a charity event or so. Just to get some longer rides in and just riude and enjoy it. Then start killing myself (again) in mid to late Aug/Sept.
 

· Number 2 on the course.
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All I can say is that if you play it right, endurance racing won't hurt your preparations for CX season. As far as using it to train, the time on the bike might be useful, but not as useful as dialing your CX specific bike skills and preparing yourself for short, high intensity efforts. Of course, if you already have those things in the bag. . .
 
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