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Hey,

Anyone ever ridden one of these races? I've raced in the past, but much shorter races. I'd really like to do one or both of these races, but don't know what kind of training regimen I should work on. Anyone have any tips?

R
 

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My approach to the SMT 100 [2004]

After having done a LOT of hard training, including too much SS'ing, as well as a lot of long road rides w/ Mrs MTBDOC on the tandem, I moved to this type of schedule for the final month of serious training:

Thur: Intervals
Fri: Intervals
Sat: 4-6+ hr road ride
Sun: LOOOOONG mtb ride [4+hrs]

Rest M/T/W...

I did this for a 4 week block, and then tapered a bit going into it. Had a great race, passing a number of riders in the final couple of hours.

ALSO: DO NOT GO OUT TOO HARD! Unless you are competing for the overall win, OR there is a LONG section where drafting will make a big difference, take it easy. Fast road centuries are different, as you can't afford to lose the group's speed. MTB racing is different. I had a lot of people go by me in the first hour or so. I only got passed the last 4 hrs by a couple of guys that were faster on the technical downhills. NOBODY simply rode away. That's because I had avoided any unnecessary anaerobic efforts early on.
 

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russman said:
Hey,

Anyone ever ridden one of these races? I've raced in the past, but much shorter races. I'd really like to do one or both of these races, but don't know what kind of training regimen I should work on. Anyone have any tips?

R
I'm 1 for 2 at FireCracker - got crashed into and out this year, after completeing a FAST first lap too.... wah.

Search "passion" for my write ups and course description (as well as others!).

You'll have to invest in some long endurance paced rides AND interval work as noted by DOC. The first 7 miles at Firecracker are all road/drit road climbing, and if you blow yourself there, you will absolutely DIE trying to survive all the rest of the climbing on the first lap, and be humiliated on the second lap - looking like those TdF guys cracking on the big climbs, looking at there drivetrains as if there's something wrong down there!

The effort at FC50 is like this: Start out neutral rolling out of town for a mile or so. Fun! Easy! Huge crowd cheering! Cops peel away, head up the road a bit steeper now and GO! The first few miles vary from moderate to steep pavement, then moderate to mellow dirt road (fast tempo stretch here). Hit a flowy singletrack, and it's all middle and big ring for a little while, THEN start more hard climbing, up rough and loose steepish two track for a good long while ( I gotta do THIS again??? ), then a fast dirt road descent to the base of the hardest climb of the race - up French (Little French?) Gulch. I think it's about 2 miles or so, but gets steeper, and looser, and harder the further up ya go. I've ridden the whole thing all three times I've done it - but at ENORMOUS energy cost (Holy crap - am I gonna make it up THIS after the NEXT time around??? )! You then descend for a while, then climb back up the dirt road you came down, then up and down some "minor stuff" (hurts though)then cruise down to the transition area on wild and wooly singletrack. Hit the timing / finish area (Yay! Oh, wait - only 1/2 way there, mmmm - but beer, and BBQ are waiting...), head out on lap 2 which bypasses the downtown parade route and gets out onto the beginning of the bulk of the initial paved/dirt road climb again. Repeat above.

Be ready for a lot of pain. Nothing super technical, but at expert bad-ass times of a little over 4 hours, and normal fast times of 5 hours, it's a sort cumulative abuse that starts really chipping away at coordination and stamina. Good long mountainbike rides, and really long base miles on a road bike will help A LOT.

Leadville is not as tough technically from what I understand, but it's 2X as long and all above 10K feet. Altitude acclimitization and long stead rides will do you good.
 

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glenzx said:
I'm 1 for 2 at FireCracker - got crashed into and out this year, after completeing a FAST first lap too.... wah.

The effort at FC50 is like this: Start out neutral rolling out of town for a mile or so. Fun! Easy! Huge crowd cheering! Cops peel away, head up the road a bit steeper now and GO! The first few miles vary from moderate to steep pavement, then moderate to mellow dirt road (fast tempo stretch here).
One thing I'd add which isn't so much about training, but I thought was pretty important on the road climb and first road dirt section at the start of the FC loop is to draft wherever you can. It'll help quite a bit in picking up a few minutes here and there while saving your legs at the same time.

Also, I would suggest not stopping at all during the race. Or as little as you can tolerate. When you're out riding all day, a stop at a rest area may feel like 2-3 minutes, but the next thing you know 10 minutes have passed. When you start adding up a few minutes here and there over the course of 50 or 100 miles, you can throw your time off by quite a bit.
 
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