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I'm signing up for my first race, which is in a month and a half. First of all, should I do beginner(10 miles) or sport(20miles)? How beginnery is beginner...I'd say that for trail riding, I'm pretty intermediate.

Any recomendations for training in my month and a half? I've been riding 4-5 days a week with a couple 2-3 hour rides and then some easier rides...Should I keep this up or start a more scientific method?

Ok, so I'm a big guy and want to lose about 20# right now. Over the last month and a half, I've lost about 9 pounds, but I can definitely feel the effect of too few calories on my riding and recovering. Should I keep trying to lose weight aggresively or eat more and work more on building strength and speed? Any suggestions on how to go about doing both?


The search function is dead right now, so don't get too pissed if I'm overlooking previous posts.
 

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P.S. Keep losing weight. If you are overweight, the rate at which you are currently losing it is totally sustainable.
 

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Agreed, continue to lose weight and focus on racing in the beginner ranks.
 

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If you have never raced, have never been to a race, and are trying to lose significant weight, I'd start off in "beginner" or Cat 3. If you are not familiar with racing, you might be a little surprised at how strong some of the riders are in Cat 3.

I'd also make sure you are losing weight the right way. If you are eating way too few calories and trying to train seriously, you are going to burn up way too much muscle and you aren't going to reap the benefits of all that training like you would if you were eating well. You're also at higher risk of gaining all the weight back if you starve yourself and lose it too quickly. You will just screw your metabolism up by losing it all too quickly. I'd be careful with the weight loss.

Good luck racing, and don't get discouraged if things don't go well your first time out. Keep riding. You'll get faster and the weight will come off.
 

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The top 5 in beginner will be quite fast, so dont worry about being a sandbagger. Sounds like you are doing a good amount of training though. Just make sure you are doing a little bit of high intensity stuff, something that will really get the heart rate pounding and the lungs chugging.
 

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Good question, as I am thinking seriously of entering my first XC race. My skills at a skills park scare me (I'm pretty shaky) but hitting things on the trail I do pretty well. At least out here in UT.

I'll look at beginner for my first one then.
 

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desnaephoto said:
Good question, as I am thinking seriously of entering my first XC race. My skills at a skills park scare me (I'm pretty shaky) but hitting things on the trail I do pretty well. At least out here in UT.

I'll look at beginner for my first one then.

I just started racing again and have to say @ 30 years old I have no desire to do any park riding but in the woods I am usually jumping all over the place. There is definitely a difference and I would have to say every rider should try at least one race. Its fun to see how far you can push your self. To the OP I raced in a few beginner races last season and placed fourth in one this season so I plan on sticking with the beginners for the remainder of the season. In my last race the first place rider was pretty far ahead of me and there were actually at least 5 beginners ahead of me. Its more competitive class than you might think and a great place to start.

As for weight loss (I am a PE/Health teacher as well as a personal trainer) it sounds like you are doing well. Most experts recommend 2 lbs a week and while many say you are either losing fat or gaining muscle some studies have shown that it is possible to do both. Make sure you are taking in enough protein .8-1 gram per lb of lean body weight and take in a carb/protein blend immediately after your ride. Spread out the rest over at least 5 meals and you should be good
 

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arw45 said:
Ok, so I'm a big guy and want to lose about 20# right now. .
My first race ever was a sport race. Went in at 167 pounds at 5' 10" and got 21st out of 34 racers.

I was fairly fit, and still got spanked. Maybe 2-3 pounds overweight for that time of the year.

I recommend you do beginner.
 

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The "Beginner" or Cat-3 class does not mean beginner to mountain bike riding it's really very good mtb riders who are new to racing. Typically miles are less so it will give you a good idea of how you would do if you raced Sport or Cat-2. You will realize how many better riders there are out there....because it's more than just being fit.
I would recommend to start in the Cat-3 category and see how you do....you may find you could compete in Cat-2 or you may find you have a long way to go.
I'm sure with all the riding you are doing and if you maintian a good diet...the pounds will come off.
 

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The big difference between Beginner and Sport (Cat 3 and Cat 2) is physical fitness, not skill. There are plenty of skilled mountain bikers racing beginner, but racing Sport means a commitment to being in shape. Remember, you're going to be racing the entire race giving everything you've got.

In fact you may find that some Cat. 1 racers are not as skilled as guys in Cat. 3, but they are in supremely good shape and skilled enough to handle a race course.



arw45 said:
I'm signing up for my first race, which is in a month and a half. First of all, should I do beginner(10 miles) or sport(20miles)? How beginnery is beginner...I'd say that for trail riding, I'm pretty intermediate.

Any recomendations for training in my month and a half? I've been riding 4-5 days a week with a couple 2-3 hour rides and then some easier rides...Should I keep this up or start a more scientific method?

Ok, so I'm a big guy and want to lose about 20# right now. Over the last month and a half, I've lost about 9 pounds, but I can definitely feel the effect of too few calories on my riding and recovering. Should I keep trying to lose weight aggresively or eat more and work more on building strength and speed? Any suggestions on how to go about doing both?


The search function is dead right now, so don't get too pissed if I'm overlooking previous posts.
 

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ptfmb71 said:
The "Beginner" or Cat-3 class does not mean beginner to mountain bike riding it's really very good mtb riders who are new to racing.
Exactly. This is true of other sports as well. (Wish I had known/understood this earlier myself :thumbsup: )
 

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I think you will be surprised at how fast novice is. I don't know how it is where you live but I started this year in novice wondering if it was beneath me. I've been struggling to break out of mid pack. novice doesn't mean slow guys who don't know what they are doing. There are often really fast and really experienced trail riders or roadies or cyclocross racers who have just never done a mtb race before.
 
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