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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I will be in my first race on may 7 and I'm not sure how best to prepare with the time I have. I'm also training for a couple of 5k races so I'm running 3 days/week and I've been trying to bike 4 days/week but things keep coming up. Because of a variety of reasons, I rode off road today for the first time and it was really hard. Would it be better to ride mostly off road or would some road rides be beneficial? I was thinking maybe 2 off road rides and 1or 2 road rides per week? Since I have a 5k the week before I don't really want to do less running so I'm kind of working with biking 3-4 days per week and running 3.

Thanks.
 

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First race tips:

1. Don't worry about training or preparing. Your first race is not about competition, it's about learning a little about where your limits are and having fun. Make sure your bike is in good working order and that you ate a good breakfast.

2. Go online and find some pictures of European pro riders. Memorize their faces. When you get to the start line, look around and notice that none of them are there - so don't let the guy with the big veins in his legs and full team kit push you around. Fitness isn't something you can see, so don't get intimidated. You'll get beat by plenty of bearded weirdos on singlespeeds, and you'll beat a lot of guys who look like they just stepped out of the pages of Cycle Sport. Such is racing.

3. Make a conscious effort to smile at the start line, and introduce yourself to other folks in your row. By all means, don't just stand there shaking (you'll be nervous!) and staring at the ground, trying not to pee your pants (been there, done that).

4. Go for it. It's better and more satisfying to go out in a blaze of glory, blow up, and cross the line dead last, having given everything you had, than to conserve, conserve, conserve and end up mid-pack wondering what might have been.

5. Have fun.

6. See #5.

-Walt
 

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The Duuude, man...
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Wow. I'm in perfect agreement.

Only thing to add: if you're excersising like you list, you'll be in waaay good shape compared to the average Beginner class rider.

Walt said:
1. Don't worry about training or preparing. Your first race is not about competition, it's about learning a little about where your limits are and having fun. Make sure your bike is in good working order and that you ate a good breakfast.

2. Go online and find some pictures of European pro riders. Memorize their faces. When you get to the start line, look around and notice that none of them are there - so don't let the guy with the big veins in his legs and full team kit push you around. Fitness isn't something you can see, so don't get intimidated. You'll get beat by plenty of bearded weirdos on singlespeeds, and you'll beat a lot of guys who look like they just stepped out of the pages of Cycle Sport. Such is racing.

3. Make a conscious effort to smile at the start line, and introduce yourself to other folks in your row. By all means, don't just stand there shaking (you'll be nervous!) and staring at the ground, trying not to pee your pants (been there, done that).

4. Go for it. It's better and more satisfying to go out in a blaze of glory, blow up, and cross the line dead last, having given everything you had, than to conserve, conserve, conserve and end up mid-pack wondering what might have been.

5. Have fun.

6. See #5.

-Walt
 

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having only raced a couple of times

I think the most important thing that I kept in mind was to relax. Have a good time. The pack thins out so fast and you are often really just out there by yourself. Just look at the guys in front of you as the next target to pass. When you pass him, just look for the next guy.

As far as prep, it seems like you are more than fit enough, if you can though start riding the race trail as soon as you can--they will probably do something like run the race backwards or ad and subtract certain things, but it is really good to have at least a little knowledge about the track.

Other than that, see Walt's #5
 

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No rest days?

Running or biking all seven days of the week: Bad!

Taking well planned rest days: Good!

Or, if you are unable to relax, take a walk or go for a SLOW spin and call it an active recovery day.

Exercise does not make you stronger. The recovery periods are when the strength builds. The work out is just the stimulus.

I have learned this the hard way. The damage that you can do to your body by overtraining can haunt you the rest or your days.

Have some fun out there!

29erchico
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
29erchico said:
Running or biking all seven days of the week: Bad!

Taking well planned rest days: Good!

29erchico
I was worried about that but things come up and interrupt my schedule often enough that the rest day seem to take care of themselves.

Thanks to everyone for the advice!
 

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Walt said:
2. Go online and find some pictures of European pro riders. Memorize their faces. When you get to the start line, look around and notice that none of them are there - so don't let the guy with the big veins in his legs and full team kit push you around. Fitness isn't something you can see, so don't get intimidated. You'll get beat by plenty of bearded weirdos on singlespeeds, and you'll beat a lot of guys who look like they just stepped out of the pages of Cycle Sport. Such is racing.

5. Have fun.

6. See #5.

-Walt
Walt is da-man! I love #2! My girlfriend entered a 24hr enduro solo last month. She was one of only two solo female entrants, and the other was ripped, I'm talking super-buff and tanned and looking all the part of the robo-athlete. Really intimidated my gf, however she went on to DESTROY the buff looking woman, and 80% of the men's field too. So don't be intimidated!

Have fun is the key! And sure, push it, but not so hard that you puke.
 

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Ha, bearded single speeders

"You'll get beat by plenty of bearded weirdos on singlespeeds, and you'll beat a lot of guys who look like they just stepped out of the pages of Cycle Sport. Such is racing."

Yeah, you've gotta watch those guys!

I'd just like to make a comment about pace-I think you'll end up faster by not completely going into a lactic acid haze and puking right off of the bat, and it is really hard to not get caught up in the rush off of the line. Now it is true that not giving it your all is less satsifying than finishing completely empty so I'm all for that, it's just that trying to go 100% at the start (vs. 120%) would be better. Plus you get to pass people later who started too fast :)
 

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Seems like nothing but race-day suggested so far...agreed with most.

You hear about people carbo loading the might before a race. Night before is a little too late. The race is on the 7th - carbo load on the 5th. Have a nice meal w/ carbs(no fries) and protiens on the 6th. Remember, carbs are the quick source of energy. Protein burns longer. Drink lots of h2o all week - maybe start 2 weeks out. Pick up a 6pack of 16-20oz bottles of water and make sure they're all gone by days end - everyday.

You're not going to get all your dirt skills in two weeks. You're also not going to build that much endurance on the road in the same amount of time. I'd say hang up the road bike and ride as much dirt as possible. You said you rode the dirt for the first time. You need to find out how your bike's going to react on the trails(1 ride won't do it). Get it dialed in, making sure it is shifting properly, shock is set up correctly, tires psi...etc.

Like Walt said - "Have fun". Remember - you're going to hurt during the race, maybe even say 'never again', but once it's over you'll be hungry for more....
 
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