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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just started racing this year. In my first two races, I felt fine at the start but after the first few miles, struggled. After a few more miles, recovered and felt fine again. So my question is, what can I do to keep from loosing it in the early stages of the race?

Thanks!
 

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Why so uptite?
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i have a feeling you are not properly warmed up. If you properly warm up you will be able to keep your tempo stronger and longer thru the race. Also make sure you are not eating to close to the start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My warm up is usually 10 or so minutes of easy riding with a few short bursts thrown in. I try and get the heart rate up and start sweating before the start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
EBG 18T/ zhen,

Other than the WU, is there anything else you can think of that might be causing this problem?
 

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Solo2K6 said:
EBG 18T/ zhen,

Other than the WU, is there anything else you can think of that might be causing this problem?
Perhaps you're experiencing mental anguish whilst passing/being passed? This could lead to you not pacing yourself and worrying about your race.
 

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Solo2K6 said:
EBG 18T/ zhen,

Other than the WU, is there anything else you can think of that might be causing this problem?
Well, like the post above me says, be aware of your mental condition. If you can' t hang with the lead pack, don't sweat it. *Ride Your Race* and your position will come :)

How mentally stressed are you during races?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That could be part of it as well. Because I'm a newbie to racing, I feel obligated to try to keep contact with the leaders frm the start. After I experience this problem, I usually settle into my race. (However by then, I'm mid pack)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wouldn't say I'm too stressed out during the race. My first race I had the obvious butterflies but at the start of the second, I felt really relaxed, comfortable, like I'd been racing for years. That being said, after I do loose contact with the leaders, I begin to doubt my abilities.
 

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What It Be ?
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This is my first year racing and I have podiumed every race so far all 4 of them. Next year I am jumping to sport and I am fully ready to have my @$$ handed to me. Just ride your own race pace yourself. Get out front early and see if you can pace some of the leaders.
 

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Sounds like it could be a lack of good warm up, but also a lack of your body knowing what it's like to recover from an all out race start. Do you do any interval training in your workouts? If you don't consider adding some in to get your boddy accustomed to max effort and then recovering as fast as possible.
 

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Too hard, too fast

Something that happens in every race in every catagory I have raced. Some guys take off to hang with the lead group right off the start, now the lead guys know they can maintain it and control the pace and all they do is shell off the rest of the racers who think they can hang and are never seen again. I've have done this on several occasions and found that it provides only negative effects on my overall race (performance and enjoyment). It is much more efficent and competative to pace yourself at the start to prevent an excessive exertion that handicaps you for the rest of the race. Let the lead group go do thier thing, they're going to do it with or without you. At this point, you start picking up the guys who are blown up from their overdone start and you start moving up in the field further then you would have.
Now this does take a some experience to figure out and with two races under your belt, it will be hard to gauge. But every race is an experiment, preride at least the first mile and plan you start. Look for passing areas, how much room before the single track starts, start to notice who is in your group.
But, I not saying to take off all relaxed and hang out in the back. You need to be agressive, hang in a good spot to maintain a good position in the single track. Starts suck and they hurt, they always slow down, you just want to be in the group that slows down to the pace you can maintain for the rest of the race. Too far ahead and you blow up, too far back and you spend all day trying to get around blownup riders.
Now for the rant, I have developed this technique for myself because I am not a power rider and have poor starts when the start is fast and furious. So, I usually end up in the middle of the pack going in the single track. I know half of the guys in front of me are going to peel off and all they do is slow down riders that are pacing and conserving them selves for the race and I watch the leaders roll away. And i get stuck plowing through guys that are too big for thier briches, overheated, half conscience and puking.
 

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I have seen riders use a heart rate moniter w/ alarm

set at some upper limit. I have asked them about it and thay say it helps overcome the adrenaline rush at the beginning of the race that let's us go out too fast without realizing it. I have this problem in several races every year, so am considering using a hrm to help set pace. I have used one on a couple time trials (on dirt) to find out my maximum sustainable hr and I'll probably set the alarm just above this level. And then ignore it...:D .
 

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I basically had the same problem. I've been racing for less than a year but next Sunday will be race number 20. I would always start too hard and end up being passed by what seemed like everyone, then finish close to last place (no fun at all). My problem is just a self-control issue. I get caught up in the adrenaline of the start and don’t pay attention to how my heart, lungs and legs are doing. If I can start at my own pace and pay real close attention to how I'm feeling then I'll do the best. My best is usually finishing in about the first 40%, but I'm actually racing and passing which is a whole lot more fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok for this weekends race I warmed up for around 30 minutes (including some sprints), felt great at the line and the start. Then again about 3 - 4 miles into the race felt like I was going to blow up. Told myself no matter what happens I will finish and, kept going. Ended up doing ok but, why am I still having such a struggle 3 - miles into every race?
 

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Solo2K6 said:
Ok for this weekends race I warmed up for around 30 minutes (including some sprints), felt great at the line and the start. Then again about 3 - 4 miles into the race felt like I was going to blow up. Told myself no matter what happens I will finish and, kept going. Ended up doing ok but, why am I still having such a struggle 3 - miles into every race?
Hey, I'm far from any sort of an expert opinion. I'm learning as I go as well.

Sounds like you are going out too hard and too fast of a pace for what you have conditioned yourself in your training to handle at this point. That being said, there is a lot of "pain and hurt" involved in a mountain bike race and even with a lot of training that "on the edge of blowing up" is going to be lurking. What about your hydration and nutrition? Fill us in on your routine with both.

What kind of interval training and recovery schedule have you been doing in the March to July time frame this year? Do you taper your training leading up to a race?

I think I went out too hard this past Sunday in a 98 degree, mega humid day. Felt fine for the first 6 miles even though I was pushing it a tad on every climb and flat, but I was hanging in there. Then around mile 8 the heat/pace overcame me and I had to do a couple of laps at a lower pace to recover, find my ryhthm and build for the final laps. May have simply been the heat - more than anything else - that zapped me because I am in pretty decent race shape, but I had nothing left in the legs at the end of that one. Others suffered equally in the heat, but learning to adjust one's pace and output in various weather conditions is part of the game as well.

As you race more, you will know what your body can and cannot take with the amount of training you have been doing. You have to learn to find your rhythm in a race and stick to it. Even if it means not hanging with the lead group or mid-pack for the first few miles of the race, at least you will avoid the blow up or near blow up. Have you been doing specific training for race starts so you know how much you can push yourself and yet recover while avoiding a blow up in the first few miles? It's hard to recreate that on your own, but you can be doing specific intervals and sprints to target that part of the red zone section of the race. Sometimes you bust your butt, legs and lungs in the first mile of the race only to encounter bottleneck after bottleneck after bottleneck where all the guys that didn't jump off the startline catch up to you anyway.

BB
 
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