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I am new to MTB racing, and am doing a season in sport this year. I'm having a problem with the first lap of races, they're just sickening! I find it physically and mentally tough to hang in there at the start, and it is only into the later laps that I feel in control of the bike and able to race it.

I realise that there are no easy answers to the physical side, I just need to get stronger. Can anyone suggest training ideas that will help me gut out the first lap? Also, any tips on how I can mentally approach the first lap that might help?

Cheers. :)
 

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Metalheadbikerider
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How's your warm-up?

JBone said:
I am new to MTB racing, and am doing a season in sport this year. I'm having a problem with the first lap of races, they're just sickening! I find it physically and mentally tough to hang in there at the start, and it is only into the later laps that I feel in control of the bike and able to race it.

I realise that there are no easy answers to the physical side, I just need to get stronger. Can anyone suggest training ideas that will help me gut out the first lap? Also, any tips on how I can mentally approach the first lap that might help?

Cheers. :)
I had the same difficulty in the beginning of races. Now I use a trainer and do hard 1 min. intervals before the race. You should try to get the point of feeling horrible before the race in your warm-up so that when the race starts you are rady to rock. If you don't have a trainer try to find a hill and do some hard repeats, but start with a 15 minute warm-up prior to doing those.
Does that make sense?
 

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Agree with warming up, and also

What are you doing for the beginning of your rides. If you are just lallygaggin along at the beginning this could be when you race like that. You race like you train. If you want to start faster try doing the frist part of your rides hard. maybe do some Morris leadout intervals followed by a hard 30 or 40 minutes to simulate the start of a race.

Another thing you may want to consider is not going out quite so hard in races. My experience while I was in the sport class was that the majority of the field starts out way faster than they can maintain for the entire race. Where are you usually finishing? Do you feel like you are gaining on people late in the race, or falling behind? well I could babble on if you like
 

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A trainer is a good idea. But if you don't have one, or don't want to buy one, ride your bike around. You should get a sweat going and try to get to the point of your physiological second wind before the start, a few intervals or high speed cruising will help. That's why you feel better later in the race, your 1st lap is your warm up. Many road racers try to get to the line just prior to the start after having rode hard enough to start sweating and elevating the heart rate to near race levels as a warm up. You can do the same thing.

Mentally, that's hard to say. It's different for everybody. Training hard can help get you mentally prepared. Do some hard training rides that simulate a race pace. Try to be alone just before the race to focus yourself for the race. I like to train so that I enter the mental zone where I only see the trail in front of me (tunnel vision/thinking) and think of nothing but the immediate singletrack in front of me and what lies next. All else is unimportant when training/racing.

Warming up will help you mentally and physically, because you wil be better prepared for the first lap physically, it will be easier mentally.
 

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Sharp rocks hurt...
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I have been having the same problems in my first few races. Now I do a hard warm up before I go and I feel better at the start. Starts are always hard for me though, I sit at the gate for like 15 minutes and then my heart rate jumps from 70 to 170 as everyone sprints to get a good position into the single track. Also I feel like I’m going to crash the first few miles of the race. I have been practicing my track stands at the starting gate and that seems to help since I really have to calm down and be relaxed to stay there and do it for a long time.
 

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racing

[SXC races?

I've struggled as well despite thinking I was quick!
Had a few ilnesses and injuries which haven't helped
Also need to improve on some of the technical bits

As for the first lap I have realised I need a decent warm up of at least half an hour before I really can get going
 

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Search out posts by Glenzx re; his pre race warm up routine. A few of us here have "borrowed" it and found it quite helpfull in getting ready for the start.

Interval training is also something else to incorporate into your training.

Others have said it but it can't be stressed enough......... "train as you race and you will race as you trained"
 

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Homer Simpson said:
A trainer is a good idea. But if you don't have one, or don't want to buy one, ride your bike around. You should get a sweat going and try to get to the point of your physiological second wind before the start, a few intervals or high speed cruising will help. That's why you feel better later in the race, your 1st lap is your warm up. Many road racers try to get to the line just prior to the start after having rode hard enough to start sweating and elevating the heart rate to near race levels as a warm up. You can do the same thing.

Mentally, that's hard to say. It's different for everybody. Training hard can help get you mentally prepared. Do some hard training rides that simulate a race pace. Try to be alone just before the race to focus yourself for the race. I like to train so that I enter the mental zone where I only see the trail in front of me (tunnel vision/thinking) and think of nothing but the immediate singletrack in front of me and what lies next. All else is unimportant when training/racing.

Warming up will help you mentally and physically, because you wil be better prepared for the first lap physically, it will be easier mentally.


how much is a good trainer
 
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