Getting Into Racing
Beginners, Newbies, Noobz, etc
April 05, 2014, 01:49 PM
After 4 years of being a weekend warrior I'm looking to get into racing. I've already signed up for the WORS Iola race in the Citizen class which seems like a good place to start but was looking for some advice on training. I'm used to training schedules for running trail 1/2 & full marathons but have not done any training on mtn/road bikes. Any good resources online for this or is my best bet to hit the trails and see what happens this year? I live ~10 mins from CamRock so I can easily get some rides in during the weekdays.
Also wanted to see if anyone has had past experience with mtn biking after knee surgery (repaired torn meniscus last fall)? My first passion was trail running but my knees are pushing me to something less abusive. After all the rehab this winter I feel near 100% but curious how mtn bike racing will feel.
Thanks for any input and I look forward to volunteering this year at CamRock.
April 05, 2014, 06:39 PM
Not sure how helpful this is, but my dad tore his meniscus due to abuse from many years of long distance running. Now he does a lot of road biking and actually feels that it makes his knee feel better. For example if he does something he really shouldn't like play tennis, biking afterwards doesn't make it worse and possible even makes it feel a bit better.
Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 06:43 PM by mccarthy
April 06, 2014, 12:21 AM
If you are into podcasts then I recommend The Semi Pro Cyclist (semiprocycling.com), it's definitely leaning more towards road bikes but he covers mostly general concepts that have a lot of carry over. The host is clearly passionate about cycling and training and is not afraid to get nerdy about it, so you may need a strong geeky side to get into it. What I appreciate most is that he puts effort into researching the topics and more often than not will references multiple legit studies from various viewpoints, and the fact that's he's not dogmatic about the "best" way to train is a welcome change from a lot of what is out there online.
On the other end of the spectrum is bikejames.com, he's about as opinionated as they come and a bit of a cherry picker about science that backs up his claims, but I happen to agree with is views on how beneficial strength training can be and other ways to become a better mountain biker, such as riding with flat pedals often.
April 07, 2014, 08:54 AM
I was in the same boat a couple years ago, so I can only give you what worked well for me.
Step 1: Ride a lot.
Like all the time. I am constantly amazed at how fast some guys are on the flats and doubletrack but get stuck by a relatively tame technical climb. Having these skills will save you frustration during the race.
Step 2: Intervals.
I'm sure you know this from running, but interval training can really improve your cardio performance, plus it mimics a bike race very well.
Step 3: Pacing.
I couldn't believe how fast the guys went at the start, but maintaining that pace is hard. Mental and physical preparation to keep yourself at a certain pace is crucial to not burning out too early or slacking off when your not with a pack or riders (which I do too often and need to work on myself!).
But, most importantly...
There are too many guys who jump into racing at Cat 3/Citizen and think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Don't take yourself too seriously and just enjoy riding your bike and see where it leads. Good luck!
April 27, 2014, 11:55 AM
I am also going to get into racing after spending the last couple years on the trails. I have never been to a bicycle race of any kind and have no clue what to expect. I plan on signing up for the citizen or cat 3 class at WORS Battle of CamRock and the citizen class for a few other WORS races in the Southern WI area. I have been riding either Kettle, CamRock, or Quarry 2-4 times a week now pretty consistently for the past 2 summers. A few people have told me that I may want to consider Sport class due to how frequent I ride. I will say I am quite lazy when it comes to training and increasing cardio. Given how often I ride, would I be "sandbagging" at all by doing the Cat 3? It is my first race but I also ride 10-30 miles a week on just MTN bike trails. I don't train in any sense, I just love to ride and do it as often as I can. I am not afraid of the mental drain and adrenaline dump aspect that comes with racing. I have competed in kickboxing at a high level and feel I am pretty well trained on how to deal with the mental aspect of competing. Any suggestions or thoughts? Thanks.