Cyclocross pacing

I like @anon67840561’s strategy. Back off a little bit in that first lap until you hit some steady state pain level, then try and hold that through the first half of the race. In the second half, if you are feeling better, you can up the intensity, otherwise, hang on for dear life.

My max HR is typically low 170s and during cross races my HR varies between 156 and 165. I don’t look at my HRM during the race, but I am constantly checking the what level of pressure against the pedals my leg muscles feel. If I notice that the pressure is lighter than it was the last time I checked, I put more effort into pedaling. I don’t really check when the perceived pressure is high, because usually that means I am chasing/being chased by someone and just need to keep doing whatever I am doing.

A great tip I heard a few years ago: whatever you use- Garmin, whatever- take power off the screen you see during the race. My preference would actually be a watch. Just because I can’t really see it while racing, but its recording everything. Leave those bars clean. You want it recorded, but seeing it can really mess with you. If anything, time and HR, maybe… I find power to be incredibly useful after the race, but not much while in it. “Pin it to win it”, as they say. If you’re totally gassed, you paced right.

Now… If only I could decide if I am going to put a dropper post on my cx bike this year…


I track my races with Garmin and power meter, but don’t do anything with the data during a race.

Even if I do look down and see a heart rate higher than I “think” it should be, I never end up adjusting my race plan.

Go out as hard as you can without blowing up, and then stay there til the bell lap.


I mostly look at time to figure out how many laps I have left. I try to get the lap function to work but its hit or miss. I didn’t find anything to glean from my power data so I took off the PM and went back to my much lighter crankset

And then go harder?

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Or you puke…whichever comes first

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puke and rally. just like college