NUE MTB Series Race, minimum watts per kg

I first started riding to lose weight. Early on, I stupidly signed up for a 100k MTB race, I was woefully unprepared and did not finish. I signed up for TrainerRoad and few years later I am 35 lbs lighter and 50 watts stronger. The question I have is whether that is enough to take another stab at one of these races. Does anyone know of any guidance as to what fitness other metrics I could measure to know if I am ready? With respect to the races: Which is the hardest? Which is the easiest? Which is a cool destination? My summer is booked up for this year but I am thinking about 2025

Can define what you mean by “ready”? Is your goal to compete for the win, hit a goal time, or just to finish? There is so much that goes into it. You can be 35lbs lighter and 50 watts stronger and have horrible nutrition/hydration on the day and DNF again.

The strongest I’ve ever been was before the 2020 BWR SD. I ended up with a DNF and getting taken to the hospital via ambulance due to dehydration/heat exhaustion. So even though I was hitting my best numbers ever…I failed to drink. Live and learn, I guess.

Good point. My goal is just to finish, hydration definitely played into my previous failure too. It was hot and I ran out of water. I think now I have better a handle on the on-bike nutrition side as I have been listening to the podcasts and doing a lot of reading. I have experimented with what works for me on less challenging but long and hot days. I know I sweat a lot of salt, so I know to compensate for that.

Are you aiming to do a 100k or 100 miles? East or west part of the country?

I think the best metric is whether you feel comfortable in training climbing about 70-80% of what you’ll be doing on race day, in similar terrain…meaning long climbs like SM100 or repeated punchy climbs like Mohican 100.

There isn’t really a minimum W/kg or similar for NUE style events. Most have pretty relaxed finish time windows, so finishing slowly is an option, if you can mentally do the time in saddle.

I’ve done SM100 twice, once the full 100 miles, then the 100km option. Both on the old course (before the county said they can’t use public roads - the course is ridiculously hard now). I’d guess I was around 3.75w/kg for both, which got me decent, but not fast, finish times (11:30 and 7:00 give or take). I’m a pretty shit mountain biker (not a great descender, not great at clearing obstacles like larger logs or rock ledges).

But, if you can do a 5-6 hour mountain bike ride, you’re probably in good enough shape for any of the 100km NUE races. Just do some intensity and make sure you’re longer rides are steady (not stopping to gab every 30 minutes) and you should be fine. 100 miles will take some work - anything under 10 hours is pretty fast for any of the courses - you probably want to plan on 11-12 hours the saddle, maybe more. So hydration/nutrition starts to get more important, plus mental fortitude, and a hard ass.

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