XC Race Day Prep

@mh5 did you go back and race this week? I was there in the sport division. The clouds came in and cooled everything off around race time, was a great night out there.

I did make it back. It was a nice evening for sure. Weather was pleasant.

You go every week?

I try to but will probably only make 2-3 this summer due to work travel. Also looking at Rim Nordic series up in Big Bear, have heard great things about that series.

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Then you likely need some threshold work so that you go a bit less deep in the red at the high end and recover faster during the mini-breaks. Anaerobic power still has a large aerobic component to it.

I’ve done a lot of these mid week series both MTb and road and in terms of bike setup its really course dependent. I’ve found for short stuff like this that are basically short track in duration (not knowing the OTH series) is keep it simple and light. You’re not going to bonk on a hour long race and if you mechanical out chances are they are short laps and you can walk out, and fixing it will only get you home (unless you are in the running for points and a DNF will ruin your chances for overall)
If you take look at pro’s short track set ups the tires are minimal and fast, little water and no tool kits or extra nutrition (i use caffeine in a small bottle, extra cold). I try and set up my bike as light as possible because the start is very important, punchi-ness out of the corners and climbs.
As others have said its important to get a really good warmup, practice the start, multiple times, multiple lines at race pace if you can.

Just to piggyback, what’s the move for water on a 15 mile ~1.5 hour xco race? I only have 1 bottle cage and can’t get a hand up. Should 1 bottle be fine or should I use a uswe?

Edit to add that it should only be like 70-75 degrees. So I’m leaning towards 1 bottle being fine for this race.

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I was initially looking to tack on Rim Nordic but may be busy working. Others have recommended it and I will still try to make it if at all possible.

Thanks for the reply. The remainder of my plan has me doing an endurance ride a couple days after each race, a long anaerobic ride 4 days after and an opener the day before the B and A races. You have any advice on how to add threshold work and whether its worth trying to build my threshold at this point close to halfway into the series?

That is good advice and something I tried to do with my setup. I stripped it of everything extra I could and even use a half-full bottle for the race. If I mechanical then the race is so short that I’ll have lost by the time I fix anything. Just hope for the best and know it’s best 6 out of 8 races for the series.

What’s your take on warmup? So far I’ve run it at snails pace except for downhills and a couple very short steep efforts. Mostly snails pace though trying not to exert myself at all.

Other people probably have more experience but I’ve just been using a half-filled 550cc. I usually pour sweat during heavy efforts regardless of temperature but try to hydrate well prior to the race and immediately after. It just doesn’t seem long enough to warrant a bag. Probably a full bottle if I was racing 15miles/1.5 hours. That’s also generally what I’ll use on the local 14 mile/1.3 hour loop I ride regularly.

You could replace the long anaerobic ride with a sweet spot or threshold ride, but I’m not sure how much gains you’ll see in such a short time.

I think you are right and I agree with you. I suspect I’m not going to adapt much for the next few races to make it worthwhile. Maybe I should think about that for next season.

They are great races. Beautiful course. Classic XC. Very chill and fun.

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