The 2019 XC Racing thread.

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  • The 2019 XC Racing thread.
  • mcvittees
    Member

    Anyone going Carver Barracks this weekend? I personally struggle with flat twisty courses as you have to keep pushing your mind to push hard (as opposed to a hill when you just have to go hard) and keep pushing out of the corners (which I invariably take too fast or too slow to get through efficiently). Sigh.

    Still, looking forward to the big drop off that I didn’t ride two years ago. Fully expect to ride it this year.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Like Munrobiker I did 10 under the Ben

    I was seeing everyone on full sus bikes also as I rattled round on my singlespeed rigid bike…. 1 of only 3 in solo I believe. By the end of it my arms had locked solid and coming down the cackle was painful.

    Where have all the singlespeeders gone…. Are we getting back to the point where it’s only serious singlespeeders left?

    Finished 15th over all in solo and 10th in age group.

    I’m considering suspension but not gears 🙂

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Anyone going Carver Barracks this weekend?

    Me, as you know.   Had a call this morning to discuss an alternate strategy based on my Marathon rather than XCO training and starting from the back.   We’re opposite here, I like the flats.

    Lets see if it works, the measure will be getting me back to or further than my usual rivals/position…

    Saccades
    Member

    Club xc league, thought it was 3 laps.

    It was four.

    New pb on 1st three laps and blew up on the fourth.

    Sounds like a fun plan Kryton. I love starting from the back, it’s so much more rewarding moving up through a field than down.
    Is your plan to go hard from the line? In my experience it only takes a couple of minutes to get to your usual position, or are you going to hold back a bit and ride negative splits?
    Anyway I applaud the fact that you’re thinking about ways to make a training race more constructive. How about also identifying a few technical twisty sections during your pre-ride then aim to ride them smoother and hence faster with each lap of the race. When you get home you can create some Strava segments to see if you’ve achieved it.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Is your plan

    Im not posting that up here 😉

    Great idea about the strava sections.  As you know I have my “no brakes” section I practised on a lot over winter so yes, holding speed and trusting the bike is a plan.  McVittees came out with me to Hadleigh a while back an commented positively on this very thing through the lower loop of berms (after the slalom) so I guess it’s worked a bit.

    ive also been watching some short track vid analysis, which majors on when and when not to do the work, and sticking with the riders in front – because Carver has long open sections along the runway.

    It does amaze me that even 3 years into proper racing one can feel like a relative junior in terms of experience and ability, luckily there’s a wealth of online resources, it’s good to learn.

    twowheels
    Member

    Thanks for the encouragement @mcvittees! I’m more positive about it now- my eye seems ok and I replaced the spoke.

    The extra 10 mins of light on Wednesday should help but maybe I’ll take a light!

    iain65
    Member

    I’m at Carver tomorrow, looking forward to it as never done an eastern series race before but always like the MSG organisation.

    It seems like a while since I’ve had a ‘proper race’, punctured at the National in Hadleigh and had to miss the first Midlands due to a cold so this my pipeopener before Cannock next weekend.

    Say hi if you see me, I’m in orange kit on an orange Top Fuel, in GV category at 2pm ish.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    43rd and last.   How do you ride 100% over threshold HR for the entire race and go so slowly?
    <div></div>
    <div>Starting sprint was poor, sustainable speed was poor, and sitting at home I don’t feel like I’ve ridden a race at all – no tiredness, no painful legs – nothing.  I felt slow, was slow, got fed up of being asked to let riders by and have come away disappointed and embarrassed by this.  Preparation was perfect – great nutrition, sleep, I’m not drinking…</div>
    <div>

    Perhaps the only saving grace is that my lap times are consistent within a couple of seconds.

    I’m questioning paying for coaching TBH – I know I’m training for Marathon but would have expected more than this.

    </div>

    trail_rat
    Member

    When is your target race.

    I had similar reaction in short course last year with a rider I informally advise.

    He was training for ironman in late season and was disappointed when his early season 10tt was down on the previous year (when he had done no specific training and was doing sporadic million mile weeks followed by being seriously ill)

    He did another the month before his target event having opted to follow my advice and knocked 2 minutes off his all time pb.

    Finished his target race and did well.

    I’d be more worried had he been targeting a 10 for his target race and and we were going backwards even in early season but to go forwards in as different event you sometimes have to knock the wall down and rebuild from the foundations.

    Don’t be too hard on your self at this stage.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Well, I already did an A Marathon in the same time as last year yet with a headwind and 200m extra climbing.  I did feel physically and mentally better, yet I did this with no endurance block – I’m reversed periodised if you like and my endurance block started after that Marathon. My next Marathon is 26 May.

    I expected to come off the back of 5 months of training and with a great week of prep much better than this.  1:20 at 165 with a max of 176 is a big physical effort, yet with no speed, i’d have to be in my sprint HR to go faster.

    Obviously I’m just slow, and perhaps I’m flogging a dead horse.  It’s a lot of effort and money to achieve sweet FA.

    steve_b77
    Member

    I’m kind of in the same boat, spent all last year training for two 24hr races, went rather well and I decided this year to try marathons and short track as a build up to CX. Training is limited due to a new job, but I basically just go out and try and smash myself to bits on the road and then ride MTB in events.

    Did the Cannock winter classic, got a good result, 90 mins at threshold. Builth night went brilliantly, 2 hours at threshold, the day not quite as well, but that was to be expected after the night time effort.

    At the Dyfi today I felt shit, but set PR’s on nearly every climb and the descents (newly fitted dropper helped there) and got round in 3hr20 for 50k & 1800m for what I think is a reasonable placing judging by those around me – the times list will show how I really got on. That was 2 hours at threshold and an hour at tempo.

    Next up is Welsh XC at Llandegla and then Llandovery the week after, but I feel I need to do more mid-week stuff, which is tricky.

    It’s really hard changing tact especially with limited training time.

    On the coaching thing, my mate has been paying a very well respected coach and gone backwards using his training plan, he ditched him, went back to how he used to do it and promptly got much better results.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    You’re not slow Kryton but for the life of me I’m not getting your training stuff, I’m yet to see you enjoy an event, more often than not seemingly coming back dejected by it all. Hence me not seeing the point in the paid training.
    You/he can flannel it up all you want, but what’s the point even entering just to be unhappy with it?

    I don’t have the answer, hell I’m not even bothering with the racing now despite being 100% up for it earlier, but I decided that enjoying the riding means more than racing.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Well I don’t bitch and moan about the good times Weeksy 😀 Builth was good as was the Sportive the week after.

    i did some analysis this morning – bearing in mind I had the same coach last year – and it’s only since this February my performance has dropped – I was actually closer last year to people I can measure against – but then again my training is Marathon specific and I’ve only done 2 Xc races this year.  Also, all of the MSG regulars were way down the results, I suspect because being a regional champs round it attracted more hitters.  Coming last hurts though.

    Im really only just starting my season so let’s see it out to October and see what happens.   Worst case scenario is I can drop the coaching but will have learned a lot for 2020.

    iain65
    Member

    Kryton – Nice to meet you yesterday and sorry to hear you had a bad day. I also had a tough day out, couldn’t get moving at the start and when I eventually did start to get a bit of pace decided to have a lie down after losing the front end on a tight turn, it did give me a chance to watch all my fellow competitors ride by from the comfort of the loam however!

    I’m not sure why you were off the pace yesterday but when I was focusing on marathon as well last year and it really compromised me in some XC races as I turned up with loads of fatigue even though Training Peaks said I should be flying, it taught me quite a lot about volume training that has helped me this year. I’m also sceptical of some coaches, especially when coaching older riders with families/jobs/other-commitments our recovery is nowhere near good enough with everything else going on. My coach is great as we talk every week and she balances my training load to my work life balance and forthcoming events, she has also been there and done it herself. She is worth a chat with if you want a change (http://www.jennycopnall.com/), let her know you spoke with me, she has guided my team mate to 4 National vets titles and me to a National Marathon title which really is ‘boxing above my weight!

    Feel free to email me, my address is in my profile if you think I can help in any way, or even a chat sometime.

    Iain

    mcvittees
    Member

    As I said to Kryton after the race, that wasn’t his usual performance by a long shot so I’m not surprised he felt disappointed with the result. I’ll be curious to hear how his coach explains it. I can only think to say its your target events that you’re training toward that should educate how well you believe your training is going and based on Kryton’s last marathon it’s going well.

    On the other hand, for me, it was another race that proves the Joe Friel lesson of 90% what you’ve done up to the day and 10% how you feel on the day. I was feeling a bit jelly legged but my NP ended being the same (+/-2%) as it has been for last four flat races I’ve ridden! I feel like I have a glass ceiling that I never seem to get through. Having said that, I enjoyed the race so who cares.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Likewise Iain and thanks – good to hear that old age Marathon training has affected someone else similarly – I don’t mean that I unkindly btw but for my own understanding.   Sorry to hear you had a lie down – I hope recovery goes well.    I did do a 1:20 z2 on Saturday as this is a 3 day block with 4 x 5 min z5’s targeted today perhaps that z2 took more out of me than expected.

    Mcvittees yes you are right I should focus on the actual target events 😀

    The only other thing I can think of is caffeine.  Having receive a bunch of free shots and gels I tried caffeine loading yesterday, which in a race last year I felt had a negative effect on me.   It could have been the same yesterday, but apparently this is very rare.  I’d be interested to know if anyone else has had a negative issue with caffeine shots.  The delayed fatigue definitely worked as I didn’t feel as though I’d raced until this morning!

    However, there’s so many variables to a race…

    iain65
    Member

    Kryton, to give you an example last year, I went into the Glentress round of the National series and finished 18th feeling atrocious with no energy, TP numbers were good though. Went into the next round and finished 6th with nearly the same TP numbers, I’m still working that one out. However, in the run up to Glentress I was maxing volume.

    Yesterday the course did not suit me at all, I was 40 watts down on NP when compared to the race at Hadleigh a few weeks ago where I even had to cruise for half a lap with a puncture (301watts to 260). Although yesterday’s event was never going to be one I had form for, I used it as a training ride after missing the Midlands race the week before due to a cold. Even feeling great there is no way I could put proper power down on that course.

    I think my message is that sometimes it just does not come together, especially if it’s a ‘B’ race rather than a main target. I just need to see how I will go at Cannock next weekend….

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Beastway Rd 3 today.

    Like an idiot I threw my toys out the prsm after the bike got clogged on the practise lap. Decided to start and glad i did – need to knock the negatives on the head.

    Failed to clip in on the start, and had the same flat performance as at the weekend which remains a mystery.  Still, had a few battles at the bottom of the pack and passed 4 riders so moving slowly on the right general direction.

    Was a struggle having to clear the bike every so often but an 1:10 effort with some added skills test as a bonus.

    Good to meet twowheels in the queue for the jetwash!

    twowheels
    Member

    Kryton, great to meet you too and put a face to the name 🙂 (Same for @mcvittees). Glad you’re feeling more positive. One (perhaps naive) thought when I read your earlier post is about heart rates- for marathons I would also aim to sit at a constant BPM but for Beastway I think going into the red more regularly is OK.

    My main aim was to have fun tonight after last week. I used a light and clear glasses. Was slippy and claggy for sure- it turns out SPD-SL’s and Racing Ralphs aren’t ideal 🙂 Due to lack of competition in SOM I got 1st. So, quite bizarrely, simply by turning up and riding consistently (but not quickly) I am top for the series in SOM so far!

    Where are you going this weekend, NPS 3, Battle in the Bowl (not strictly MTB but still off road goodness), what else?

    If you’re going to Battle in the Bowl, come and say Hi, I’ll be at the finishline as I’m working with the guys doing the timing – it’s great to put faces to names.

    mcvittees
    Member

    Due to lack of competition in SOM I got 1st. So, quite bizarrely, simply by turning up and riding consistently (but not quickly) I am top for the series in SOM so far!

    Haha! Brilliant! Well worth coming back for more after your previous trials! Still can’t believe you rode on speed SLs!

    steve_b77
    Member

    Well I’ve gone and signed up for the most popular class at the 1st round of the Welsh National XC series, Vets.

    No doubt I’ll get my arse handed to me, but if the entries stay low (12 at the moment) I’ll get a nice set of Regional A points, could well be the same at each round 🙂

    mrlebowski
    Member

    Grrrr…..still not allowed on my bike! Tendinitis sucks donkey cock in hell!

    2tyred
    Member

    A break from organising the Scottish XC series to go race at the British this weekend, at Cannock.

    I may have blotted it from my memory, but I don’t think I’ve been there before. What’s it like?

    My total lack of fitness was very clearly shown up at Sherwood for round 1, not really expecting much to have changed since then but we’ll see how it goes.

    steve_b77
    Member

    I may have blotted it from my memory, but I don’t think I’ve been there before. What’s it like?

    If its dry, then fast bit with polished pebbles of death strewn about the place. If its wet, kiss your brake pads goodbye, oh yeah that and wet polished pebbles of certain death

    The little bits of video I’ve seen from Cannock on social media suggest that the conditions are a little fruity! Them pebbles can be like ice.

    iain65
    Member

    I walked the last third of the course last night where it was properly muddy at lunchtime practice, it was getting better, not ideal but better!

    Hopefully the 9am races will dry it a bit more before we are on.

    padkinson
    Member

    I’m writing this from a field somwhere near Warwick, where I am lying down and trying not to throw up. The perils of pre race eating.

    First XCO race in a while at Cannock and went surprisingly well, even held my own off the start. Finished 16th elite, and dug deeper than I’d been in a few months holding off some late surgers. Pleased to still have some speed in the legs after a lot of marathon races.

    How did everyone get on?

    Betamax
    Member

    Not too bad thanks. That’s the last time I waste a bagel on you

    stylish
    Member

    Home, after 2 long days at Cannock on BC duty, walked 19 miles, had 2 bacon rolls, didn’t drink enough, thought the milkshake I had was warmer than my coffee, and generally pleased with how the event ran from a Comms side.

    On arrival Saturday, did the usual course walk, from this I can usually get feel for if people will enjoy it, half way round I wasn’t getting a good feeling, crossing track left by the harvester was pretty bad, then you’d come across a bit that would make it fun again, then there was the mud and slop, and I didn’t really get a positive vibe, today with a combination of wheels over it, warm air and sun it seemed to have improved by a huge amount, riders seemed happy enough, and the gridding was smooth and nobody was left standing around, time for a BEER or 2 now.

    2tyred
    Member

    Nice one stylish, much appreciated!

    I had a good weekend getting to race for a change, didn’t think much of the course when I rode a practice on Saturday but I thought it raced well yesterday and I ended up really enjoying the race. Maybe a bit narrow for too long in places making it hard to move up without a wait, but that’s part of it I guess. Fairly SS-friendly course, I was pleased to be cleaning the climb up to the rock garden and the longer, draggier climbs through the woods were OK. Firmly mid-pack in v40 but steady lap times and legs felt half-decent for the first time in ages.

    Successful weekend for the young Scottish contingent again, everyone seemed to enjoy the course and there were some great individual performances.

    ferrals
    Member

    Not XC as Adam said, but I raced Battle in the bowl this weekend. Course-wise I wasn’t super fussed when I did a few pre-laps on the Saturday, however the boring bits came alive when actually racing and it was a lot of fun. Never raced before when sitting in a group actually made a difference, but the flat gravel bit into a headwind meant getting into pace lines really helped.

    I was expecting to get an absolute shooing and was half expecting to give up before the end after the last couple of months of intermittent riding; but was pleasantly surpised with a solid mid-pack senior finish. Went off at cx intensity for the first lap or two and then looked at my heart rate and toned it down to just around threshold to make sure i lasted the two hours, even so was jsut trying to hang on the last couple of laps.

    Given me a bit of an appetite to race more as haven’t done any xc this year, probably do the NPS in Aberywstwth as my first.

    steve_b77
    Member

    I’m off to the Manchester Mid-Week tomorrow at Leverhulme Park in Bolton, it’s one of my favourite places to race CX and I’ve raced Xc there before, so it should be fun.

    Then it’s the first round of the Welsh National Series on Sunday at Lladegla, hopefully the course is more than a winch up that sodding fireroad, followed by a twisty / boggy thrash through where there used to be trees, but we shall see.

    I’ll be on my HT for both as I haven’t got round to changing the frame bearings on my FS as the Dyfi killed them off.

    ferrals
    Member

    From what i saw on facebook they’ve completely changed the course and it use mostly other bits of the forest, same hill start as last year but then left rather thna right at the top. Can’t make it this year which is a shame as I like racing there.. but then I also liked the long fireroad climb as it suited my total lack of ability 🙂

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Have you raced that Llandegla one before Steve? Might give it a go but if it’s a big up and down I’d be less keen.
    Have an entry for a hefty sportive up in the dales this weekend, but have barely ridden longer than 2 hrs all year so worried my legs might fall off. Should be OK on something short and intense though.

    ETA – Thks Ferrals I see they have the course up on fbook – can’t really picture the trails tbh but it’s not a big up and down at least.

    ferrals
    Member

    Even before it wasnt really jsut 1 up, one down; more 1 long (gradual) up, then a series of short ups and downs. I think they put on a pretty good course to be fair with a mixture of trail centre, walking paths and ‘off-piste’ – last year there was some fresh stuff that was a lot of fun. Pre-entries closed with low numbers at the moment so if you care about BC ranking points 😉

    steve_b77
    Member

    Have you raced that Llandegla one before Steve? Might give it a go but if it’s a big up and down I’d be less keen.

    Yeah I’ve done a few races there over the years, the Emergency Services ones were always the best courses. I’ve seen the course somewhere, but I can’t find it. It starts at the back of the visitors centre so the only way is up from there, there’s a loop round the reservoir too, so that’ll be stupidly fast.

    twowheels
    Member

    @mcvittees – yes! [Edit: I just saw you got 3rd today against decent competition- good ride]

    Great weather and the single track round the back was quick enough to comfortably bunny hop the double-root, which was fun. I nearly DNS today due to sore legs but figured I’d come and just drop out after a couple of laps if necessary- really glad I did as I think it was the most fun round so far and my legs weren’t that bad. SOM was more competitive though and I only got 5th. Luckily (because of who showed up) it was enough to extend my lead in the series. Also I seem to be getting quicker in those tight corners and carrying more momentum through (rather than slamming on the brakes at the last moment and then having to accelerate hard).

    steve_b77
    Member

    Had a right laugh at the first round of the Manchester Mid-Week madness up at Levehulme Park in Bolton last night, when I say a right laugh I mean breathing out of my rear end for 70mins at Threshold with a peak HR of 185bpm!!

    Actually went pretty well and ha a couple of good battles with contemporaries from the North West CX scene, the course was an excellent mixture of open tracks, rooty single track, short steep climbs, good drops and tight turns and bone dry too, which is a bonus. @mick_r was there too on a reasonably sensible bike too, plus other’s from here.

    It’ll be interesting to see where I came when the results crop up, but as it was my first XCO race of the year and it’s a whole new thing for me it doesn’t really matter.

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