Endurance Racing

Jeffreywoliver

Well-Known Member
#1
Saw H2H has endurance races at each venue. Seems like a cool challenge, but never done this type of event. I think it is a four hour event. How much volume would you build up before attempting this? I have decent road endurance, but not used to the pounding of MTB. I'm thinking it could take the heat off of my limited technical skills. Also no state championship in my race class (Cat 3), so it seems appealing goal from that angle.

Do you finished wrecked? Is it something you just jump into at the deep end?
 

fidodie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#3
every race finished should leave you wrecked :D

Just go for it - take breaks if needed - there is a place to leave a cooler with food and water, you pass it each lap.
Good luck!! crush it. Then upgrade to cat 2.
 

pearl

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#5
4 hours is chump change, lol

Yup, just dive in, learn as you go. The hardest part is what works with your stomach in terms of nutrition, but the only way to learn is to go out and get it! Racing endurance is more fun because you may ride with someone all day and it doesn’t feel as intense.
 

Joe J

Active Member
#8
If you can handle a spirited 3hr group mtb or 5hr road ride with minimal to no stops you should be fine for a 4hr. For most less is better when it comes to fueling, depending on your weight 150-200 cal & 16 to 20 oz of fluid per hour are sufficient.
 

pearl

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#11
the best part about a lap endurance race is you cant "not finish", as long as you do one lap you finished. the hardest part about lap event races is that you know you can be done and not have to go back out to ride again. this is mental mind-F for me. do another lap to not gain a place or pack up 30 minutes early and hang out. if its a big loop, you have no choice to but to ride it out.

4 hours is just long enough that you can push the limits of XC pace for the normal race time, say 90m to 2 hours and whatever happens after that, happens. even if you just JRA the remaining laps, you may either become a zombie, or find the zombies. you'll learn. DO IT!
 

jShort

El gran perdedor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#12
@Jeffreywoliver lives 50 yards from the bottom of that awesome rocky climb at Voorhees. He could be practicing 20 minutes a day and his tech skills would triple by the first race.
 

1speed

Incredibly profound yet fantastically flawed
#13
the best part about a lap endurance race is you cant "not finish", as long as you do one lap you finished. the hardest part about lap event races is that you know you can be done and not have to go back out to ride again. this is mental mind-F for me. do another lap to not gain a place or pack up 30 minutes early and hang out. if its a big loop, you have no choice to but to ride it out.

4 hours is just long enough that you can push the limits of XC pace for the normal race time, say 90m to 2 hours and whatever happens after that, happens. even if you just JRA the remaining laps, you may either become a zombie, or find the zombies. you'll learn. DO IT!
Yes and no on the no DNF- it's possible that this is not always true. Many races have a rule that says if you cross the finish line before time is up, you have to go back out for another lap or else you'll DNF. The obvious solution is to just hang out and wait to cross the line until time expires, but if you don't know that, you can accidentally get yourself a DNF. Iron Hill used to be like that - I'm not sure if it still is. But it always cracked me up when I'd come through the start/finish are at like 3:40 for the 4 hour race and I'd see half a dozen guys just hanging out with their bikes 20 yards from the line.

Some other races flip the rule and say that you have to finish your last lap before time expires. This won't necessarily lead to a DNF, but you could end up riding a whole extra lap that doesn't even count. Personally, I love this format because it forces you to think about a lot of things as time ticks down -- how fast do you have to go to finish that last lap in time? Can you even afford to stop at your pit? And, of course, will it even matter if you kill yourself to finish one more lap if you can't catch the guy in front of you anyway? Races like these are rare in this region, though - most go by the "start your last lap before time expires", but I've done a few races in the midwest and down south that seem to use this format more often.

As far as whether or not you do it, @Jeffreywoliver , I say go for it. Endurance races are a lot of fun. If you're new to them, you should really feel no pressure. It's just like cat'ing up in XC: the first few races you do in new categories are always just to gather data and learn. Find out if you enjoy it and put zero pressure on yourself to finish at the top of the standings. If you do finish high, that's a bonus. If not, you have a built in reason - no matter how strong a rider you are in general, this shit is all new! See what works for you in terms of nutrition, pacing, rest, etc. Lap races are great intros because you can stop at your pit if you need a break. Once you know how long you can ride without needing that rest, then you can probably start thinking about more single-loop endurance races like the 100 milers or 50 milers or whatever (if you want to try those - no rule says you have to!)

Oh - and one thing to be aware of that really shouldn't ever scare you off: every race you do, whether it's 5 miles or 500 miles, will always go off the start line like everyone is racing for five minutes only. But in endurance races, that will also always slow down pretty soon. The sharp end of the field will hold a pretty brutal pace for a while, but even they're going to settle in to a pace ride at some point. For most endurance racers, the goal is separation. Get yourself out of sight and pretty soon you'll be out of mind. That's why those guys go so hard early - they just want to get themselves away so they don't have to fight all day. For the majority of racers, it's really easy to get caught up and intimidated by the pace early. Don't be. No one can hold an XC pace for the duration. The best thing you can do is figure out how to manage the craziness early and slow yourself down when you need to, not when everyone else does. Believe me, half the guys who ride away from you at a crazy pace early you will see again if you're smart. Because a lot of those guys won't be smart. A lot of the guys who look really fast and strong won't be able to hold that the full day and they'll blow themselves out because they don't know that. A few will stay away - there are always guys who are just plain strong. But it's not as many as it will appear to be early.

Give it a shot and good luck to you! Hope you enjoy it!
 

wonderturtle

Well-Known Member
#14
Yes, jump in. We can tell you a bunch of crap but what you learn after doing a few races will be way more valuable.
best advice. so true.

everyone is different.

youre only gonna know what you can handle, what you need in terms of food/ hydration, etc after you do it yourself a few times.

the one thing I'll add - practice the above before you race. for example go on a number of long rides before you race. not only will it build endurance (pretty important to have done a few multi-hour rides before doing a multi-hour race), but just as important you'll figure out what works for you in terms of fuel and hydration. this is pretty key. I only learned through experience that gels dont work for me (just sit in my stomach and make me feel sick). what works for me on looong rides is clif bars and hydration through electrolyte drinks (eg., https://firstendurance.com/nutrition/efs-drink/). they do make powders for endurance rides (tried heed perpetuem) but that didnt sit with me.

summary - gotta get out there, experiment and figure out what works for you
 

xc62701

Well-Known Member
#16
There's only so much prep you can do as well. Sign up and let it rip the day of. You'll figure out what you did right or wrong. The best part of endurance racing is that the mechanical issues or bad parts don't have as much of an effect on your race. If you flat in an xc race it's pretty much over. You can fight back but it's really hard. If you flat in a 6 hour or 100 miler it doesn't impact your race as much. In the grand scheme of things it's your average effort over a MUCH longer time frame. For me it's also the fact that a lot of endurance events are in places/parks that I've never been to and I love to travel. That's half the fun.