Endurance Racing

jShort

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#23
Guess I need to figure out where this is. Vista Trail? Cross Park Trail?
Not sure the name, it's the pink trail. It's across the street from the observatory. It's actually pretty technical, so I'd suggest practicing going up first.

There's a decent amount of tech for a tiny park. I think you should just go explore on the MTB.
 
#24
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!
Great advice, thanks!
 

a.s.

Well-Known Member
#25
4 hours can be a cakewalk or death march, depending on the course. If you’re looking for training advice, find some challenging XC trails then go out and ride non-stop for 3-4 hours. If you can do that now then you’re in good shape. Work on increasing your lactic acid threshold with interval training on a stationary bike. Bang out a bunch of fast 50+ milers on the road bike to build up your endurance. Enjoy the ride.
 

madman

New Member
#27
The vista trail is what you're talking about. It's right down the street from you Jeff.You should start at the bottom of buffalo hollow rd and climb all the way to the.observatory. J- short must have a strava route.
 
#29
Questions.

1. Recommendations for the start? Do racers gas it a bit early, establish a position and then settle in?
2. What do you do if, based on split times, you know you won't finish a final complete lap? Do you get best possible time for that number of laps? Or sit at the line and cross at the 4 hour mark?
 

JDurk

Well-Known Member
#30
1. Recommendations for the start? Do racers gas it a bit early, establish a position and then settle in?

Some riders gas it. Me, I just sit in and let stuff unfold in front of me as I don't plan to podium, just keep it steady and finish. If you're doing Mayhem, it's REALLY flat and not too many places to sit-up and recover. You will be pedaling a lot, so try to keep from blowing up.

2. What do you do if, based on split times, you know you won't finish a final complete lap? Do you get best possible time for that number of laps? Or sit at the line and cross at the 4 hour mark?

If you're crossing the finish line at 3:59, go out for another lap. Results are based on # of laps in shortest amount of time.
 
#31
1. Recommendations for the start? Do racers gas it a bit early, establish a position and then settle in?

Some riders gas it. Me, I just sit in and let stuff unfold in front of me as I don't plan to podium, just keep it steady and finish. If you're doing Mayhem, it's REALLY flat and not too many places to sit-up and recover. You will be pedaling a lot, so try to keep from blowing up.

2. What do you do if, based on split times, you know you won't finish a final complete lap? Do you get best possible time for that number of laps? Or sit at the line and cross at the 4 hour mark?

If you're crossing the finish line at 3:59, go out for another lap. Results are based on # of laps in shortest amount of time.
thanks for the helpful information
 

1speed

Incredibly profound yet fantastically flawed
#32
Questions.

1. Recommendations for the start? Do racers gas it a bit early, establish a position and then settle in?

2. What do you do if, based on split times, you know you won't finish a final complete lap? Do you get best possible time for that number of laps? Or sit at the line and cross at the 4 hour mark?

1.) Depends on your goals and the specific race. If you're talking about the March Mayhem race this weekend and you'd like to do well in the race, you better be on the gas from the jump. That's a flat course, and people are going to rip it right off the line and probably keep on it for the whole day (it's only four hours, which is not that long for endurance.) It will settle down to a manageable pace, but if you don't want to be left behind early, you better be prepared to burn a few matches on the first lap. If you're doing the race just for the experience and don't want to put pressure on yourself to be up front or mixing it with those guys, just start at the back and establish your own pace right away.

Starts are almost always a cluster in any race, so make up your mind on that before the start - I don't know how easy it is to pass on that course, but if it's tight you can really garner some ill-will from your fellow riders if you're that guy who goes too hard and blows up before the first lap is over. This is a classic problem on flatter courses. Cathedral Pines comes to mind: everyone starts together and there is a mad dash (like, 20+ mph) to get up the road and into the woods in a good position because it is impossible to pass anyone in the first singletrack there, but every year some riders kill themselves getting to the woods and then piss a lot of people off because they have to slow down and no one can get around them. I've seen carnage from situations like that, and it's a shame for everyone involved. No one should be a dick about it (and to be fair, most aren't) but unfortunately some people get heated when they've put in a big effort to get near the front of their field only to have it derailed by someone who can't keep the pace they started with so early in the race.

2.) Just go until they won't let you go anymore. Seriously, they'll tell you if you can't go out again and until they tell you that (or you're sure it's after the 4 hours is up) keep going. Even if your last lap is a tourist lap - like if you cross the line at 3:59, do the next lap and if you have to do it slow, that's fine. Just get your miles - you already paid for them!!!
 

pearl

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#34
1) I'm the opposite of @JDurk, I always went out extremely hard and just held on for dear life. Mayhem race sounds like it would be a super fast and hot pace off the start, so its easy to get sucked into that. Kind of like how I approached the S45. I thought that if I can put time in on people right from the gun who are "settling in", and we both start dying and hurting later in the race, I'm that far ahead of them and they aren't going to reel me in.

You will find out what works best for you though. Just do what feels right. Then next time you can alter your approach or do the same again.

2) The go until you don't go anymore is normal in NJ, but I learnt down here that it's different in some races; You have to be done before the clock strikes 4:00. If you come in after that, your lap does not count. I guess they do that so people aren't out in the woods crawling around lifeless. These past couple sentences are worthless for you though.
 

xc62701

Well-Known Member
#35
1) I'm the opposite of @JDurk, I always went out extremely hard and just held on for dear life. Mayhem race sounds like it would be a super fast and hot pace off the start, so its easy to get sucked into that. Kind of like how I approached the S45. I thought that if I can put time in on people right from the gun who are "settling in", and we both start dying and hurting later in the race, I'm that far ahead of them and they aren't going to reel me in.

You will find out what works best for you though. Just do what feels right. Then next time you can alter your approach or do the same again.

2) The go until you don't go anymore is normal in NJ, but I learnt down here that it's different in some races; You have to be done before the clock strikes 4:00. If you come in after that, your lap does not count. I guess they do that so people aren't out in the woods crawling around lifeless. These past couple sentences are worthless for you though.
I agree. It hurts but I tend to hit it hard out of the gate to avoid any bottlenecks and any pileups that may occur. Then try to settle in to a good hard pace and see how long I can hold that. If there's some left in the tank, figure out where to burn that or just pin it the last lap. I really like to treat the endurance races like a time trial and just go as hard as I can and if you beat some people great. If you beat a lot of people - awesome! If you beat everyone - hell yea!!!