2 Humps to Go: How To Line Up At The Start Line On Race Day

Ted Willard – G2 Altitude Training and Coaching

Chapter 5: Ready, Set, GO!

 In Chapter 1 we talked about how to improve your overall aerobic fitness. In Chapter 2 we took a look at workouts that will improve you anaerobic efforts and race performance. Chapter 3 was all about fueling and dispelling some nutrition myths. In Chapter 4 we touched on your bike setup and gave a few suggestions to improve performance.

Pre-Race Nerves

Everyone’s pre-race anxiety varies. No matter how many races I do I get nervous and anxious before the start. Here’s a couple simple things you can do to take you mind off the nerves while you are sitting at the start.

Breathe. Concentrate on the natural metronome of your body. Breathe in and breathe out. Count your breaths. Be calm and focus on something simple.

Remember that everyone else is starting a race too! Look around. Are you the most nervous? I doubt it. Inventory the whole group and take it all in. Who’s fidgeting and who’s joking around. Sometimes putting up blinders to what’s going on around you just makes the pre-race nerves more intense.

 How can I start better?

This is a common question. Some people feel like lining up early and jockeying for better position at the start line is rude or a waste of time. Next time you go ride with your friends. Wait for 15 seconds at the bottom of your ride’s big climb. Let your friends ride away. Then clip in and try to catch your buddies. Yeah, you can catch them, but you spent a lot of unnecessary energy in the process. The same principles apply to any race. The further back you start, the harder the race is for you. While its impressive to ride from the back of the pack to the front group, take a look around when you get there, the rest of the group isn’t as spent as you are!

How else can you improve your starts? Practice! When you ride or when you do drills like the 30/30s from Chapter 2. Come to a complete stop and without scaring the local hikers, clip in and do your all out effort from a dead stop. This is the best way to make the quick start of mountain bike race second nature and instinctual.

Race Goals

What is your goal? It is very difficult to come away from an event with a sense of accomplishment without a goal. We touched on this in Chapter 1. Even some the best professional level racers lack this skill. Set a goal! Any goal! If you don’t reach that goal, set a different goal. Do you want to finish in the top ten? Just finish the race? Wear a skirt and sing a song on course? Goals come in all shapes and sizes just like racers. One thing is certain, if you don’t establish what success is before you clip into your pedals, it isn’t going to get clearer when you are breathing heavy and sweating in a sea of dirt and mountain bikers!

 The Task at Hand

A great strategy to focus on during the race is to mentally pace yourself. This does not necessarily mean pacing your effort or your speed but rather focus on the milestones that will get you through the race and closer to your “Race Goal”. Is your goal on the first lap to make it to the top of the first climb 1st? To hang on to the lead group? Not to get dropped?

Break the race up into smaller sections. First uphill, back to the Start/Finish, second climb, etc. Over The Hump isn’t a 5 hour race but for some of us, racing for an hour can be intimidating. So hit you reset button often. When you cross that Start/Finish line pick your head up and shake your legs out and SMILE! You are having fun on a Tuesday night at Over The Hump mtb race series Presented by Audi and HDX Drink Mix.

 

About the author:

Ted is a USA Cycling Certified Coach and avid mountain biker. He cut his teeth on the US Cup MTB Series in 2011 taking the Series overall and landing on the top podium step at 3 US Cup XC events last year in Cat 1 30-34. He is an owner of G2 Bike in Aliso Viejo. G2 Bike is a full service bike shop and also offers all types of athlete coaching programs and compliments many of its athletes training with G2 Altitude Training.

More info at www.g2bike.com

Coming up:

Over The Hump #1  May 21st – 

 Click here to Register Now

Comments

Leave A Comment

Recent Posts

 
5 Ways OTH Can Help You Win at Parenting
by Carrie and Todd Lundell It was seven years ago when we found ourselves toeing the line for our first mountain bike race. We can’t recall exactly how we learned about Over the Hump—then just a fledging little race series with big ambitions—but there we were on the starting line. Although we were both fairly
Five Ways to Train Smarter This Offseason
By Sean Swopes, PT, DPT, CSCS Rausch Physical Therapy & Sports Performance While most people take the offseason to train for a better “next year,” Mountain Bike-PT Sean Swopes explains why you should spend some time out of the saddle and try a few other methods to improve your performance and overall health. — You
PB Creative Bike Photos for Sale from Tuesday August 23
Phil Beckman shoots all over the place, and makes all kinds of friends in the Bike World.  So it goes without saying that he captures some of the best action shots we’ve ever seen, and we’re so stoked to collaborate with Phil @ PB Creative. Imagine your friends sitting in your living room, or clients
Race #12 Recap – Last Race 2016
Well folks, this is it for the 2016 season and we are all still buzzing with excitement from the closing ceremonies at OTH.  This season was the first season including the New Intermediate Class and it was a HUGE HIT!  Thank you to everyone for making this year the best Over the Hump series yet!! Featured
Kids racers 6-8 years old win a fat bike Tuesday
Stampede Bikes is offing up a 20 Inch Fat Bike that retails for $489 and YOU can win! Stampede Bikes is giving away a 20 Inch Fat Bike this Tuesday, August 22nd to a kid 6-8 years old.  Check it out: Rules Every boy and girl racing this Tuesday is entered!!! Winner announced at Linked Cycling tent after awards are distributed.
The Path Bike Shop Hosts Over the Hump Finale Tuesday
Hey who said racing has to be TOO Serious? Everyone wins big this week as The Path Bike Shop Hosts Over the Hump Finale Tuesday. If you’re not having fun at OTH, you’re not trying hard enough! Throw on your grass skirt and let’s HULA with this week’s featured shop The Path Bike Shop! Schedule:
mautic is open source marketing automation