Thursday, April 15, 2010

Any advice for a MTB Enduro Rookie?

Cohutta, or in my case the Big Frog 65 miler, is going to be my first endurance mountain bike race.

I get 3 one-gallon ziplocs for aid stations. Any unique/wise suggestions on things to throw in there? Go Mid-level Rucker style with Organic PopTarts? WetWipes for a little refresh? Tons of Gels and Energy Bars?

Still unsure if I am running a CamelBack or just water bottles. If I run a CamelBack I will still have a bottle of Hammer Perpetuem mixed like a gel ready to dilute. Went for a 5 hour ride at Caesar Creek last weekend with the CamelBack and still forgot to drink. Bonked super hard and nearly fell off the bike! Might try only bottles in the race this weekend.

I don't know if my rim strips will be in yet and may still be runnin' tubes! Plus my rear derailleur is acting up! Ugh.

Still super nervous! Been training like crazy but worried the hills will eat me alive! Pray for me!

Found a great place to stay just a quick warm up away from the race start!

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  1. James... The race isn't too tough. The climbs are long but not too steep. It is a LOT of fun when you come back into the Quartz trail and so close you cab hear the traffic on the road.
    I couldn't think of doing Big Frog without a Camelbak. When you are on the back loop going up what I remember as a 5 mile long hill you will be glad you had the extra food and water. Oh and get that derrailleur looked at. Let me know when we can ride. I need it!

  2. Thanks Chris! I might try the Camelback because I was having a hard time finding a place to drink yesterday.

    Another reader (who is a badass raver) gave me some more tips:

    "Go with water bottles. Cammelback is like a hot frickin’ ape on your back. It takes 2.3 seconds to fill ‘em at aid stations, or someone will do it for you. Just two. Fill ‘em both with a sports drink…you’ll need everydrop. Water’s not enough.

    Chamois butter. Nipple butter.

    Only carry food you really must have. Mohican I only carried a coupla 3-4 sleeves of Clif Bloks and 5-6 Gu’s. Eat everything else from Aid Stn. No apples, bananas, or fricking waffles on your person you freak. High calorie sports food only. No crackers or cookies…they’ll be like eating a handful of dust.

    Eat sport legs every 1 ½-2 hours…roll pills in plastic like a drug dealer and stuff ‘em up your sleeve.

    Tools: 2 extra chain pins, small chain breaker, 2 tubes, 2 big-air cartridges, 1 airchuck. (put 1 tube/air w/chuck, chain tool/pins in saddle bag. Tape the 2nd cartridge to seatpost. 2nd tube understem) That’s it. No multi tool or other heavy ass bullshit. If you get a flat, make an immediate decision to either hit with some air or put in a tube. Don’t waffle on the decision. I’d say if you’re past the last aid station…try hitting it with air and hope that the tubeless sealant does the rest.

    That should leave your jersey pockets completely open. Put shotblocks in one. Gu’s in other. Nothing in middle. Trust me…the less on your body the faster you’ll feel. Stuff 1-2 gus in each short leg.

    I might try rockin’ a skinsuit at Mohican just because it’ll feel light and cool.

    Stop at all aid stations. The first one you might only fill one bottle and chow a ½ a banana or orange, but do it.

    In and out at aid stations. 30-45 seconds, definitely under a minute. Get in, have someone fill your bottles while you stuff your face with a couple oranges, ½ banana or PBJ square. Go! You just passed 10 people.

    At one of the aid stations mid-way, especially if it’s wet…re-lube your chain…but fast…just spin the chain and drizzle it on. If you don’t see it…don’t worry about it.

    Start fast to get past as many of the masses as you can within the first 10-15 minutes, or wherever the holeshot is. Then settle in and chill with the pace. Right there you beat ½ - 2/3 of the field. You’ll beat the rest of ‘em in the last 2 hours. In between, find your solid pace and keep it there…don’t get sucked into riding in your red zone early…let ‘em go. You’ll get ‘em later. If you don’t, they’re faster than you.

    Break the race up into 3 or 4 parts mentally. The first hour is a blur. Then you got the next 2 hours. Midway. 2 more hours. Finishing stretch. Mentally, that’s like doing 2 -2 hour rides.

    You will have a moment of suck where every one seems to be passing you. Recognize it and know it will pass. Most likely it’s your body using energy to digest your breakfast about an hour to an hour and a half in. Happens to me every time.

    Eat a big breakfast as early before the race as you can. It’ll pay off around the 3-4 hour mark and get you to the home stretch where you can run on adrenelin."

  3. James...Good post. Interesting. One bit, Don't eat a big breakfast, it'll kill you and likely not digest until late in the race. Eat a Clif bar and a banana and be done with it.

    Just a thought...Layne

  4. Layne!

    Will I see you down there?

    Thanks, for the advice. You might have seen me off the side of the trail.

    And the advice was from a racer, not a "raver" like typed. I would have liked the advice from a raver — "don't forget glowsticks, a pacifier and bottles of water."

  5. Raver had some good suggestions...I agree with Layne on the breakfast. Hopefully the weather will cooperate with us...
    You'll do great.


  6. Planning on it James! Hoping the rain will hold off...for most of the race, anyway.