On Saturday I rode my third race of the year, Dukes 8 Hour at Hardwood Hills. Wes and I entered “East Coast Riders” in the 2 Person Male Tag Team Combined Age 79 and Under category. The coarse was 9.5 Km and we finished 13 laps. We placed 14th of 28 and I’m happy with how it went.
This was my first Tag Team race and my body held up fairly well for my 7 laps with ~30 minutes of recover / rest time between laps. My times were fairly consistent but did start to drop towards the end.
In my last 5 Things I’ll Do To Be Faster Next Race I mentioned tire selection, improved hydration, stand up in the single track sections, faster transitions, and don’t carry a camel pack as what I needed to work on. Addressing these things paid off. I’m really happy that I switch to treaded tired because they didn’t hurt my climbing or sprints in any noticeable way and they gave me the confidence to ride faster in the flowing sections.
5 Things I’ll Do To Be Faster Next Race:
1) Simulate and practice race behavior in some of my training rides. Racing is way more intense than training because I feel like there is something more on the line. When you feel that engaged, it’s easy to repeat “faster” a couple of 1000 times during the race to maintain your focus. I don’t get the same intensity from training rides in the trails. Maybe I can learn how to control the race response and teach my body to find the higher intensity during training rides by practicing getting into this mind set.
2) Fix gears, change cables, true wheels. Make sure you have confidence in the bike and the gear you are in. Hoping the bike is in the right gear is a lousy way to go through a race. I’d sooner not think about it at all and just peddle as hard as I can.
3) Go faster in the down hill single track. There was improvement in this area over last race, but I’m still losing too much time. I’m not entirely sure why I’m not going faster. I think I may be getting a little scared.
4) Take creatine before and during the race. I stopped taking it for the June 24 hour race because I thought it might be better to ride lighter. Stopping it did help me get to 165, but I lost the kick that it offers you. It gives you more power during the first 10 seconds of effort and it increases your ability to recover that power during short periods of recovery. I race better when I’m taking it so I’m going to keep doing it.
5) Drink more water. I was better hydrated during this race but I lost interest in drinking water between the 6th and 7th lap – usually an indication that I’ve become dehydrated. As the day goes on, your focus tend to slip a little and you end up letting certain things slide. Fluid consumption should never be one of these things. I held on longer this race, but I really need to see it through, even in the car on the way home.
The next event is Chico Racings Hot August Nights the final 24 hour relay of the season. It is my favorite event and tends not be be as busy as the Summer Solstice.