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how long will it take me to become great at cross?(10 posts)

how long will it take me to become great at cross?weiwentg
Nov 25, 2002 9:48 PM
right now, I'm fourth in my age cat. I could get up to third, probably, if I do the next race (which I won't). it's admittedly not a very competitive age category. the top 2 racers are 3 minutes ahead of me on every race, and they can already move up to the As. so, how long will it take me to get to their level? this is my first year doing cross. this is actually the end of my first year riding, although I did run before this.
I seriously think I'm good at this. I definitely need to work on my running, and I need to start lifting weights. any other hints? LFR?
re: how long will it take me to become great at cross?p lo
Nov 25, 2002 10:02 PM
a good starting point would be to read "cyclo-cross training and technique" by simmon burney. it covers every aspect of cross. I re-read it before every season and i wouldn't call my results great, but i feel like i improve every year and ride technically well. and to top it off it comes recommended by people much faster then i too.
re: how long will it take me to become great at cross?str8dum1
Nov 26, 2002 3:59 AM
weights wont help and running will only help a little bit. If you want to be good at cx you need to do intervals. very short, at close to 100% max HR. Warm up and then hit max HR. in between intervals, you dont want go below 80% max HR before you start the next one (so usually less than 1 min break on a 1 min interval). You need to be on you cx bike at least 2x a week with practice barriers in your backyard/local park etc. IF you want to be really good you cannot start working on base for the road until its over. Long slow rides do not help one bit. Its all about practice. Any of us can avg 15 mph like they do in most cx races. Trick is to stay the same speed while goin over the barrier. Keyy is in the details-- clicking in pedals 1st time, smooth shouldering of bike, never dropping chain, no stutter steps before remount etc!

having really long legs will help also, but not much you can do about that.
follow up questionweiwentg
Nov 26, 2002 11:13 AM
my racing season, in that case, will stretch from the end of February till the end of December. the collegiate road season is from late Feb to late April, the local road and MTB seasons are during the summer. following that from Aug to late Sep is the college MTB season. THEN comes the local cross season. I ain't no E. Merckx.
sooo ... what do I do? I will only be staying for half the summer for classes (and, obviously, racing). would taking the rest of the summer (2 months) easy make sense? can mix base training with the college MTB season? eg, I would train easy the whole week and race on the weekends. makes sense?
oh, and about the legs, there is an operation that involves breaking your thighs to lengthen your legs ... worth it? (just kidding; short as I am, I don't think it's worth it).
Riding your cross bike should enhance your MTB skillsWheelz
Nov 26, 2002 12:11 PM
The more time you spend on your cross bike the better your off-road handling skills will become. A cross bike is much less forgiving than a MTN bike is.

In cross racing, the ability to transition is key and that, is what makes the difference between a good crosser and a great crosser. Everybody does base mileage and everybody has off-road handling skills, but not everybody can keep the momentum going in a transition.

I'd suggest working in cross rides during your MTB training in the MTB season. If you have the opportunity to work in a transition over a log, or work in a run up, do it. It will benefit both your MTB skills and your cross skills.

Riding your cross bike should enhance your MTB skillsatpjunkie
Nov 26, 2002 1:52 PM
your first season and you are top 5 in your age B's. hell kid you are doing fine. Next year follow the suggestions and you should podium in the same class. The following year you can race A's. You are on track, be happy, be patient and train hard. And during MTB season, if the course is fairly easy, bust out the cx for the race. It's fun to freak people out!
thanks for the help, guysweiwentg
Nov 27, 2002 4:54 PM
atpj: yes, the thought of riding my CX for an MTB race and totally freaking everyone out has occurred to me. :)
Nov 27, 2002 5:38 PM
it's sooooo fun. especially when you put a hurt on them. blow by them in your drops, look and smile. ask how that full suspension is treating them
Hill climbs...tihipscrew
Nov 29, 2002 2:49 PM
I rode my flat bar cross bike with Sprints for 3 of the 4 mtb races I did this year. 2 HCs and an XC. I took 4 minutes off my WP Hill Climb time (37:59 vs 42:10), and my fitness was not THAT much better. It's a distinct advantage. Got some laughs from the marshals (it's an old Gitane with really small diameter tubes, weighs a ton, and looks ridiculously delicate by mtb standards).
Hill climbs...atpjunkie
Nov 29, 2002 2:56 PM
yeah I can keep up or kill my faster/smaller MTB friends when I ride my cross. light weight and bigger tire help and I feel more comfortable standing and hammering on the cxer