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Training for Crit racing and MTB racing…Is it possible?(5 posts)

Training for Crit racing and MTB racing…Is it possible?853
Jan 16, 2003 9:06 AM
Is it possible to train efficiently for both, since they are completely different?
How do you go about doing this? I enjoy doing both but don't want to do the same as I did last year and just do MTB racing with only 3 crits. I feel I would be a lot better at doing crits because my strengths are power and speed (sprinting), and I suffer doing mtb races cause I lack muscular endurance (climbing). But I did well last year in the series and want to come back and maybe contend for a win, plus the fact that I enjoy doing it.
So giving it up and concentrating on road is out of the question, at least for this year.
I need to reserve time for working on my technical skills at least 1 or 2 off-road rides a week. So, how do you go about training for both?
I think you'll be fine, but it may depend on the type of MTB courseslonefrontranger
Jan 16, 2003 10:48 AM
If your mountain bike races are Western-style long steep fire road climbs of 1000 - 2000' elevation gain per lap, then the training won't be as compatible. However, if the stuff you race on is rolling, "short-track" style stuff, you're golden.

I became a much stronger, faster mountain biker once I started training specificity for crits, but I credit that to the fact that I was racing in the Midwest on the short track style courses there. The effort involved in these kinds of courses (short, steep climbs with long stretches of smooth, fast, full-bore singletrack) is very similar to a crit.

Alison Dunlap kicks all our asses here in the local crits, so just being a strong MTB racer will take you a long way. Well, she's a specific example of a space alien, but anyhow. If you want to be a critter, polish your pack skills and do a day or so per week of jumps, supra-LT intervals, etc... but preserve one day a week for your long endurance maintenance and you should do just fine.

Crit specific training is essentially the outlet for all the Masters guys with kids / lifestyle constraints to stay competitive, as it is the least time intensive cycling specific training you can do, assuming you can handle the physical intensity.

As far as crits themselves, you'll have to be able to start fast, as the idea of getting the hole shot (positioning) is identical to an MTB race, but you may not be able to settle into a tempo as easily, because the first 3-5 laps of a crit are generally fast and furious, then there's often a brief lull, then sprints and/or counterattacks at the prime bells, then another brief lull, then the last 2-3 laps are balls-out schizo.

If you are already fit as a MTBer and put in the proper intensity on top of a reasonable base, then with a little experience (insert adage "old age and treachery..." here) you will do just fine in crits.
Jan 16, 2003 11:32 AM
Like I said, they are both very diffrent here in Socal. I think there was 1 rolling courses for the year in our series, which I did my best in. But most of the courses are long up hills to the top then back down, all at altitudes that leave you gasping for air. The crits were a diffrent experience, since they only last 30 to 40 min. it went buy quicker and of the 3 I did I managed a couple of top ten finishes. I'm thinking of training specifcaly for crits and hope that, that fitness transfers over well to the mtbiking.
re: Training for Crit racing and MTB racing…Is it possible?FasCat
Jan 16, 2003 11:08 AM
When you break it down, ALL races come down to one's power output. It is possible to train for power and have that training apply to both types of racing. Mtb racing comes down to power output at threshold. Crit racing (if its a field sprint) is all about a HUGE amount of power in a relatively short period of time.
So work on your power output but also work on your high end power for crits. AND if your work on your high end power, your power at threshold will only benefit.
Questions or comments?
Jan 21, 2003 6:48 AM
For me personnally, I became a much better MTB racer when I started training for crits. But that is likely because I was opposite to you in my strengths and weaknesses--my strength is muscular endurance for long climbs, and I lacked peak power and brute strength. So when I started training for crits I did a lot of sprints and speed work, and that rounded out my skill set a lot.

I think to train for both you need to spend most of your time on the road (which it sounds like you already do), but you are correct in thinking you need to ride the mtb at least once a week to keep the skills up. Definitely work on lactate threshold once a week as well (muscular endurance) because that is so important for successfull mtb racing, and it is important for crits as well.

Since you already have a sprint, you will probably do quite well once you improve your muscular endurance. Most people are the opposite and have no sprint but good fitness.