On October 12th I am scheduled to race The Santa Cruz Super Enduro. I am super stoked to be apart of this local race that is only open to about 200 riders. Since this is is on one of my local trail systems I have been taking it pretty seriously. Here are a few things I have been doing that any aspiring enduro racer should keep in mind leading up to a race.
Pre-ride the course
If you are close enough to the race venue go ride there a few weeks in advance. Pay attention to things such as soil, rocks, roots, and any other features on the trail. Take your first time slow and get to know the trail. Don’t be afraid to stop and look at a feature to find the fastest line. The next time you ride the trail try and ride it close to race speed.
|Which line would you take?|
You are not going to win a race if you do not go fast. Going fast is one of the most fundamental skills required in bike racing. Whenever you ride your local trails try and go a little bit out of your comfort zone. As you get comfortable going faster your idea of fast and slow will drastically change!
Practice riding under stress
Riding under pressure is essential when racing. In a race run there are so many things that can go wrong. Crashing, taking the wrong line, and mechanicals are only a few things that you must worry about. A good racer knows how to block out all of this. Your ideal mental state should only be thinking about the trail in front of you. Try finding as smaller race to get a bit of experience in. Treat this as a practice race and learn from your mistakes.
Build your fitness
Enduro is very physically demanding. you should be prepared to ride from the morning into the late afternoon. You must also have fitness for the flat and hilly parts of the course. Do some sprint intervals to you can charge through the pedally sections. This is where you either gain or loose vital time.
Overall, enduro is all about fun. Don’t fret if you don’t get the results you hoped for your first race. Let it serve as motivation to train harder and kick some butt at the next race!