Originally Posted by yeroc40
Thanks again to everyone for the good tips and advice. I am definately hooked.
I met the goal of finishing the whole race sans injury. Actually finished 17 of 28 in class and 64 overall out of 89 riders. I missed another lap by 40 seconds, but looking at my lap times, that last lap was over 3 minutes longer than any other, so I was pretty spent either way.
I am mighty sore this morning. I've done a lot of mountain biking and the analogy is a good one, but it is more of a full body endurance, not just legs and lungs. I could tell that my concentration was fatiguing as well. I really had to repeat to myself "keep looking down the trail", "don't stare at that stump" etc.
At one point there was a jam on one of the steeper hills and I put my leg down to stop and my calf instantly cramped up. A none too subtle reminder that I have a camelbak on, I should be drinking it.
A little maintenance this week and its off for a second round next Sunday.
That's a good result.
There's a fair bit you can do with bike setup and riding style to reduce fatigue, but it is a lot tougher than mountainbiking.
On the camelbak, what I used to do (and the guys I knew who raced) was to drill a hole in the chinguard of the helmet and thread the camelbak hose through. You can drink whenever you want without having to take your hand off the bars. It sounds more drastic than it is as there is usually a plastic grill/vent in the front of the chinguard so you're not compromising the helmet.
Using energy drink rather than water can help too.