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This is my second season racing Cx. I got into last year when I missed the entire summer with a broken hand.  However, this year I raced a full schedule.  It started in March with a crit. series that consisted of six races.  I was our sprinters lead out man, so these were full on early races.  That sprinter ended up winning the series. Following the crit series were a couple of epic road races then right into mtn season in which I race Cat. 1. In addition I competed in the Mt. Washington Hill climb and the Vermont 50 mtb race.
On average I raced two weekends a month. 
Except in July, when I came down off the first peak after Mt. Washington. 
Then cross season hit. It's been just about every weekend since Oct. My last race is this weekend 12-5-10 and I'm cooked.  Done, fried.... 

My question is this.  For those of you that are serious about racing cross.  When do you start your race season in earnist.  I'm already pushing the start of winter training out one month realizing I won't be in top shape for the spring crits.  but I'm questioning the wisdom of trying to race March - December again. 

Thoughts? Commments? 

TIA,
M

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My gosh -- you race steadily from March to December??! Yikes. I'd be fried, too.

In fact, I suspect that may be the reason I contemplated bailing after doing the pre-ride yesterday at USGP-Portland.
I hadn't given it much thought until now, but on top of working full time and pouring energy into a marriage and other meaningful relationships, I did two metric centuries (one each in late April and mid-May), and I've been racing pretty steadily since June. Seven weeks of short-track (a race every week), plus STXC state champs; then a week off, then a month of cross clinics and practices, then Cross Crusade and state 'cross champs, and now USGP (I race tomorrow). I'm not fully and carefully "trained" or anything like that, but it does occur to me that for a second-year racer that is a lot of practicing and racing. No wonder I felt so pooped at the pre-ride yesterday. I AM pooped.

Yes, of course; it is possible to fry at this sport. And maybe a March-Dec schedule isn't optimal for you. (I know it would just about kill me!) But... I'm sure lots of other factors may be at work here, maybe some you aren't even fully aware of. In January I'm sitting down with myself and a calendar -- and my spouse! -- to plot out a more thoughtful, better-paced season for 2011, being sure to factor in rest time. If it means I race a little less often, that's probably ok. I'd rather race smart than a lot.
It all depends - is cyclocross your focus? if so, you want to keep fresh both mentally and physically, right? packing up most weekends for racing isn't going to help either side I don't think.

I personally would like to see the cyclocross season nationally be longer but not earlier. start the same in cold climates and then move to warmer places in the winter. local scenes can adjust - no reason for it to start in august in texas or socal, for example. if the season goes longer in the states, then more racers can make it their focus, and that helps the sport I believe.

but at the grass roots level, it could be too long if you race road and mtb. I think easing into it, and taking a bit of time off is key. and then when you train, make it fun, follow some good advice, listen to your body, but focus on short intensity and recovery for cx - you don't need a ton of hours or miles. hopefully doing so would give you more time for other things and keep you mentally fresh.

good luck
yeah, you're crazy, man!!

you might prioritize 6 or 7 months, in one or two chunks. That may mean racing in the Spring/early Summer, then relaxing a week or two before running through a training cycle prior to cross season. Maybe you just race cross for fun until Halloween, or start racing in late May or even June. I know in Tennessee, I usually regret races I do in the middle of summer... in fact, you've got me thinking about splitting my year into two 6 month training/racing cycles, complete with Base Mileage twice a year...

I applaud your efforts, but even baseball doesn't go 9 months (right? I actually am just assuming).

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