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Should I jump into local races even if I am not in race shape yet?

Absolutely! Since there’s so much more to being a successful cyclist than merely having great fitness, it’s important to use races to gather experience and sharpen your skills. And because you may be pretty rusty after a winter without racing, early-season events are a great way to regain your feel for racing. We’d rather you be a bit rusty when you’re fitness is still improving, so that you’re completely comfortable and confident in the pack when you have optimal race fitness later. Here are four specific reasons why we often incorporate weekend races and sometimes weekday training races into our athletes’ training programs: Hard and Unpredictable Workout- You will push yourself more by chasing the person in front of you than you will by racing your wrist watch. Fun- After all what we do is for fun right? Go out there, meet some new folks who share the same hobby as you, or go hang out with some friends you haven’t seen in a while. Be social! Getting Accustomed to Race Pace- You will push yourself harder and longer in a race than you will on your own. Get used to the increased effort and you will be more prepared for your goal race. Opportunity to learn about pack position and try new tactics- The best way to improve your cycling skills and pack riding is to ride in the pack! Local races are a great opportunity for testing out the training, for pushing you harder than you would on your own and for breaking up the monotony of long trainer days. A local race is an excellent time to “get your feet wet again” after a few months off, to remember what it’s like to corner at top speed, to jockey for position and to give it all you have, even after you think you are tapped out.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.