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  1. #1
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    building endurance

    I posted last fall about gaining endurance on my MTB rides. I bought a road bike and have been using it once a week for long slow rides. I have built up to 60 miles and now that I have got to a good long ride I was wondering where I go next. I do see an improvement in my MTB riding. These rides are taking 4 hours and I don't see me having much more time to ride on to 75 or 100 miles. Is that my only option for improvement with endurance. What If I did two 50 milers a week? Any other options for gaining endurance?

    I am not really an XC guy. That is primarily what I ride here in Kansas City, but I have a monocog Rigid and an all mountain Specialized enduro - not really XC bikes. I just like going fast with these bikes and want to be able to ride fast and have fun for 2 hours. After about an hour and half ride I am spent. KC has great trails, but they are taxing as there are lots of rocks. The elevation is not huge, but it is still a lot of ups and then short downs with little time to rest.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
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    Now you try to ride those 60 miles faster. I think 4 hours is as long as you need to ride for the vast majority of your endurance training. Anymore than that and you need to recover too much.
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  3. #3
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    Intervals will help with the speed. Do them on days that you are not doing long, slow, distance rides. A easy day after interval days helps with recovery. By easy I mean really easy, spinning low gears just to get the blood circulating. Group rides can also force you step on it, get you out of you're comfort zone. Getting enough recovery and rest is just as important.

  4. #4
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    Also, it may sound corny, but ride...ride whenever you can (as long as you recover) as much as you can...there is more to endurance than HRs and thresholds.


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  5. #5
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    +1 on intervals...doing intervals will build your avg. speed and endurance. If you ride 60 miles in 4 hours now (15mph average); doing intervals should make you see your avg. go to 18mph, 20mph, +etc.

    Also, try to do some group rides they allow you to ride with faster riders which will develop your speed and stamina.
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  6. #6
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    Can anyone point me to some resources on interval training? Not really sure how to do them correctly.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsheffer View Post
    Can anyone point me to some resources on interval training? Not really sure how to do them correctly.

    LW Coaching article


    Friel Blog
    You need to search the Joe Friel blog for intervals. Too many posts to count on the subject. The LW article is pretty concise.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Intervals will help with the speed.
    They also build endurance when done correctly

  9. #9
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    If you're not interested in riding for more than two hours on your "real" rides, I don't see riding for more than three on a ride that's training for them.

    I have a few road bikes. When I do training on the road, it's because I can go out my front door and do it. Last summer, I managed to do most of my training for a MTB endurance race off-road. I think that was really good for my mountain biking. Go figure. This summer, it didn't work out that way. While I still improved my time over last year, I think the race took more out of me, and recovery took longer.

    When you have time to ride, go ride what you really want to ride - your trails. Work on pacing yourself more on some days, and try to push the length of your rides a bit.

    One thing road bikes are really good for is speed work, as others have suggested above.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HondaMotocross View Post
    ride with faster riders which will develop your speed and stamina.

    Amen on that.




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  11. #11
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    now that you have the endurance base, you will benefit from spending more training time at, or close to, race pace/power output/heart rate. This can be done several different ways. One, as mentioned above, is intervals. These can range from short sprint all out efforts to long 40 minute tempo pace. My favorite way to do them is to make a music playlist with say 15 minutes of warm up with one band/dj/music style, then 30 (or whatever time you want) minutes of hard stuff for the "on" interval, and 10-15 minutes of chilled out stuff afterwards for the rest interval, etc etc.

    Group rides will push your stamina in much the same way a race will, especially if your riding with a group of riders who push the pace and are more fit than you.

    You can also push the pace on singletrack by timing yourself on loops or chasing faster guys around.

    Bottom line is you have to somehow work more race effort like training into your week, but remember that recovery is also very important.

  12. #12
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    If I read it right you do the long rides on road? If so, do that 60 mile ride off road. It's a different animal.

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    Do interval training for consecutive 4-5 days followed by 2-3 days rest. Very effective!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcadelina View Post
    Do interval training for consecutive 4-5 days followed by 2-3 days rest. Very effective!!
    I'm a long way from a expert, but that goes against everything I've ever read or heard about interval training.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny7 View Post
    I'm a long way from a expert, but that goes against everything I've ever read or heard about interval training.
    It works, try it!

  16. #16
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    Unless you name is Joe Friel or Chris Carmichael, I'll pass. Rest days/recovery ride between days at LT to recover.

  17. #17
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    Intervals done properly cannot be done for four or five days in a row. Now if you go out and soft pedal them, that is a different story.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Intervals will help with the speed. Do them on days that you are not doing long, slow, distance rides. A easy day after interval days helps with recovery. By easy I mean really easy, spinning low gears just to get the blood circulating. Group rides can also force you step on it, get you out of you're comfort zone. Getting enough recovery and rest is just as important.
    So true. Intervals will help you push hard up hills and then recover quickly while still riding. All the little bursts of speed that XC riding require are usually what sap endurance so address those and you'll be strong for the full two hours and beyond.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsheffer View Post
    I posted last fall about gaining endurance on my MTB rides. I bought a road bike and have been using it once a week for long slow rides. I have built up to 60 miles and now that I have got to a good long ride I was wondering where I go next. I do see an improvement in my MTB riding. These rides are taking 4 hours and I don't see me having much more time to ride on to 75 or 100 miles. Is that my only option for improvement with endurance. What If I did two 50 milers a week? Any other options for gaining endurance?

    I am not really an XC guy. That is primarily what I ride here in Kansas City, but I have a monocog Rigid and an all mountain Specialized enduro - not really XC bikes. I just like going fast with these bikes and want to be able to ride fast and have fun for 2 hours. After about an hour and half ride I am spent. KC has great trails, but they are taxing as there are lots of rocks. The elevation is not huge, but it is still a lot of ups and then short downs with little time to rest.

    Thanks for any advice.
    You build up...ride some intervals...ride some hills...ride some four hour rides....then say every six weeks do some 6 to 8 hour rides back to back.....that is endurance.

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