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  1. #1
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    Commuting / Riding Lots as Training (long and newbie-ish)

    Long time MTBR member/user - first post to Endurance board

    Here is my situation. I have been riding my mtb fairly consistently for the past 3-4 years, and have been riding a road bike since the summer of '04. In that time I have taken to longer slower endurance type rides as opposed to XC/race-ish type rides.

    I have competed in two 12-hour races - same race, two consecutive years. First year I was a member of a 3 man SS team, next year SS solo. Results first year were OK, we mostly rode for fun, second year (October '05) I did much better as a solo SS rider and ended up finishing with around 115 miles over the course of the race on a pretty flat course (500 feet of accumulated climbing per lap) taking 3rd overall in a field of about 24 total solo riders.

    The deal is I have always just ridden a lot. I have no heart rate monitor and just began riding with computers in the summer of '04. I have never thought about intensity zones or intervals or any of that.

    I now have less time to ride and would like to focus my workouts a little more. I plan to do some longer day events (SM100, Ouachita Challenge, Syllamo's Revenge) this year and want to make sure I am making the most of my time on the bike w/o taking the fun away.

    I currently commute around 13 miles each way, 26-30 miles roundtrip (usually just under 2 hours for the day) depending on the route home, 4-5 days per week and then I ride the MTB one day on the weekend. Usually 3-5 hours depending on how I feel.

    My commutes include about 30lbs of books/computer/clothes/food on a geared cross bike and I ride the SS MTB on the weekend.

    I feel like everything is low intensity, but sometimes I still get tired toward the end of the week. I can usually still put in the time on the weekends, my body just feels tired sometimes. I'm starting to develop some slightly dark circles under my eyes despite getting 6-8 hours of sleep per night and it has me a little worried.

    Any tips to tweak/focus my time on the bike given these constraints?

    FYI - I am tall and lanky at 6'1" and 150lbs, so losing weight, dropping last minute pounds and all that is not really an issue. Also, I pretty much do nothing fitness wise other than ride. A few situps here, and few pushups there, a little Yoga with the wife, but nothing hardcore.

    Thanks in advance,

    LP

  2. #2
    Really I am that slow
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    I donno...

    I ride alot i kept track of 11,000 miles last year..... I don't drive or own a car i am 6'3" 200lbs , 25 yr old,built like a linebacker..... I ride mostly fixies. I do not own a heart monitor. I eat what I want. some days i ride 2 miles some days I go crazy and go for 14 hrs and put in 170 miles with 13,000 of climbing and desending with a fixie

    I am going after the gdr this year wheather it takes me 20 days or 35days that doesn't mater what maters is I am on my Bike seeing God's world and enjoying myself. I am not compeditive but I don't have any axe to grid for those that are. I love bikes and being outside. Do it if you love it!
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  3. #3
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    training

    If you want to maximize your effectiveness you will have to get more specific in what you do on the bike and how you focus on recovery. Just riding a lot won't cut it. If you don't use a HRM I assume you are not terribly particular about your on-bike feuling & diet as well. The info on my site and at the Hammer Nutrition site is a great place to start.

    Whether all this additional effort makes riding/racing more or less fun is entirely personal. I happen to enjoy it (why I became a coach as well as a racer), some people don't.

    If the fatigue is serious, you might consider a checkup with your doc to screen for any gross problems. A lot of people go years without a good overall physical. The riding regimen you describe is not excessive but without knowing a lot about the rest of your life & diet it is hard to assess what the fatigue really means.

    Good luck,
    Karl Etzel
    Silicon Valley Cycling Center - Premium Custom Bikes
    Bike fitting specialists for road & MTB
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  4. #4
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    I think commuting is great training, as you can use it as time to do intervals/sprint work with rapid accelarations from stoplights, trying to keep up with traffic, etc. This is a great way for me to do the interval-type work, which I am not motivated to do when riding for pleasure. That extra weight? Carry it in a well-built pannier and you won't feel it shifting around- just becomes a training tool.
    That said, BE CAREFUL! I was hit, high-speed, by an irresponsible driver last year- as a short way of explaining their level of irresponsibility, the cop actually wrote the driver of the car two tickets, reckless driving and failure to yield, which in NC adds up to the same # of points as a DUI.
    I just had my second surgery as a result of this and still have one more pending. Needless to say, this has not helped my "training", although I was able to ride, with pain and great care, for about 6 months between surgeries and completed two endurance events (Double Dare and Swank65)
    Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by lanpope
    Long time MTBR member/user - first post to Endurance board

    Here is my situation. I have been riding my mtb fairly consistently for the past 3-4 years, and have been riding a road bike since the summer of '04. In that time I have taken to longer slower endurance type rides as opposed to XC/race-ish type rides.

    I have competed in two 12-hour races - same race, two consecutive years. First year I was a member of a 3 man SS team, next year SS solo. Results first year were OK, we mostly rode for fun, second year (October '05) I did much better as a solo SS rider and ended up finishing with around 115 miles over the course of the race on a pretty flat course (500 feet of accumulated climbing per lap) taking 3rd overall in a field of about 24 total solo riders.

    The deal is I have always just ridden a lot. I have no heart rate monitor and just began riding with computers in the summer of '04. I have never thought about intensity zones or intervals or any of that.

    I now have less time to ride and would like to focus my workouts a little more. I plan to do some longer day events (SM100, Ouachita Challenge, Syllamo's Revenge) this year and want to make sure I am making the most of my time on the bike w/o taking the fun away.

    I currently commute around 13 miles each way, 26-30 miles roundtrip (usually just under 2 hours for the day) depending on the route home, 4-5 days per week and then I ride the MTB one day on the weekend. Usually 3-5 hours depending on how I feel.

    My commutes include about 30lbs of books/computer/clothes/food on a geared cross bike and I ride the SS MTB on the weekend.

    I feel like everything is low intensity, but sometimes I still get tired toward the end of the week. I can usually still put in the time on the weekends, my body just feels tired sometimes. I'm starting to develop some slightly dark circles under my eyes despite getting 6-8 hours of sleep per night and it has me a little worried.

    Any tips to tweak/focus my time on the bike given these constraints?

    FYI - I am tall and lanky at 6'1" and 150lbs, so losing weight, dropping last minute pounds and all that is not really an issue. Also, I pretty much do nothing fitness wise other than ride. A few situps here, and few pushups there, a little Yoga with the wife, but nothing hardcore.

    Thanks in advance,

    LP

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kretzel
    I If you don't use a HRM I assume you are not terribly particular about your on-bike feuling & diet as well. The info on my site and at the Hammer Nutrition site is a great place to start.
    Thanks for that. I actually discovered Hammer products last summer and used their Perpetum/Gel/Endurolytes/Premium Insurance Vitamins in some of my training for the 12-hour and during the race. I was quite suprised at the amount it helped. I was always an eat a big meal before and after kind of guy, but I would generally get off the bike famished and tired. Their products have helped my in that arena for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by kretzel
    Whether all this additional effort makes riding/racing more or less fun is entirely personal. I happen to enjoy it (why I became a coach as well as a racer), some people don't.
    I want to a least look into it more closely and see how adhering to *somewhat* of a plan works out. If it takes the fun away for me, I will just go back to riding at my own pace as much as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by kretzel
    If the fatigue is serious, you might consider a checkup with your doc to screen for any gross problems. A lot of people go years without a good overall physical. The riding regimen you describe is not excessive but without knowing a lot about the rest of your life & diet it is hard to assess what the fatigue really means.
    I have definitely considered diet lately. I eat OK, but wonder if I am taking in too few calories.

    Typical day:
    Breakfast - decent size bowl of real Quaker oatmeal made with milk & brown sugar and a big navel orange
    Lunch - Some type of mexican food. Usually a chicken burrito and beans or the like with some chips and salsa, or maybe a tuna sandwich w/ a big orange
    Dinner - Standard dinners - sometimes turkey spaghetti or various pasta and salad, sometimes chicken and steamed veggies.
    Snacks (maybe one or two a day) - those big navel oranges (love 'em), apples, bananas, and sometimes a Cliff bar

    I'm not a big fastfood guy - I do like the burrito joints and every now and then I end up at Backyard burger, but not too often. Don't drink Cokes much, don't eat french fies much, dont smoke, do drugs, or drink too much - I like a beer now and then though...

    I guess I just feel like I am on the bike a fair amount, and would like to get what I can out of that time in a productive and fun manner.

    Everybody's dream right?

    LP

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot
    I ride alot i kept track of 11,000 miles last year..... I don't drive or own a car i am 6'3" 200lbs , 25 yr old,built like a linebacker..... I ride mostly fixies. I do not own a heart monitor. I eat what I want. some days i ride 2 miles some days I go crazy and go for 14 hrs and put in 170 miles with 13,000 of climbing and desending with a fixie

    I am going after the gdr this year wheather it takes me 20 days or 35days that doesn't mater what maters is I am on my Bike seeing God's world and enjoying myself. I am not compeditive but I don't have any axe to grid for those that are. I love bikes and being outside. Do it if you love it!
    That is alot of miles. I think I kept up with about half that in '05 - 60% being MTB miles and the rest mostly commuting. I own a car, but try to drive as little as possible. Last year I was about even with bike miles. This year, I want to be on the good side of that equation.

    I've always had your same attitude. Love bikes and love being outside. I am not trying to beat anybody out there necessarily, I just want to feel better after 100 miles on the bike.

    Good luck in the GDR - that is an amazing event! I'm sure I will read all about your (as well as the other racer's) progress when the time comes.

    LP

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown
    That extra weight? Carry it in a well-built pannier and you won't feel it shifting around- just becomes a training tool.
    I carry it now in a big Rivendell saddlebad that I like pretty well, but I was wondering if that extra weight could be leading to some fatigue, seems possible. Is there any real "training benefit" from lugging around all that extra weight? I've heard both ways...


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown
    That said, BE CAREFUL!
    I just had my second surgery as a result of this and still have one more pending. Needless to say, this has not helped my "training", although I was able to ride, with pain and great care, for about 6 months between surgeries and completed two endurance events (Double Dare and Swank65)
    Mike
    Sorry to hear that - that is a big fear of mine as well as my wife. Hope your recovery goes well. Just out of curiosity (as I am studying for the bar exam right now so legal stuff is on my mind), did you have any legal recourse against the driver?

    LP

  8. #8
    jrm
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    But where do U wanna be..

    your riding a shltload but what are your goals? you really need to know wht it is you want to accomplish before you can formulate a strategy..

  9. #9
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    Sorry to hear that - that is a big fear of mine as well as my wife. Hope your recovery goes well. Just out of curiosity (as I am studying for the bar exam right now so legal stuff is on my mind), did you have any legal recourse against the driver?

    LP[/QUOTE]

    In short, yes. Treated just like a car accident.

  10. #10
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    Second the question above- where do you want to be, what are your strengths and weaknesses?

    2hours 5 days a week and a longer ride on the weekend is plenty of time for training. This time would be better maximized with a heart rate monitor. Intensity work could be done 2 or 3 days a week (3 sessions), along with recovery sessions, and loads of other stuff.
    Longer rides during the weekend could previde an "endurance base" as such....


    Certainly I dont see why it can't be fun, there are times when I love training and even road riding, and there are times I loath it with a passion. I find mixxing it up a bit keepes it fun
    Cul is a regretted trademark of the CulBaire Co'op Pty Ltd, as are his random ramblings and associated bullshit.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    what are your goals? you really need to know wht it is you want to accomplish before you can formulate a strategy..
    Hmmm...I just got back from about 3.5 hours on my SS and man do I feel better! (Sometimes I think the road bike gets me down )

    Goals:

    - I do not really care about being Mr. Fast Guy on the weekly group rides and local two lap XC races. Seems a little silly to me to drive to the trail for a short race, blow your top, and then drive back home. (reality check - I do LOVE cyclocross though)

    - I want to be stonger at the long-ish (65-100 mile) day events. I did the Ouachita Challenge last year (63 miles of tough AR singletrack w/ some gravel roads riding thrown in) and I finished in just over 8 hours. I did NOT feel good though. Granted, this was before I used any fueling products or endurolytes or any of that. I basically just showed up with a camelback and some fruit = mistake. I got real hungry and tired about 40 miles in and began to cramp at 50 miles. I did feel much better at the 12-hour in October using Hammer Nutrition products. Never got bonky, hungry etc...

    So how can I tweak my time on the bike during the week to improve my personal performance in these longer events. I do not think I am going to change my longer weekend rides - I like them too much

    Thanks again guys

    LP

  12. #12
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    Because I know Lanpope personally I think I can help him at little. I could call him or talk to him in person the next time we meet on the trail but instead I will give my contribution here so everyone can critique my advice.

    Lance is young, tall and lanky with very good bike skills. I think the only thing he lacks is about 12 pounds of muscle to go along with his great lungs and skills.

    Protein and L-Glutamine in appropriate doses will make him an animal.

    I admire his dedication to biking but I have a very deep concern about him commuting so much. We live in Memphis, a city with a very notorious bad driver reputation. I know of two bikers personally who have been hit by cars in the past 12 months resulting in long recovery times.

    Oh, and my best advice to Lance is WEAR YOUR HELMET, always!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Memphisrider
    Because I know Lanpope personally I think I can help him at little. I could call him or talk to him in person the next time we meet on the trail but instead I will give my contribution here so everyone can critique my advice.

    Protein and L-Glutamine in appropriate doses will make him an animal.

    Oh, and my best advice to Lance is WEAR YOUR HELMET, always!
    Steve -

    Thanks for the kind comments. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming year. I want to try to focus my efforts a little more and see how I can improve. As I said in my earlier post, I have never focused on intervals or any of that, so I am a bit curious what is possible with the tweaking. As you know the quick stuff never really interested me - long and grueling is the way I like it. I just want it to be *a little* less grueling

    See you out there -

    LP

    BTW - were you serious about the Protein and L-Glutamine comment? I thought Glutamine was a lubricant for the joints?

  14. #14
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    Lance you got your G words confused.

    L-Glutamine powder is a popular supplement with bodybuilders and athletes as part of their hardcore training regimen. Glutamine is a truly unique amino acid, as it is the most abundant amino acid in blood and skeletal muscle.

    Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate are key structural components in cartilage and play an important role in the maintenance of joint cartilage

    I take daily does of all of these to help my old body to try and keep up with you young guns.

    Protein builds muscles, if you don’t take in enough protein and continue to exercise your body will actually start to consume muscle mass; you need protein in order to stay strong.

    I take L-Glutamine mainly for recovery and also to help my immune system fight off colds which I typically get when I over train. I have not had a sniffle in several years while taking L-Glutamine.

    Glucosamine and Chondroitin keep my old joins lubed.

    Remember, these are personnel experiences take it for what it is worth.

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