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  1. #1
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    Endurance training using only short rides?

    I signed up for a 6-hour race as a challenge. The problem is that my schedule only permits training rides of around 2 hours each. On some occasions I may be able to do 3 or 4 hours, but this is rare.

    Last fall I did an organized 67-mile ride (not a race) with aid stations. I typically do two or three 2-hour rides a week. To prepare for the 67-mile ride I increased the frequency of rides and did some occasional bike commuting just to get in more weekly mileage, but still wasn't able to do long training rides. I was okay for the first 40 miles or so of the epic, but the last 20 got hard, and the last 10 were grueling.

    Is it possible to train for a 6-hour effort using only short rides? Other than increasing ride frequency, are there other things I can do, like hill repeats, intervals, road riding, trail running, etc., that might help?

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    I do HIIT Workouts (High Intensity Interval Training), After you ride or when you wake up in the morning try to incorporate some other training into your schedule. These workouts are short but super effective. I think its the greatest way to cross train for endurance racing. You can look for a few on youtube to do for free. You only need your body weight and maybe a couple light dumbells, but cross training has really helped me get strong. It got me a second place finish at 12 hours of old El paso. I felt really good for my entire ride. Running is also a great way to strengthen your legs, when you run it activates your hamstrings seven times more than just pedaling. I try to go on at least one 13 mile run a week. And a 6 mile run on two other days. I always mix my schedule week to week to keep my muscles confused. Don't do the same thing over an over. Maybe this will give you some ideas?

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    Thanks, those are some good ideas. I already do strength training and some running, including some hard intervals on the treadmill. Actually, I probably do too much strength training, because it often leaves my legs feeling dead and fatigued for my bike rides. During the winter I was focusing on strength (and some hypertrophy) workouts, now I'm backing off on the strength training and doing more cycling and running. My gym workouts are now more core-focused (stuff like Turkish get-ups, kettlebell windmills, plank variations, and unilateral weight lifting) and more bodyweight stuff (pullup, pushups, inverted rows).

    It sounds like I'm on the right track. I just need to add some intervals on the bike and some more running (I just started running again after not doing it for a couple of years).

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    Try and squeeze in some riding at every opportunity. Commuting can make for excellent training. I would say 90% of my training comes from commuting. My commutes are 1hr each way so thats 2hrs of on the bike training each day. Also try and squeeze in some core work. It really does make a difference, especially on longer rides/races. When you have the opportunity for those occasional 3-4hr rides take advantage of them because they will make a big difference. Every bit and maybe even more important will be your nutrition. Last year I started using "Infinit Nutrition" and have been really impressed with it. It takes virtually all of the guess work out of it "for me" at least. I just have to make sure I drink 1 bottle of Infinit per hour and if I need more fluid during that hour I just drink plain water.

  6. #6
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    Endurance training using only short rides?

    Two 2-hour rides (one EZ/recovery, one tempo) plus an hour hard spin on a trainer or in a class and a 3-4 hour ride on the weekend will be more than enough, i think.
    Last edited by Scott In MD; 02-18-2013 at 08:16 PM.

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    Is this the EX2 at Rosaryville.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nov0798 View Post
    Is this the EX2 at Rosaryville.
    Yep. Maybe I should have signed up for the 3-hour option, but I wanted a challenge.

  9. #9
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    I know a few folks who've done sub-14 hours on SS @ DirtyKanza w/ only one or two training rides over 4 hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    I know a few folks who've done sub-14 hours on SS @ DirtyKanza w/ only one or two training rides over 4 hours.
    That's pretty impressive.

    My experience from marathon training, and from epic bike rides, is that my body seems to "remember" the last long run/ride that I did, and anything longer than that gets really hard. For example, let's say I'm building up to run a marathon, and my longest run was 12 miles. If a week or two later I increase that to 14 miles, the first 12 are not bad, but at that point it gets really difficult and those extra 2 miles are painful. Then the next time, I'm okay up to 14 miles, but any miles over that are really hard.

    It is similar for cycling. If my longest ride has been 25 miles, then anything more than that gets tough.

    I did manage to get out on the trails for about 4 hours on Sunday, but they were very technical so I ended up doing a lot of hiking and didn't cover many miles. For the enduro training I would have been better off on easier trails where I would have been pedaling a lot more of the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
    That's pretty impressive.

    My experience from marathon training, and from epic bike rides, is that my body seems to "remember" the last long run/ride that I did, and anything longer than that gets really hard. For example, let's say I'm building up to run a marathon, and my longest run was 12 miles. If a week or two later I increase that to 14 miles, the first 12 are not bad, but at that point it gets really difficult and those extra 2 miles are painful. Then the next time, I'm okay up to 14 miles, but any miles over that are really hard.

    It is similar for cycling. If my longest ride has been 25 miles, then anything more than that gets tough.

    I did manage to get out on the trails for about 4 hours on Sunday, but they were very technical so I ended up doing a lot of hiking and didn't cover many miles. For the enduro training I would have been better off on easier trails where I would have been pedaling a lot more of the time.
    I have to agree in a big way. Over the years I have found that it really helps to do the race distance the weekend ahead of time at an easier pace.
    People talk about muscle memory, but my personal theory is that your entire athletic body system has memory. As an anecdotal example, I have always been a long distance guy, but a few years ago I decided to do a road criterium. Embarassing is an understatement. Doing 100 miles on the road wasn't even a workout, but I could not make it through the first lap with the pack.
    A friend suggested doing intervals on the trainer, and group rides with people faster than me...inside of two months, my next crit I was able to stay in the pack the whole race. I wasn't "in better shape" but I had trained my muscles and system to handle the higher intensity in a fairly short time.
    I would guess if you went out and did a road criterium with what you describe as your training, you might do well if your intensity is high enough.
    I am somewhat in the same boat as you right now. I have a kid these days, long days in the saddle are few and far between, and it is hard enough to get away for a day to do a 100 miler on dirt, much less squeeze in another one on the weekend prior. However, if you really want to perform well, you have to get creative. Go to bed early, and get up at 2am and head out. Ride from 3 to 11AM if you can negotiate that.
    When it comes to training to a level to allow you to be fit for long distance, while holding down a full time job, perhaps kids, marriage, etc, it is tough, and you have to get creative, but the unfortunate answer is that you cant make up shape to do a long distance ride with 45 minute workouts on the trainer, any less than you could train to do a 1 hour XC race when you are at redline the whole time by going out cruising the local trails at a snails pace all day.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benajah View Post
    I have to agree in a big way. Over the years I have found that it really helps to do the race distance the weekend ahead of time at an easier pace.
    People talk about muscle memory, but my personal theory is that your entire athletic body system has memory. As an anecdotal example, I have always been a long distance guy, but a few years ago I decided to do a road criterium. Embarassing is an understatement. Doing 100 miles on the road wasn't even a workout, but I could not make it through the first lap with the pack.
    A friend suggested doing intervals on the trainer, and group rides with people faster than me...inside of two months, my next crit I was able to stay in the pack the whole race. I wasn't "in better shape" but I had trained my muscles and system to handle the higher intensity in a fairly short time.
    I would guess if you went out and did a road criterium with what you describe as your training, you might do well if your intensity is high enough.
    I am somewhat in the same boat as you right now. I have a kid these days, long days in the saddle are few and far between, and it is hard enough to get away for a day to do a 100 miler on dirt, much less squeeze in another one on the weekend prior. However, if you really want to perform well, you have to get creative. Go to bed early, and get up at 2am and head out. Ride from 3 to 11AM if you can negotiate that.
    When it comes to training to a level to allow you to be fit for long distance, while holding down a full time job, perhaps kids, marriage, etc, it is tough, and you have to get creative, but the unfortunate answer is that you cant make up shape to do a long distance ride with 45 minute workouts on the trainer, any less than you could train to do a 1 hour XC race when you are at redline the whole time by going out cruising the local trails at a snails pace all day.
    The current rage in marathon training is shorter, faster runs, not lots of distance. Plenty of folks are running marathons on 8-10 mile training runs.

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    Re: Endurance training using only short rides?

    I've bought the Time Crunched Cyclist because I'm in a similar predicament. My A race is a 50-miler that I just can't seem to bring my time down on. Time Crunched Cyclist is all about high intensity/low volume to achieve the same fitness benefits as high volume training. The caviat is that you have a shorter window of peak fitness to work with. I'm not too sure if I have the discipline to stick to such a strict regimen, but it is good knowledge that I'll try to incorporate.

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk 2

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    A friend suggested doing intervals on the trainer, and group rides with people faster than me...inside of two months, my next crit I was able to stay in the pack the whole race. I wasn't "in better shape" but I had trained my muscles and system to handle the higher intensity in a fairly short time.

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    I'm glad you posted this, as I was reading here because I am participating int he Dk200 this year on a fixed 29er. Once it warms up I'll be doing 3 hour rides several times a week and 5+ hour rides on sundays, as that is what my work schedule will allow. I was fearing that it wouldn't be enough, but sounds like it might be.
    Calmer'n you are.

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    I have done something very similar to this. I raced a 12 hour solo and I had never ridden 100 miles on or off the mountain bike. My longest ride was usually 3 hours on the road bike. I am mainly an xc racer so short very intense rides in the summer is what I do. I ended up riding 93 miles that day without any problems and that was my longest ride to date. Riding when you can is very important, commuting will help you gain a good base, and then pile on the intensity after you gain the good base. I paced myself, ate very healthy, consumed lots of fluids, and had a good day. Nutrition and pacing yourself is just as important, if not more important, than the training itself. Know your limits and prepare yourself with the time you have. You cannot ask for more than that from yourself.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

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    I am new to mountain bike racing but not new to endurance training. I agree with a lot of what has been said here. Long slow distance (LSD) is king (assuming you a completely healthy) especially early in your training cycle/career. Also, remember that LSD is cumulative, so you can either do a lot of short workouts or a few longer ones. I prefer the former. once you have built a good base you can get good results from shorter more focused workouts mixed in a couple times per week. The risk though is overtraining. Without a good base, those intense workouts will take longer to fully recover from and reduce your overall training time, which results in a plateau and maybe burnout. The best guys still do tons of volume AND speed workouts, BUT they can handle that from years of training and have a very high base level of fitness which allows them to recover quickly. The conventional wisdom is that you can build over many years of gradual low intensity, high volume work, but going the high intensity work will cause you to peak close to your current level of fitness.

    I'm training for a 62 miler in August and my rough plan is to commute 2-4 days per week (9 miles each way), 1 longer easy run and maybe a shorter tougher hill run on the other weekdays, and lifting 1-2 days (nothing crazy though, like one or two sets of 12-15 reps, a couple major muscle groups, light weights. more for injury prevention, and muscle balance). Then on the weekends I will try to get one longer offroad ride for 2-3 hours, and maybe a long slow casual bike path ride or hike with my wife, or if I can sneak away, a short, fun trail ride. Swimming would be a great recovery day too, but I no longer have a membership to the pool.

    If you are feeling tired, sick, stiff, burned out etc. don't be afraid to cut your volume way back or crosstrain until you feel fresh again. The single biggest mistake I used to make in my competitive career was OVERTRAINING. Knowing when to scale back a little will give you more training days in the end and make the whole process more enjoyable too. Consistency and a positive attitude will win in the long run, so make sure you can maintain those two things!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    The current rage in marathon training is shorter, faster runs, not lots of distance. Plenty of folks are running marathons on 8-10 mile training runs.
    If you've been around long enough, you'll realize that this is as much fashion as function. Endurance training goes through cycles of LSD vs intervals. The thing is that everything works for SOMEBODY and nothing works for EVERYBODY.

    If you want to finish w/o going too far into the suffer box, I've found that for me, there simply is no substitute for at least a few rides of the length (time ) you expect to ride in the event.

    If you've got limited time, intervals do offer the most bang for the buck, but it's really easy to get injured/overtrain if all you do is speed work. A lot depends on whether you've already got the 2-3 years of endurance training in the bank. If you do, intervals and intensity can keep you where you're at. However, if you haven't done the training that creates the long term adaptions that come from endurance training, intervals will never get you there.

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    I too have a very tight schedule so this threat had some great reading for me. I may try to look up that book: The Time Crunched Cyclist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbense View Post
    If you've been around long enough, you'll realize that this is as much fashion as function. Endurance training goes through cycles of LSD vs intervals. The thing is that everything works for SOMEBODY and nothing works for EVERYBODY.

    If you want to finish w/o going too far into the suffer box, I've found that for me, there simply is no substitute for at least a few rides of the length (time ) you expect to ride in the event.

    If you've got limited time, intervals do offer the most bang for the buck, but it's really easy to get injured/overtrain if all you do is speed work. A lot depends on whether you've already got the 2-3 years of endurance training in the bank. If you do, intervals and intensity can keep you where you're at. However, if you haven't done the training that creates the long term adaptions that come from endurance training, intervals will never get you there.
    All very good points, most of which I agree with. However, wasn't talking about what works for me, but rather answering the question the OP posited. I know that's sometimes a strange, unexpected response on most forum threads (answering the question, that is) but that's all I was doing. I don't want the OP to believe that just because he can't squeeze in more than 2 hr rides he shouldn't at least try the 6 hr event.

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    Endurance training using only short rides?

    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    Plenty of folks are running marathons on 8-10 mile training runs.
    Before i call BS, I'll ask .... You want this back, or are you sticking to it? (In my personal experience, prepping for a six hour bike race with four hour training rides is very do-able.... Prepping for a marathon on ten mile training runs would be a disaster.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott In MD View Post
    Before i call BS, I'll ask .... You want this back, or are you sticking to it? (In my personal experience, prepping for a six hour bike race with four hour training rides is very do-able.... Prepping for a marathon on ten mile training runs would be a disaster.)
    A google search confirms the 8-10 mile runs training plan for marathoners. Here's a link from page 1 of the search results
    Less road time may lead to better marathon training - Roanoke.com
    But I notice they still plan on a long run once per week.
    I am not a runner at all, so I have no valuable input to this claim.

    As far as Time Crunched Cyclist, the majority of the rides for the Endurance Plan are still 90 minutes or less with more emphasis on long intervals rather than short explosive ones. But it does call for relatively long rides on the weekends. The author also spends quite a bit of time justifying why the Time Crunched program works and why it is possible to deliver similar benefits as a high volume plan. He gives a lot of physiological justification, but sums it up well with the metaphor "a rising tide raises all boats."

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    An earlier poster mentioned LSD being cumulative. A guy on my road club I know does a lot of longish road races, is a Cat 3 on road, but due to his job and kids and things rarely can spare more than an hour to work out at a time during the week so what he does is spends an hour on the trainer in the morning, a quicky ride at lunch maybe 45 minutes, and another hour on the trainer at night.
    If you assume an hour on a trainer equalling maybe 1.5 hours on the road, he is managing to squeeze in nearly 4 hours on a weekday as a working dad. Way, way more discipline than I have but it's pretty impressive time management. I have been trying to use his strategy but I just can't manage it.

    I have always hated the indoor trainer but this year decided to change my outlook and embrace it, and the results have been very positive.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott In MD View Post
    Before i call BS, I'll ask .... You want this back, or are you sticking to it? (In my personal experience, prepping for a six hour bike race with four hour training rides is very do-able.... Prepping for a marathon on ten mile training runs would be a disaster.)
    I'm not a runner (not anymore, anyway) but... I've run two marathons in my life. One by itself, the other at the end of an IM. For the plain ol' run, I didn't do a single run over 14 miles, but did a whole bunch of 8 mile runs. A whole bunch.

    Back in the mid-80s, while stationed in HI, I knew a guy who ran the Honolulu marathon on no training miles at all. None. It was the only day he ran all year long. He was super-fit from his training as an open-water lifeguard, which gave him the aerobic base he needed. Another guy, a staff sergeant in his early 40s who I served with, ran it three years in a row, wearing combat boots and carrying a rucksack. He never, ever ran more than 6-8 miles at a time. In fact, just about the only running he ever did was during morning PT. He could, as could many of my NCOs, walk forever carrying a ruck, so running with it wasn't that big a transition.

    It can be done.

    Now, as to the issue of shorter runs being all the rage, that's been addressed. You could also check recent issues of Runners World for info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott In MD View Post
    Before i call BS, I'll ask .... You want this back, or are you sticking to it? (In my personal experience, prepping for a six hour bike race with four hour training rides is very do-able.... Prepping for a marathon on ten mile training runs would be a disaster.)
    Maybe for you. I could see it working if your goal is simply to finish a marathon. Might not be the best plan for an "off the couch" runner, but if you've got a solid background in endurance from another sport, it seems reasonable to me.

    Famous endurance racer once said

    "If you can run for an hour, you can run for 24 hours."

    And it's absolutely true. You just need to have a solid understanding of pacing, nutrition and some experience in the suffer box. Unless you've been there and through the other side, it's very difficult to know that there is an other side. Much of the training that occurs on long rides and runs is in the brain, not in the body.

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    I trained for a 10 mile running race in only 4 weeks using crossfit plus adding in some longer cardio on the elliptical and bike. Never had run that far at once before. So, it can be done if you just want to complete the event. Aside from any 400s/800s done once a week for crossfit I would build up my mileage on the weekends. I averaged 7:40 miles, which was good for me at that point. Pretty good for only 4 weeks of training, but I would have been waaay faster and felt better had I built up with proper volume.

    I say just go for it....as long as you are consistent at whatever plan you can sustain, you will make it. Now to place highly, that may require more time.

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    I'm sure you can complete a 6 hour race even with your shorter training sessions. I know a lot of people can go out and do all sorts of things with inadequate training, but not week after week. If you've only run 10k races for example, you may be able to go run a marathon. But if you can train adequately you'll be a lot more prepared, a lot less sore, and probably faster if you've trained properly for the distance.
    If finishing is your main goal, you'll probably be just fine.

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    Someone said high intensity intervals and I'm going to second that. Winters are long up here in New England and I'm still stuck on the trainer. I've been able to increase my FTP significantly by doing short (~1hr workouts) 3 times during the week and an easy steady state workout (~1.5hr) on the weekend. The key is to stack the high intensity stuff back to back to back with a day to rest before the weekend ride.

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    I have been watching this thread for a while as I’m just getting back into racing after about 4 years off the bike, and now find myself “time crunched” with family commitments and work commitments. I've based my current riding efforts (I won’t call it training) off what I learnt from previous experiences – observations are below for those that are interested.


    In a previous life I raced a lot of endurance 6 / 8 / 12 hours and a few XC Marathon events over a period of a couple of years; I was certainly never the fastest on track but reasonably consistent. I trained using both the Long Steady Distance, and “time crunched” methods at different times during that period.

    In my first two seasons I trained using the LSD method putting in approx. 15 to 25 (max) hours a week on the bike in blocks of four weeks being Base 1, Base 2, Base 3 and then working on a build period in a similar fashion. Both plans were devised by professional coaches and implemented as closely as possible to yield the best results. Rides would generally be of 2 to 6 hours in length and either road or MTB dependent on the type of ride.

    For me this method was effective albeit time consuming and I found myself getting progressively fitter over a long period. However I also found I’d be inclined to get sick more often (common cold type stuff) and generally find myself struggling with keeping the intensity up in the shorter races.


    A friend of mine suggested that there were “many ways to skin a cat” and that similar results were achievable using a shorter more focused method of training. So I set about looking at ways to incorporate a shorter more time crunched training plan.

    This time around I stuck with the four week training blocks however during the base and build periods my rides were much more focused and averaged 8 to 15 (max) hours, base periods consisted of both intervals and a series of longer rides (3 to 6 hours), with build periods upping the intervals (length and intensity) and continuing the longer rides once or twice a week. Like the other plan it tapered to a particular event.


    And the difference?.. (Besides having an extra 10 hours a week)


    Using the “time crunched” method, I found myself a lot quicker a lot quicker! Incorporating intervals into early stages of training meant I was faster earlier in the plan whilst still building throughout the season.

    I found that I’d be less inclined to get sick, and feel sluggish using the shorter method of training.

    I also found that I had no troubles on the longer races; the lack of LSD riding didn’t hamper my endurance at all.


    Subsequently I believe it is possible to train for endurance racing using predominately shorter more focused rides but as others have said I feel you are really going to need to throw in a longer ride once a week to keep your eye (or body) in.

    I’m facing similar problems, I’m very time poor, my wife sees the weekend as “family time” and it’s tough trying to get out during the week – I just got myself a new light set for some early, early morning rides and plan to utilize the gym at work, and even commuting as much as possible.

    If you make the time when you can, I see no reason why it shouldn't work.
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    Nice, I recently read an article about Nordic ski training by Norwegians, while even they were doing huge volumes (they were looking at the elites/Olympians), the real key to their success was their focus on high intensity. There's tons of stuff out there on high intensity and how great it is for training.

    The long steady stuff does work but it takes a few years to really see a benefit.

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    There was a pretty good article in Outside about running a marathon after using the short training approach. IIRC, the author got his personal best by a smidge, but felt horrible during the latter stages of the race.

    IMO, you can easily ride a 6-hour race with 3-hour training sessions. Train hard. Race below threshold ALWAYS.

    That second part is the key, and hugely difficult in actual race circumstances, at least for me.

    If at all possible, supplement your short training sessions with three sessions of four hours, starting two weeks before the event, and ending 6 days before the event.

    Then go crush it!
    Whining is not a strategy.

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    When you reference "threshold" how do you gauge that? I mean how do you know where you are in relation to your personal threshold?
    Calmer'n you are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldencalf View Post
    When you reference "threshold" how do you gauge that? I mean how do you know where you are in relation to your personal threshold?
    Many can comment on this "threshold" topic with more technical detail than I can. For me, it's mostly a feel thing. After years (decades) of this stuff, I can feel the edge, and not go beyond it.

    You can figure out your LT without too much trouble, but again, for me, I find it changes during really long races -- but probably not much during a 6 hour event.

    Find a moderate, consistent grade and after warming up, climb it as hard as you can for 20 minutes and see where your pulse kind of levels off. In rough terms, that is your LT. Stay 10+ bpm below it during the race.

    Hopefully STaylor will chime on this thread. He knows far more than I, and is typically very helpful (and available for coaching, I believe).
    Whining is not a strategy.

  34. #34
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    Thanks! Sounds like a heart rate monitor might be necessary.
    Calmer'n you are.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldencalf View Post
    Thanks! Sounds like a heart rate monitor might be necessary.
    Yes. Depending on how far you want to take formal science-based training you'll want to get a decent one.

    My experience: about 15 years ago I got a true Max Heart Rate test. Sat on a trainer that recorded watts of output, ramped up the effort over the course of 20 minutes or so while my then coach took blood samples with a finger stick. He measured lactic acid levels and took heart rate readings. I kept ramping up output until I totally blew up. He called that my max. At that time it was 200 bpm.

    After that exercise I had a graph that showed my wattage, HR, and lactic acid levels. Threshold was a place where lactic acid levels started to increase dramatically (body no longer able to keep up metabolizing of the acid being produced by muscles).

    And after that exercise, coach told me not to quit my day job

    Then I went off doing training exercises he assigned with an HRM, knowing what my lactic acid threshold heart rate was.

    After most of a year doing that, I pretty much knew what it felt like to be at threshold. Got to where I would look down at the monitor and already know what it would tell me. Eventually stopped using the HRM. Probably wouldn't hurt me to go back to training with A) a plan, and B) data. But where I'm at now, I'm not terribly inclined to do so. My paychecks come from writing code, endurance racing/riding is my vacation.

    Oh, and after 15 years, going from a 34-year-old to 49-year-old, my HR numbers as they relate to threshold and max are probably quite different. True statement coach/exercise physiology people?
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  36. #36
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Yes. Depending on how far you want to take formal science-based training you'll want to get a decent one.

    My experience: about 15 years ago I got a true Max Heart Rate test. Sat on a trainer that recorded watts of output, ramped up the effort over the course of 20 minutes or so while my then coach took blood samples with a finger stick. He measured lactic acid levels and took heart rate readings. I kept ramping up output until I totally blew up. He called that my max. At that time it was 200 bpm.

    After that exercise I had a graph that showed my wattage, HR, and lactic acid levels. Threshold was a place where lactic acid levels started to increase dramatically (body no longer able to keep up metabolizing of the acid being produced by muscles).

    And after that exercise, coach told me not to quit my day job

    Then I went off doing training exercises he assigned with an HRM, knowing what my lactic acid threshold heart rate was.

    After most of a year doing that, I pretty much knew what it felt like to be at threshold. Got to where I would look down at the monitor and already know what it would tell me. Eventually stopped using the HRM. Probably wouldn't hurt me to go back to training with A) a plan, and B) data. But where I'm at now, I'm not terribly inclined to do so. My paychecks come from writing code, endurance racing/riding is my vacation.

    Oh, and after 15 years, going from a 34-year-old to 49-year-old, my HR numbers as they relate to threshold and max are probably quite different. True statement coach/exercise physiology people?

    Good post Tom. I too took a similar threshold bonk test (minus the blood analysts) about 10 years ago when starting to get "more" serious about cycling and was abit disgruntled myself at the results advising me to stay in the construction field.

    Fast-forward to age 55 I'm thinking of getting a full test and a Cyclops or similar thingies (which I've never used,just recently started logging rides with iphone) to get a more overall handle on fine tuning my personal physics. Like you thinking after awhile I can get to a point of self-manage after knowing what stats go with what messages the body is giving out.

    Thanks for the insight.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  37. #37
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    How much do these tests cost?
    Calmer'n you are.

  38. #38
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    As with most endurance type races it's mostly mind over body. You'd be surprised what you can do if you just put your mind to it.

    All the great survivor stories have one thing in common......?

  39. #39
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    I haven't had a lactate threshold or max heart rate test, but from experience I have found that if I keep my heart rate below 150 then I can go for a long time. It can go into the 150's for shorter periods (like climbing), but I can't sustain that for hours without bonking. If it goes over 160, then I'll blow up pretty quickly. (Note that I'm in my 50's.)

    For the 6-hour enduro, I know I won't be competitive. I'm just going to try to keep moving for most of the 6 hours, except for a few pit stops. I'll try to keep my heart rate in the 140-145 range, which I'm guessing is around 80-85% of my max.

  40. #40
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    Re: Endurance training using only short rides?

    This thread has me thinking. I have a friend in AZ who talked me into the Barn Burner 104 this year. The weather here in MN has sucked, so I have been doing spin class 4 or 5 times a week for 70 to 90 minutes at a time. Lots of intervals and high intensity stuff. I also bike to work, but that is only ten miles each way, although the studded tires add resistance.

    If it warms up I should be adding at least one 4-6 hour ride outside a week and a few century group rides.

    My legs feel really strong. I hope you guys are right about the intensity training........

  41. #41
    Daniel the Dog
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    I'm a total mortal rider and a pack filler; however, I have done some research on the subject and train pretty hard. That said, I'm not sure the slow as crap 4-6 hour ride is the best way to train for a race (even endurance race). If you need to be in a heart rate zone above what you are training you are going to come up short at the race. Your body will not be used to it and you will be sucking lots of air. I do interval training on a big hill by my house and go for a long run to get my heart rate up. Also, go on a training ride with someone faster than you to push you and get you breathing hard.

  42. #42
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    Endurance training using only short rides?

    There is no substitute for the five hour ride.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Oh, and after 15 years, going from a 34-year-old to 49-year-old, my HR numbers as they relate to threshold and max are probably quite different. True statement coach/exercise physiology people?
    Your lactate threshold can be trained, your maximum heart rate can't. I think you'll find your maximum is still pretty close to what it was when you were 34.

    Or I've had a HRM for over 20 years and I haven't noticed any significant change in MHR from 30 to 50. If I want to suffer hard enough, I can still get my heart rate over 195.
    I regularly get to 180+ in training and that's the max I can do without significant recovery. I'm far from the only person to have this kind of history and experience.

    Your MHR doesn't say much about your fitness, only your genetics, how high your LT is in relation to MHR is trainable.

    Most of the age based maximum heart rate formulas are based on data taken from heart attack patients to determine "safe" zones for post heart attack exercise.
    Even the data from that study forms a "cloud" rather than any linear shape. It's a classic example of mis-applied statistics.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott In MD View Post
    Before i call BS, I'll ask .... You want this back, or are you sticking to it? (In my personal experience, prepping for a six hour bike race with four hour training rides is very do-able.... Prepping for a marathon on ten mile training runs would be a disaster.)
    When I used to do IM's I would never run over 10 miles (until the race). In my mind if you can run 10 you can run 30. For my last IM last summer, I didn't run over 2 miles, due to a knee injury, and ended up running a sub 330 marathon.

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