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  1. #1
    FASTER, DAMIT, FASTER
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    Finding Speed...

    This might be a rant more than anything else, so readers you were warned....I feel like I'm having a hard time finding speed. I feel like I've done everything right this year. I rode religiously all winter. Sold off every bike thing that I could sell to fund my new race rig (SC TRc with a revelation wc up front set at 150, charger pros SL, xx1...and yes it's silly fast). I've completely changed my diet and now I tell people I'm paleo (yes is works). I've straved every single trail in a 50 mile radius with good results. I ride on a team with the fastest guys in my area AND about 2 weeks ago I feel like I peaked and honestly I am having a hard time finding that explosive speed again.

    The legs are good for miles and miles, so the endurance base really isn't the problem. But I find myself wanting that out of the saddle, lightning up the ass speed that blurs the line between chaos and control and I'm having a hard time finding it. I had it and like any junky, I want it again. The first real race of the season is in two weeks and I've pledged to myself that I want a top 10 finish in my cat (don't get too excited, it's just CAT 2).

    So my question is where do you find speed?
    DON'T EXTINGUISH THE STOKE.

  2. #2
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    Finding Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by EeZe View Post
    This might be a rant more than anything else, so readers you were warned....I feel like I'm having a hard time finding speed. I feel like I've done everything right this year. I rode religiously all winter. Sold off every bike thing that I could sell to fund my new race rig (SC TRc with a revelation wc up front set at 150, charger pros SL, xx1...and yes it's silly fast). I've completely changed my diet and now I tell people I'm paleo (yes is works). I've straved every single trail in a 50 mile radius with good results. I ride on a team with the fastest guys in my area AND about 2 weeks ago I feel like I peaked and honestly I am having a hard time finding that explosive speed again.

    The legs are good for miles and miles, so the endurance base really isn't the problem. But I find myself wanting that out of the saddle, lightning up the ass speed that blurs the line between chaos and control and I'm having a hard time finding it. I had it and like any junky, I want it again. The first real race of the season is in two weeks and I've pledged to myself that I want a top 10 finish in my cat (don't get too excited, it's just CAT 2).

    So my question is where do you find speed?
    Do you have a training program?
    Stated goals/events?

    If you have "peaked" now, it does not sound like you have an organized plan.
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  3. #3
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    How much are you standing up while training? I know is sounds simplistic and stupid, but that is my first question. Enduro is all about out of the saddle efforts and it is a different muscle combination compared to sitting and spinning.

    My second question would be how much rest have you had lately? If you are burned out try taking 3-5 days off and then start your ramp again.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    How much are you standing up while training? I know is sounds simplistic and stupid, but that is my first question. Enduro is all about out of the saddle efforts and it is a different muscle combination compared to sitting and spinning.

    My second question would be how much rest have you had lately? If you are burned out try taking 3-5 days off and then start your ramp again.
    Never raced enduro (yet), but having watched a few, like XC, it's about losing the least amount of speed possible through the corners, then exploding back up to speed again.

    If you're sitting after a corner, you're doing it wrong.

  5. #5
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    Would have to agree with Shiggy on this, if you feel like you've already peaked you didn't have a plan going into this or else you would have planned that peak for a key race. As S.Punk said, maybe taking a few days off the bike and giving the muscles some rest might help. Also as said, have you been training doing standing work, long climbs standing and grinding with short burst sprints every 30 secs to minute. The only way to train bike muscles is to train them doing exactly what it is you want them to be improved at - I know I now suck at out of the saddle for more than a short sprint since I've been sitting and spinning on my FS for the last year +.
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  6. #6
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    I'll echo what they said. You sound like you need a break and should formulate a plan on the priorities of your summer and being in the best shape for those events.

    Might not be a bad idea to take some time off, then incorporate some weights or plyometrics into your regimen. I spent most the winter doing this kind of stuff, staying off my bike, now I am using the riding season to build the bike specific endurance up until july-aug

  7. #7
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    Good thread.

  8. #8
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    Short Intense speed work/Intervals.

  9. #9
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    Great advice gang. As I look back, I would have to say that I've been doing longer and longer rides as the hills have opened up, which means that I've been sitting in saddle a lot. I can see how standing more will help. Also adding in some interval type training into the mix as well.

    As I reflect on this, I think that "peaked" is a poor word choice. Instead, a couple of weeks ago I felt fast, but lately I feeling I've been "trying" to go fast. I hope that makes sense. I want to say that I really appreciate all the feed back. It makes me think that good, caring people love and ride bikes. And that is awesome.
    DON'T EXTINGUISH THE STOKE.

  10. #10
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    Do you have enough recovery built into your training plan?

  11. #11
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    Finding Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by EeZe View Post
    Great advice gang. As I look back, I would have to say that I've been doing longer and longer rides as the hills have opened up, which means that I've been sitting in saddle a lot. I can see how standing more will help. Also adding in some interval type training into the mix as well.

    As I reflect on this, I think that "peaked" is a poor word choice. Instead, a couple of weeks ago I felt fast, but lately I feeling I've been "trying" to go fast. I hope that makes sense. I want to say that I really appreciate all the feed back. It makes me think that good, caring people love and ride bikes. And that is awesome.
    If you really want to perform at your best you need a solid training plan. And within that plan there will be much of the time that you do not feel sharp.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EeZe View Post
    Great advice gang. As I look back, I would have to say that I've been doing longer and longer rides as the hills have opened up, which means that I've been sitting in saddle a lot. I can see how standing more will help. Also adding in some interval type training into the mix as well.

    As I reflect on this, I think that "peaked" is a poor word choice. Instead, a couple of weeks ago I felt fast, but lately I feeling I've been "trying" to go fast. I hope that makes sense. I want to say that I really appreciate all the feed back. It makes me think that good, caring people love and ride bikes. And that is awesome.
    Keep in mind that seasoned racers will generally gain form more quickly than a person that has never raced or raced very little. Generally in the early season some seasoned racers haven't been training hard, or focused on other sports throughout winter, so they're a bit slower early season. After a few races it seems like they're back up to speed again. This generally makes you feel a lot weaker after people kick back into form, even though you may be going as fast or faster than you were before.

    Try joining a weekly fast local road group ride if you want to work on power and explosive power. Most fast mtb guys have a tough road group ride mixed in with other training. Just be warned, the fast roadies will make you feel even weaker. At times the surges are insanely painful, but if you keep working to hang on it'll only make you stronger.

  13. #13
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    Well, as said, you should have a plan. If the first race is two weeks away, I'd expect some plans to be incorporating some speed work this week, especially for Enduro. If you don't think the problem is that you're too fatigued, try two days in a row of Tabatas, 20seconds ON, 20seconds OFF X 8, go full out during every 20 second ON, and spin easy during the 20 seconds OFF (you will have no desire to pedal hard during the 20 seconds off). Each one, full out sprint. Of course the last one won't be as powerful as the first one. It's best if can do this on a road with no traffic, remember to keep your head up and look where you're going. Start with 15-20 minutes easy pedaling with two 15 second hard (standing the first 10 seconds, then maintaining speed with fast spinning seated for the last 5 seconds) efforts after about 10 minutes, a minute or two rest in between, and few minutes before the first Tabata set, after the first Tabata set, spin easy for 5 minutes to recover, then do it again. 10 minutes easy spinning to finish the ride, and be sure to have a recovery drink when you get home. Do it soon, so it's not too close to the race.

    That's just my advice. I only seem to use Tabatas every 2-3 months, but I think they'd be really effective for Enduro.

    It's really helpful if you have a watch with interval timers that beep. Any Timex Ironman watch with at least 50-lap capability has dual (or even triple) interval timers you can use to set two different times that will follow each other and keep repeating, like a 30 seconds followed by 3 minutes rest or whatever. Really helpful, so you can just concentrate on going hard instead of trying to count or look down at a bike computer. I just strap it to my handlebar around a piece of foam pipe insulation.
    "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."-Jack Kerouac

  14. #14
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    Great ideas...I'm going to try this out. Thanks.
    DON'T EXTINGUISH THE STOKE.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    If you really want to perform at your best you need a solid training plan. And within that plan there will be much of the time that you do not feel sharp.
    This. You can either choose to feel "sharp", meaning rested and recovered, or you can train, and feel good, sluggish, crappy, or even terrible for quite some time...and then PEAK, and blow people's doors off once all that work tapers off and you let your body recover.

  16. #16
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    Overtrained..need a rest or change for awhile. Swith to Road Bike, swim, weights, and rest.

  17. #17
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    Finding Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by canuck_tacoma View Post
    Overtrained..need a rest or change for awhile. Swith to Road Bike, swim, weights, and rest.
    "Overtraining" is usually the result of a poor, or no, training program. No focus on long term results.
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  18. #18
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    I think everyone here has given great advice but a few things come to mind from random experiences.

    When I was younger I had a sport bike (Yamaha R6) in reality they are stupid fast and can real quickly expedite a suicide mission. However after a few weeks of having it, it felt slow or atleast the perception of very controlled. I had some friends with 750cc and 1000cc bikes, after talking with them they had experienced the same thing except it had happened before, when they had 600's, 750's etc. I also have a friend with an 8 second drag civic, says it doesnt feel fast.

    I live in Utah and grew up racing BMX, I still go out to the indoor tracks in the winter for a bike fix, exercise and to BS. One winter I was also doing a fair amount of spin classes to kill the boredom of winter. I felt slow and on the track but it felt very easy to put the power down, I was also getting comments on how much faster I was riding. My conditioning and triggers for "power" or perception of that and or fatigue had changed.

    Could it be that you have increased your conditioning and your average riding speed that what you were using as indicators before are not longer relevant how they once used to be, you may have possibly gotten used to that speed and feel.

    I think if you are hanging with the fast guys and your times are good these things might be something to consider as a possibility.

    Not saying I am right by any stretch but looking at it from a different angle.
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