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  1. #1
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    Super D/Enduro Training Regimen

    So besides riding a lot does anyone have a good training regimen? Sprints, lifting, diet etc. Any help would be great.

  2. #2
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    I'd imagine interval training would be a good bet. At least at more of the XC'ish SuperD and Enduro races the ability to push hard for several minutes would be a bonus. Also, I'd think doing some general weight work (power movements, i.e. cleans and snatches) would be a good idea to build total body strength. I've recently started working with Kettlebells almost exclusively and I feel an immediate difference. I've been a power athlete my whole life (former college football player) so I have a love for all things explosive in the gym. I wouldn't waste too much time with the "beach workouts"-you're not trying out for the next season of Jersey Shore after all...

    Otherwise, I'd just work on athletic movements and intense efforts. However, don't forget to throw in some long rides on the bike. A lot of Enduro races can last upwards of 5 hours plus.

    Others will surely chime in with their experience, but I hope that helps a bit! Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Ride lots. To help you ride lots and gain fitness, get a road bike and do a bit of that (hard group rides and the like).

    If you're getting 8-10 hours a week consistently on the bike (of good solid riding, not putting about with friends all the time and that sort of thing), then you could think about adding some strength training or cross training to help muscle imbalances and such. I would ride lift access on the big bike, or get out on the moto with that time though.

    See where I'm going with this? I'm not trying to be a wise ass...the top enduro riders are FIT, like cat 1 or better XC racer fit. You literally can't be fit enough for enduro. Look to how top XC racers train, and then add in specific skills and handling work and you'll be off to a good start.

  4. #4
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    I basically do the same i did when i raced XC, the only difference is that i ride AM on the weekends and try to ride the most technical terrain i can in that time.

    So my "schedule" is something like,

    Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 1.5~2h on my trail bike, technical trail but with a lot of hills ( at least 600m/2k foot )
    Thursday/Tuesday, 2~3h on my light XC bike going as fast as possible
    Saturday, running a few Km's on the beach or road cycling >60km ( depends on wether i'm working in the morning or not )
    Sunday, all day bombing the downhill trail on my Enduro bike

    I also do some light weight lifting on Thursday/Tuesday with focus on my arms and core strength, nothing "serious".

    So yeah, lots and lots of riding on both downhill and uphill terrain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsilva View Post
    I basically do the same i did when i raced XC, the only difference is that i ride AM on the weekends and try to ride the most technical terrain i can in that time.

    So my "schedule" is something like,

    Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 1.5~2h on my trail bike, technical trail but with a lot of hills ( at least 600m/2k foot )
    Thursday/Tuesday, 2~3h on my light XC bike going as fast as possible
    Saturday, running a few Km's on the beach or road cycling >60km ( depends on wether i'm working in the morning or not )
    Sunday, all day bombing the downhill trail on my Enduro bike

    I also do some light weight lifting on Thursday/Tuesday with focus on my arms and core strength, nothing "serious".

    So yeah, lots and lots of riding on both downhill and uphill terrain.
    no rest and recovery days? a good training plan always has recovery days.

  6. #6
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    Yeah that's definitely a hard man's training plan, haha. I would burn myself up quickly with that strenuous routine.

    On any given week I try to do a long/hard ride or a race on Sunday, a solid 2 hour mountain bike ride on Tuesday, and a fairly sporty (40 @ 21-22 with 1800-2200 feet) road ride on Thursday. Other than that I will either rest as necessary, commute to work (adds 1-2 hours of pedaling with a 45 pound loaded bike for each day commuting), and fit in 1-2 hour mountain bike rides on technical terrain at a casual pace focusing almost entirely on skill/technique work. A routine as hard as Silva's would leave me tired after one week and pretty much shelled after two - perhaps fine if that's the plan.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpmjunky View Post
    no rest and recovery days? a good training plan always has recovery days.
    The trail riding is the rest day, it does have quite a bit of hills but 2000ft isn't that much and doing that in 2h means I'm going pretty slowly ( ~10 mph ).
    Just because It's a rest day doesn't mean you stop riding, just means you go slower/easier than usual.
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  8. #8
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    Good info here.

  9. #9
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    For me a rest day means I definitely don't ride. Even if I only ride for an hour the effects of the rest day are mostly lost and I won't be nearly as good the next day.

    Different for everyone though, you have to find what works for you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad news View Post
    For me a rest day means I definitely don't ride. Even if I only ride for an hour the effects of the rest day are mostly lost and I won't be nearly as good the next day.
    Not doing anything after riding hard is usually bad though, you and your muscles will recover faster if you do light exercise the next day ( recovery day ), like zone 1 spinning.
    Doing a ride where you max average heart rate <68% of threshold HR is usually considered appropriate for recovery days.
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  11. #11
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    What other's have said is right on. You really have to be able to go anaerobic and just keep pushing through some of the short flattish or uphill sections on enduros. The races are often won or lost here.

    Couple other things I would add are working on getting through downhill/techy turns/switchbacks quickly and learning how to read terrain and upcoming turns etc. Nothing really replaces getting some practice runs in on the course but some people are really good at reading a trail and being able to lay off the brakes where they need to, scrub speed where they must, and recover gracefully when they come into something too hot. Practice going fast on unfamiliar trails.

    Intimate knowledge of the trail (almost*) trumps all. As an example, I usually finish very high or win the expert class (no age classes) at my local enduro held on trails that I have literally ridden a thousand times.... yet could only manage a 10th in the Over-40 Amateur class (there wasn't an expert class, just pro) at the Wasatch Enduro despite having ridden most of the course 3-4 times over the past couple years and having some pretty clean, what I thought were fairly fast runs.

    *It's a huge (almost unfair) advantage. Having said that.... I routinely get beat out by faster riders who are seeing the trail for the first time. If you're fast and talented... you're still going to win.
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    Wow, this is starting to sound like a thread from the XC forum! I really had no idea that ppl train this hard for Enduro specifically. I come from a road and XC background and since switching over to DH and Enduro/SuperD have really not trained much at all. I mean I still ride my bike nearly every day and concentrate on skill work, but the specificity of my training is nonexistent. I haven't looked at a heart rate monitor or checked my wattage in ages. That's kind of my favorite thing about this type of riding-it doesn't seem to be dominated by numbers and averages, just going out and having fun.

    I guess what I'm saying is all the "training" is great, but for some people it's all about just having fun and not concentrating on numbers. To each their own though!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pike14 View Post
    Wow, this is starting to sound like a thread from the XC forum! I really had no idea that ppl train this hard for Enduro specifically. I come from a road and XC background and since switching over to DH and Enduro/SuperD have really not trained much at all. I mean I still ride my bike nearly every day and concentrate on skill work, but the specificity of my training is nonexistent. I haven't looked at a heart rate monitor or checked my wattage in ages. That's kind of my favorite thing about this type of riding-it doesn't seem to be dominated by numbers and averages, just going out and having fun.
    Well the thread is about race training specifically after all, so more technical jargon is bound to appear. A friend of mine ride as a pro ( factory racer ) in MX, DH and recently switched over to Enduro, it's pretty common watching him going out on his road bike and catch him at the "gym" with a lot of wires attached to him.

    Of course, if you're only doing things "for fun" none of this is necessary but as soon as you start racing, trying to win and goin against the pro's, these things are almost inevitable no matter what sport you're into


    Quote Originally Posted by Pike14 View Post
    I guess what I'm saying is all the "training" is great, but for some people it's all about just having fun and not concentrating on numbers. To each their own though!
    Well i don't train for XC either if it's just for fun, i even do the occasional XC event but i don't train for it, just show up and ride, sometimes we even stop by the local café mid race for some coffee

    Anyway we're just talking about a simple HR monitor, mine cost 15€ and it's pretty useful to keep me in check during the recovery days ... it's very easy to distract yourself on the trail and next you know, you're over stressing yourself, with the HR monitor if i push too hard it starts beeping and i know it's time to slow down again

    No fancy stuff and you'll be using more exotic stuff than me if you're the type that likes to hit the gym.
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  14. #14
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    A lot of DH pros ride XC and, gasp, road bikes.

    Good example: Andrew Neethling


    Giant Factory Off-Road Team. 2012 Season - Episode 1 with Andrew Neethling - YouTube

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    Exactly what one does for cross racing.
    high leg speed intervals (39 by 17 spin outs)
    lower back strength
    high end of threshold work

    add in riding lots of downhills quite recklessly

    keep your 20 minute power tuned in, and quick legs the entire time. This will give you snap out of corners, and keep you from going anaerobic in high intensity race situations.

    this, and staying stoked, and having some gusto in corners will spell success.


    Good luck,
    Matt

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    20 minute power, endless interval training, and core bike handling skills is a good start. OH and sleep : )

  17. #17
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    Hey, could someone please expand on "high end threshold work" and "20 minute power?" I'm not familiar with those phrases and would appreciate a translation / more info. I can guess, but specifics would help a lot. What would be some examples of these in a typical week? Thanks!
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  18. #18
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    High end threshold is the maximum output you can sustain for over an hour, Endurance pace. By doing work at threshold you teach your body to go long distances at a sustained effort, and learn what this pace feels like so you can know when you are above or below this level of exertion.

    20 minute power is like endurance pace, but for 20 minutes. As hard as you can go for 20 minutes before you explode. (This can be broken down into 15, 10, and 5 minute chunks.)

    By doing work in each of these zones you learn what your body can produce for power in these times before you can't push any harder. For enduro racing the 1 hour mark is important to ensure you can stay fresh throughout the event.
    The shorter yet higher intensity work can be custom tailored to the events you are participating in depending on stage length. Longer stages-> 20 minute power Shorter stages ->5 minute power.

    Out in New England we don't have the big mountains that you get out west so most of my work is done in the 5-10 minute zone. If I were preparing for races in Europe or elsewhere I would concentrate on the 20 minute zone.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by grnbkr View Post
    Out in New England we don't have the big mountains that you get out west so most of my work is done in the 5-10 minute zone. If I were preparing for races in Europe or elsewhere I would concentrate on the 20 minute zone.

    Matt
    Thanks, that's really helpful. Sounds like intervals, just longer and at sustainable power, if I understand you correctly. Many of our climbs out here (SF/Bay Area) are in the 15-20 minute range (1-1.5k') with several linked together back-to-back, so I like this strategy that you're describing. Basically how I always ride! Now I know what to call it...
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  20. #20
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    My training for Super D and Enduro = ****ing pin it!!! Intervals going up and down. Tempo doesn't help much. Being able to focus on hard cornering when your eyes are drowned in sweat and your contact lenses are about to pop out is key.
    99% of the problems and questions posted here would be answered if people actually walked into a bicycle shop and asked

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    I find for myself that just riding on he street is best. If you live in the hills, even better. I ride in pretty steep hills around where I live for 40 minutes straight without breaking and never dipping below 10 mph. If I'm on level ground I sprint my bike as fast as I can to the next street that will take me up. I then keep my speed above 10 mph up consistent steep inclines to the top of the street, then coast down. Then sprint on level ground to my next steep street to go up. Then go up the consistent inclined street to the top and not dipping below 10 mph.

    I do this for 40 minutes straight, three days a week and have found it to work very well. I think its about 6 miles total, can't remember exactly. Do this along with your actual trail riding every week and I think you will be golden. I do about a total of 28 miles every week on my bike; 18 miles on the street and 10 miles on the trails.

    The first race I did this season a literally collapsed after the race; was not in shape at all. A month of doing this and at the end of the second race I was ready to race again. Helped a lot.
    Last edited by camarosam; 08-28-2012 at 08:50 AM.
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    Training your hands, especially fingers is also very important. For me riding home trails is no problem, since we don't have any higher hills, or mountains nearby. But when ridign the enduro races in the high Alps, the runs might be 20min+ long, so it is really tough for hands if/when not used to this kind of stress(motocross, snow mobile, water jet, those give similar stress to hands). It doesn't really help training your legs and lungs, if you can't hold your hands on the handlebar or use the brake lever whole 20 minutes... :/

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    rock climbing helps a lot with hand strength, and upper body.

    I spend my winters either cooped up in the rock gym, or out skiing, or both.

    clinging to the wall, and some weight work can go a long way!

    Matt

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    BMX, go ride the practice session at your track a couple times a week

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    I was looking into doing my first Enduro and this is what was on their website for a training recommendation, seemed right up my ally.
    I like to train, what do you recommend?
    Go ride your bike. Find a big hill. Ride to the top. Shred to the bottom. Repeat.

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  27. #27
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    Good thread! As others said, elite XC fitness is the main difference amongst the riders as most will have relatively similar skills. Having the endurance to continue hammering when others are sitting and resting will really pay off. Intervals are great for building this. I also have really liked James Wilson's Ultimate Kettlebell Workout for something that I can do at home.

  28. #28
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    i have been thinking a lot about how to train... i used to be pro on the road and i have a lot of experience in training with power, doing weights, all that...

    i dont ave any answers, but it strikes me that an endurance base is helpful- meaning you can do a lot of work measured in Kilojoules if you are using power... and it goes without saying that you need to be able to handle your bike which is more about practice than training... i would say that this is by far the area that most people have to gain in... it is certainly true for me even though i am not super fit...

    then three big things are obvious to me the more i think about it...

    1) you need explosive power to re-accelerate- similar to bmx and DH... so this is sprint training on the bike...

    2) you need to function at a maximal 5 minute pace, and be able to recover at lactate threshold... so this is a combination of 2-5 minute interval training along with LT training @20 minute efforts.

    3) being able to handle the bike when you are pinned cardiovascularly is pretty key and this comes with number 2, but i can still see a need to specifically practice this element.

    probably i am very wrong though, what the hell do i know?... tis whole thing is pretty new and i dont think that very many guys are getting specific...
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  29. #29
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    Build an endurance base in the late winter/early spring.

    Intervals - intervals - intervals - intervals and then...more intervals.

    Have a look at what some of the longer timed stages are going to be. You need to be going 100% fully red-lining for that length of time so keep building up the length of your intervals.

    The racing is more explosive bursts of power than xc and you get recovery time on the transfers. So train that way.

  30. #30
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    Learn how to stand up and pour the power on till your eyes bleed, you would be shocked on longer races that have little punchy sections that you dont sit down you just sprint right up the little climb standing up.
    Teach yourself to recover ON the bike.
    Learn how you do downhill FAST while gassed. I see many of riders that focus so much on going up fast they get to the top say " ok I kicked that climbs ass" then rest and head down the long DH after catching there breath. Sprint to the top and go over and down gased from the climb and learn what your body does, how it feels, see how sloppy you get in handling and how long it takes you to recover.
    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast type riding on the way down, practice flow, chainless DH runs down your local trails learn how to make the terrain work for you and how to keep speed and become smooth. I see people who try so hard to go fast that they blow corners, pick bad lines, get wonkey feeling and get on the binders hard and end up going slower overall then when they are just riding down for fun.
    Im no expert by any means, this is just stuff I have learned the hard way in my times of riding and having a really good friend being a pro coach to thow in bits of advice when he sees things.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    Learn how to stand up and pour the power on till your eyes bleed, you would be shocked on longer races that have little punchy sections that you dont sit down you just sprint right up the little climb standing up.
    Teach yourself to recover ON the bike.
    Learn how you do downhill FAST while gassed. I see many of riders that focus so much on going up fast they get to the top say " ok I kicked that climbs ass" then rest and head down the long DH after catching there breath. Sprint to the top and go over and down gased from the climb and learn what your body does, how it feels, see how sloppy you get in handling and how long it takes you to recover.
    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast type riding on the way down, practice flow, chainless DH runs down your local trails learn how to make the terrain work for you and how to keep speed and become smooth. I see people who try so hard to go fast that they blow corners, pick bad lines, get wonkey feeling and get on the binders hard and end up going slower overall then when they are just riding down for fun.
    Im no expert by any means, this is just stuff I have learned the hard way in my times of riding and having a really good friend being a pro coach to thow in bits of advice when he sees things.
    Good info right there. Did exactly this for my training this past season and had the 4th fastest time behind the pro class riders this season.

    Oh, and I love your sig, totally true.
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  32. #32
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    Intervals and power hour on the road bike. Explosive rolling terrain on the 34X20 singlespeed and some pumptrack, which really helps with racing on strange courses. Pushups and pull ups, and rolling a weight on a strap up and down with arms mimicking your bar grip to help with arm pump.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpmjunky View Post
    no rest and recovery days? a good training plan always has recovery days.
    Good training includes rest and recovery. A training plan, in my experience, doesn't need to build them in - life, family and work will determine your rest days for you!

  34. #34
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    Some more info here that some might like, plus it is all free!!
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    I haven't raced in years, but plan on doing some enduro races this year if the California series proves technical enough. Full time (and then some) job as well as a wife and two kids means I can't just take off and ride 12-15 hours a week like I used to. I need to get my weekday workouts done in 1 hour at lunch, and I get 3-4 hours to ride on the weekend.

    The plan:

    - 2 consecutive weekdays: Stationary bike, doing Sufferfest DVDs (I've been using these for a year, they're FANTASTIC)
    - 2 non-consecutive weekdays: Free weights, slow and controlled. I have a blown disc so no fast movements or bending of the back.
    - 1 weekday: Swimming, 1500-2000 yards

    - 1 weekend day: 3-4 hour ride. The park closest to my house has 3 trails down from the top, same 1200 foot climb for each for a total of 3600 feet of climbing/descending.

    As I get closer to racing season I'll drop a weight training day and replace it with a second swim day.

  36. #36
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    I think you'll be low on volume unless you drop some of the "other" stuff and pedal more, but everybody's different.

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    the body responds specifically to specific stresses... you will probably end up with a reasonable level of general in-shapeness... and a lot of improvements in your swimming...

    i would trade any of that non-bike time to bike time... even if it just a set of 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off intervals... that kind of effort seems to me like it would be valuable... with so little time, i would look for intensity on the bike...

    is there any info out there about how DH riders train on the bike?

  38. #38
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    Very true. If I planned on racing seriously I'd train a lot more. However, I'm only planning on a couple of races for fun, I'll be cruising in Cat 2 instead of Cat 1, and I'll only bother with races on highly technical courses (I'd be comfortable racing DH in Cat 1). The regimen above is what I already do, just changing the mix (more weights less swimming). With my back issues, swimming is must, and more then three days a week on a bike starts to annoy my spine. At this point, I'm lucky to still be riding.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by erik saunders View Post
    i have been thinking a lot about how to train... i used to be pro on the road and i have a lot of experience in training with power, doing weights, all that...

    i dont ave any answers, but it strikes me that an endurance base is helpful- meaning you can do a lot of work measured in Kilojoules if you are using power... and it goes without saying that you need to be able to handle your bike which is more about practice than training... i would say that this is by far the area that most people have to gain in... it is certainly true for me even though i am not super fit...

    then three big things are obvious to me the more i think about it...

    1) you need explosive power to re-accelerate- similar to bmx and DH... so this is sprint training on the bike...

    2) you need to function at a maximal 5 minute pace, and be able to recover at lactate threshold... so this is a combination of 2-5 minute interval training along with LT training @20 minute efforts.

    3) being able to handle the bike when you are pinned cardiovascularly is pretty key and this comes with number 2, but i can still see a need to specifically practice this element.

    probably i am very wrong though, what the hell do i know?... tis whole thing is pretty new and i dont think that very many guys are getting specific...
    ^^^This dude is the real deal. Erik Saunders kicked the teeth out of pros on the road all over the US for a good while. Hard dude. Madison champ on the track in the early 2000s, too, if I remember correctly.
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  40. #40
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    If you have time to post here you are wasting valuable time you could be PINNING IT.

    Go out for an hour and try to spend all your time in zone 4 with 2 or 3 bursts to zone 5 for 20 or 30 seconds.

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    If you don't have a lot of time check out HIIT (High intensity interval training). Studies have shown that you can build and maintain pretty good fitness (for short durations) by doing this three times a week at 30 minutes at a time. Do this in addition to just regular riding... A few of my buddies who just had kids are doing this and they are still able to keep up even though they aren't really riding much at all. Seems to work...

  42. #42
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    I may have posted earlier in this thread regarding training, but my thought have changed as the upcoming season looms. I took some time away from racing competitively, but am making a dedicated comeback this year.
    For the winter, I'm focusing mainly on conditioning for strength and power, combined with about 3 road rides of anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours. For strength, I'm lifting weights quite a bit, focusing on some olympic lifts and body weight circuits. In addition I'm doing some running when I can.
    Aside from the road riding, the strength training is very high intensity. Weights are heavy, but the volume is low. I'm a big proponent of keeping weighted exercises to low volume to avoid getting bulky like a body builder. Has worked for me so far. Otherwise, bodyweight exercises are done quite a bit.
    Oh, yeah, and when I can I get out on the mountain bike. The purpose of which is just to keep the skills up to par.
    As the weather turns to Spring I'll focus more on being on my bike and less on being in the gym.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by perrygeo View Post
    Good training includes rest and recovery. A training plan, in my experience, doesn't need to build them in - life, family and work will determine your rest days for you!
    Yes, that's exactly what I've found and have now embraced. I have to try to ride had every/any opportunity as my planned rides/rest are always changing and breaking based on work and my dad deprived family needs.

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    Bump

  45. #45
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    Here is my training regime.

    2 hours of riding in my road bike or 1 hr RPM training in the gym. 3days in a week, leg workout and then 3 days upper body workout in the gym.

  46. #46
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    Do any of you guys ride singlespeeds as part of your training/just general riding? Over the past 3 years, honestly that has been the number one thing to help make me abandon my seat on almost any climb that is less than a minute. Short punchy climbs are infinitely easier now. I don't have a granny on any of my bikes anymore as a result.

  47. #47
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    I just went 1x10 and then 1x11. It makes it easy to go 38T on XX1.

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