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  1. #1
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    New question here. Train for Endurance Race Living in City of Atlanta?

    Morning,
    I've become very interested in giving the Fool's Gold 100 a try next year. Before I mentally commit I want to think through the time commitment with training as well as the logistics of living in the middle of a city known for challenging traffic.

    I live in the neighborhood of Virginia Highland and work in Buckhead. For longer rides I get out around 6:30am on Sat or Sun, drive 1.5 hrs to Bear Creek or Bull/Jake, ride for 4 hrs and then back to Atlanta for 1.5 hrs. I can usually manage this with little issue since the drive isn't so bad on the open road.

    During the week my main ride is Big Creek since I believe it's the best option that's fairly close. I leave work around 5pm from Buckhead, battle traffic for 45 min, ride a couple of hours and then make it home in about 45 min.

    I came up with a rough training plan that covers 16 weeks (after I build a base). Weekly mileage ranges from 60mi to 115mi and I estimate weekly saddle time of 8-16 hours.

    Here is where I could use some advice from others deep in the city:

    How would you/do you get adequate saddle time in for an endurance race while minimizing travel time to and from rides? I'm considering a training plan that would have two rides a week - my lowest mileage week would have me ride 20mi on a Tues/Wed and 40mi on a Sat/Sun. I get into trouble on longer mileage weeks when I hope to get 38mi during the week and 77mi on the weekend although it may be possible. I'm just trying to avoid riding on 5 days a week unless I can really minimize travel time to trails.

    I have quite a bit of experience in endurance racing in the world of running which was easier to manage logistically. I know I can handle it mentally but want to make sure I'm physically prepared and sitting in spin classes won't cut it.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    I can't offer Atlanta specific info but do you train on the road at all? In my opinion that's the best way to get a solid base and increase your overall condinitioning. Also, most people can head right out of their front door so there is no travel time.

    A couple of road rides a week and then a mountain bike ride on the weekend to keep your technical skills up should be sufficient. In my experience most mountain bike racers spend most of their time on the road bike.

    Edit:

    I also wanted to add that I hate riding road but it works. I live in the flatlands and about 90% of my time is spent on the road but when I get to the mountains I have no problem on long climbs when it comes to lungs and legs. My technical skills are usually rusty but after getting warmed up they come right back.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the response. I've read that some argue different muscles are used since your body is at a different angle on road bikes. I'm sure that 80% of the muscles used are the same and apply so will work to encorporate road rides during the week. I know to calculate how many hours I think I would be on a mountain bike and apply that to a road bike instead of going purely from miles.

    There seem to be some great group rides in the Atlanta area for road rides:
    Atlanta Group Rides

    I welcome any other thoughts. Otherwise I'll get my training plan in order and set it up by hours in the saddle for a mountain bike and do an equal amount on road when I'm not able to get to the trails. I imagine spinning could count toward that as well - I don't do it often but it's a good way to work out with my wife and benefit my overall training.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
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    I would try to get a fast group road ride in once a week for sure. As much as I hate to say it the best bike fitness I've ever had was obtained from riding group road rides consistently. The desire to not get dropped works wonders when it comes to keeping you in the red zone and pushing a hard gear.

    I had a period of time where I thought I was a quick mountain biker but then I started riding road consistently and it did a good job of showing me where I stand. Those damn roadies are strong!

  5. #5
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    IMO you are wasting 90 minutes driving up to Big Creek. Find a good group ride that night or if you would rather ride by yourself do that. Get an extra hour of riding in. Big Creek doesn't resemble much of the Fools Gold course.

    As Sun said, don't underestimate road riding when it comes to MTb crossover. Not saying its impossible to prepare for FG100 only riding the MTb, but living in Atlanta it is not optimal unless you have unlimited amounts of time. A hard group ride that pushes the hills is great for MTb fitness.

    Did the 50 with a buddy last year, doing it solo this year, and have contemplated the 100 for next year. There is zero chance I would try to get ready for the 100 without significant time on the road bike so that probably skews my view on training.

  6. #6
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    My team does weekly mtb and road rides in the city, pace varies according to who shows up. Come out and join in. Calendar | Faster Mustache

  7. #7
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    Caladryl,

    I wanted to do that ride months ago. Is there usually a good turnout? I signed up for the ride through the website, but nobody else did. But then it dawned on me that anybody doing it regularly would not bother to sign up.

    Anybody in that group ride single speed?
    Stuffing our faces at an ever smaller table.

  8. #8
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    Cruz19,

    I live around the Brookhaven area. Lots of roadies do rides around here. The good thing is that the people in the area seem to be generally aware of the cyclists. So, I ride my SS in this area too. The routes I run are different than the roadies, and I do much steeper climbs. The area can be very challenging. I usually manage 16 miles max. But on my SS, with the gearing 32x16, my route will hose your legs. With that said, you can pick different routes more in line with endurance racing. You can easily get 20 milers. I wish I knew more about the routes the roadies ride, I am sure they get in much longer rides.

    In any case, riding in road trim may be your best option.
    Stuffing our faces at an ever smaller table.

  9. #9
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    Having done Fool's Gold , Cohutta and many other enduros, I recommend skipping Big Creek and getting a road bike. My personal recommendations are the Monday ride from AC in Vinings and the Buckhead Bellyache loop (even if you don't do the group ride). There's also a good Thursday group ride in Decatur that goes to the Rock.

    Don't under-estimate the gains from cross training either -- trail running, rock climbing and swimming will help.

    Personally, I ride a lot at Sope Creek -- much closer and better than Big Creek. There's plenty of trail to ride and run and it's only 20 minutes from your house. Conyers is a good place too -- hit the highway early enough in the afternoon and you can be there in about 30 minutes. It's a much better ride than spending time in traffic to ride Big Creek.

    Hit me up and I'll gladly help you train. I'm planning a Pisgah trip in November and that's always a fun one!
    Charles Myrick
    33North Adventures | Owner
    Bike | Climb | Hike | Paddle
    New trips: Tibet & Bosnia!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OdinOrion View Post
    Caladryl,

    I wanted to do that ride months ago. Is there usually a good turnout? I signed up for the ride through the website, but nobody else did. But then it dawned on me that anybody doing it regularly would not bother to sign up.

    Anybody in that group ride single speed?
    Yeah, no one uses the sign up. Yes, lots of singlespeeders on the mtb ride. We are hosting the Georgia Single Speed Championships afterall Georgia State Single Speed Championships

    Rode ride is centered around hills and climbing FM:Race 2012 Road Ride | Faster Mustache . Just show up and meet people, ride bikes and drink beers!

  11. #11
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well

    Quote Originally Posted by caladryl View Post
    Yeah, no one uses the sign up. Yes, lots of singlespeeders on the mtb ride. We are hosting the Georgia Single Speed Championships afterall Georgia State Single Speed Championships

    Rode ride is centered around hills and climbing FM:Race 2012 Road Ride | Faster Mustache . Just show up and meet people, ride bikes and drink beers!
    Well the only thing Dirty about the DM ride is that it doesn't seem to really exist. Been out there twice in two weeks and nobody showed. Was out there by 8p last week and 7:45p this week, not a sole to be seen. I don't get it, you guys afraid of a slight chance of rain?

    So I threw down 18 miles in in an hour and 13 minutes as a solo effort, whatever.
    Last edited by OdinOrion; 09-05-2012 at 12:48 PM.
    Stuffing our faces at an ever smaller table.

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