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  1. #1
    Mountain Biking Madman
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    Need some help with training this winter

    So this summer I was getting in about 14 hours a week focusing on just getting in as much riding as possible.And then a couple weeks before placing intensity over quantity.Doing this I saw good results in my last race and I continued to do this until the short winter days started setting in and I had to work my other priorities in in place of riding.Its been about 3 weeks since I put in a solid week,and i'm starting to feel a loss of fitness.So my question is would a wind trainer be able to substitute my riding that I was doing and then just follow the base building followed by intensity before a race like I was doing,until I get to get back out riding.Or should I look into other methods of training and trying to step it up a little.

  2. #2
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    Need some help with training this winter

    You sound very motivated so I would suggest trying to take your training to the next level. You train with heart rate or power? If you can afford it then get a power meter. If not a heart rate monitor along with speed/cadence can tell you a good bit.

    Wind trainers are great for training. From a physical point of view they are better than riding outdoors. Mentally, they can be a drag and lead to burn out.

    IMO you need to focus on base in the winter/off season. Base does include intensity, just they right kind at the correct time.

    Purchase joe friels mountain bike training bible for my bike racing. This books lays it out in detail and is a great place to start. If you can afford it I would hire a coach.

    If your body and mind could handle 14 hours a week last season I would definitely add intensity into you base periods.

  3. #3
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    Need some help with training this winter

    A turbo trainer is one way to approach it.

    If the weather isn't too bad you could consider fitting lights and doing some night riding also.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by runawayjay View Post
    You sound very motivated so I would suggest trying to take your training to the next level. You train with heart rate or power? If you can afford it then get a power meter.
    I do not recommend this. The precision is immaterial for the money.

    A heart rate monitor is useful. Best use is to pay attention to declining threshold values which is a clue that you haven't recovered enough since your last workout.

    A trainer is okay, but watch out for the burnout. I'm not a huge believer in lots of time on a trainer because of the mental fatigue for many. Some are okay with it and hit longer/warmer days with plenty of enthusiasm.

    I'm a big fan of the gym to improve strength. That and 10-15 minutes on a trainer with varying levels of resistance is great for me.

    You can increase the hours when it gets warmer, longer days. That adaptation is not difficult. Your enthusiasm for more volume (less intensity, right???) will be there because you didn't do too much over the winter.

    Friel's book is good. You don't really need a power meter to do it.
    Anything by Carmichael is a waste of time and money. He's a charlatan.

  5. #5
    Mountain Biking Madman
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    I went ahead and bought a magnetic trainer should be here next week.I was going to get a wind trainer till I actually heard one so I decided to increase the budget a bit more.I bought the Mountain Bikers Training Bible about 3 months ago I have really enjoyed it and I read a chapter or so every night.I think that I could handle putting in the hours on the trainer,but like other said I need to keep from burning out especially before I actually get back on the trails and start racing again.I dealt with two big burn outs this year,one of which i'm just now coming back from.Another member sent me this link and I plan on trying to do the last workout as my go to one for most of the time Hunter Allen Power Blog: How to Rebuild Your Power Foundation

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by asphalt_jesus View Post
    I do not recommend this. The precision is immaterial for the money.

    A heart rate monitor is useful. Best use is to pay attention to declining threshold values which is a clue that you haven't recovered enough since your last workout.

    A trainer is okay, but watch out for the burnout. I'm not a huge believer in lots of time on a trainer because of the mental fatigue for many. Some are okay with it and hit longer/warmer days with plenty of enthusiasm.

    I'm a big fan of the gym to improve strength. That and 10-15 minutes on a trainer with varying levels of resistance is great for me.

    You can increase the hours when it gets warmer, longer days. That adaptation is not difficult. Your enthusiasm for more volume (less intensity, right???) will be there because you didn't do too much over the winter.

    Friel's book is good. You don't really need a power meter to do it.
    Anything by Carmichael is a waste of time and money. He's a charlatan.
    You could not possibly give worse advice if you tried.
    My rides:
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    You could not possibly give worse advice if you tried.


    There is One. Right. Way. to train and you are the source. <>insert golf clap<>

    My bias is to keep the enthusiasm up, money in the pocket to keep the guy around the sport for a few more years AND with high SO/WAF.

    Maybe step away from the power meter for a little while and recognize that not everyone will get faster the same way??

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by -sparky- View Post
    I dealt with two big burn outs this year,one of which i'm just now coming back from
    So you have to probably do less volume. We would all like to keep you around the sport having fun. You *can* lower your volume and raise the intensity and get good results. And yes, even see improvements.

    My concern with the link posted is the huge volume ranges mentioned. IMHO, work on the lower end of the ranges with an emphasis on good, brief, sessions AND recovery week-over-week.

    I know that's a different than some other opinions, but it works well for me. For example, I do 10 minutes of high intensity on a trainer with gym time and a once-a-week ride and still see good progress.

  9. #9
    Mountain Biking Madman
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    Yes that was my only concern that I would be looking at almost 2 hours day in and day out while that wouldn't be a problem the first month or two.I do think I may get burned out again.Seems like everyone has a certain plan for what they do in the off-season ,I want to try to at least get a foundation of what I want to do before my trainer gets here. I'm just looking for something that can keep me in shape this winter and gain fitness in the process.I want to start at the beginning of the season as strong as possible but like stated earlier I don't want it to be something quite as lengthy to avoid being burnt out again.

  10. #10
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    Riding on the trainer is much much much more mentally draining then outdoors - I wouldn't worry about too much volume and focus on good solid workouts that are well targeted to stress specific zones. I would also be limiting ride time on the trainer to 1.5 to 2hrs per session MAX, maybe 3 or 4 times a week MAX.

    This might not sound a lot, but you will spend more time working then you will coasting, waiting for others or sipping lattes. Having personally spent a significant amount of time both on the road and on the trainer, the weeks spent on the trainer with much less volume (around 60% less) seemed to be more beneficial then the longer weeks on the road.

    Per the link posted above Tempo, and Sweet spot will be your friend here. I would also check out the 2 x 20 thread for some more great info.
    Cul is a regretted trademark of the CulBaire Co'op Pty Ltd, as are his random ramblings and associated bullshit.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    You could not possibly give worse advice if you tried.
    ^ I concur.

    "Skip the power meter, read Friel and hit the gym" = an excellent way to keep oneself mired in mediocrity.

    For the OP. There are many ways to seek fitness improvements but firstly you have to identify what the goals are, the time available to train, the equipment required and plan from there. A stationary trainer/erg etc is an excellent tool. A powermeter is an excellent tool. Both are worthless if not used with knowledge.

    In short - we need more info. General questions result in general (and often inaccurate or useless) advice.

    And people really, really need to look beyond Friel for cycling training.

  12. #12
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    -Sparky-; how long have you been riding?, racing? what category? How good have your finishes been? How many races of which type per year? Did you do any training last winter?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by asphalt_jesus View Post


    There is One. Right. Way. to train and you are the source. <>insert golf clap<>

    My bias is to keep the enthusiasm up, money in the pocket to keep the guy around the sport for a few more years AND with high SO/WAF.

    Maybe step away from the power meter for a little while and recognize that not everyone will get faster the same way??
    Let not confuse training advice with advice on how to keep motivated. If motivation is an issue, I agree with some of your advice. But let's face it, if motivation is an issue, then reaching one's potential will never happen, no matter what one does.
    My rides:
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    Pake French 75 track

  14. #14
    Mountain Biking Madman
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    I have been riding just for a fun a couple years nothing serious.Then at the beginning of this summer I decided to do a little racing and went to my first race with not really to much training.Got my butt handed to me and it opened my eyes to what i need to start doing and focus on improving.My last race I went I came in first place actually 18 minutes in front of the next guy.And just yesterday I was offered a "sponsorship" with my lbs.Got a team kit at half price,my fees will be covered to a certain point,employee price on gear,bikes and I will get all work done for free and a few other things.So I am pretty excited about that,I plan on competing in 7 regional races which be my important ones and I will be doing several local races.My Class I'm competing in is Junior 15-18 cat3.

  15. #15
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    Why race cat 3 if you can beat those kids by *18* minutes? And riding 14 hours per week? I don't know where you're from but the people winning cat 2 around here do about half of that. Cat 3 seems to be for people who ride like 1-2 hours per week.

  16. #16
    Mountain Biking Madman
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    That was in a local race,the people there were not like they were in the larger regional races I had been competing in.Yes I did feel like I was a sand bagger but i did not know how the competition would be.I thought it would be similar to what I was used to.When I compete in that race next year I will definitely be in the intermediate category instead.
    Last edited by -sparky-; 11-23-2013 at 02:30 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CulBaire View Post
    .... Having personally spent a significant amount of time both on the road and on the trainer, the weeks spent on the trainer with much less volume (around 60% less) seemed to be more beneficial then the longer weeks on the road. ...
    This is high *for me,* but the right general idea. Take the volume way down on the trainer at higher resistance variations. When things warm up, increase the volume, decrease the intensity on the bike. You won't lose strength/power but you'll be able to use your trainer-developed power longer at slightly lower output.

    Again, pay careful attention to the trainer burnout. If you can't face it after a couple of sessions/weeks, then you are doing too much. It's okay. Shorten the workout, raise the resistance/intensity.

    You should see progress on the trainer. If not, shorten the workout more.

    I know this is different than some recommendations, but works for me.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapewormWW View Post
    ^ I concur.

    "Skip the power meter, read Friel and hit the gym" = an excellent way to keep oneself mired in mediocrity.
    Again, we're back to the "One Right Way To Progress" and mine is NOT it apparently....

    Maybe you've forgotten that every body really is different?

  19. #19
    LMN
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    You are a junior, correct?

    Then skip the trainer and the gym. Pick up another sport for winter, and get as good at it as possible. Do as many different sports as possible develope a wide range of athletic skills. Specialize as you get older.

    In the spring when you start riding, ride as much as you can. Save specific training for when you get older.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by -sparky- View Post
    .So I am pretty excited about that,I plan on competing in 7 regional races which be my important ones and I will be doing several local races.My Class I'm competing in is Junior 15-18 cat3.
    Again, be careful with the volume. Everyone, even posters that disagree with my admittedly different methods want you to stay in the sport.

    Good luck! Have goals. Make friends. Have fun.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by asphalt_jesus View Post
    Again, we're back to the "One Right Way To Progress" and mine is NOT it apparently....

    Maybe you've forgotten that every body really is different?
    Maybe you should actually read, and comprehend, what I said in my post. Your blanket advice is, in short, bad. Anecdotal personal experience usually is.

  22. #22
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    I agree with LMN

    developping skills, fitness and general athletic potential through different sport should be the main goal of young athletes.

  23. #23
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    While that is true, I think it applies to much younger athletes. Sure, 15-18 is young, but I think at that age most kids know where they're at in terms of which sport they're going to be dedicated to. There's nothing wrong at all with being involved in multiple sports, but at 15-18 I also don't think there's anything wrong with leaning heavily towards a specific sport that you may excel at. Just my opinion of course. I know young athletes are encouraged to develop a range skills, but from what I remember reading(years ago when I was a personal trainer), that's geared more towards younger athletes. My memory could be wrong though

  24. #24
    Mountain Biking Madman
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    Thanks guys for all your help and information.While I think it would be a good idea for me to try to expand my interests into other sports and improve my overall fitness.There are not any other sports that I enjoy as much as biking or have as much interest in.However I do plan on going downhill skiing with some friends this year,and I do plan on renting a set of xc skis later into the year.I think I am going to do 2x20s the first few weeks I start on the trainer and maybe as I progress step up to 2x30 and then alternate between 5x7 @ 90-100%,5x4 at all effort and maybe on certain days when i'm stuck inside all day doing 4 hours or so 70-75%.Then when I get back out on the trails in the spring i'm going to try to get in a lot of intensity before my first race.
    Last edited by -sparky-; 11-24-2013 at 08:36 PM.

  25. #25
    Mountain Biking Madman
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    So i'm still not so sure on what I should be trying to do this winter I have been doing 2 x20s every day with this routine:1-5min of 1-2 rpe,5-8 of 3 rpe,8-10 of 4 rpe,10-12 of 5-6 rpe,12-14 of 6-7 rpe,14-15 of 8 rpe,15-20 of 1-2 rpe then repeat.I planned on doing this every day until about 8 weeks before my first race,then do 1-2 hour rides in the sweet spot.And 5 weeks before focus on a lot of intensity over volume and taper towards first race.So my question is does this sound like a good idea that will yield good results and gain?I have read so many things regarding what people are doing for winter training and i'm basically lost.I feel overwhelmed with all the information available...

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