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  1. #1
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    Noob wanting to do some racin'

    Quick History:

    I have read almost all the threads in this forum including the stickies etc. I have some questions to take the next step in my hopes and aspirations. Thanks for the help in advance.

    I am 6-1 200lbs give or take a few 35 years old. I have always had a strong upper build with weak legs. I started riding road bike two years ago weighing 240 and within 6 months was down to 183 through intense riding (group rides) and extreme diet. I work on the road during the summers and so without my wife cooking food and going out with friends I lost a ton of weight. I came back over winter and gained back to 210 or so. I was still slow and got dropped like a bad habit in the hills. Last year I got down to 192 doing some riding on my own and was still very poor in the hills.

    This year I got a new Giant XTC 29er 2 and have loved every minute of it. I now would like to do some xc racing next year. I got hooked up with a local road racer who takes me out on rides a few times a week on my road bike. He taught me the greatness of hill repeats and intervals. In short I started training like a man and my riding shows it. I now relish hills and interval days. My legs have gotten cut and my quads now have shape to them. I got a Suunto T4c HRM and have been using it. I ride 5-7 hrs per week on average.
    I have quit all upper body exercises to try and lose some bulk. It has worked, but I still am quite a bit heavier than the first year. I now am quite a bit faster than the slow guys, but the skinny hill climbers make me look like I am standing still once a hill comes. In my clothes I am fit looking without a belly, but looking at all the charts it looks like I could stand to lose 30-40 lbs for my size.

    With the aid of the HRM I have figured out I need to sit while climbing. My HR will get jacked within 30 sec of standing up. Higher cadence also has helped with that tremendously. I love having the HRM. It has totally helped my training.

    I have started eating quite a bit less this year, but with the addition of chocolate milk after my rides. I have a bit of a sweet tooth and like a little something sweet everyday. I stay away from fried foods and red meat and try to eat a balanced diet with relatively low carbs.

    I want to lose some weight so I can climb worth a darn.
    I don't wanna lose my fitness over the winter (Nebraska).
    I would like to race some next year.
    (excuse my french) I enjoy not being a ***** and have learned the joy of HTFU.

    Can you guys give me some advice?
    Last edited by brianpalser; 09-28-2011 at 06:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    3 years ago and this weekend.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Noob wanting to do some racin'-img00094.jpg  

    Noob wanting to do some racin'-331403_2150549435947_1012697759_31940348_1347517767_o.jpg  


  3. #3
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    Check out the cyclists training bible by Friel, it's really good. I'd recommend doing a most of your training on the road but as an MTB noob you'll need to be sure you're competent with dirt skills. You may not need to cut back on eating so much if you choose the correct foods. Fruits and vegetables you can pretty much eat as much as you want (maybe not potatoes) and lots of fruits are sweet which may help you sweet cravings. If you're tempted by something it's often better to have a treat, but with control. Instead of a full size candy bar try a mini and learn to savor the taste rather than scarf if down.
    Other than that try to find riding partners that excel in the areas you're weak in, they'll hopefully help you improve. Also be sure to rest adequately, too much training will hold back your progress and you won't be able to build if you're fatigued.

  4. #4
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    winter training

    Endurance component to your training all year round is pretty important for weight control and getting a good start in the spring. If you can't make yourself ride outside in the winter, then you are going to need to get an indoor trainer.

    As far as climbing goes, size does matter. It may always be a limiting factor for you (it is for me), but climbing lots in training helps and learning to go fast in the flats and downs may let you make up some ground on the 'skinny climbers'.

    I got nuthin on losing weight, dieting in season kills my training so I end up better off riding more and keeping a calorie balance. I guess i will try to lose weight over the winter this year, but not eating during blizzards goes against nature.

  5. #5
    Has skills-will travel
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    If you like your HR monitor that much, than you will probably LOVE a power meter. If you can afford one for your road bike, than buy the book "Training and Racing with a Power Meter" and read it before you buy a power meter. A Power Meter opens up a world of information on your training, progress, how you are reacting to rest, saves you time on your training,...

    And I second buying Friel's book, even if you want or don't want a power meter.

  6. #6
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    Hours in the saddle, plain and simple - 70% road, 30% mtb. When on the mtb, focus on developing technical skills unique to mtb (terrain, handling, etc.). Buy a trainer (I like Kurt Kinetic Road Machine), several Spinerval DVDs, and the Friel book. Also, a heart rate monitor is nice to have and helps keep training productive. Don't worry about power meter.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Well - without getting scientific I say "Go Race"....I did my first race on Sept 11 of this year. I found out there is more to racing than just having the skills. I ran beginner at a park I ride a lot. Beginner was to climb a very steep long gravel road then hit the single track for one loop. I have climbed that road and did multiple loops in the past.

    But on race day with the nerves and also going full bore, by the time I got to the finish line I wanted to collapse - though I did finish mid pack when grouped with the 30 - 49 years olds. (I was oldest). Learning how to deal with the race pace, nerves, and figuring out strategies (tires, pace, breathing right, hydration, etc....) can't be learned from a book. Experience is the best teacher there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThumperGary View Post
    Well - without getting scientific I say "Go Race"....I did my first race on Sept 11 of this year. I found out there is more to racing than just having the skills. I ran beginner at a park I ride a lot. Beginner was to climb a very steep long gravel road then hit the single track for one loop. I have climbed that road and did multiple loops in the past.

    But on race day with the nerves and also going full bore, by the time I got to the finish line I wanted to collapse - though I did finish mid pack when grouped with the 30 - 49 years olds. (I was oldest). Learning how to deal with the race pace, nerves, and figuring out strategies (tires, pace, breathing right, hydration, etc....) can't be learned from a book. Experience is the best teacher there.
    From my very limited racing experience, I couldnt agree more. Racing is way different than anything done in training. I thought I was in pretty good shape last year, decided to enter my first race, wow was I wrong. The pace and adrenaline just destroyed me and I ended up DNF. I entered a race this year and did ok in the beginner class. I think that learning the pace and controlling your nerves is a big part of it, The only way you are gonna learn that is to race, but that is not to say training does not matter.

  9. #9
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    nothing wrong with being a noob and showing up to a race!

    my co-worker (on left) showed up to state champs for her first mtb race ever and won the jersey!

    My wife's website....
    Allison Mann

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