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  1. #1
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    Pro XC racer training week?

    I saw a GMBN video where they were interviewing a pro XC coach. He said his pros normally spend 20-25 hours training a week, but that included gym time. 8-12 hours on a easy week.


    How many hours do pro XC racers really spend on the bike?

    What are their rides like? Miles and vertical feet?

  2. #2
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    I used to hit anywhere from 15-30 hrs of saddle time per week. Depending on the race schedule and type of races changed what mileage and vert I would be riding.

    I did not spend much time on the road, was better for me to spend it actually mountain biking. Average week 150-200 miles off road, 20,000 - 30,000 feet of climbing.

    Retired 5 years ago now only ride once a week at best, no longer have the time or the will to earn so little while working that hard.

  3. #3
    LMN
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    A lot of riders race "Pro", there is a huge spread in ability and training time in that category.

    If you are talking about the best then you see annual volumes are 800-1000hrs. This works out to an average of 16-20hrs a week. However, modern training involves quite a bit of variation in training. High load weeks are in the 25-30 range and recovery and race weeks are 10-15.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    LMN, do they mostly train on the MTB. I noticed this year to add more volume (coming from road riding) that I can't do as many hours on the single track. I'll add road/double track to my training.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelzqc View Post
    LMN, do they mostly train on the MTB. I noticed this year to add more volume (coming from road riding) that I can't do as many hours on the single track. I'll add road/double track to my training.
    It depends on where they live.

    There are not many places that have good road riding and good mountain biking. If someone lives some place with good mountain biking they are going to spend a lot of time on mountain bike. If the mountain biking is so so at best then they will spend more time on their road bike.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    LMN: Great signature quote at the bottom of your posts. I just finished reading “How Bad Do You Want It.”
    2018 Scott Spark RC 900 World Cup | “If you’re not first you’re last”

  7. #7
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    I am "Pro" as in, I race local Pro, and occasionally line up at a big race to get my ass handed to me. So, anecdote only.

    I ride between 15-25 hours a week, 200-400 miles per week. I'm at 560 hours and 7400 miles this year, mostly road. I commute and do a lot of road miles. But I don't do any sort of real structure, I just ride. Some of my rides are interval like, some are high speed, some are chill, some are technical. All kinds of random riding. I mostly just listen to my body. If I feel weak, I pedal soft. If I feel strong, I pedal hard. If I am riding with a group, I go group pace (most of my groups are fun, casual rides, not hammer fests). Most of my dirt riding is on my Enduro, I almost never ride my XC bike.

    I don't currently do any gym time. Depending on where I move to, I might start adding a little bit if I have time, I really want to swim again. But mostly, I just ride heavy bikes and call it good

    So that is what this local "Pro" does. In reality, I am just a glorified Cat 1 guy who rides a lot.

    https://www.strava.com/athletes/JSTootell

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    Great information. Thank you

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I am "Pro" as in, I race local Pro, and occasionally line up at a big race to get my ass handed to me. So, anecdote only.

    I ride between 15-25 hours a week, 200-400 miles per week. I'm at 560 hours and 7400 miles this year, mostly road. I commute and do a lot of road miles. But I don't do any sort of real structure, I just ride. Some of my rides are interval like, some are high speed, some are chill, some are technical. All kinds of random riding. I mostly just listen to my body. If I feel weak, I pedal soft. If I feel strong, I pedal hard. If I am riding with a group, I go group pace (most of my groups are fun, casual rides, not hammer fests). Most of my dirt riding is on my Enduro, I almost never ride my XC bike.

    I don't currently do any gym time. Depending on where I move to, I might start adding a little bit if I have time, I really want to swim again. But mostly, I just ride heavy bikes and call it good

    So that is what this local "Pro" does. In reality, I am just a glorified Cat 1 guy who rides a lot.

    https://www.strava.com/athletes/JSTootell

    I always wondered how many pros ride heavy bikes most of the time to build up legs then move to XC bike for races. To me it seems like a good way to train because I ride my enduro bike mostly. So, when I ride the XC bike, it feels light and I feel quick.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliikane View Post
    I always wondered how many pros ride heavy bikes most of the time to build up legs then move to XC bike for races. To me it seems like a good way to train because I ride my enduro bike mostly. So, when I ride the XC bike, it feels light and I feel quick.
    I can only speak for myself. But this is my thinking:
    A. I don't want to break my expensive bike.
    B. I like to ride as technical stuff as possible. Super chunky, jumps, everything. And the skill does transfer over to the XC bike. You just have to go slower.
    C. Heavier bike does mean more work for the same amount of time spent.
    D. WAY more fun!

    D is the most important one.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    A. I don't want to break my expensive bike.
    B. I like to ride as technical stuff as possible. Super chunky, jumps, everything. And the skill does transfer over to the XC bike. You just have to go slower.
    C. Heavier bike does mean more work for the same amount of time spent.
    D. WAY more fun!
    C) Is only more work if you ride both bikes the same distance in the same time. I ride my lighter bike when I want to cover way more distance in the same amount of time. I do the same amount of work but just cover more ground.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by supersize View Post
    C) Is only more work if you ride both bikes the same distance in the same time. I ride my lighter bike when I want to cover way more distance in the same amount of time. I do the same amount of work but just cover more ground.
    Just different goals. The stuff I enjoy riding isn't fun on an XC bike. I like to chase DH KOM's in the dirt, uphill KOM's on the road. The XC bike just sits pretty in storage
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pro XC racer training week?-2018-06-21.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Just different goals. The stuff I enjoy riding isn't fun on an XC bike. I like to chase DH KOM's in the dirt, uphill KOM's on the road. The XC bike just sits pretty in storage
    Riding bikes to have fun? What's wrong with you!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    Riding bikes to have fun? What's wrong with you!!!
    Maybe that is my problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I am just a glorified Cat 1 guy

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    Josh, you beast

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I can only speak for myself. But this is my thinking:
    A. I don't want to break my expensive bike.
    B. I like to ride as technical stuff as possible. Super chunky, jumps, everything. And the skill does transfer over to the XC bike. You just have to go slower.
    C. Heavier bike does mean more work for the same amount of time spent.
    D. WAY more fun!

    D is the most important one.
    I think skill transfers to a certain extent. Riding at speed certainly does instill confidence that can translate but with that said, I think being familiar with your bike is very important too. It takes me a handful of rides to get back in tune with my hardtail after riding my FS bike.

    I've tried getting the positions more similar so it translates better but still struggle to be honest. I've actually kind of gone the opposite way as you, ride the race bike even on chunky terrain to get better at riding it at race pace.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizRider View Post
    I think skill transfers to a certain extent. Riding at speed certainly does instill confidence that can translate but with that said, I think being familiar with your bike is very important too. It takes me a handful of rides to get back in tune with my hardtail after riding my FS bike.

    I've tried getting the positions more similar so it translates better but still struggle to be honest. I've actually kind of gone the opposite way as you, ride the race bike even on chunky terrain to get better at riding it at race pace.
    I'm more in agreement with this approach. I've been riding race bike in all mountain conditions to get used to it (esp the Aspen tires). As Sven Nys said about cyclocross racing: "it's important in practice to find the cornering limit of your tires. It'll hurt when you find it, but at least you know where it is......" Same applies for XC tires, finding that limit, then staying just under it to get max speed.

    BTW, a coworker of mine has some hardly used Bonty XR2's she's gonna give me so will probably put that on front with the Aspen rear. Excited to have some more front cornering traction.

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