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  1. #1
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    Simple Singlespeed Training

    Looking for a little advise.
    Started racing the SS last season and had a great time. This next year I would like to improve. I got the Friel book and I am about 3/4 thru it. Lots of great info but I dont want to make this to complicated. If I start logging everything and forced to "train" I will lose interest. I enjoy riding and want to tailor my regular rides to help/complement racing next season.
    I ride a SS 29er (also have a 9spd rear wheel I can swap) I live In hilly area, everything I ride is up or down. My races are 1 to 11/2 hr. long and my rides are 11/2 to 2 hr. long. I have a HR montitor and like to base my effort using it. I don't know my LT but I plan on trying to figure it out. I can ride 3 or 4 times a week.
    So I'm looking for some examples of simple "workouts" I can complete on my rides. Sorry if i'm a little vague, I'm just trying to improve my racing while maintaining my love of riding.
    thx,mark
    Last edited by markgoldsmith; 12-14-2009 at 12:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    very well stated question......there will be many different opinions i predict, curious to read the responses myself......this basically sums up mtb training, all the technical power stuffed is cool, but kind a pain to follow and subscribe to.....especially on a mtb....

  3. #3
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    as if the single speed isnt enough of a workout , hill intervals , threshold , stretch one ride to 2 hrs.

  4. #4
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    Read the Mark Weir sidebar in Mastering Mountain Bike Skills.

  5. #5
    CB2
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    Singlespeed increased my love of riding, and increased love improved my results.
    I race the singlespeed in my Cat1 age group.
    I try and tailor my rides to work on my weaknesses against geared riders, while maintaining a certain intensity. So I'll do a lot of climbing and then try and spin down a fireroad at maximum rpm.
    During the week from February until Labor day I commute to work on the fixed gear, going out of my way on the way home to throw in more climbing.

  6. #6
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    Ride as far as you can, as fast as you can, as often as you can. Simple, yet surprisingly effective

  7. #7
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    I believe this is the riding vs training debate again.

    2 rules I live by for most things I do:
    -seek best knowledge
    -do what the pros do
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  8. #8
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    Ride your bike. Some days, ride it fast. Other days, ride it slow. If your tired, take a nap. And do some crunches. It works for me
    read KNOBBY MEATS or be sadly ignorant of the mediocrity that is allowed to exist in the interwebs

  9. #9
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    I'm kind of the same in that I lose interest if things are too structured, but a regular program is valuable. What I do, to find a happy medium, is loosely follow the Friel program. Basically, I shoot to meet the weekly targets for number of hours and hours per workout. As for the type of workout (endurance, force, etc.) I check the book to see what I'm shooting for and try to kind of match the intensity and goals in my workouts, without having total structure. For instance, if I'm supposed to do an Anaerobic Endurance workout, I might loosely achieve a "hill intervals" workout by doing a "regular" ride but hammering hills for up to 3 minutes at a time and riding easily between hill intervals (whether flat, downhill, or even while still climbing a bit) for recovery.

  10. #10
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    Fartleks (speed play" in Swedish) effective training for runners same for cycling. for people who like unstructured training(or another tool) back in my cross country running days it was one of the workouts that we did ,it can be very effective especially at 7500 feet..

  11. #11
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    Played around with "fartleks" concept. Very similar to how I would normally ride. Thinking about doing 4 rides on the SS then 4 rides on the 1x9 (repeat over and over). Might be good just to spin around a little bit and always good to change things up. Trying to get out 3-4 times a week for 2hr + long rides.

  12. #12
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    Check out some of the products from www.endurancefactor.com. I like the HIT training, similar to the time crunched theory from Carmichael.

    Drew Edsall, a local Pro racer and Endurance Factor coach put on a great pre-race clinic in November and had these handouts (and the electrons) available for us.

    https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B0X...MTVhZDNl&hl=en
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli
    I believe this is the riding vs training debate again.

    2 rules I live by for most things I do:
    -seek best knowledge
    -do what the pros do
    Doing what the pros do is absolutley not good advice imo. Their training is developed spefically for their fitness level and riding style, and will cause 99% of "normal" racers to overtrain within a few rides.

    -Besides that, there is simply no need to get that technical with your training unless your races are coming down to fractions of a second. Just riding as hard as you can for as long as you can whenever you get the chance, and throwing in an easy recovery ride like once a week will be more than enough for 99% of us.

    If your racing expert of higher, and your races are coming down to fractions of a second, then train like the pros...if not then there is no need to.

    If I were to start training like the pros (wearing a hrm, logging my distance, avg speed, power output, avg hrm, peak hrm, etc) I would lose all interest in the sport in about 5 minutes.

    I train/race by 2 rules:
    1.)If you dont puke during the race you arent pushing yourself nearly hard enough!!!
    2.)Ill worry about my heart rate when my heart explodes out of my chest
    Check out this organization that I ride with:
    www.r2rministry.org

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  14. #14
    CB2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Destin

    1.)If you dont puke during the race you arent pushing yourself nearly hard enough!!!
    I do not know anyone in Cat1 or above that considers puking a successful effort, at least not near the podium.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    I do not know anyone in Cat1 or above that considers puking a successful effort, at least not near the podium.
    The guys in the cat 1 category at my local races dont even cary water, They are used to doing 100 mile races so a 15 mile race is cake for them. Of course they arent going to puke on a 15 mile race..its a walk in the park to them. When I puke in the first few miles of a race I have a good race. If I dont puke in a race then I generally dont do so good. Dont ask why, but thats just how it is for me
    Check out this organization that I ride with:
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Destin
    Doing what the pros do is absolutley not good advice imo. Their training is developed spefically for their fitness level and riding style, and will cause 99% of "normal" racers to overtrain within a few rides.

    -Besides that, there is simply no need to get that technical with your training unless your races are coming down to fractions of a second. Just riding as hard as you can for as long as you can whenever you get the chance, and throwing in an easy recovery ride like once a week will be more than enough for 99% of us.

    If your racing expert of higher, and your races are coming down to fractions of a second, then train like the pros...if not then there is no need to.

    If I were to start training like the pros (wearing a hrm, logging my distance, avg speed, power output, avg hrm, peak hrm, etc) I would lose all interest in the sport in about 5 minutes.

    I train/race by 2 rules:
    1.)If you dont puke during the race you arent pushing yourself nearly hard enough!!!
    2.)Ill worry about my heart rate when my heart explodes out of my chest
    Funny, I learned that phrase (“do what the pros do”), from a teacher workshop. Telling us to look at what the best teachers and best schools do to be so successful.

    I’m an engineer now at a large company, and we are constantly searching for the best methods to create accurate, reliable products at the lowest cost. We recently received training in the Toyota philosophies because those guys, in the engineering industry, are “the pros”.

    Cycling is the same thing. Of course we don’t have the time and resources to do EXACTLY what they do…….but you should somewhat go in their direction.

    Training with no plan, no training journal, ignoring metrics and best practices, is pretty much the total opposite of what pros do.

    Maybe I should restate the advice: “Don’t be so opposite of the pros, in your training”.



    Remember: Performance = Genetic Potential +Training Stimulus

    You can’t change your Genetic Potential, so you have to do the most you can with Training Stimulus in order to maximize Performance. (Perryr, thanks for that “Genetic Potential” term; you’re the first guy I heard use it).
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
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  17. #17
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    I read several books on XC training and a few years ago I attempted to set up a very strict training program based on the inputs I received from the books. I found that following the training plans were not very realistic for me. With everything else I have in life like a job, wife, friends, family, other hobbies, and other responsibilities it's just not practical to follow such a thing.

    I have found that a loose training program works for me. I set weekly hour goals for the next upcoming year at the end of the previous XC season. I do my best to stay in alignment with those goals and try to mix up the type of workouts I do throughout the week. Some days will be easy rides, some will be hill intense, and some will be focused on fast spinning. Often times I will change up the gear ratio to help emphasize the type of workout I'm trying to accomplish.

    This system works for me. I feel the lifestyle I choose limits my competiveness as an XC racer, but I think my training plan allows me to enjoy racing (with some success) and other things in life as well.

  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    I spent a great deal of training time on a rigid SS over the past year, and feel it did me a lot of good. It was about as basic as you can get. Get on the bike, ride hard, find as many hills to ride up as possible, and take no breaks. While this doesn't work for some, I was able to consistently go out and ride hard for whatever short amount of time I had. When doing this I had to watch out for muscle fatigue, as I wouldn't get as much out of a workout if my legs were shot from the beginning.

    Aside from that I mixed in a 1.5-2 hour hilly road ride on my geared roadie weekly. That seemed to really help with the (relative) endurance necessary for 1.5 hour races. SS is great for burst strength and spinning, but it doesn't enable the constant effort and resistance you get when riding with gears on non-technical surfaces.

    Next year I plan to continue training on the SS, although I plan to adjust my gearing to make it a bit more difficult. I also plan to mix in geared road and gravel rides when possible. If you don't want a complex training plan just put in as much effort as you can with the time you have. If you're doing hard work it will pay off. If you stop seeing gains from plans like this then you may want to look into more complex plans... but if you're like me training has to be somewhat fun.. and complex isn't always fun.

  20. #20
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    In a rough nutshell, here is my basic unstructured plan (not ss specific) - feel free to criticize. I pick two peak periods during the season roughly three or four months apart. After a solid base period (right now for me), which mainly consists of commuting, longer weekend rides, with the occasional hard effort, but no extended race pace efforts or intervals, about twelve or so weeks from my first peak I will start my build period, which involves a couple of days a week of hard race like training, including early season races, intervals, with some easy recovery rides, etc. Rest/easy weeks every three or four weeks. This is all mixed in with commuting by bike (hit the trails on the way into or home from work), road bike rides, group rides, whatever. After the first peak period, I will take a few days completely off the bike and do real easy rides the rest of the week. Then start the build period again. I think the real important part of the build period is specificity in training. You training should focus on race-like efforts, whatever those may be, whether short hour long races or six hour endurance races.

    My time on the bike per week usually is around 6-8 hours in the winter, 8-12 during spring, summer and fall. This year I plan on doing a few longer 8 plus hour endurance racing late in the summer, so my second build period will focus more on long endurance race-like efforts, but my training will include a number of 2 hour XC races.

    I don't use a heart rate monitor or power meter. The batteries have been dead in my heart rate monitor for probably eight years. I would be curious to use a power meter, but don't want to pay for one. I race in the Expert Class (Cat 1 I guess now) and Cat 3 on the road. I sometimes wonder if I would do better with more structure, but I probably will never know.

  21. #21
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    i ride ss.

    for me i just ride hard on shorter rides(aka intervals) and on longer rides i ride at a steady pace. road riding helps too if you have a road bike. i usually ride 5 days a week sometimes 6. last summer i did spend a month of riding every day. i was much faster after a week riding and recuperation on vacation in tahoe.
    Ride & Smile

  22. #22
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    I have a lot of similar struggles. I have had a bit of success but still believe the more structure I can impose the better. I have had HR monitors and power taps but they seem to eventually kill my buzz either to complicated and techy for me to get into or always feeling like I am in the wrong zone/watts...etc. I now go by rpe. I still do intervals and long rides just like the others but my efforts are measured in my head. One of the things the Friel book talks about is frequency, duration, and intensity. Fairly simple concepts to think about: how hard, how long, and how often. give yourself a honest self assessment to identify where you should focus more/less time and start with that. Then break your week into hard medium and easy rides. keep feeding your head with different concepts, there is no one way to do it, it's extra info. that will help you figure out what works for you. do not loose your buzz for the bike, just back off a bit and start over when things don't seem to be working. A one liner that sticks in my head a lot: If you do the same thing all of the time you will get the same results. Switch things up a bit, keep a journal thats qualitative, not number oriented but get a feel for your habits. It takes a while to identify your themes. Also, diet is huge so write what you eat in the journal and you can see where your eating well or not. Good luck and keep it fun!
    ATV = fat A$$

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