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  1. #1
    LMN
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    What changes are you making this year?

    How are you going to get faster?

    For Myself:

    Bike:
    -Suspension: In the past I has always ran my suspension soft and with not a lot of rebound dampening. This worked well for the trails I rode at the time. But lately I have found trails are getting smoother and faster, consequently I am loading my bike a lot more. This year I am running stiffer suspension with a lot more rebound dampening.

    -Tires: My pressures have gotten really low over the past couple of years. Works well on trails with lots of subtle technical features but most of the new trail have big features , and I am struggling a bit with them. I am going to add some more pressure to increase stability.

    Training:
    - I did a lot more XC skiing this winter. The last two years I did a combination of XC skiing and DH. It was good for the mental break but left me with a lot work to do in the spring. So far it has been good. I have come out the winter with surprisingly good form.

    -I am also trying to up my volume both annually and ride length. Last year I did about 450hrs, which was achieved primarily through consistency. I didn't do really big weeks or rides, but I just about alway road 5 days week. This year I am going to keep the consistency but add some longer rides (4hr+).
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  2. #2
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    I went to wider rims on my CX bikes this past season and LOVED the difference. Currently running some beefy Flows but getting some of the non-branded wide carbon rims built up.

    Also, i'm trying to have more "fun" this year. racing w/ teammates in road events getting some bucket list rides out of the way once the snow clears.

    Training wise, 3 week blocks instead of 4. Us old farts need more time off.

  3. #3
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    Re: What changes are you making this year?

    New bike and more structured training.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

  4. #4
    NONDURO
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    Just trying to consistently make podium finishes. Two races so far, and two podium finishes.
    QUOTE from MTBR.COM: You have given out too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I'll be relatively content not to be slower. I've had a bit of a cough for the last few weeks, this has been a challenging quarter at school, and I'm getting married, moving, and starting a new job in the next month.

    However, last year I managed to get a decent pattern of training the same way every week going for a while. While probably not as good as a phased plan, with the frequent reshuffles in my life, that's better than I often do.

    So this year, I'm hoping that having a Regular Job and not totally reshuffling my schedule every three months will help me to stick to a plan better.

    I'm also planning to emphasize track racing more. I'd like to start racing in the preseason races starting in the beginning of May and go right through the whole season, finishing mid-September. If that works out, I'll likely be faster on the track by the end of the season than I ever was last season.

    MTB, dunno. I'm probably going to cherrypick a couple of races that aren't going to be a pain to get to from where I'm moving and not really focus on MTB as a competitive outlet anymore. Week nights are a better time for me to race and I'm moving further away from a lot of the races I've previously attended. But, the Test of Metal races will be close to me, so I'll have to check that out - I may get good enough access to those to make them pretty feasible.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    -New (same?) Team (same riders/New Management)-Lots of support and motivation to really get after the goals and get to the races I really want to do. Plus it's fun to have a good group of like minded individuals to ride and train with

    -New Bike (Orbea Alma 29er) not super surprising, I generally swap out my steeds each season.

    -New Gruppo (Shimano), though I likely would have swapped to Shimano this season on my own personal preference-love those brakes and much crisper shifting

    -Power Meter back on the mtb (stages-XTR) I've had one in the past and while I don't stare at my power during a race, having Intensity Factor is a great tool to help me guide my efforts overall

    -Actual structured training plan (written by someone else) Funny as my job is coaching full time but I just never found over the past few years that I would stick to my own self written plan. It's provided some super motivation and keeps me from just riding along and has really helped to keep me on track.

    -Paying it forward-My step-son (8) has just gotten a mt. bike and it's been incredibly fun taking him to the trails and forcing myself to ride slow and teach someone the ropes, and he just digs it. I'll also be helping to coach the Boulder Junior Mtb team this summer.
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  7. #7
    Metalheadbikerider
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    Bike-wise:
    Bought some Stans Podium MMX wheels with American Classic Hubs. Will take over a pound off of the bike. I ride/race a Fuel EX 9.8, so it's nice to shed some weight for competing against guys on uber-light XC race bikes.

    Training wise:
    More volume. Bought a SS road bike and have been commuting on days I would normally be resting. My commute is 20 miles round trip with some good climbing. It is really paying off with regards to strength so far.
    Riding slower. I am spending more time riding at a lower intensity before hitting the real intervals. I feel like I am going into the training plan a lot more fit that in past.

    Beer-wise:
    More big IPA's. This will probably nullify both of the above.
    Support mtb'ing in the Portland area, join NWTA with your dollars, hands, and/or voice. nw-trail.org

  8. #8
    Always pushing harder!!!
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    - Did a bigger base and came in better shape for the first two races of the season.
    - Healthier eating and cutting back on beers and sweets. I'm watching what I eat and when I eat it...and its making a huge difference when I ride and race.
    - Surfing less so more time on the bike ( I hate the first but it is making me a better rider)
    - Having less group rides...( most of those rides are useless and take me off my plan...and its paying of!!!) Only rides I do not solo is with a teammate who has a very similar plan...
    -Enjoying more every single minute I spend on my bike!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprocketjockey9 View Post
    Power Meter back on the mtb (stages-XTR) I've had one in the past and while I don't stare at my power during a race, having Intensity Factor is a great tool to help me guide my efforts overall
    Are you going to do a review of how well the Stages power meter works offroad? With the strain gauges located in just the left hand crank it sounded like its readings might not be that accurate in offroad conditions?

    Things that I've been doing to improve this year have been listening to a Paul McKenna "Instant Confidence" self hypnosis CD regularly. In the hope that it can help me get a bit more focused with fewer panic attacks.

    Instant Confidence: Paul Mckenna: Amazon.com: Books

    I've also been doing weight training regularly for the last few months, mostly as a way of trying to rehabilitate the damage I did to my left shoulder from the crash in August 2012. My upper body strength is the best it's been for several years.

    I've been starting to think about getting the bike's crash damage repaired too (it needs new handlebars and a new front wheel as I'm not sure I trust the rebuilt front wheel to be safe).

    The left femur that I fractured in August 2012 is still held together by an external fixator and my left leg is now around 30mm shorter than my right leg (the femur bone was hollow and in a bad state to begin with, imagine a rotten branch.) As I haven't been able to do cycling of any description since the crash there's absolutely no chance of my being faster than I was last year unfortunately. Maybe in 2014. I'm hoping to be able to at least get on a turbo trainer sometime in the next few months, but there's no set time frame for that even.

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Come to think of it, at the beginning of the winter, I did promise myself I'd follow a plan better. I got a ForeRunner that supports the bike sensor, so when I actually ride my bike, I'm recording data. It's been educational, and I think it made my base rides a little better. It's also going to have some influence on how I schedule road rides with intensity and mountain bike rides in the same week.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
    FasCat Coaching
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Are you going to do a review of how well the Stages power meter works offroad? With the strain gauges located in just the left hand crank it sounded like its readings might not be that accurate in offroad conditions?
    Not in my possession at the moment as they are busy building the road units, but should have it in the next 6 weeks or so. We've tested a few road units 1-1 agains SRM/Quarq & powertap and all results have been pretty solid from the data we've seen (& also data from athletes using the unit). I've not see and data from a mtb version, but currently the Scott-Rox team is using it. A local pro has been testing a unit off-road against his SRM and has been impressed (though I've not seen any data)
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  12. #12
    Metalheadbikerider
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    That's excellent. Congrats.
    Support mtb'ing in the Portland area, join NWTA with your dollars, hands, and/or voice. nw-trail.org

  13. #13
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    Changes for 2013:

    -Performed zero winter biking/trainer. Did cyclocross till mid-December and decided to hang up the bikes after that. I did 1-2 day of XC skiing a week, and crossfit stuff. I'm starting cycling base miles late (started last week) in order to be somewhat mentally fresh for Fall Cyclocross.
    -Cyclocross is new cycling focus. Will use MTBing for fun base miles and continue bike commute training for better use of time. I will probably do some summer midweek MTBs and crit racing to get ready for cross.
    -Perform strength work year round. This winter I went Xfitting 3 times a week and felt like I was going through a "repair process" (repairing all the body degradation from big bike hours). I plan to continue crossfit type work once a week into cyclocross. It just feels awesome to be physically strong again and I don't want to lose that.
    -New bike. Used Cannodale Flash and Giant Anthem 29er last year. Already ordered a Scott Spark RC 29er for 2013 for MTB riding and some racing.


    As a side note, I'm pretty surprised how well I'm riding despite so few bike hours. Just 3 hours a week of crossfit type stuff and 2 hours a week of XC ski all winter. Jumped on the bike and the PM power was pretty good considering. Did some 8X10s Friday sprints and broke 1200W for the first time in 4 years (last time I needed a race to do that). But of course my endurance is suffering. Finally built up to a 2.5 hour mtb endurance ride yesterday. Last week my first 2 hour road ride was pretty painful; the body needs time to adapt to cycling activity.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
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  14. #14
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    Similar training but way more sleep (10 hours up from 8) per night and way more carbs in the diet. I also lost 10 pounds and am on a sick Ti bike with carbon wheels.

    Feeling like a rocket and the hard training hasnt even stated yet.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  15. #15
    Has skills-will travel
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    Changes this year:
    - 100% training outside since January 1st, last year I did about 80% of my bike work on a trainer from Jan 1 - Mid March. Since I have done everything outside, I have been able to put a lot more time and effort into my base training.
    - Power Meter on my MTB, just installed a few weeks ago. Now I find that I am much more motivated to do high intensity intervals on my MTB and can't wait to finally get some power data from a race (first race is 3 weeks away).
    - Purchased one of Hunter's pre-made training plans, what a difference. My power right now is higher than it was at my peak last year! Can't wait to see the difference once I complete the plan, currently I am 9 weeks into the 16 week plan.

  16. #16
    What It Be ?
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    Bike-About the same new grips and tires.

    Me-Went with a coach this year, jumped up to cat1 been racing cat2 for 4 years with good results last season. Hoping to possibly get on the podium this season. And the #1 goal is to race nationals in July.

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