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  1. #1
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    women's beginner to women's sport

    Does anyone have any training ideas for this. I bought the mountain bikers training bible. It seems complicated. Do I need a HR monitor? Do they work? How many hours a week? How do you judge if you're training hard enough especially if you have to ride alone?
    Thanks for any help. I know there's always a lot of trainging questions.

  2. #2
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    lots of riding

    To move from beginner to sport, one must start to ride atleast the same TIME amount as the race. Therefore, try to get in 2-3 rides per week that are double the TIME of your beginner races. As you get better, you will cover more distance in the same time period.

    I would also highly suggest William Nealy's "MountainBike!" and Ned Overend's "mountainbike like a champion." Each time you ride, choose one SKILL in the book and work on that one thing during your ride. Each time you ride, choose ONE Different skill to improve.

    Since it is the off season, I highly suggest Core workouts with more upbody exercises too. To push pedals hard,....you have to have a stronger lower back and abs.

    I won beginner, the next year I won sport, and now I had to move up to Expert. Push yourself to learn and go further. Good Luck, hope to see you at the races.
    TeamBulldog.com Cyclecraft.com Mtbnj.com JORBA.org

  3. #3
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    Doing intervals in your training will pay big divedends.

  4. #4
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    The biggest difference is just a longer race. I just did my first XC race of the season this past weekend and beat my course time by 6 minutes from November. I've been doing a ton of endurance rides since I've got a 56mi/11,000ft of climbing race Mar 1, so I was worried I'd be slower, but I felt great the whole time.

    Make sure you've got your nutrition figured out also. I can't get by without energy for two laps like I could with one. Same with bottles/feeding. You may find you need help in the Sport class, where in Beginner you wouldn't.

    I raced beginner in two races last March, mostly because I was on a rigid SS, and still had to walk a ton of the hills (I'm not a strong SS rider). I bumped myself to sport for the XC races I did last fall and did pretty well. The more I race, the better and more stronger I feel.

    Basically, I do a short/easy warmup about 30 minutes before the race start. I have a bottle of plain water with Elete water drops, a bottle of Cytomax, and then I have a gel flask with Hammer tropical gel.

    I do an easy spin around the beginning of the course, mostly because I don't want to hurt my legs too much. Just something to get the HR up a bit (I use a Garmin Edge 305 with HR monitor, but it isn't *necessary*) for 10 or so minutes. I head back to the start and stretch out, take a hit of my Gel, sip water and Cytomax, then wait for the start.

    If the laps are longer than 30 minutes I'll try to take another swig off of the flask around 30-35 minutes into the lap (wherever there is a safe place). I like the flask because I keep it on my top tube (or stem, but my XC bike stem has my Edge 305 mounted to it), so it is totally convenient (no trying to find a gel pack in a back pocket), and there is no trash left on the course. I usually also try to take a hit off the gel flask at the end/beginning of laps (unless it is right after the 30 min mark and I've just taken one).

    I sip the water and Cytomax when I feel like it. I don't like having just an energy drink, and while I've tried HEED during races, just having used Cytomax I feel like it helps keep the lactic acid at bay and my legs feel pretty fresh throughout.

    That's really about all I do and it's worked for Sport races. We don't have a ton of competition here at the local So Cal races (I'll be hitting up a few more this year, and may head over to AZ for the NOVA Nat).

    If you're not a Hammer Nutrition customer, shoot me a PM and I'll get you a 15% off. They have awesome products and great customer service.

    At any rate.. the more you race the faster you'll get (ride lots). If you've got a trainer at home get the Carmichael Training Systems Mountain Bike DVD (set intervals), or find some good interval workouts. It simulates XC racing really well.

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