Base training: Few big rides or many short rides?-
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  1. #1
    All That is Man
    Reputation: Zero Signal's Avatar
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    Aug 2007

    Base training: Few big rides or many short rides?

    I realize I need a lot more base training. My strength is fine, to the point of easily hurting myself. I NEVER seem to do easy rides or recovery rides. Everything I've done up to this point has been interval training and about two 1-3hr very hard paced tech rides a week. Well at least until I pushed my knees too hard on one long tech ride on a cold day a few weeks ago.

    Anyway, I feel like the fast tech rides aren't actually helping my endurance much. There is a lot of slowing down, then going balls out and repeating. I would like to train up for 60-100mi mtb races and this seems to be the wrong way to do that.

    I'm thinking I need a lot more Zone 1/2 volume in my routine. I don't want to give up the weekly tech rides either. Although I am willing to go to a single tech ride on the weekend if I need a recovery day.

    My real question is, can I get in quality base training in small chunks, like a 1hr Zone 1/2 ride during lunch 4 days a week, or should it be one 4-6 hour Zone 1/2 ride a week? Is the aerobic benefit better in one big chunk? Would I be wasting my time riding my road bike in my lunch hours?

  2. #2
    The Punk Hucker
    Reputation: PissedOffCil's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    You will be in better shape if you are constant in your training, so I'll go with 1hr rides more often.

    With that said, 1hr is not really enough to be a proper zone 1/2 workout with benefits and chances are you'll quickly find them so easy that they'll be boring as hell. The point of base is to get a lot of volume so that your body gets ready to get more intensity afterwards. 4-6 hours is not a lot of volume but I understand you might be on limited time and that's fine.

    Therefore, what do you think of being more efficient by choosing another sport for your base, let's say running? You'll get a much more complete and efficient base workout by choosing another sport which has higher cardiac demands. It will also help you develop stabilizer muscles which will translate to better overall fitness and improvements on the bike.
    Beware the hucking bear!

  3. #3
    All That is Man
    Reputation: Zero Signal's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Yeah I work M-F, but get off at noon on Fridays, so I'm attempting to work around that. I think I could do 1-hr rides during the week, then commute to work on Friday and make a long ride home. I could get in about 6 hours on Fridays pretty easily, putting my low intensity volume at about 10 hours during the week.

    Alternatively, I can omit the daily stuff, do volume on Fridays and Sundays with a short tech ride in the middle.

    I just hate that it would mean missing out on a lot of good social trail rides.

  4. #4
    Grip it and rip it.
    Reputation: Damitletsride!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Theres lots of different theories on base training but short 1 hour rides can go help, if its all part of your volume in a week, especially if you have a target for reaching a certain amount of hours.

    A 30 minute recovery spin and stretching is very important at least once a week when training. When I'm feeling good I often have to force myself to go easy and not throw in a sprint, but your legs will feel better for it.

    Also it sounds like you're doing your long rides on a mountain bike right? Long spins on a road bike are much for time efficient for endurance training. Not saying the mtb shouldn't be used to work on tech skills etc, but you won't be stopping to take a break etc on a road bike, if your out training that is .
    "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional"

  5. #5
    All That is Man
    Reputation: Zero Signal's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    I was planning to do the volume/base training on the road bike actually. It's just much easier to pace myself that way out here where most of the mtb trails are too technical for low zone efforts.

    I'm thinking I will try to get in about an hour on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, then 5 hours on Fridays. That leaves me time to get in some kind of tech ride for the weekend, maybe a medium pace 2-3 hour ride, then a couple days of rest before Tuesday.

    I'm not mentioning gym time, since I make the gym after work a few times a week to do core, upper body and intervals (usually one interval session, early in the week)

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