Two-A-Day Endurance Rides Indoors?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Two-A-Day Endurance Rides Indoors?

    I tried searching, but didn't get any results.

    I am into a Michigan winter, and will be doing my long rides indoors. On Sundays, I am scheduled to ride 2+ hours in HR zone 2, to build aerobic endurance.

    I can ride the trainer 1.5-1.75 hours until my backside gets sore, and I lose focus.

    So I was wondering if it would be possible/beneficial to do these rides as 2 "intervals'" and still get the long duration benefits. Something like 1.25 hours, 15-20 minutes rest (off the bike) and then another 1.25 hours.

    I figure a morning and afternoon ride would benefit my 1.5 hour abilities, but not for the longer durations.

    The alternative is just work on my "short" endurance now, and my 2+ hour endurance closer to the Spring, when I can get back outdoors. I know some/many will say "ride outside" and I understand, and will do so when I can, but let's not consider that for this application.

  2. #2
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    Have you considered doing some steady state intervals instead of grinding out 2+ hours of zone 2? This morning I rode the rollers (with resistance) for 1:50 min with 3 20 min zone 3 intervals. This was a great workout and made the time go by much faster than just hammering out a consistent pace in zone 2. Not sure what this would equate to in "outside time" but I think it is prob equivalent to a 3 hour ride where I'm mostly in zone 2.

  3. #3
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    Zone 3 intervals are what Friel calls "M1" or "Tempo" riding which I am adding to my workout starting next week, 2x20 or 3x12 (5,3 min. recovery), however in the MTB bible he called for 20-60 minutes w/o recovery, which it appears he has moved away from.

    I figure the intervals can be increased to the point of 60 minutes in Z3 ( 3x20, 5x12, etc.).

    Either way there is still zone 2 aerobic work (with some force work) on the schedule. The force is a whole different bag of worms ( no "several minute" climbs in the area).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonw9

    I am into a Michigan winter, and will be doing my long rides indoors.
    Have you considered getting into XC ski? I heard it's ultra popular in Michigan.


    Quote Originally Posted by jonw9
    So I was wondering if it would be possible/beneficial to do these rides as 2 "intervals'" and still get the long duration benefits. Something like 1.25 hours, 15-20 minutes rest (off the bike) and then another 1.25 hours.
    If you can ride 1.25 hours straight without getting off the trainer, that's pretty damn good!! I get off the bike every half hour, usually for 2-3 minutes (to pee, and refill water).

    But I can't really say that a 15 min break will have a negative effect, because that's what typically happens on group endurance rides; you will have time off the bike, when you and others have to pee or waiting on the top of uphills or bottom of downhills. There's also lots of coasting. When you add up all those stops, the zero-power time will add up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli
    Have you considered getting into XC ski? I heard it's ultra popular in Michigan.




    If you can ride 1.25 hours straight without getting off the trainer, that's pretty damn good!! I get off the bike every half hour, usually for 2-3 minutes (to pee, and refill water).

    But I can't really say that a 15 min break will have a negative effect, because that's what typically happens on group endurance rides; you will have time off the bike, when you and others have to pee or waiting on the top of uphills or bottom of downhills. There's also lots of coasting. When you add up all those stops, the zero-power time will add up.
    I thought about the ski thing, and will look into a rental once the conditions cooperate. I just don't want to invest in a pair just yet.

    I didn't think about the long ride like that, comparing to a group thing. I imagine that if I stop every 45 minute to an hour, refill my water and grab a Fig Newmann (or 3), that might be enough rest/recovery to ride longer overall.

  6. #6
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    If you need to get of the bike and don't want to really rest, try throwing in some squats or core work as your down period. You can keep your muscles warm and I feel the squats to a great job of training my legs to deal with lactic acid.

  7. #7
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    I'm burnt out on the trainer already. I used it quite a bit this fall (mistake) to do intervals to try and keep some fitness for iceman. I started xc skiing 2 weeks ago, and its much better! The workout is real good, and I have pretty much the same heart rate as trail riding (avg 150 max 180).

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    I wouldn't worry about it too much. If you can muster 1:30-1:45 on the trainer, consider it a success. Think about it this way, how often do you pedal constantly (w/o stopping) when you ride outdoors? The key to trainer rides is to do what you can without frying your brain cells and motivation.

  9. #9
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    one thing that helped us out recently was to switch from trainer to rollers mid ride.

    you can also throw in a few low intensity drills like ILT's or something to break up the monotony.
    Try to be good.

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    ... and if we just ...

    OK, call me nuts. I did a 4 hr indoor trainer workout and several 3 hr indoor rides in the last few weeks. I'm recovering from a mtb crash that hurt my rotator cuff. All I can say is
    "Thank god for streaming Netflix on the TV"!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh-my-tush-a
    OK, call me nuts. I did a 4 hr indoor trainer workout and several 3 hr indoor rides in the last few weeks. I'm recovering from a mtb crash that hurt my rotator cuff. All I can say is
    "Thank god for streaming Netflix on the TV"!!!!
    My issue is more thy physical aspect rather then mental focus, although 4 hours does seem a bit sadistic.

    Perhaps next season I can come across some used rollers or something. I think it is the lack of bike motion that puts extra force/pressure on my body, making me sore from the saddle at a much higher rate.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh-my-tush-a
    OK, call me nuts. I did a 4 hr indoor trainer workout and several 3 hr indoor rides in the last few weeks. I'm recovering from a mtb crash that hurt my rotator cuff. All I can say is
    "Thank god for streaming Netflix on the TV"!!!!
    you're nuts

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod
    you're nuts
    he's got Motivation. But he's nuts nonetheless and has too much free time

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh-my-tush-a
    OK, call me nuts. I did a 4 hr indoor trainer workout and several 3 hr indoor rides in the last few weeks. I'm recovering from a mtb crash that hurt my rotator cuff. All I can say is
    "Thank god for streaming Netflix on the TV"!!!!
    that is total hardness! when my shoulder was jacked up i couldn't do more than 20 mins on the trainer because i couldn't put weight on my hands... props to you dude!
    Try to be good.

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    ... and if we just ...

    Actually, I'm not a dude, I'm a chick. Yes I am nuts. But the shoulder is slowly improving and I'm training for a 12 hr race in April. There is snow on the ground here too. Also, the more I ride, the more ice cream I can eat!

  16. #16
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    I think Friel has it in his plans that trainer time = 2x time on the road/ outside riding, at least to prevent burnout. I like that theory. I also once heard running = 2x time on the bike. I also like that theory.
    I don't know if that really works out, but I am prone to burning out on the trainer. I just did 3 days in a row of trail runs in sub zero temps above 9,000 ft because I couldn't stand the trainer.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat
    I think Friel has it in his plans that trainer time = 2x time on the road/ outside riding, at least to prevent burnout. I like that theory. I also once heard running = 2x time on the bike. I also like that theory.
    I don't know if that really works out, but I am prone to burning out on the trainer. I just did 3 days in a row of trail runs in sub zero temps above 9,000 ft because I couldn't stand the trainer.
    Well, Freil lives in Arizona, so getting out for 4 hours on a Sunday isn't a big deal!

    He does mention keeping the rides to 1.5 hours, but concedes that longer rides are allowable in the rider can mentally handle it without burnout.

    He also states only to do 2 (maybe it was 3?) trainer workouts in a row before doing some other training, such as outdoor, or cross training.

    Elevation is another thing I run into with issues, or lack of. Such as "ride up a hill that takes 3-6 minutes" doesn't really exist in my area, but that is another thread.

  18. #18
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    To the original question: If you can do two rides with the little break between without feeling too stressed or "pained" about it, then do it. However, I suspect that it will be too mentally taxing to do that very often (or for some people, it is too much to do even once.).

    A different, but related thought: I like to bump up my trainer rides from zone 2 to mostly zone 3, particularly late in the winter season, because the trainer rides are not going to be as long as I would get if I were riding outside. In my experience, the bump up to zone 3 is not too difficult (mentally and physically) if the ride is about an hour (or a little more), and if I keep some zone 2 in mixed in there (for breaks), and if I mix up the cadence/force. By bumping up to mostly zone 3, I believe you'll get more of an endurance effect from the ride, because you'll be using more glycogen (causing more of an adaption to increase muscle glycogen storage capacity--which is a primary factor in having good endurance).
    Last edited by millennium; 01-04-2011 at 02:09 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by millennium
    To the original question: If you can do two rides with the little break between without feeling too stressed or "pained" about it, then do it. However, I suspect that it will be too mentally taxing to do that very often (or for some people, it is too much to do even once.).

    I have not split my rides, but I am looking into doing so.

    What I was trying to determine is if I rode for an hour, stop for 15-20 minutes and ride another hour, would that be more (aerobically) beneficial to riding for 1:15 in the morning (8 am) and again in the evening (4 pm).

    I don't plan on this being very often, once a week on Sunday isn't very frequent.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonw9
    I tried searching, but didn't get any results.

    I am into a Michigan winter, and will be doing my long rides indoors. On Sundays, I am scheduled to ride 2+ hours in HR zone 2, to build aerobic endurance.

    I can ride the trainer 1.5-1.75 hours until my backside gets sore, and I lose focus.

    So I was wondering if it would be possible/beneficial to do these rides as 2 "intervals'" and still get the long duration benefits. Something like 1.25 hours, 15-20 minutes rest (off the bike) and then another 1.25 hours.

    I figure a morning and afternoon ride would benefit my 1.5 hour abilities, but not for the longer durations.

    The alternative is just work on my "short" endurance now, and my 2+ hour endurance closer to the Spring, when I can get back outdoors. I know some/many will say "ride outside" and I understand, and will do so when I can, but let's not consider that for this application.

    According to my coach I use to work with (Karl Etzel.."kretzel" on mtbr and rbr), yes, breaking up your rides into 2 separate workouts is perfectly acceptable, as long as, you do a proper warm-up/cool down for each session.
    My situation was more of a "time-crunch" thing and he indicated that I could break the day's training up as long as I did the proper warm-up/cool down with each session and I believe he had indicated that ideally each session be a minimum of 45 mins.
    He stated to me that at the end of the day you're still getting the volume required for that day's workout(in your case 2 hrs total)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh-my-tush-a
    OK, call me nuts. I did a 4 hr indoor trainer workout and several 3 hr indoor rides in the last few weeks. I'm recovering from a mtb crash that hurt my rotator cuff. All I can say is
    "Thank god for streaming Netflix on the TV"!!!!
    Distraction for long trainer rides is the key. We are planning on a few long indoor group rides this year to help spread out the mind numbing-ness of it.

    In the past for a 12 hour indoor charity event I was on a 2 person team. Ended up with 7 hours that day. Two 2 hour sessions and one 3 hour one. There was alot going on, but yes I am also nuts.

    as to the OP. you may find that adjusting fit or saddle choice may help. I noticed that I really have to put my nicer saddle on the trainer bike as i was getting unhappy around the hour mark, keep forgetting until about 30 minutes in

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by esilvassy
    as to the OP. you may find that adjusting fit or saddle choice may help. I noticed that I really have to put my nicer saddle on the trainer bike as i was getting unhappy around the hour mark, keep forgetting until about 30 minutes in
    Yeah, I have been tweaking the fit, including saddle position. It took a few rides though, as it would bother me at the end of the ride, and I would forget until the next session was underway.

    I should have paid closer attention so I could get it back to where I started when I head back outside!

  23. #23
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    Well, I guess this wasn't the solution.

    I rode for about an hour today, took 15 minutes off and get a drink, ate some cookies and rested. Got back on the bike, and within 30 minutes my rear was hurting as if I had never stopped.

    I guess I just need to hope for the weather to break so I just move these rides outdoors, for at least a portion.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonw9
    Well, I guess this wasn't the solution.

    I rode for about an hour today, took 15 minutes off and get a drink, ate some cookies and rested. Got back on the bike, and within 30 minutes my rear was hurting as if I had never stopped.

    I guess I just need to hope for the weather to break so I just move these rides outdoors, for at least a portion.

    Are you standing every 15 min or so? Without getting too personal, what's hurting? Are your sit bones just sore or are you getting some numbness "down under."

  25. #25
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    I do stand frequently. When I watch TV, I stand every commercial break (not the whole time).

    Usually by the end, it is mostly sit-bone related, but is isn't because I am new to riding. I do also start getting a bit of tingling in my feet as well.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonw9
    I tried searching, but didn't get any results.

    I am into a Michigan winter, and will be doing my long rides indoors. On Sundays, I am scheduled to ride 2+ hours in HR zone 2, to build aerobic endurance.

    I can ride the trainer 1.5-1.75 hours until my backside gets sore, and I lose focus.

    So I was wondering if it would be possible/beneficial to do these rides as 2 "intervals'" and still get the long duration benefits. Something like 1.25 hours, 15-20 minutes rest (off the bike) and then another 1.25 hours.

    I figure a morning and afternoon ride would benefit my 1.5 hour abilities, but not for the longer durations.

    The alternative is just work on my "short" endurance now, and my 2+ hour endurance closer to the Spring, when I can get back outdoors. I know some/many will say "ride outside" and I understand, and will do so when I can, but let's not consider that for this application.
    Yes. In theory, you can train endurance several blocks a day. I believe I read it here.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam
    Yes. In theory, you can train endurance several blocks a day. I believe I read it here.
    Thanks, it looks like I have some reading to do!

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