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 Post subject: Training Question
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:41 am 
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Here is my situation. I am currently training for my second century ride. I am familiar with the route since I did it last year (annual LA river ride). To prep I am cranking out the miles in zone 3. Getting my legs used to pedaling constantly for long durations of time again.

This is the same thing I did last year and it worked well enough, but my question is what should I be doing on my road bike to improve my fitness for mountain biking?

My during the week training time is limited and on the weekends i am on dirt so I ride mostly very flat but windy paved bike paths for training (coyote creek, San gab river trail).

For mtb fitness My guess is I should be doing intervals to stress my cardiovascular system anerobically? I have done tabata intervals on the trainer and found them very helpful for max exertion training which has helped with climbing switch backs and other burst efforts. But for general MTB fitness I'm at a loss as to what I should be doing and how often.

Any one interested in helping me develop a training plan?

Thanks in advance for any help given!

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 Post subject: Re: Training Question
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:32 am 
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Forget intervals and heart rate, get a fixed gear road bike (not the hipster kind) and do rolling and even hilly rides on it for 1-1.5 hr. (geared 39x15 or similar ratio)

When my time was limited many years ago I started riding a fixed gear to get the most out of my short training rides. There is no thinking about zone, or HR just ride the bike and you will get faster on your MTB and road bike.

I think it is one of the best training tools without actually training (thinking) you just ride the bike.

I realize this is not for everyone, just my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Training Question
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:54 am 
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I notice a great improvement in my fitness when I do lots of climbing intervals. I experiment with different types of intervals/hills and incorporate them into the planned route so its not so rigid and boring like a traditional 5x 3min at exactly x heart rate or whatever malarchy.

One ride might be go out east where there are lots of short steep hills/rollers and stand up and redline up it (HR like 80-90%) in a big gear for some power boosts. Recover as needed between. This ride should be super hard efforts, but lots of recovery and shorter in duration, like 1-1.5 hours.

I also do a longer road day with longer gradual sustained climbs, like Sunrise hwy or scripps poway pkwy or others? Just climb in an easier gear, concentrate on high cadence while sitting, staying relaxed, and getting the most speed while maintaining form. Heart rate/perceived exertion should be about 70%. Over time the climbs get easier and you'll be able to spin in bigger and bigger gears.

Good resource is Joel Friel's Training Bible. He has one for roadies and mtbers, but lots of good explanations of training basics and how to make your own training programs.
Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Training Question
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Over-under intervals.

1 min @ threshold (the HR or effort level you think you can _just_ hold for an hour) then 1 min @ VO2max (all-out effort) then 1 min @ threshold followed by 1 min at VO2max. Rest for 4 min, then do again. Start with a couple, work up to as many as you feel capable of. These are the best way I've found of learning how to recover while still making a strong effort in a climb/breakaway/etc. Google Alison Dunlap's training methodology. Friel's Bible is very good, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Training Question
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:40 am 
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Never do Vo2 max intervals more than twice a week. More than that and you will be doing yourself no good. Over/under intervals are great. Some of my favorites would be to find a hill that takes 10 plus minutes to climb and you can go 15 seconds on 15 seconds off for 10 minutes or do 20/40s, 20 seconds all out 40 seconds recover and do that about 3 to 4 times. The reason to do them on a hill is that when you do your recover between sets you are still forced to pedal.

Not only will doing this help you get faster but it will increase your endurance has you will now be able to match the same output on the bike but with less effort due to you being a stronger rider.


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 Post subject: Re: Training Question
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:54 pm 
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First off thanks for the replies guys! I also belong to “another socal forum” and didn't get a single reply...


Unfortunately I do not have hills near me (I’m in Seal Beach) and during the week I stick to the river trails which are flat since I don’t have much time to ride during the week.

Weekends are spent in the dirt ripping my own legs off on the trails and trying to progress a bit technically.

So from what I’ve gathered so far Au111 suggestion are the most applicable since I do not have hills near me to train on during the week. I will try his intervals:


Au111 wrote:
Over-under intervals.

1 min @ threshold (the HR or effort level you think you can _just_ hold for an hour) then 1 min @ VO2max (all-out effort) then 1 min @ threshold followed by 1 min at VO2max. Rest for 4 min, then do again. Start with a couple, work up to as many as you feel capable of.


I will do this work out twice a week.

your thoughts?

Thanks again!

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 Post subject: Re: Training Question
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:30 am 
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A good place to go for your sustained hill work would be Palos Verdes. It is only 15 miles (as a crow flies) and there are pleanty of oppertunities there. When I lived in Torrance it was part of my regular riding. Western Ave goes up and over and has a long sustained hill. It changes names two or three times in the process but it is what you are looking for. On the back side it is a series of switch backs. So a great training ride would be riding from your house on the flats to the hill, up, over, turn around and repeat. It would put you in the neighborhood of 50 miles.

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 Post subject: Re: Training Question
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:30 am 
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It is such a good idea, I thought I would post it twice. :thumbsup:

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