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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    OK... so I'll change my question to "what else can I do other than lifting weights" to make noticeable gains in fitness on the mountain bike?
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  2. #27
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    I resisted weights too, but did a basic squats & one leg step ups program this year. The lack of available equipment was a problem but I solved it with a digging bar, water, and some random tow chains.

    It was actually pretty fun to do 2x/week for a while. Now I'm just doing a maintenance dose 1x/wk.

    Other than that, if you're not adhering to an actual program, you might be doing a lot of "junk miles"--not hard enough to really spur gains but hard enough to require recovery. Most training programs will tell you to do intervals crazy hard but spend most of your riding time going pretty easy.Name:  16155660636070.jpeg
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by climberevan View Post
    Other than that, if you're not adhering to an actual program, you might be doing a lot of "junk miles"--not hard enough to really spur gains but hard enough to require recovery.
    smmokan's post pretty much captures exactly what I would want to know, and how much and what I ride is pretty damn similar to what he describes... just maybe slightly less volume. This thought above from climberevan kinda turned on a light bulb for me... dots are connecting on why I don't maybe see any appreciable progress in fitness year over year. Interested to hear what XtrPickels advises in this regard.
    The older I get, the faster I was.






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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Trucker View Post
    <snip> why I don't maybe see any appreciable progress in fitness year over year.
    It's because you're getting older year over year.


  5. #30
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    6-7" cuff is the right sock height.

    I'm really liking having power and accurate hr when I'm riding the smart trainer and am trying to track down a power meter for the road bike now (stages for cannondale cranks). Although I probably don't really need one.

    I have a tendency to just ride a lot, and that has done me alright but I've always known that I should be smarter about my training. Basically, make easy days easier and hard days harder instead of all that "in the middle stuff" that leaves you a little too fatigued to do a good hard workout.

    I recently signed up for intervals.icu and it's pretty cool (and free). It tracks all your rides/workouts, estimates your ftp, freshness, etc. The thing I really like about it is how it breaks down your time in zones each week. It was kind of a surprise to see myself doing a pretty big week (like 14 hours in the winter), thinking I did some hard rides and races, and then, oops, I only spent a total of like 12 minutes above z5. You do need power and hr to take advantage of it though.

  6. #31
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    I’d argue against the “junk miles” hypothesis. If anything, I think a lot of people do too much in the hard interval category, leading to anaerobic adaptation, overtraining, and stagnation.

    Read up on aerobic threshold training (NOT lactate threshold) and the benefit of doing 90% of your training beneath that with the other 10% being targeted hard training and keeping that split until just weeks before an event (when you would shift to more specific training).

    The book Training for the Uphill Athlete is geared towards skimo and ultra running but the basic physiology it talks about (which is backed up with tons of world-class experience and science)is the same whether running or biking.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    OK... so I'll change my question to "what else can I do other than lifting weights" to make noticeable gains in fitness on the mountain bike?
    Block periodization maybe? You might have to cut back the intensity on most of your riding though.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PYvAK4Ljb4

    The best gainz per amount of time committed for you is probably going to be from picking up something heavy and making it go up and down a few times.
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  8. #33
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    Paging Mr Pickles to the white courtesy telephone.

    In all seriousness, while I'm tempted to give my thoughts on some of the training questions, with Pickles in the room I'm just gonna shut up and let the expert speak.

    I will only add a small tidbit about one small subject: as I've gotten older, and added weight training, with each addition I've been amazed at how much it helps. And how much better my body feels.

  9. #34
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    It seems pretty clear to me that we need weight lifting and yoga as well as cardio if we want to have a shot at skiing/biking/hiking into our 70s and beyond. So why don't I do any lifting?

    I have also traditionally been in the "go ride your bike" school of training, but now that I'm older and bike commuting has gone away, definitely need a more focused approach. Should I basically be thinking about hard rides that include intervals and recover periods and base building rides in Zone 3, and get rid of the half-assed rides where I just go kind of hard for the whole ride?

  10. #35
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    Once you feel and see the results of a good PT lifting plan you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner. I haven't been to a proper gym since covid and have adapted decently with cords, a mat, a couple extra dumbbells and a place to hang. I can't get the lower back/glutes like I got from front squats but the wall and single leg dips help. The cycling body is mostly out of balance and even more if it's all you do. Joints are pretty important to continuing on with fun activities in a fun way as we age and lifting with proper technique will/can/should be good for them. Have fun and don't forget, the world can be your gym with creative thinking about exercises.

  11. #36
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    On the cramping front, one of my clients is a sports nutrition company and they have some good posts on fueling and hydration:

    https://firstendurance.com/fueling-strategies-hot-days/

    https://firstendurance.com/debunking...er-than-water/

  12. #37
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    we stepped away from leg day everyday ie skiing in JH and went to the desert last w/e and we both noticed our upper body strength was subpar for riding
    so psa- start doing yer pushups for summer riding now. it's easy to forget about
    skid luxury

  13. #38
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    I'll echo some of what others have stated. I think I'm squarely in the camp that rides moderately hard all the time and therefore am not seeing significant gains. I'm intrigued by polarized training and the threshold training. Would love a real simple tutorial/target for dummies. I ride for fun and this includes progressing in my riding. I like to see improvement.

    I have an HR/GPS watch that I ride with but no power meter. I like riding my mtb most but gravel has become a close second.

    Overall goal is to go uphill faster. Knee injury make squats and lunges really painful and will probably accelerate the need for surgery so I'll look for other ways to get resistance training and be more disciplined to do that regularly.

    Where should I start?

    Seth

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  14. #39
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    All gains in 'training' come from a balance of strategic increase of stress and adaptation (rest) over a period of time.

    On the pro end of things, (Ironman, etc) these guys will build through a program over a 6 month period knowing that once you start to get to the pointy end of ability/endurance that time is limited before you burnout and start to see a decrease in function and will need to do a deep rest phase or suffer the consequences.

    Its funny looking back in my 20's when I was just obsessively climbing mountains year round on no real program other than high volume and realizing now I was operating in constant state of over training. I was ignorant in thinking that constantly pushing through mental and physical fatigue would keep leading to gains.

    On that note, defining 'gains' in the mountain realm can be tricky compared flat land running and all the associated calibration that comes with 5k, 10k, marathon times etc.

    In the last 5 years I have been doing a fair bit of triathlon training and it is cool the way you can switch through the disciplines and work different muscle groups while accumulating 'stress' on the aerobic engine. It is crazy how good you feel to go for a run or bike after swimming because now you can breath freely. Or to go run after biking because you want to loosen legs up and maintain 'pop'. Or go bike after running to get away from the pounding...

    In short to see improvement, ride longer on long rides and ride faster on fast rides while adhering to basic 80/20 rule .
    (80 % zone2 HR and 20% zone 4-6). Have mandatory rest days, which is different than active recovery days.

    Even if you are a dedicated cyclist, an active recovery might be going for a swim or a run which leads to last point of creating diversity in training to stave off over training and boredom .

  15. #40
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    Ok, so I’m a n00b to dedicated training. I do strength training/weight lifting three days a week for 1-1.5 hours. Should I use those three days as rest days, or do you do base miles/Zone 1 or 2 on those days as well?
    Thanks.
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  16. #41
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    Ok, I can't take it anymore. Pickles can come and give you the bible, but in the meantime:

    Generally, people have easy days that are too hard and hard days that are too easy. First, figure out if you have a good base of fitness - ie, is your aerobic threshold in a good place. If not, you need lots of long slow easy distance to give yourself a base. LSD. Very common need and focus this time of year. Once you have a good base then you can start to push the upper limit.

    Your easy days should be really easy. Remember that you only get stronger when you recover, not when you ride. Lots of sleep, avoid stress, easy days VERY easy, so that you can heal up. Keep in mind that mental stress is just as bad as physical stress in terms of retarding progress. Then, when you work, you work VERY hard.

    Again, there's obviously way way more to this story, but if you want the biggest thing that amateur cyclists do wrong, that's it. Break your body down, then let it build up. If you don't let it build back up, then breaking it down serves zero purpose.

  17. #42
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    EWG nails the point there.

    I'll hold off on writing a big treatise, but I have had a thought the past few days that is relevant.

    It's really hard to control one's effort on a MTB. I went out for a longer ride today and was shooting for a Z2 effort. The terrain, however, had other ideas. I was trying to limit the effort but still ended up with 33 minutes over Z2 in a 5 hour ride. (Bootleg, outside of Vegas, is pretty great, BTW.) Road riding is really a much better training tool....

    I listened to this episode of the TR podcast on the ride today. Usually they just blather on, but this one is pretty focused, and might offer some useful info to some. I don't like that they mostly focus on sweet spot training, but I will admit that it is probably pretty good if one has less than 10hrs a week or so to train. If you can spend 15+hrs, you'll burn out with a lot of SS, and will be better served by a Polarized plan.

    https://pca.st/episode/26ede37b-5c76...f-0c747c225bea
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  18. #43
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    Thanks for starting this OP.

    I've gone into the deep end with a coach the last 3 months leading up to Enduro race season. Structured rides on TrainingPeaks 3 days a week and 2 days a week in the gym with a small group of other MTB racers.

    I had a good base to start, so we got into intervals pretty quickly.....now entering back into rest/LSD zone on the bike to allow some recovery before my first race on May 2nd.

    The idea behind weight training is that bigger engine = more power AND a stronger body will help you avoid injury when you crash. Look at all the pro MTB guys in Enduro and DH. They are animals. Richie Rude could play in the fucking NFL.

    In the gym we are doing a good bit of muscle confusion type stuff. Not just pushing big weight, but a ton of very interesting stuff using the whole gym. Squats, rows, every variation of push ups, the Quantum machine, etc etc. Lots of focus on core, shoulders, back, chest, explosive leg stuff.

    I am getting bigger and my heart rate has really adapted from interval training. I can go 500-900+ watts in a sprint and then my heart rate will drop right down within a few seconds. It's amazing.

    I will say this: Ride outside all you want, but it's VERY hard to do correct zone training the same way an indoor smart trainer in ERG mode can. An indoor trainer can really lock you into a zone and that's where the magic happens. Did an outdoor Z2 ride today on the gravel bike and it's damn near impossible to stay in a zone unless you live in Nebraska or something and have 20 miles of dead flat road to work with.

    If you are serious do a VO2 max test because you can't properly train without the information gleaned from that test. Your HR zones are not what the little online calculator tells you they are.

    My biggest issue: Nutrition. I am eating very clean, but I can stuff myself after a day of training and then by midnight I feel like my stomach is a black hole. I almost got up to cook breakfast at 3am today. I just cannot get enough food in most days.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteroom_Guardian View Post
    Thanks for starting this OP.

    My biggest issue: Nutrition. I am eating very clean, but I can stuff myself after a day of training and then by midnight I feel like my stomach is a black hole. I almost got up to cook breakfast at 3am today. I just cannot get enough food in most days.
    Good stuff!

    From what you've said about your hunger issues, I would put money (or 12s Shimano chains, which are harder to come by) on the hypothesis that you're not eating enough WHILE training. Are you taking in 90 grams (360kCal) of carbs an hour? If not, try it. At first it will feel like you're constantly eating, but the results will speak for themselves.

    For example, I rode for 5h moving time today. TSS 235. I ate a normal breakfast, then a big sandwich right before starting. Then every 30 mins or so I scarfed down some food (3 homemade rice bars, 1 Nature Valley bar, some Soreen malt bread) and also went through 1.5L of water and 25oz of maltodextrin/fructose blend (120 kC). When I finished I was only a little hungry, so I ate around 250 kC of recovery food immediately, then a regular sized dinner about an hour later. No lingering hunger. I'll probably do the same thing tomorrow, and expect the same results.

    And I'll say it again, in case someone missed it last time I did: carbs are not the enemy. If you're really training, you need to fuel that shit, and carbohydrates are how you do it.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by climberevan View Post
    Good stuff!

    From what you've said about your hunger issues, I would put money (or 12s Shimano chains, which are harder to come by) on the hypothesis that you're not eating enough WHILE training. Are you taking in 90 grams (360kCal) of carbs an hour? If not, try it. At first it will feel like you're constantly eating, but the results will speak for themselves.

    For example, I rode for 5h moving time today. TSS 235. I ate a normal breakfast, then a big sandwich right before starting. Then every 30 mins or so I scarfed down some food (3 homemade rice bars, 1 Nature Valley bar, some Soreen malt bread) and also went through 1.5L of water and 25oz of maltodextrin/fructose blend (120 kC). When I finished I was only a little hungry, so I ate around 250 kC of recovery food immediately, then a regular sized dinner about an hour later. No lingering hunger. I'll probably do the same thing tomorrow, and expect the same results.

    And I'll say it again, in case someone missed it last time I did: carbs are not the enemy. If you're really training, you need to fuel that shit, and carbohydrates are how you do it.
    You are probably onto something.

    If I remember to do a high carb recovery drink after a workout or ride I feel WAY better. On longer efforts I probably need to force myself to eat. That's become tougher for me.

    I used to be constantly craving blocks/gels. Now I don't really get as hungry while riding which is weird.

    What do you guys eat while on the bike? There are so many choices out there and I have no idea what is best.

  21. #46
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    Just eat carbs. Seriously, it doesn't have to be complicated.

    If you want to be a cheapskate, like I was when I was 22, got can just mow down some Pop Tarts and Star Crunches on 130 mile rides. Flat Coke to wash it down. You really just need sugar. Worry about nutrients later, in your real meals.

    Obviously this can be taken as far as one wants to go, but if you're not getting enough fuel, any form of it is going to be an improvement.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  22. #47
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    Man,
    I step away for a moment and you all go deep.
    I'll start picking through this today.

    My hope is to both answer questions with quotes and also post in the first 2 Reference responses.

  23. #48
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    Maybe this has already been asked, but how does weight lifting fit into a polarized, cycling-focused training plan? Also, most of my workout windows are short, an hour or less.

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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by radam View Post
    Maybe this has already been asked, but how does weight lifting fit into a polarized, cycling-focused training plan? Also, most of my workout windows are short, an hour or less.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
    It has. 1-2x a week, heavy weight low-moderate reps.

  25. #50
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    Official Sprocket Rockets Training Thread

    I'm going to disagree a bit with the carbs statements above.

    Doing too much Z3 and carb-fueled training may lead your body to abandon its aerobic metabolism mechanisms in favor of glycolytic fueling. You potentially limit your power output to whatever your body can digest in carbs and it won't be pulling from fat stores (which are essentially unlimited in your body- 100k+ calories even in very lean athletes).

    Obviously this isn't how everyone will experience things, but looking at the carb/fat metabolism graphs at certain heartrates and threshholds for carb vs fat athletes is pretty telling.

    Here's a great story about Adrian Ballinger and his path from carb-fueled workouts and climbing trips to fat-fueled.
    https://www.uphillathlete.com/adrian...erestnofilter/
    Last edited by Falcon3; 03-14-2021 at 04:56 PM.

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