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Thread: POWER training?

  1. #1
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    POWER training?

    Okay, I've been trying something new this week to good success. I let myself get talked into entering a MTB race that is on July 1, and as such I need to work on my sprinting/speed. So I decided Monday to stretch my riding out over the day, taking the "long way" to work, and home. The "long way" is about 5 miles, a even mix of MUP and lower-traffic streets. It was a fun recovery day, so I did it again yesterday, intent on pushing 90 or 100% for the whole thing. I did three of those rides, one to work, one home for lunch, and one home for the afternoon. On each ride I pushed hard, and LOVED it.

    The MTB race for beginners is about 7 miles long, and is pretty much singletrack with some terrain. I'm trying to finish with style, while also showing what "Team Clydesdale" can do. So, I'm pushing myself hard on these 5 mile rides to train my body to really push hard for those 7.

    Am I taking the correct approach? Again this AM I pushed hard on the way in, averaging nearly 20mph like I did on the latter two rides yesterday. It was FUN and I kept spinning hard the whole time. I'm about to leave for the lunch ride, where I'll let the iPod pick the symphony for my torture yet again.

    I'm finding this a fun way to get my daily mileage in, but is this good for overall weight loss? Or am I better doing rides that last longer once a day?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    You should mix up the rides between these power rides and longer easier rides. These power rides will break down and build up your muscles. The longer rides will build up your endurance so you can ride longer.

    The easy rides aren't always the most fun, but they're important. You're burning fat when you go on the long ride, but it takes a while to get into fat burning mode. These rides should be done a pace where you can hold a conversation with someone (even if that means really, really slow)

    On these short power rides, you're burning carbs/glycogen for energy, and when you power through that, you burn muscle for energy.

    That's the quick answer anyway.
    just being

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    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    For racing--from a roadie point of view, MTBing may be slightly different, but I don't think so--there is a difference between speed and sprinting. Speed is just what it says: going fast for extended periods of time. Sprinting is: going from a slower speed, and ramping it up to top end for short periods of time.

    I would advise doing workouts in each of these categories only once per week--one interval session, one speed session.

    Yes, they are conducive to weight loss. But I think the bread and butter of weight loss (as I am finding out as well) is LSD--long, steady, distance type rides.
    Do these 3-5 times per week. And the ride immediately following the interval and speed workouts should be recovery in nature: quick spinning, easy terrain.

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    Up until about a year ago I pretty much Mountain biked exclusively, this was mostly done on single track, and I had been mountain biking for over 9 years. During that time my weight had pretty much held steady at right around 290-300 lbs. since I've started road biking (commuting and longer rides) I have dropped the weight much better (down 22 lbs.). But there are some very big differences between mountain biking for pleasure and mountain biking in a race.

    During a mountain bike race it is high intesity during the entire length of the race, you generally never spin, also you are either climbing or decending (this may depend on the course, but is generally true) and you usually willl never have a flat level area that you can just spin on. So keep that in mind as you train, my daughter races mountain bikes right now, it is a series of 12 races pretty much every saturday during most of the summer, her coach (not me) set's up her training schedule to be something like this

    Mon - recovery ride, easy for 45 min.
    Tues - 2hr MTB ride, this is two hours of riding on a single track trail at a near race pace.
    Wed - 2hr road ride, this is for spinning and endurance
    Thurs - 1hr recovery ride
    Fri - 45 min - 1hr ride (road or off road) at a moderate pace, just to keep her muscles active and warmed up.
    Sat - Race, for her this means usually 13 to 15 miles (two laps) that takes her around 1:45 to 2:15 to complete. Most of the races are 800 to 1000 ft of alltitude change over the course, if you aren't climbing till your legs burn then your are blasting downhill all on single track.
    Sun - off day for recovery.

    Like I said that is her schedule, but then she has been doing this for three years now. From talking to her coach he has her on the road bike nearly as much as the mountain bike on trails. and there are other things that she does in the pre season that differ from this, but that is almost exclusively on her road bike.

    Hope that helps.
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    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Wow, great info guys! I'm already modifying my schedule to incorporate this as we speak.

    I think it all boils down to keeping those long endurance/spin rides in there to keep the heart rate up (but not TOO Far up) and mixing things up. It looks like there is a common pattern - work and recover, rinse, repeat - that I see coming up here. So I think I'm going to start doing that.

    In fact, on the way back from lunch I forced myself to take the "short" route, and to take it very easy. I never even started getting out of breath, and didn't sweat very much, even though it's about 90 degrees outside currently.

    Great info... keep it coming . I think I'm going to start POWER riding on the days I lift weights (M-W-F) and endurance ride the other days (T-Th-Sa) while keeping my "day off" in there (Su).

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    I ride mountain bikes a bit and race BMX Cruiser class, neither is much like road riding at all and my ability to maintain high road speed on my 35 mile RT commute does little for me other than make me the guy who stops huffing and puffing the quickest at the end of the race.
    Being able to pump the terrain for speed, handle a little time in the air without losing all momentum and carry speed through corners is what helps. Ever year they have an open class BMX race at one of our local tracks where parents are encouraged to get out and race. Little kids (mine included) that can carry their speed through practically anything demolish big fit guys that are regular road riders. It is comic to witness a 7 year old blow past their dad and it illustrates that it is more important to be able to handle the terrain than it is to be able to generate huge power. I am only starting to get the hang of it and the only practice that helps me is to actually get out on the BMX track and take chances. I suspect mountain biking is similar, you need to get time on the trails to learn how to ride them fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andymac
    I suspect mountain biking is similar, you need to get time on the trails to learn how to ride them fast.
    This is true, also another thing that I do (with my daughter) is since each course is different, as soon as the course is marked (in some cases they are the same from year to year, so we don't have to wait until the course has been marked) we pre-ride the course. this helps a lot, since then you are familiar with the trail/course and you also know when you really need to push and when you can hold back a bit. for a mountain bike race, trail experience is a must, and the only way to do that is to ride on single track trails which will be different than any thing else that you can ride on that is paved or even dirt.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    There were studies done that showed where the optimum "fat-burning" level was for steady-state rides versus intense, interval-type rides. Now, you still burn glycogen during both rides, we're just talkin' the optimal percentage of energy coming from fat consumption versus blood glucose or muscle glycogen.

    Also, during interval-type rides/high-speed, you also burn fat, just you burn less percentage wise and more blood glucose/glycogen. Tom, I'm sure, can fill you in, but I think the number we're looking at was around 65-70% HRmax, or some-such. But, this does not shy me away from doing intervals/high speed workouts and neither should it you.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdinger
    Wow, great info guys! I'm already modifying my schedule to incorporate this as we speak.

    I think it all boils down to keeping those long endurance/spin rides in there to keep the heart rate up (but not TOO Far up) and mixing things up. It looks like there is a common pattern - work and recover, rinse, repeat - that I see coming up here. So I think I'm going to start doing that.

    In fact, on the way back from lunch I forced myself to take the "short" route, and to take it very easy. I never even started getting out of breath, and didn't sweat very much, even though it's about 90 degrees outside currently.

    Great info... keep it coming . I think I'm going to start POWER riding on the days I lift weights (M-W-F) and endurance ride the other days (T-Th-Sa) while keeping my "day off" in there (Su).
    Keeping the heart rate NOT too far up is the right call, not being out of breath is perfect on these easy rides. Invest in a heart rate monitor, they're worth it, really makes the training more efficient.
    just being

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    If your really looking to do some race "training" you might take a look at some of the books on it. I got a copy of Friel's "Cyclist's Training Bible" and while it's really advanced in some senses it has really helped me with me excercise goals, and to look into the future about what I'm wanting to do on the bike in the future.

    Paul

  11. #11
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    Umm, not trying to sound like a prick, but there's a big difference between riding singletrack and riding on an MUP or street. If you're doing a mountain bike race you need to get out on some mud trails and work out on those otherwise you'll be in for some big surprises on race day.

  12. #12
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68
    There were studies done that showed where the optimum "fat-burning" level was for steady-state rides versus intense, interval-type rides. Now, you still burn glycogen during both rides, we're just talkin' the optimal percentage of energy coming from fat consumption versus blood glucose or muscle glycogen.

    Also, during interval-type rides/high-speed, you also burn fat, just you burn less percentage wise and more blood glucose/glycogen. Tom, I'm sure, can fill you in, but I think the number we're looking at was around 65-70% HRmax, or some-such. But, this does not shy me away from doing intervals/high speed workouts and neither should it you.
    Your HR figure is accurate, 65-70% is the ideal burn range (aerobic). It's when you go anaerobic that you burn stored glycogen to depletion, unless the aerobic effort is over a long period of time (2+ hours).
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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