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  1. #1
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    exercises (or other stuff) to help build endurance?

    hey,

    ok well i have only been regularly riding since mid Feb. after a 10+ year break ... (by regularly i mean 2 to 4 times a week for a total of 5 to 10 miles each time) ... and mixed in with that ... 1 to 3 times a week at the gym, more at the gym when weather is bad, and more on the bike when weather is good.

    as i am able to ride further something i am running into, that i am looking for suggestions on what may help ...

    my endurance.

    first, a typical ride for me is 90% off road .. on singletrack and up and down fire road hills and so forth ... very little actually on the road.

    it takes me almost 3 miles before my muscles get warmed up and i don't get tired as quickly ... i understand that is somewhat typical ... i normally stop after 2 to 3 miles to stretch some ... then pick up again ...

    after that, i can make it about 6 to 8 more miles total (including some 2 to 5 min breaks) before my legs just don't want to work anymore ... mostly my hips and upper parts of my legs... they don't hurt or burn or anything ... they just dont want to move ... i have to force myself to make them go ... and then normally have to stop for a bit after that push ...

    the furtherest i have gone non stop is about 7+ miles. and i wasn't really tired then .. but was having the same thing with my hips and upper legs ...

    a little info on me ... i am 34 ... male, 235lbs (was 281 in jan) i try to consume 3,000 calories a day sometimes a little more ... which is split between carbs, protein, and a little fat ... very rarely do i eat anything that is 'processed' (junk food, or fast food, etc)

    i have started noticing this within the past month ... i am not sure if it is just me, if it is maybe heat related .. or a combination of both .. (normally is about 85+ when i start riding in the morning ... and will be 93+ by the time i stop with the humidity in the 30 to 50%+ range)

    is there any exercises that i can do to help build up my upper legs and hips? ... or is it one of those ... just keep pushing myself harder and longer .. till it isn't as much of an issue?

  2. #2
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Mountain biking is pretty tough. I prefer riding off road, but have found that I need to do most of my rides on the road if I want to increase my fitness. It is just faster to recover when your not all beat up at the end of the ride. Try some road rides and learn how to pace yourself. You need to ride more often too, I heard that three days a week is enough to maintane your current fitness, but 5 or 6 days per week are needed if you want to improve.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  3. #3
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    thats what i was kinda figuring ... i guess with road riding i can focus more on the overall pace and distance, moreso then dodging the obstructions while off road ...

    there is a weekly ride that involves about 9+ miles on top of a levee ... i may start trying it .. and add more to it...

    heh may have to pick up some other tires tho so i don't eat through my good ones as quickly on the road.

    i would gladly try 5 to 6 days a week on riding .. may have to just start pushing myself to do that ... each evening covering my road a few times before the sun goes down ... or in the morning before i get ready for work ...

  4. #4
    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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    Sounds like you are pushing until you blow up. I'd love to get a HR record of your ride....I bet you're redlining the whole way. Try to alternate your rides between easy recovery and hard pushes and do a do a 6 day cycle of push/recover with the 7th off the bike.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  5. #5
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    hmmm ... i dont have a HR monitor ... but just judging from how it feels when compared to how it feels when i am at the gym and can monitor it (loosely and inaccuratly on their equipment) i would say i am topping out at about 190's ...

    will have to look into the HR monitors and see if i can find a decent priced one that will store data ... now that my chest is down enough in size that i might can get one to fit around me ... any suggestions?

  6. #6
    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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    Polar, and you can get an XL strap for it as well.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  7. #7
    Senior Member daintonj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Devil- View Post
    i try to consume 3,000 calories a day sometimes a little more .
    Why? Is there any particular reason you need more calories that most men do? You're not exactly covering massive distances that require you to replenish you energy reserves.

  8. #8
    Senoir Membre Rosso Corsa's Avatar
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    I would say you should try spinning in a lower gear. A higher cadence is is easier on the joints and muscles and really allows them to work longer. I think the tradeoff is that is relier on your aerobic system more, but it seems that your muscles are dead before your lungs are. I suppose that makes sense.
    Try to maintain a cadence of at least 90, up to 120. It is easy to know if your cadence is 120 if you have a watch because your foot makes 2 full circles per second.

    Also, focus on keeping your knees in line with your feet (this usually feels like your knees are pushing in) and having a smooth pedal stroke where you are spinning in 'perfect circles', and it feels like you are putting power down the whole time, not just in up/down pulses.
    As long as I breathe, I attack.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by daintonj View Post
    Why? Is there any particular reason you need more calories that most men do? You're not exactly covering massive distances that require you to replenish you energy reserves.
    from what i had figured i need between 2300 to 2800 on average a day... it is rare that i go over the 3k mark ... but i come close to it on a semi regular basis ... mostly because i enjoy eating.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosso Corsa View Post
    I would say you should try spinning in a lower gear. A higher cadence is is easier on the joints and muscles and really allows them to work longer. I think the tradeoff is that is relier on your aerobic system more, but it seems that your muscles are dead before your lungs are. I suppose that makes sense.
    Try to maintain a cadence of at least 90, up to 120. It is easy to know if your cadence is 120 if you have a watch because your foot makes 2 full circles per second.

    Also, focus on keeping your knees in line with your feet (this usually feels like your knees are pushing in) and having a smooth pedal stroke where you are spinning in 'perfect circles', and it feels like you are putting power down the whole time, not just in up/down pulses.

    i am not sure how to say what gear i use normally ... i have a 3*9 setup .. i am almost always in the middle ring up front (32t i beleive) .. and on the 4th or 5th ring in the back (11t-34t iirc) ... but my cadence if i had to estimate it .. is around the 70 mark ... i can spin 90+ on a stationary .. but i do not normally last for more then a few min ...

    it sounds like i do just need to hit the road more often so i can work on these things more ... the main riding i do right now .. is hard to keep a cadence up for more then a few min before i have to change directions or get to a downhill part .. or an uphill where i end up changing gearing .. or walking if i don't have enough speed built up ... and i don't want to blow myself out trying to power up it...

  11. #11
    Senoir Membre Rosso Corsa's Avatar
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    If you just consistently use a gear or two lower than what you usually think to be suitable, you would learn to spin eventually. It's true that is can be hard to focus on it when it's so broken up. Road sounds good. You may want to pay attention to the crankarm length on the roadbike you will be training on vs. those on your MTB.
    You can print up charts which take your chainring and cog sizes into account and see how fast you need to go in a certain gear to have a certain cadence. EX. If you are in 2 up front and 4 in the back, you need to go 30km/h to have a cadence of 100. If you are in that gear and are only going 27, shift down, and you will maintain your speed but with a better cadence.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/
    print the chart, put on bars, enjoy.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosso Corsa View Post
    If you just consistently use a gear or two lower than what you usually think to be suitable, you would learn to spin eventually. It's true that is can be hard to focus on it when it's so broken up. Road sounds good. You may want to pay attention to the crankarm length on the roadbike you will be training on vs. those on your MTB.
    You can print up charts which take your chainring and cog sizes into account and see how fast you need to go in a certain gear to have a certain cadence. EX. If you are in 2 up front and 4 in the back, you need to go 30km/h to have a cadence of 100. If you are in that gear and are only going 27, shift down, and you will maintain your speed but with a better cadence.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/
    print the chart, put on bars, enjoy.
    can't beleive i never saw that before on his site .. thanks for the link .. going to put my figures in for mph since i have a simple comp on the bike already ...

    got an extra bike as well, may put some road tires on it .. (would be a hybrid type since it is a MTB) and start hitting my local roads on the non trail days ...

    and going to start shopping for a HR that stores data ...

    sounds like it is more of an overall training thing i need to work on ... more then an 'i am just not strong enough yet' like i was thinking ...


    -edit-

    just a quick calculation on sheldon's (rip) site .. and recalling my overall average mph on most sections where i am pedaling .. i am holding around a 70 to 80 cadence ... with the occasional bursts into 90 to 100+
    Last edited by -Devil-; 07-13-08 at 05:20 PM. Reason: more info added

  13. #13
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Devil- View Post
    after that, i can make it about 6 to 8 more miles total (including some 2 to 5 min breaks) before my legs just don't want to work anymore ... mostly my hips and upper parts of my legs... they don't hurt or burn or anything ... they just dont want to move ... i have to force myself to make them go ... and then normally have to stop for a bit after that push ...
    Have you check you seat height??? Sometimes I feel just like this and when I check the seat height, I noticed it has settled a little and need to adjust it. Happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I have to move it around three or four times to really dial it in. I have yet to mark my new seat post, .

    Quote Originally Posted by -Devil- View Post
    I have started noticing this within the past month ... i am not sure if it is just me, if it is maybe heat related .. or a combination of both .. (normally is about 85+ when i start riding in the morning ... and will be 93+ by the time i stop with the humidity in the 30 to 50%+ range)
    I ride in the same conditions as you and I use the Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes to help with the loss of electrolytes in the summer. Typically use 2 or 3 pills per hour and at least 1 water bottle will have the Hammer non flavored Heed. Saturdays 32 mile ride I drained 94 oz of fluid cause the humidity and heat were so high, but my legs felt good and I was not dehydrated when I got home.
    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix (for sale)
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  14. #14
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    hmmm my seat is about as high as i can get it and still feel safe ... it is about a half an inch lower then the 'ideal' location for it ... but i still have to dab a lot while on trails so i feel safer having it there ... could that little distance cause that to happen? ...

    all i use while riding is water (i go through 50 to 80% of my camelpak mule 100oz it holds IIRC... ) i do carry ummm Cliff bar Shot Blocks ... but mostly only consume 2 of them during a 3 to 4 hour ride (thats about the max time i am out, not covering a lot of distance, just working hard for what i do cover) ... and normally a small bottle of G2 gatoraide ...

    you mention dehydrated ... i normally weigh about the same when i get home as when i left, rarely just a little less ... so i think i am hydrated enough

  15. #15
    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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    A shot block every 45 minutes is what's recommended for high exertion activity.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  16. #16
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Have you ever taken the bike and had a fit done on it? Might be worth it. sounds like you are getting plenty of fluid as well. Odd indeed
    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix (for sale)
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    A shot block every 45 minutes is what's recommended for high exertion activity.
    if i break it down i think i would be using a block about every hour and a half because i am normally riding for about 3 to 4 hours

    Quote Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
    Have you ever taken the bike and had a fit done on it? Might be worth it. sounds like you are getting plenty of fluid as well. Odd indeed
    i have had it fitted about as good as the local shops can do ... both of them say i need a 15.5" or 15" bike (mtb size) but i am on a 16" bike because thats what was available ... and crank size should be about 165mm but those are uncommon for mtb setups ... i have a shorter stem on the way to make the eff top tube legnth a little bit shorter so my arms arn't almost locked straight out while i am riding ... and have a (hopefully) more comfy saddle on the way ...

  18. #18
    Senior Member st0ut's Avatar
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    the math is getting lost:

    max ride length is 8 miles
    time for ride is 3 to 4 hours.
    thats about 3 mils an hour. which is walking pace.
    your ride might be longer than you think.
    Cars make you weak.

  19. #19
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    no the math isn't off ... out of the 3 to 4 hours i am gone riding ... about 30+ min of that is me taking a break... not always all at once .. but 5 min here and there ... and then sometimes 10 min inbetween laps

  20. #20
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    So...it's kind of starting to sound like you get on your bike and (maybe) push really hard for a fairly short period of time, and then take a good amount of rest, lather, rinse, repeat. If this is how you've been riding all along, I'm not surprised you're having issues. You need to build a solid base of aerobic fitness before you start throwing in a lot of anaerobic activities. If you want to build endurance, you need to change your whole workout.

  21. #21
    Senior Member tabnlu's Avatar
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    I would try getting on the road and not burning yourself out so fast. There are some nice hills around West Monroe, I used to live there years ago. Take it easy and you will still get a great workout staying on the roads.
    2000 Trek 1000 (yellow bike)
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  22. #22
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    I second the HRM - my Polar F11 has become one of my most prized posessions.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
    So...it's kind of starting to sound like you get on your bike and (maybe) push really hard for a fairly short period of time, and then take a good amount of rest, lather, rinse, repeat. If this is how you've been riding all along, I'm not surprised you're having issues. You need to build a solid base of aerobic fitness before you start throwing in a lot of anaerobic activities. If you want to build endurance, you need to change your whole workout.
    well since jan, till the weather got better (about a month or so ago) i have been in the gym 3 to 4 times a week for 30 min on a stationary ... and mixed weight machines and other stuff for another 30 to 45 min ... but that has slacked off as now most of the time i would be doing that i am now out on my bike ...

  24. #24
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    thanks for the replies ... i am starting to see that it is just a matter of how i do things ... i need to rethink my exercise at the gym vs riding my bike ... and break down and just do some extended rides on the road a few times (or more often) a week to build up more ...

    yes i am still new back to bikes so there are a lot of holes in my routine ... hah ... but a HRM will be picked up by the end of the week ...

  25. #25
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    Here's something that may help:
    http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

    That's a running plan to go from completely sedentary to being able to run a 5k (I'm cross training with it now; cycling one day, running the next). Now, I know you're not trying to run, you want to ride. You may want to try the combination of hard and slow to increase your endurance over time. Just work yourself up slowly. I mean, move on to a road and do 1.5 minutes at 18mph for one minute, then slow to 9-10 mph for 90 seconds. Adjust speed and times appropriately.

    Just a thought
    Last edited by wiggles; 07-14-08 at 12:21 PM.

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