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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 01-11-08, 04:52 PM   #1
Zan
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How Do I Get Fast?

To be honest, I really love biking; I want to get good.

What do I have to do to get fast? This is more so for personal goal achievement, but I could consider racing.

I ride on the roads and do trail riding (xc mostly).

Now, I know you can't really tell me how fast I should go off road since you don't know the trails I ride on, so all comments should be related to road riding. Besides, pedaling is pedaling - mountain biking just requires different technique.

I figure, during the season, I'll have two hours or so I can spend training. Some days I'll have a lot more, some days less. What should I focus on in that time? Any sort of plan that works for people, rather than saying "I'm going to go that way *point* for an hour, and come back."

How fast would I have to be for racing? Right now I know I am slow, but I'm confident I'll improve.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 01-11-08, 09:49 PM   #2
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It's simple. To get so you can ride fast - ride fast. That's most of it. Vary your rides. When you ride hard, ride harder than you think you can. Try to get bits of lung on your shoes. When you ride easy, ride easier than seems normal. Don't ride too much in between. Mostly, ride a road bike. Ride hills for speed and ride the flat for recovery. Ride the road bike for fitness and endurance. Ride the MTB for technique. Find a group that's a little faster than you are and ride with them. When you can keep up just fine, find a faster group. Other than that, there are zillions of training plans of varying complexity. You don't have to be fast to race and come in DFL. Just have fun.
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Old 01-11-08, 10:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zan View Post
To be honest, I really love biking; I want to get good.

What do I have to do to get fast? This is more so for personal goal achievement, but I could consider racing.

I ride on the roads and do trail riding (xc mostly).

Now, I know you can't really tell me how fast I should go off road since you don't know the trails I ride on, so all comments should be related to road riding. Besides, pedaling is pedaling - mountain biking just requires different technique.

I figure, during the season, I'll have two hours or so I can spend training. Some days I'll have a lot more, some days less. What should I focus on in that time? Any sort of plan that works for people, rather than saying "I'm going to go that way *point* for an hour, and come back."

How fast would I have to be for racing? Right now I know I am slow, but I'm confident I'll improve.

Thanks for the feedback.
You get better by putting training stress on your system. Initially, you can do this just by riding, but after a while you'll reach a point where you will hit diminishing returns (you may be there now). At that point, just trying to ride harder is a losing proposition.

To get around that, you need to add in specificity - targetting specific energy systems. That involves intervals, tempo rides, etc. Those often involve very hard efforts, which require either time off or recovery rides so that you are recovered enough to be able to make a hard enough effort.
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Old 01-12-08, 10:42 PM   #4
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So... who do I listen to?
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Old 01-14-08, 02:00 PM   #5
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So... who do I listen to?
Both are correct.

I suggest reading the following books:

The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joel Friel
High Performance Cycling by Asker E. Jeukendrup, Ph.D
Bike For Life by Roy M. Wallack & Bill Katvosky
The Lance Armstrong Performance Program by Lance Armstrong & Chris Carmichael
Ride Fast by Eric Harr
Base Building for Cyclists by Thomas Chapple
Smart Cycling by Arnie Baker, Ph.D
Food for Fitness by Chris Carmichael (not a training book but a good one for proper diet and nutrition).

That should keep you busy for a while.. heh.

Then custom tailor your workouts on the bike using the above training principles these books preach. I don't believe there is a one for all, all for one training program suitable for every single cyclist. Everyones anatomy and physiology is different, as well as genetics.
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Old 01-14-08, 04:42 PM   #6
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Stop spending your time reading books and forums and get out and ride.

Ohh yeah, don't forget to take magnesium
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Old 01-14-08, 06:44 PM   #7
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Ohh yeah, don't forget to take magnesium
Why?
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Old 01-15-08, 07:33 AM   #8
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it's pretty simple

you gotta ride fast to get fast.

ride balls out as often as you can for as long as you can, till you almost pass out

it works
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Old 01-15-08, 09:08 AM   #9
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Why?
I take a 500mg calcium, 250mg magnesium pill after every hard ride. Prevents cramps, helps recovery.
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Old 01-15-08, 12:32 PM   #10
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I take a 500mg calcium, 250mg magnesium pill after every hard ride. Prevents cramps, helps recovery.
+1 on the calcium, but take it before the ride.
take 3 tums and hop on the bike.
works for me starting at the 3 hour point. I have more kung-fu when I chow
calcium pre-ride
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