long vs. short event training
I have a couple questions about training for long duration events versus short events. Most of my racing is short distance mountain bike events (10 - 15 miles, 1 - 1 1/2 hours). I entered an endurance mountain bike event in March (60 miles offroad), and I have been increasing my training distance for this event. This will most likely be my only long event this year, so I really don't want to hurt my short event performance by putting in too many "lesser quality" miles.
Personally I train for endurance mainly by doing long rides (Z2 - Z4), in contrast when I train for short events I do lots of drills, like hill repeats, ATI's, sprints, etc., with maybe one long ride a week. Have any of you found that by training for endurance that it hurts your short maximum effort performance? Most of my real training is done on the road, the mountain bike is for fun and technique.
It is a whole different ball game. People I know who are into being fast for moderate distances, work on sprints, top end power, time trials, intervals, things like that.
I know some people who are into ultramarathoning (road bikes). They do things like the Paris-Brest-Paris which is 750 miles in something like 3 days. These people never sprint or hammer. They find that comfortable cruising speed and they stick to it. They come to a hill and they gear way down to keep the intensity at the same level. Often, they even ride different sorts of bike then normal cyclists. They tend to go for bikes with very low gears. They also tend to go with larger tires for a more comfortable ride and fewer flats.
Gravity Is Yer Friend
One thing that is different in a mtb race then a road race and to keep in mind, most mtb races (other then the 12 & 24hr races) are won at the begining where as a road race is won near the end.
When I used to race xc I would combine my endurance and power training. Not on the same day but a week long routine would contain both.
A few months out (usualy before the first race of the season 'cause during the season the routine changes) I would work on my endurance four days a week, power (or sprinting) twice and have one day of recovery. As the season got closer (about 8 weeks out) I would switch and train for power three days and endurance three days. Then 4 weeks out switch again to power four days and endurance two days.
This worked for me because my body gains power very fast but it takes me a long time to build up any real endurance. Every one is different but the above is what I would do. I am built like a football player (linebacker) and at the time I did race xc I was 6'2 and 245lbs at 8%bf, so I was not your average endurance anything.
Hope you find a good routine that will work for you and most of all, enjoy the race.
That's my problem exactly, building long endurance has always been a challenge for me. And after I force myself to build my endurance I feel like I have lost power. One time I did go on a year long endurance binge and lost a bunch of weight, but I felt like a scrawny little roadie and had very little power. Maybe I'll just cripple through this one event and then go back to what mother nature intended for me to do, short full effort events. Thanks...
Originally Posted by dirtbikedude