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  1. #1
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    Thrown myself in at the deep end

    I recently decided I needed a goal, not just for my cycling but for something to motivate me for a bit as I am currently unemployed.

    So, I entered the 7 day, 550km Trans Wales mountain bike race...

    Bit of background about me. I'm a generally fit person, although more towards walking expeditions. Weigh about 120 lbs at approx 5'11". I have reasonable strength levels, although by no means great I have never found it holds me back. I consider myself a reasonable mountain biker and capable of handling all the terrain the race encompases, although I will still obvious practice technique to try and improve comfort and efficiency.

    What I'm worried about more than anything is endurance. I think the organisers place a cut off point each day assuming a speed of a bit over 10kph, so although it isn't overly speedy it is for 7 hours a day. I've coped with multi day walking expeditions for longer each day, although only for 4 days, and have never pushed past that.

    I will be training both on and off road and would like any advice people are able to give about what type of rides I should be doing. I have never done any structured training before so as much help as possible would be great.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can all give.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    That sounds like a lot of fun. The hardest thing will be recovering day after day. You'll need a big base for that. If you are looking to place well, you will also need some speed work for the special stages. If you're "just" looking to finish, then you can pretty much skip the speed work. I'd still do some SST like climbing efforts though, they seem to be good training for maintaining a good pace for a long day of climbing.

    One thing that helped me for the everest challenge, a hard two day stage race with lots of climbing, is to do two hard days with a lot of climbing in a row. The second one sucks, but doing that on a lot of weekends got me used to it for the race. Since you're not working, you can go for more long days in a row when you're ready for them.

    Many serious MTB racers in the US train on road bikes, you might consider that if you don't have one already and it is possible for you.

    It sounds cool, keep us informed on how you're doing!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply.

    So what types of rides should I be doing for the base? Just day after day, medium intensity, gradually building up the miles every week? How many rest days should I have a week?

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    " Weigh about 120 lbs at approx 5'11". I have reasonable strength levels,..."

    Start eating. Working hard for several days in row could really break you down, IOW you could start consuming muscle to keep up with the work. Then again less weight means less work. Never the less, with seven days you'll get into fat consumption.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stig O'Tracy View Post
    " Weigh about 120 lbs at approx 5'11". I have reasonable strength levels,..."

    Start eating. Working hard for several days in row could really break you down, IOW you could start consuming muscle to keep up with the work. Then again less weight means less work. Never the less, with seven days you'll get into fat consumption.
    I eat huge amounts already, and have paid for food to be included by the organisers so will be definately be getting 3 good meals into me a day as well as whatever snacks I take.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dheorl View Post
    I eat huge amounts already, and have paid for food to be included by the organisers so will be definately be getting 3 good meals into me a day as well as whatever snacks I take.
    Funny how that works. I'm sure everyone out there trying drop a few pounds (including myself) has one these expressions when they hear that.
    Last edited by Stig O'Tracy; 02-01-10 at 09:26 AM. Reason: typo

  7. #7
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Even the skinniest rider has plenty of body fat for fuel. At 6' and 143 lbs I hear "you need to eat a cheeseburger" fairly often. It's kind of rude, but I realize it's from envy. Of course the riders envying me are usually much stronger into headwinds, but they're not thinking of that.

    Day after day of medium intensity isn't a good way to train. Read up on "base training". SST is a kind of interval, done at ~90% of threshold (the power you can hold for an hour).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stig O'Tracy View Post
    Funny how that works. I'm sure everyone out there trying drop a few pounds (including myself) has one these expressions when they hear that.
    Is that meant to be doubt, jealousy or hatred?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Day after day of medium intensity isn't a good way to train. Read up on "base training". SST is a kind of interval, done at ~90% of threshold (the power you can hold for an hour).
    Is it really possible to do this type of structured training then without a power meter or cadence meter?

  9. #9
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    "Is that meant to be doubt, jealousy or hatred?"

    None of the above. The icon is "not amused" and is reflective of the poster's own statement. Therefore, the correct answer would be envy. Specifically at ones ability to eat a lot, and still maintain a low bodyweight. Humor was intended.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stig O'Tracy View Post
    "Is that meant to be doubt, jealousy or hatred?"

    None of the above. The icon is "not amused" and is reflective of the poster's own statement. Therefore, the correct answer would be envy. Specifically at ones ability to eat a lot, and still maintain a low bodyweight. Humor was intended.
    Ok, didn't know what the smiley was. I wish I knew why it happened, it isn't fun being this light tbh.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dheorl View Post
    Ok, didn't know what the smiley was. I wish I knew why it happened, it isn't fun being this light tbh.
    No worries.

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