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XC runner into CX rider

Old 08-26-15, 10:52 AM
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mattave
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XC runner into CX rider

Hey Guys,

Newbie to cycling here! Here's my background: Ran XC/T&F through high school and college, was rubbish in high school, but started putting in 80-100 mile weeks in college and got good enough to go to and place 85th at D3 nationals for XC after a couple years of putting steady miles in.

Ended up being a 25 minute 8k xc guy / 15 minute 5k guy

My senior year of college (2011) I hyperextended my Achilles in a track conference championship 10k and like being the stubborn type that I am finished the race and still tried to race the 5k the following day for team points. I DNF'd that 5k limping after the first mile and a half.

It turns out I had a partial tear of the Achilles tendon and did my best to treat it for the rest of my season, and even attempted a comeback in my 5th year for the indoor track season, but never fully healed from the tear and was unable to train comfortably, let alone race like I used to.

Fast forward 3 years - I'm about 15-20 lbs over race weight, I still can't run more than an hour, or faster than 6 minute pace without limping, and I'm getting the itch to race again. Obviously I really can't train to race hard again, I just can't hold up to the training with all of the scar tissue down there. Running unfortunately has become something that I can't do competitively anymore.

Recently I've been riding my bike more (I moved to a bigger city and it's more practical to get around on a bike than drive) and noticed that I can do extended hard efforts on the bike without any pain to my achilles, so I figured I might as well see if any of my talent (read stubbornness) could transfer over to cycling.

CX seemed like the most obvious choice of disciplines for me. Looks like fun, isn't so long that I can get away with "faking it" for a season, and involves beer

So I bought a CX bike and a computer with HR/cadence/speed two weeks ago and have been putting in miles in the saddle. I have no idea what I'm doing but I figure that more time in the saddle is the right thing to do right now. I've been watching a lot of youtube videos on technique, and went to a really great CX clinic to get some advice from some great racers in the area.

My question is this: When I was running hard I was doing about 10-11 hours a week of running. Should I aim to ride the same amount or more? I hear that riding is easier on the body than running, so you should be able to put more volume into it without getting injured.

I also am having a real hard time gauging fitness and effort levels on the bike. I know I'm very out of shape right now so that is probably part of it, but just as a general rule - if I was doing most of my easy 1.5 hour to 2.5 hour runs @ 150 BPM, Aerobic threshold runs of 45 - 75 minutes @ 173 BPM, and 20 minute LT runs at 185 bpm, what kind of ride lengths vs HR zones should I be aiming for?

Thanks for any advice that you guys may give me, and hopefully I can find love for this sport's competition in the same way I did for running.

Last edited by mattave; 08-26-15 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 08-26-15, 11:01 AM
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Try 25 mile rides and see how much you can improve in 6 month time.
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Old 08-26-15, 11:10 AM
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Thanks 10 Wheels! I've done 5 rides over 20 miles, 2 of which were over 25 in the past two weeks. I've found that I struggle when I push upwards of 150 on my HR, but keeping around 135-145 is easy, and I feel like I could do that for another 10 miles if I wanted to.

How much is too much of this low HR riding? Is there such a thing? I really love that I can go out and do something for hours on end without any real pain again - it's something that I did not think I would miss as much as I did.

Is there a general rule on how many days a week you should ride? Back when I was training hard I would be running 7 days a week, with 30-45 minute shakeout runs on the weekdays on top of that.

Last edited by mattave; 08-26-15 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 08-26-15, 11:19 AM
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Never checked my heart rate.

Rode many 100 mile rides

Completed 19 in one month.

4200 miles on a tour with some 100 mile back to back days.



Sitting after a 109 mi day..The next day was 112 miles.

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Old 08-26-15, 11:27 AM
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IMO for now, you should keep it fun...ride as much as you want...spinning, not mashing... distance and speed will come...I got into riding a few years ago because of weight and health issues...and I love doing it now...it gets better and it grows on you...don't over think it and don't over do it.
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Old 08-26-15, 11:34 AM
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Thanks guys! The issue for me is that "fun" means racing hard, beating people, and feeling like I'm not able to walk for extended periods of time.

That makes me worried that without keeping checks on myself would have me running myself into the ground by "keeping it fun". I just don't want to burn myself out too early!
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Old 08-26-15, 01:59 PM
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Welcome!

Maybe join a local bike club and train with them.
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