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Help with training..

Panhandling PrincePanhandling Prince Posts: 118
edited August 2007 in Health, fitness & training
Hi there

I am racing in my first XC event in 5 years in Ocober and have started training after coming back to MTBing recently.

Its been a while since I last trained for racing, and I was younger (and lighter) the last time round so some help is needed now I am at the age of 28.

I have been back in the gym since Easter and been working on general fitness and toning up. I do 4 x 2 hour sessions a week with 3 on CV and 1 on weights/ strength work. I feel great, especially going from a hefty 16 st 6 lbs down to 15 st 8 lbs in the space of 3 months. More wieght loss will be hard as I am getting to the point where muscle is replacing fat.

After getting back into MTBing in last few weeks and signing up for an XC event in October I could do with some tips on how to add to my current weekly training routine, to get really ready for my first race back.

To give you an idea of my general fitness, I am currently pumping out 1.5 miles in 11 minutes on the treadmill. Cycling wise and am churning out 25 km a session on the bike, totallying 100 km a week. Added to this I am out on the real bike on Sunday averaging 16-25 km per ride of varying terrain over the South Downs.

The climbing strengh is nearly there (strengh work on the arms and legs has seen to that) as is a good change of pace (thanks to interval training on both bike and treadmill). Where probably need help is to build up race stamina.

Can you please give me some tips on how to improve or add to my gym session or rides to really get to a decent level of fitness for an XC race? Is 25 km per gym session ok? Should I be doing more distance on Sundays? or more climbing? Interval training?

Any help would be great.

Regards

PP
The Prince

'RIDE HARD, RIDE HARDTAIL'

Posts

  • pcoopspcoops Posts: 1
    hi mate,
    best thing to do is cut down your gym work to 1-2 times a week, and just get out and ride on your bike and enjoy it, the best way to get fitter for the bike is by getting out on it.
    see if this helps

    happy riding
  • Cheers for the tip,

    Unfortunatley restricted to Sundays for real riding, Saturdays I play hockey. The gym is near and easy to get to during the week.
    The Prince

    'RIDE HARD, RIDE HARDTAIL'
  • Dr_DeathDr_Death Posts: 1,262
    For building more stamina, within your current exercise regime, I would try and change one or two of the gym sessions to a long distance ride, run or row (probably only one cause doing long distance stuff at the gym is very boring). I would try and do more intervals in the other one and I would be upping the distance you ride on Sunday. However, you don't tell us how long the race is gonna be. If the race is only over 25km then you will probably already have enough stamina for it....
    Steve

    Trust me, I'm a doctor!

    http://www.vimeo.com/DrDeath
  • What kind of XC event is it? Endurance or short distance? if it's endurance, try riding the same distance just at a lower pace to see if you can do the event. If it's shorter, do more intervals. Intervals are really important. Kind of like twice a week, do interval training.

    Example:

    Day 1: 10 mins warm up, 2-3 sets of interval 20 secs on (75-90 HR Max), 40 secs rest, 4 times each set. 10 mins cooldown.
    Day 2-3: Longer lower pace rides to recover from your interval training (1h30-2hours, 40-60% HR max), take day 3 off if you feel like it.
    Day 4: 10-15 mins warm up, 3-4 sets of 6-10 mins interval (about 85% HR Max) with 10 mins rest. 1 repetition each set.
    Day 5: Rest
    Day 6: Gym: Lower body (Squats, calf presses, leg presses, Hamstrings...)
    Day 7: Gym upper body (sit ups, triceps, chest, lower and upper back...)

    Little example that you can do..doesn't have to be in that order or these kinds of interval, but gives you a nice summary of what you should do. REMEMBER TO REST, especially when your getting close to the event...you don't want to burn yourself out. If you are doing more than one race, it is really important to rest because you will overtrain than lose all that you've gain..eat right and sleep..and everything should be fine! :wink:
    "someone is training when you are not. when you race him, he will win."
  • Thats great, just what I was after,

    I am doing two short ish (3 laps) races in October, so am already on the interval training.

    I will have a look at my program and adjust it a little.

    Thanks for your help.
    The Prince

    'RIDE HARD, RIDE HARDTAIL'
  • Your welcome, if you have any questions don't be shy
    "someone is training when you are not. when you race him, he will win."
  • The only other thing I am struggling with is overall weight for racing.

    Since Easter this year I went from a lardy 16 st 6 lbs down to my current 15 st 10 lbs. Being 6 ft tall I am technically still overweight, I think I need to lose a little bit of weight to be speedy on the bike in races.

    My fitness is good enough to get round courses but if I can lose some more weight in certain places it would be easier.

    I dont do loads of weights, as I mentioned above I do a couple of sessions a week max, with the rest of my gym time on the bike and doing CV.

    Do you think muscle mass is leveling out my weight now? what is the ideal weight to get down to for XC racing? and how do I get there?

    Any advice would be great.
    The Prince

    'RIDE HARD, RIDE HARDTAIL'
  • The only other thing I am struggling with is overall weight for racing.

    Since Easter this year I went from a lardy 16 st 6 lbs down to my current 15 st 10 lbs. Being 6 ft tall I am technically still overweight, I think I need to lose a little bit of weight to be speedy on the bike in races.

    My fitness is good enough to get round courses but if I can lose some more weight in certain places it would be easier.

    I dont do loads of weights, as I mentioned above I do a couple of sessions a week max, with the rest of my gym time on the bike and doing CV.

    Do you think muscle mass is leveling out my weight now? what is the ideal weight to get down to for XC racing? and how do I get there?

    Any advice would be great.

    Check your BMI, if its aroud 20-22, I think it's good for RACING, being healthy is around 24 to the max. But BMI isn't the most precise thing in for knowing an ideal weight for races. If you can calculate your fat percentage, that would help alot. Usually elite cyclists have about 5-10% body fat, but that's low. Really hard to get there.

    If you want to lose weight, slow down on the cardio for a while. Try doing longer rides at slower pace like 130 HR(between 40-60% HRmax). You have to be under the cardio zone, because it will be easier for your body to break down fat when your not training the CV.

    Yes, it could be that you gaining weight is from the muscles that you gained. Make sure that your BMI or body fat is low, if it is, then it's the muscles that you have that makes you heavy. I measure around 177 cm and I weigh 155 lbs. I have around 9-11% body fat, it ain't precise cause it's been awhile that I've measured myself.
    "someone is training when you are not. when you race him, he will win."
  • Wow 9-11% body fat.

    I measure and log my BMI and Body Fat each week and its has improved.

    At Easter I had a a BMI of approx 31.70 and my body fat was 31.2%. Lardy I know.

    5 months of hard gyming and lots of riding in the last 5 weeks my BMI is now 30.60 and my body fat is only down to 24.8%. Its all heading the right way, but with my first XC race on the 7th October, I still feel I am carrying too much weight on the bike.

    What do you reckon?
    The Prince

    'RIDE HARD, RIDE HARDTAIL'
  • Continue on the same road, but DON'T BURN YOURSELF TO DEATH!! Overtraining is hell. You won't like it. Your doing a great job and stop saying your lardy :P. Keep up the good work. It takes time, you have to be patient. Continue with a good diet with lots of fruits and veggies and proteins. Lay off the fats and high simple carbs (i.e. chocholate, sugar..).

    Continue riding and like I said, try lower pace longer rides, easier for the body to lose fat.

    Oh and don't try to be obsessed with numbers, just ride and enjoy it :). If you don't stop thinking about your weight, BMI, Body fat %, Calories in/out you'll lose the whole point of cycling, which is enjoying yourself in the free time!

    Anything else I can help you with? :wink:
    "someone is training when you are not. when you race him, he will win."
  • Thats great. Thanks.

    Hopefully I will be ready for my race on the 7th Oct.

    I only use numbers as it really motivates me in training. I have set targets to reach the main one being to get down to around 15-17% body fat by the time I race.

    I will try some longer rides at a slower pace and make sure my diet is good. Its pretty good now, however I just have to stop picking at rubbish at work.

    Thanks for your help.
    The Prince

    'RIDE HARD, RIDE HARDTAIL'
  • garethmgarethm Posts: 2
    Try here for some good training plans: http://www.mtb-marathon.co.uk/training/training.php
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