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Endurance Training

FunkMaster007FunkMaster007 Posts: 124
edited January 2011 in Health, fitness & training
Hello Guys,

Sorry if this has been asked already, couldn't find it

I started really getting into mountain biking in the summer and since winter has kicked in, I am not riding as much, but have been hitting the gym a lot more recently.

So at the gym, I've been doing the usual collection of training, but not following a particular plan or anything, just mixing it up and have seen some weight loss and some muscle gain. Usually I do about 20 minutes of Cardio (elyptical trainer or stationary bike, not much of a fan of the treadmill) and then hit the free weights.

When I was riding in the summer, I got two friends who have been riding for over 10 years each and well they really do have the endurance to keep on going, for those 20, 30, 40+ km rides, where as I find myself dying after like 5 :? :shock:

Anyhow I am looking for some tips or idea's from anyone out there who has done training to build their endurance capabilities. I am not looking for huge muscles or pure raw strength, just a good core and the ability to ride 30 or 40km's on a bike without feeling like I am dying after 10.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

I am 6ft 2, weigh about 86kg (13.5 stone) and am 29 years old.

-- Specialized StumpJumper FSR Comp (09) [for me] --
-- Specialized Safire FSR Comp (09) [for the Mrs] --


  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    Distance doesn't matter it's all about exertion and time.

    At the moment you sound as though you do medium exertion for a short time.

    I would start by keeping the exertion low and the time high at least 2 hours then gradually increasing the exertion, then you increase the time once your happy.

    A HRM can help as well as you can set what heart rate your happy with for the ride then increase it as you improve.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • Basically all you need to do is start riding your bike more, quite a lot more. Like robertpd said keep the intensity low/medium start with an hour and just keep building the time of your rides up. You need to train your muscles to keep pushing on the pedals for longer periods of time. At the moment they are getting tired because they are not conditioned to riding for long periods of time. Start with 3 days a week and build up to 4/5 depending on what time you have available.

    I would also add that while your in the gym see if the exercise bike has an interval session or something that will last 30-60 minutes. Its good to have all-round fitness so would keep working on your core muscles but you don't necessarily need the free weights, the lighter your are the easier it will feel going up hill. Hope this helps some
  • robertpb wrote:
    Distance doesn't matter it's all about exertion and time.

    A fair point I'd certainly advise to do some long steady efforts, a HRM is invaluable for ensuring you're exercising at the right intensity (you can pick them up dirt cheap these days).

    If you're doing a training plan I'd aim to structure the whole thing around time rather than distance so instead of going for a 20 mile steady ride make sure you do a two hours steady ride. Measure your distances because as you get better your body becomes more efficient and you'll go further at the same intensity. It sounds screwy but riding slower will make you faster :lol:

    I could possibly be tempting a flaming here but get a road bike if you can, there is no better way at building up a good base level of fitness / endurance.
  • [/quote].I could possibly be tempting a flaming here but get a road bike if you can, there is no better way at building up a good base level of fitness / endurance.[/quote]

    +1 A lot of mountain bikers underestimate the fitness gains from the road, not as much fun but will get you fit.
  • +1 A lot of mountain bikers underestimate the fitness gains from the road, not as much fun but will get you fit.

    I'd debate that last part, hossing down a great big hill near 50mph is a top buzz, oddly enough and given enough time, getting to the top of the hill turns into something you also get a buzz from especially when you beat your mates up there.
  • I didn't say it wasn't fun, just not as much fun :) Agree with the two points you make, railing round a corner at 40mph on skinny tyres is a real buzz!
  • I didn't say it wasn't fun, just not as much fun :) Agree with the two points you make, railing round a corner at 40mph on skinny tyres is a real buzz!
  • jmillenjmillen Posts: 627
    This'll sound obvious, but its all about time in the saddle

    I'm a similar height, weight and the same age. I don't go to the gym, do very small amount of free weights at home, but spend a large amount of time out on the bike riding.

    When I started I was struggling very quickly with my aerobic fitness, but I've found getting out there and banging the miles in as done it for me (to the point where I did the Exmoor Mountain Bike Marathon late last year).

    Mix it up, fast short rides, slow long rides, ups, downs, different terrain. You'll soon start to find it gets easier and easier

    Most of all, have fun, its what its all about
    2010 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon
    2014 De Rosa R848
    Carrera TDF Ltd Commuter
  • You don't need a road bike to ride on the road. An MTB is fine and in my opinion a lot comfier. It's also more effort on an MTB so you use more energy.
  • Mixing it up as much as possible I found is the best way!!

    Try 3 gym based sessions a week I try and do the following!!

    Session 1: running mchine for 20 mins at a warm up at 10km/h for two mins then a min at a sprint (for me thats 14.5km/)h then a min at a comfortable run (for me 10.5 km/h). Then go on the rower for 20 mins at resistance 10 and row for a min flat out and a min easy (i aim for 1:45 500m). Then into the weights and concentrate on legs using the resistance machines.

    Session 2: Same run as session 1 but then 20 mins on the cross trainer again min effort min rest. Then weights on my shouldes back and abbs.

    Session 3: 30 mins on the cycling machine on one of the hill climb programmes (or a spinning session) then onto the rower again as session 1. Weights on arms and pecks.

    Try and get at least 2 one hour aerobic rides or runs or swims in a week as well!!!

    The fartleck / interval training system seems to work for me.

    If only I could leave beer alone!!!!!
  • i used to do kick boxing 4 times a week which included circuit training i also ran twice aweek only a couple of miles but ran it hard, had a resting heart rate 46. decide to start mountain biking was much more demanding than what id been doing it took 12 months to get my biking legs, so my advice is if you wanna increase endurance at biking just get out on your bike and do the miles, mix it up big hills stood up sat down, long flats flat out , light weights can be good but only light and just for core body strength
    anthem x with many upgrades
  • Rob, I'm in a similar position to you fitness wise and I'm also looking to build up my endurance.
    I normally ride in Swinley, so I'm planning on trying some longer training rides around there in the next month or so. Give me a shout if you fancy meeting up for a ride out.
  • Build up your indoor bike sessions from 20 mins to an hour. And get out and ride. Make a day of it, take your time, and get used to sitting in the saddle for 3 or 4 hours. Don't push it at first, speed will come later.
  • Jon8aJon8a Posts: 235
    Riding on your own can work as long as you have set routes. IT turns your rides into more of a long distance at a pace you can handle rather than blowing up after going at too hard a pace.

    Still there is little substitute to riding more. You could have look at the time crunched cyclist training book but I found unless you are really goal orientated it takes the fun out of it which is why you are probably doing it.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    Agree with just about everything here. Can you commute on your bike? I started this time last year - it's a 30-mile round trip with a total of 2000ft of climbing in it (as well as it's fair share of wind). It was hard to start with but now I only begin to feel tired if I've done over 120 miles in the week. This year I want to aim for 160 miles during the weeks I can cycle.

    As for bikes - I ride both sorts. The MTB (with Ice Spikers for the ice) is much slower and is probably better exercise because it's harder and I cycle longer. I don't actually think it's more comfortable than the road bike either.

    The road bike is more fun but it's more efficient - I don't think it's as good for fitness (at least I can't work out how it can be). I save time though (nearly 30 mins a day)
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Commuting is a good choice. I want to try to ride to Vienna for my University maybe once a week or something, would be nice. 65km each way, would be quite good fitness.
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