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Trail Centre Fitness

bj639bj639 Posts: 76
edited December 2014 in Health, fitness & training
hi all,
I wondered f anyone had any pointers on how to up fitness for trail centres. I have recently got bike onto the bike to shed some weight (just over 17 stone at the start of summer, almost 1st lighter now) and to grab those endorphines (suffer from depression so its great for clearing the mind!). generally I can fit in 3 rides a week, due to busy young family (which are my responsibilty half the time) my rides are usually 1 -1 1/2 hours. I am building up what I can do in that time in terms of miles and I try to alternate between flat routes and hilly ones (I live right on the edge of the wolds so have a great choice in that respect!).

I have done a couple of trails recently (red routes at dalby and Sutton Bank) and while I can clear those distances without problems on the normal days out on the trails my legs can be gone after the first big climb.

Is it just a case of letting my fitness build up or should I look to do something specific to help me up my game. I will probably only make the trail centres once every month or two but it would be nice to not be so knackered on them!

Am i best concentrating on the hillier routes or something else?

Posts

  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    It's just fitness and weight. You will find as you get fitter and lose more weight it will become a lot easier. Also your bike handling skills will improve giving you a smoother better paced ride.
  • Antm81Antm81 Posts: 1,406
    If you find the first climb takes it out of you, just take it a bit steadier and think of it as a warm up, you'll generally find things early in most rides or even a run a little more difficult your body gets used to it.

    On a separate note, how did you find sutton bank, I work not too far away so looking at trying it out.
  • Depending on the comparison of your local trails to the trail centres, you may also find that trail centres take it out of you more as there are more obstacles and you are moving around your bike more out of the saddle.
    Ten miles at a trail centre may be far more impact on your legs than ten miles on local trails with a mixture of singletrack, fireroads etc
    It is just a case of building up the fitness.
  • bj639bj639 Posts: 76
    Depending on the comparison of your local trails to the trail centres, you may also find that trail centres take it out of you more as there are more obstacles and you are moving around your bike more out of the saddle.
    Ten miles at a trail centre may be far more impact on your legs than ten miles on local trails with a mixture of singletrack, fireroads etc
    It is just a case of building up the fitness.

    Local trails are tarmac lanes at preent just returned to the area so still looking for hidden gems.

    Sutton bank was ok. We hit it on a sunny day and the views were stunning and worth going for those alone. Only a couple of technical descents but small. Rest was flat gravel more suited to a blue then bridleways. Couple of sheep fields too. Lots of gates to go through as well. More raditional biking than trail centre stuff. K2 hill is insane struggled to even pudh the bike up it and made the road feel like a slight incline. The final climb was basically a two mile fire road.

    Lots of link up options over the moors or the cleveland way and worth ging for the views but dont expect fast technical trail centre stuff and i would go on a dry sunny day. Even though it hadnt rained for days when we went managed to get stuck in mud twice!

    Parking only 4 quid so cheaper than dalby. Cafe bloody expensive though.
  • Just build up your fitness slowly and in conjunction you'll find your weight carries on coming done and your speed, endurance and recovery improves.

    If you still struggle after climbs and feel you've got nothing left then train for them by riding hilly routes with plenty of ups & downs repeat efforts.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,480
    As various people have said take it steady and build up slowly, i started at local trail centre doing the blue run then onto Cannock managing eventually to do both the Dog and the Monkey a couple of times back to back all be it with a tea stop in the middle. Last week did Brenin, Marin Trail and Llandegla back to back over 2 days something like 63 miles and 10,000ft of climbing, i'm still sore now after a week with only a bit of easy road biking to keep me moving. So just as i said above take it steady and listen to your body and make sure you hydrate and eat enough to do the trails but don't over indulge. Good luck Ps im nearly 50 and down to 12 stone 4 from 15 stone but its taken me nearly 2 yrs to get here and keep it off.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • bj639bj639 Posts: 76
    thanks Guys. been hard at it for a few weeks now and much better, getting out 3-4 times a week for around 2 hours a time. just on the back lanes of east yorkshire but still nice and im getting about 25-30 miles a ride in and I have been aiming for the hillier routes over the wolds. Went back to Dalby last week and the difference was vast. granted I was with a complete beginner so was taking it relatively slow and frequent stops but I wasnt busting my lungs at any times and the legs didnt disappear from underminee. Even managed to nail every climb and obstacle I couldnt do last time and managed around 18 miles in total on the red loop.

    knees ache a bit afterwards but I am 37 so maybe a sign of the age. lost over a stone so far and actually more in terms of belly and moobs so its deffo working.

    On a related note I tend to hit the hills around here in a steaded climb everytime but I read somewhere its beneficial to do some standing up, while its not as efficient it helps build other muscles? Is that something worth doing?
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,480
    Only stand if enough traction and relatively short, it's not really clever to grind up out of the saddle for to long. It will help build up strength but it will also put extra stress on your body, better to sit and spin than hurt yourself. Keep up the good work, but remember to rest as well.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Also check your saddle is high enough and in the correct fore/aft position on the rails. If you use flat pedals the saddle needs to be further foward than when clipped in.
  • Try and have some decent food the night before a ride, and drink plenty of water. I find this helps quite alot.
    Been riding 2 years now and I was in a similar position when I started, fitness has improved massively and I've lost a stone.

    Do you have a dropper seatpost? I used to use a normal seatpost, raising it up and down or just leaving it somewhere in the middle. You use so much more energy and will find your legs knackering up sooner. It doesn't really help with fitness but it does mean I can ride much further :)
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