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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If I race sport this season and am putting down endurance miles now, how long should the rides be? Most of these will be done on a trainer. I just blew my wad on a FS rig, can't afford a road bike and have a paranoia of road riding anyway. I have a pretty good tolerance however for the trainer. I'll read for 1.5 to 2 hours on it 3 x per week. Will this be enough to lay down a good endurance base before I can do more long rides on the trail when the weather turns?
 

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kranest said:
If I race sport this season and am putting down endurance miles now, how long should the rides be? Most of these will be done on a trainer. I just blew my wad on a FS rig, can't afford a road bike and have a paranoia of road riding anyway. I have a pretty good tolerance however for the trainer. I'll read for 1.5 to 2 hours on it 3 x per week. Will this be enough to lay down a good endurance base before I can do more long rides on the trail when the weather turns?
For reference I'm going to race Vet sport and my goal is to get some 3-4 hr rides in for my endurance phase. Optimistic at best I think but it's a goal.

2hrs on the trainer is probably equivalent to 2.5hrs on the road bike, cause your not coasting at all.
 

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Should work OK - certainly better than just loungin' on the couch! That said, it's tough to get the same feedback/improvement on a trainer as on the bike - but if you can do 2hours on a trainer non-stop, rock on! I like to build base by doing a few 2 hour moderate rides, and ideally (2) 4-6 hour road rides a week. One long 4-6 road ride with 2 medium (2-4 hours) rides works out well too, with some harder/shorter stuff thrown in once in a while for fun and to prevent the total loss of top end. The mountainbike works great as does wicked intervals on the rollers.

It boild down to what you're building base for - if it's to race pro/expert XC - you'll need a bit more endurance than 2 hours on a trainer will provide - unless you're a nut, which you may be! Maybe doing 1.5-2 hrs on the trainer, THEN some intervals (later in the winter) that'd help simulate/improve the ability of fatigued muscles to power up and survive/recover. The beauty of base is to really build the slow-twitch endurance capacity in muscles, to help them survive longer bouts of output AND race-pace passing/climbing efforts.

What level are you racing at...? (I assume you're racing if you're concerned about base!)
:)
 

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kranest said:
If I race sport this season and am putting down endurance miles now, how long should the rides be? Most of these will be done on a trainer. I just blew my wad on a FS rig, can't afford a road bike and have a paranoia of road riding anyway. I have a pretty good tolerance however for the trainer. I'll read for 1.5 to 2 hours on it 3 x per week. Will this be enough to lay down a good endurance base before I can do more long rides on the trail when the weather turns?
If you want to be competitive you need to probably work towards a 300-350 hour year.
That means you should be trying to get 8-12 hours a week during your base phase. which should probably consist of about 3 months. 3 weeks on 1 week recover....again, and then again. consistently upping the hours so that on your second to last week of your base phase(base 3 week 3) you should be at or around 12 hours.
so....
Base 1:week 1 8 hours
Base 1: week 2 9 hours
Base 1:week 3: 10 hours.
Base 1: week 4: 5-7 hours....just depends on how your body is feeling.
Base2: week 1: 9hours.
Base 2: week2: 10 hours.
Base 2:week3: 11 hours.
Base 2:week 4: 5-7 hours.
Base 3:week 1: 10 hours.
Base 3 week2: 11 hours.
Base 3 week 3: 12 hours.
Base 3 week 4:5-7 hours.
Then start your build phases. This is just kind of a guideline. Remember that the Base phase is probably one of the most important times of the season. You can slack later a bit but building a foundation is KEY!
And if you can...get away from the trainer. Good luck and if you are able to follow this schedule you will be amazed at where your at when the season comes.

Sorry..edit...if you were to follow the schedule above I believe depending upon the amount of rest days....lets say you have 1 rest day in a normal week then your longest ride should probably be around 3 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm racing my first year in sport. I plan on working power, muscular endurance and intervals for anaerobic endurance as I move through periodization. This stuff I can do no problem with my situation but the longer, endurance stuff is more my question. I'm hoping that 2 hr. trainer rides will be enough unless we get a warm spell.
 

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kranest said:
If I race sport this season and am putting down endurance miles now, how long should the rides be? Most of these will be done on a trainer. I just blew my wad on a FS rig, can't afford a road bike and have a paranoia of road riding anyway. I have a pretty good tolerance however for the trainer. I'll read for 1.5 to 2 hours on it 3 x per week. Will this be enough to lay down a good endurance base before I can do more long rides on the trail when the weather turns?
I just got a resistance trainer and was suprised at the work-out I can get on my legs. Not like riding trails but I dont usually ride at that many rpm's sustained. Ive only been riding for a few months( since may) so I think this will definately help me. Since I wouldnt get a ride in during the week without it.
 

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Get out once a week at least and do a long ride. It should be an easy ride that is just long and steady. Bike paths are great for it. Your longer rides should be twice as long as your expected race (unless you are doing epic races). So for a sport racer you should be able to complete some 4 hour rides pretty easy. As preperation H said 12 hours should be a good goal. It would not be that hard to make it to 12 hours if you do some long rides. You do not want to get to 12 hours by doing 6x2hours. It should be something like a 1x4hr 3x2hr 2x1hr 1x0hr. Sounds like a pretty good week.

Riding in the cold and/or dark is not that bad if you dress for it.
 

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This time of year, and for a Sport racer, that's absolutely enough time. Don't worry about anything longer until it's warm out, and eve then you probably don't need to go much longer than you are now. Just stay consistent and have fun. Don't make it a miserable experience.

And with that said, I'd suggest not consistently riding for 2 hours on the trainer. You'll have plenty of time come March and April to get outside.
 

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ozone said:
You do not want to get to 12 hours by doing 6x2hours.

Why not?
Im noob at training and i tought i was doing well with doing 6days x 2 hours for the first month or so and now i`m doing 3-4 hours once or twice a week with 4-5 2hour days.

Any less than 2 hours doesnt seem like enough for me. I do 1 day on the road bike and one day on the mtb.
 

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pornstar said:
ozone said:
You do not want to get to 12 hours by doing 6x2hours.

Why not?
Im noob at training and i tought i was doing well with doing 6days x 2 hours for the first month or so and now i`m doing 3-4 hours once or twice a week with 4-5 2hour days.

Any less than 2 hours doesnt seem like enough for me. I do 1 day on the road bike and one day on the mtb.
Recovery..............

You need to allow your body to rest so that it can heal and grow. Your bodies adaptations to training will come while you are resting not while you are training. By doing longer rides (4hr) and then allowing your body to recover (1hr rides) you will have greater gains in your training.
 

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LBmtb said:
I like my trainer, but it just gets so dang boring after the hour mark. I've only got myself to 1.5 a few times with the help of my ipod.
Three words for you...

Books on tape.

Just go to your public library and check them out. I check out a bunch at once and rip them all onto the mp3 player. Music was cool for a while for me, but that started to not be enough to keep my sanity past the hour mark on the rollers.

There, my secrets out now.
 

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hmm i don't do anyting to keep myself occupied on rollers. i just got done riding for an hour and i can't even remember thinking about anything all i know is i rode along time with an average speed of 24mph...now i smell bad!!!!!! i should try the books on tape...cause well i hate reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think I'm going to try to get outdoors for one longer (3 hr) ride on the weekend for Jan/Feb on my mountain bike. I'll do the others on my trainer. I should be able to get about 9 hrs. a week on the bike that way. It's not 12 as suggested but it's realistic for me and I hope will build a strong enough base heading into spring when I can really put in trail miles.
 

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kranest said:
I think I'm going to try to get outdoors for one longer (3 hr) ride on the weekend for Jan/Feb on my mountain bike. I'll do the others on my trainer. I should be able to get about 9 hrs. a week on the bike that way. It's not 12 as suggested but it's realistic for me and I hope will build a strong enough base heading into spring when I can really put in trail miles.
The 12 was just a suggestion. 9 hrs will do you really well. Alot of good information came from your question though. So use it and you'll have a great season!
 

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Total hours is NOT a relevant way to set up training. Can't believe that folks are still trying to follow that. As far as a SPECIFIC block of endurance riding, a 4 week block that builds to a 5 hr Sat, 4+ hr Sun, 2+ hr Monday will produce the physiologic changes that you need for a 2 hr XC race. You don't need to continue doing long rides for week after week, UNLESS you are going to do endurance races. That is an entirely different type of training.

Long trainer rides are very tough and boring. Just throw some slicks on your bike, bundle up [I've finished a 5 hr endurance ride with 15-20# of ice on my bike...literally...one time!]. Also, getting out in the cold will actually burn a few more calories of fat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks to everybody who responded to my question. As Preparation H mentioned, I've gotten lots of good advice and it's made me rethink and tweak a few things that I think will really help me out this season. This is the first time I'm following a more structured training plan so all the input was greatly appreciated.
 

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I have a question that I don't think has been answered yet.

Not only how LONG should rides be...but how fast? I am a beginner. I have never raced a mountain bike, and I only started riding this past summer.

A "medium pace" to me feels about 13mph.
"Fast" to me is maybe 16mph, and slow being around 10.

I read about someone averaging 24mph on their trainer....I think my POS trek's top speed was 25mph downhill with me sprinting for 30 seconds and then dying - I don't think it could go that fast if it had a motor attached to it.

I guess my question is, if I wanted to train for the sport class and race in beginner (I always believed that you should train up a level and stick with your skill class. It's not sandbagging, it's smart training), how should I train? Mon-Sun, what would my training program be, at what pace, and for how long before my first race?

Thanks
 

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iliveonnitro said:
I have a question that I don't think has been answered yet.

Not only how LONG should rides be...but how fast? I am a beginner. I have never raced a mountain bike, and I only started riding this past summer.
During endurance rides you should not be concerned with speed. Focus on keeping your heart rate from getting too high.
 

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iliveonnitro said:
how should I train? Mon-Sun, what would my training program be, at what pace, and for how long before my first race?

Thanks
I suggest that you spend some time checking the archives here, as there are several posts that show some sample weekly programs. Get some books too such as Morris, Friel, Charmichael, etc. there is a new one by Anne Trombley called serious mountain biking that might have some basic schedules (http://www.humankinetics.com/products/showproduct.cfm?isbn=0736054995).

Although those books might be too complicated and in-depth for what you are looking for at a beginner level.

One book I really liked was called Single Track Mind by Paul Skilbeck. His sample training programs were simple and straightforward and helped me a lot in developing a basic training program. It is out of print but you can find it real cheap out there.

Your questions are too general, and proper answers require LOTS of information about yourself, your abilities, your time, the events you are preparing for, etc. But at a beginner level, ANY structured program you do as long as you are consitent is going to provide you with significant improvement. So at this point I wouldn't worry at all about finding the 'right program' I'd just focus on putting something basic together and sticking with it for at least 6-8 weeks. And every 3 weeks take at least 5 days of recovery where you follow your program but cut the durations down significantly.

Once you have some training under your belt you'll know your body a lot better and will have a better foundation and understanding for a more customized program.
 
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