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Getting in Shape

1702 Views 20 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  sparkman10
I have had my new bike for a few weeks now and I am trying to figure out how to get into mountain bike shape. I am a freak of nature and went to arkansas 10 days after i got my bike and road 42 miles in 2 days but with breaks here and there but without a ton of difficulty. The climbs were hard until I figured out my gears a little. Whats the best strategy to get into shape? I know riding more would help, but what all does everyone use to do this?

Thanks for any and all advice!
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Find the biggest steepest naistest hill. Sit at the bottom and look at it. Then ride up it. Stand up and mash in a middle gear until you can't go any more. Then get off and walk the bike or shift into granny gear and pedal until you get your breath back. Once you get you breath back stand up and mash as fast and as hard as you can. Once you get to the top go back down and do it again. Anyone can ride a bike across a flat for miles and miles. Most people do not train to climb because it sucks. I have taken my bike up stuff people don't like to drive up because I train for the climb.
this is what i did to lose some weight ride more eat less
and spread out my food through out the day eating
and never give up.
take it one day at a time
i went from 185 to 155.
Thanks for the advice! I really want to work on climbing because thats the only part I lost a lot of momentum but I am blessed I was still able to do it. I am 6'3" and a buck 80 at 25 years old. Tall and lanky but need to get some more leg strength. I have the will power and lungs just need a starting point.
Well all I can give you is my own perspective and its simply this.Try to make your rides fun.It sounds as if you have a good base! 42 miles in 2 days!? Thats pretty darn good in my book! Keep on keepin on!
42 miles on road or trail? Going on a race, bike tour, or marathon is a good way to break through to another level if not used to really pushing yourself. Altho not a good way to get fit.
Since you want to build leg strength try squats and dead lifts before and or after your rides. shoot for 20 reps 1 1/2 x your wieght. Start light and build. Do some core excersise also. Always stretch after.
Try to eat 5-6 times a day to suppurt your building. Include protien with each meal.
I guess my fav routine would be, warm up, 20 squats, put on ear music, ride 5-10 miles to park or beach, do 50 pull ups, or 100 push ups, or 75 dips, some core, ride home, maybe a detour, 20 dead lifts, ssstretch, eat.
If your new to fitness, than pretty much any improvements you make, you will see a difference if you stick with it.
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If you are looking for shortcuts, there aren't order to get in shape you basically just have to go out there and suffer especially the also have some consistency even if its just once or twice a week but it has to be every week....
42 miles of trail... Not really looking for a shortcut, but I am new to this sport and just needed different ideas to see what people try to do and see what can work for me. I have been an athlete all my life and I like how this sport is no different than any other as in the preperation side. I like the fact that at any given second I can be on the ground. Makes you keep remembering your human! Thanks again everyone for your advice!
I have a couple of bikes, since if I want to go mountain biking I need to get in my car and drive somewhere. So I commute on a bike, most days, and I do some days on the road. I don't presently do any resistance training.

Do some ab work. It'll make mountain biking less hard on your back. Keep riding. Keep having fun with it. If you start having some more specific goals later, like racing or finishing an endurance ride, you can get more specific about your training. If you need a name for what you're doing now, it's "base" or "tempo," depending on how hard you ride. As long as you're pushing your abilities a little bit, you really don't need to get more complicated than nachomc's Merckx quote, aside from I think doing some crunches in the morning is really helpful.
I've found that the best thing to improve biking is more biking. I keep in shape in other ways, too, but training my legs in the specific ways that they'll be stressed while biking just seems to be hard to replicate. I think of it like training a skill rather than being all-around in shape.
i just ride till i want to go home then i'm so far from home or the car that i have to get back there.
Drop your seat down and ride up hill, its like mountain bike hack squats. Get a hart rate monitor and try to maintain a certain rate for the whole ride. I started with 120 bpm and it really got me going.
x2 on the ride single speed. I can feel my legs getting stringer! Or like all ready said, ride up hills in a middle gear on your bike, stand up and push till you can't anymore.
My uncle was an avid cyclist for many years. Upwards of 15,000 miles per year. He told me these simple words.

Cycling gets you in shape for one thing. Cycling.

You gotta ride more to get stronger.
Riding more and consistantly is good stuff. Be sure and give yourself some rest days during the week as well. Drinks lots of water, all day every day. YOu can be in really good shape, but if you go out dehydrated every time, you'll never get the most out of your training.
Yesterday at Thompson Park we have a huge hill that a lot of athletes train on by wearing heavy back-packs and running up and down it until they drop. I decided to do a downhill run and it was fast! Then.....I climbed the bike up that hill. When I reached the top I had to sit on the park bench and just drop the bike. I could feel the burn in my thighs and I was out of breath, my heart was pumping hard and sweatin like pig. IT SUCKED! even in the lowest gear.

I did this five times yesterday, ride down for a reward then pump up the hill for the workout. Going uphill sucks, but I know I'l need this capability in the woods, so may as well start pushing it.

P.S. after the fith time up the hill I had to bail 3/4 the way up....My body literally quit and had no more to give lol... It was hard to do after never riding in over 18 years. Doing uphill climbs on a nice hill like that should build up leg strength and show me how to tackle hills in the woods.

It sucks, but with every fun aspect there has to be the work and pain to earn it.

Be careful though and make sure you do some stretches first before you do uphill training. Find a nice hill at a park to do this. Also don't push to hard.

This is good even for just keeping in shape, not just for bike riding.
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For me, interval training is where it's at (basically exactly what the others are saying about climbing till you can't). Push yourself until you feel that lactate burn in your legs, and then back off and go a bit easier until it goes away. I try to do that on every one of my rides, especially on the climbs - push till I can't anymore, give it a short slowdown, and repeat. It seems like every day my legs are stronger and ready for more.
Killertofu said:
i just ride till i want to go home then i'm so far from home or the car that i have to get back there.
If I am on my street tires, this is how I do it as well. :D

If I am on the singletrack, I can't turn back so I have to keep pressing til the course is done. Either way, it is a workout.
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