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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks! I thought I'd get the most/best responses posting this here, and I didn't know where else to post it, so here goes:

I've been having an amazing season so far, and have averaged 6 days of riding each week, as I've taken the summer off and have time for it. I don't really track my mileage because most of our trails are relatively short, but steep (!). I've averaged 9 to 10,000 feet of climbing each week, but probably less than 50 miles.

Now, I've been riding these trails for almost 25 years, and have nonetheless still been getting PRs on some of them.

At 41, I've noticed a few things though. After three days in a row of hard riding, my legs just get more and more tired unless I take a day off. What I'm wondering is, is this something I just have to accept, or is there anything different I should be doing?

I know that the amount of climbing I'm doing is significant, but by no means ridiculous compared to what some are doing. I have a buddy who's a little younger than me who averages 3k of climbing every day, I'd say.

How much is too much? Is this something where I need to eat more, or eat the right things, and the fatigue will go away? What say you?
 

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Elevating or maintaining fitness is a process of stressing your body followed by recovery and adaptation. If all your rides are hard or the same fatigue will inevitably set in and hamper progression.


10,000 ft. in 50 miles is a lot imo and it's hard to get an easy day in with that much climbing. I'm 15 years older than you and can ride 5-6 days in a row no problem but I try to mix up intense, very hard rides with easier ones. If I wanted optimal improvement I'd get a power meter and follow some sort of training plan.
 

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I see you're in Montana....anywhere near Bozeman?
I'm 66, in the Wasatch, retired and am averaging 132 feet of climb per mile, all trail riding. Yesterday's ride was 3700 feet of climbing for a 20 mile loop, all above 6500 feet, so pretty significant. My wife also rides and I'll go with her today, for a recovery ride. Those help, a lot, and I credit those with enabling me to ride continuously. I do take days off, but it's mostly because I have other things to do and other interests, not because I'm trashed.
So, I'd say occasional very easy rides help. I'm also getting PR's this year, but I think it's equipment related (at least, that's what I tell my wife - it makes expenditures on both of our bikes more palatable!).
 

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I’m going on 52 years old. After day three I’m really exhausted. To feel 100% fresh I need about three straight days of rest. The weather has been thoroughly great lately so I’ve been constantly tired since about May.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Elevating or maintaining fitness is a process of stressing your body followed by recovery and adaptation. If all your rides are hard or the same fatigue will inevitably set in and hamper progression.

10,000 ft. in 50 miles is a lot imo and it's hard to get an easy day in with that much climbing. I'm 15 years older than you and can ride 5-6 days in a row no problem but I try to mix up intense, very hard rides with easier ones. If I wanted optimal improvement I'd get a power meter and follow some sort of training plan.
Yes, it is hard to get an "easy" ride in, as almost every trail is steep -- so even if I'm not pushing it, it's hard work to get to the top regardless of effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I see you're in Montana....anywhere near Bozeman?
I'm 66, in the Wasatch, retired and am averaging 132 feet of climb per mile, all trail riding. Yesterday's ride was 3700 feet of climbing for a 20 mile loop, all above 6500 feet, so pretty significant. My wife also rides and I'll go with her today, for a recovery ride. Those help, a lot, and I credit those with enabling me to ride continuously. I do take days off, but it's mostly because I have other things to do and other interests, not because I'm trashed.
So, I'd say occasional very easy rides help. I'm also getting PR's this year, but I think it's equipment related (at least, that's what I tell my wife - it makes expenditures on both of our bikes more palatable!).
Yes, I'm in Bozeman. Most of our trails are more like 500 feet of elevation gain per mile, if not more. So yes, it's a pretty strong effort just to get to the top, let alone pushing yourself hard. Most rides are above 6000 feet as well.
 

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Yes, I'm in Bozeman. Most of our trails are more like 500 feet of elevation gain per mile, if not more. So yes, it's a pretty strong effort just to get to the top, let alone pushing yourself hard. Most rides are above 6000 feet as well.
I went to school there (1970-74). Every once in a while, I go back up to ride the Emerald Lake and Hyalite Lake trails, so I'm pretty familiar. I expect they are still too wet to ride, though. I used to lay over there with new copilots and I'd rent a pick up, get a couple of bikes at Owenhouse and take them out riding. If I head up there again, I may PM you for info.
Yeah, you need to ease off just a bit, if possible and throw in some easy rides, but I don't remember any easy rides near Bozeman! Hit the Gallatin for some kayaking and go up to "Practice Rock" and get in some climbing to spread the pain, I guess!
 

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I'm 48 and have ridden multiple days in a row for years. Just got finished with six days in a row of riding, four days of which were long, rocky rides. I find that day three is hard. But by day four, my legs usually start to get the hang of it. It's certainly not easy though. Sometime I wonder how the Tour de France racers do it. Tough guys for sure.

An often overlooked aspect of multiday riding is keeping your ass from getting sores. I use A&D Ointment.
 

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I can manage 6 days of hard biking provided I eat properly and spend about one hour on recovery exercises after the rides every day. Without recovery stuff I could probably manage 3 days max in a row. I'm a bit over 40.
 

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Those are impressive numbers! I actually give myself 24hrs off after each session depending on what I'm doing. Most of the time, riding every other day is the norm when I'm road cycling. If I'm biking around a bike park, I can ride more frequently throughout the week.
 

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If I rode until I needed a break then I’d be taking more then just 1 day off. I’ll have a hard time getting the motivation to get back on track after that. So I stick with 5 days a week.
 

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The two most important data points for me are time and elevation. Miles don't tell the whole story with mountain bikes. How is it that you know your elevation gain but not time or distance?

If you're not "training" you can ride as much as you want IMO. If you over-work your body it will tell you when it's had "too much."

That said your body needs rest. Taking 1 day off per week is fine. I've ridden for 13-15 days strait plenty of times with no ill effects. It is good though to throw in an easy day every now and then.

Your level of fitness will ultimately determine how much and how often you can ride. 10-12 hours per week shouldn't be a problem for a fit rider. Once you start getting into the 15-18+ category you risk "over training" and just constantly being in a fatigued state. Not a huge problem necessarily unless you are racing and trying to be at peak performance. For non racers it will just mean you will be slower and not able to ride at high intensity for as long.

In my experience when I push my body too hard in a race it tells me with unmistakable signs that it doesn't appreciate what I'm doing. I know I have to back off, it's scary at times. (never experienced this from normal riding)

If your body wasn't able to handle what you're asking of it, you would know.
 

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I ride pretty much everyday at 36 (when I haven't injured myself from cycling/otherwise). Each morning I got out with my dog for a short loop. It's hard in the sense that I constantly try to push up the initial steep switchback climb faster or in a higher gear. But that's a fairly short climb and I'm used to it so now I can do it every day with little problem. if you do something everyday, it's amazing what the body will get used to, but it can take some time in which you need to rest in between as you get used to it.

Now, if you are working on increasing your mileage/elevation gain/ride time, then that's a different story to me. If I suddenly jump up to a much longer, harder ride, I can do maybe three days of that in a row (though I rarely hit even that many days going that much over my average). Still, I suspect that if I had time to do what I now consider long tough rides, I could get used to it sufficiently to do it everyday.
 

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I ride roughly 7 days a week. But I have light days. My M/W/F commutes are generally really easy. Tuesday is a big road ride (typically 100 miles). Thursday is a 3ish hour MTB. Then whatever the weekend brings (lately commuting on Sundays for OT).

It's less how much you ride, and more the intensity. When I am fatigued, I drop the intensity. When I am fresh, I push.
 

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I used to ride 50+ miles a day on a road bike every day 7 days a week, 30-40 to work 10 to 20 home depending on the route while working a 10 hour day as a mechanic. I must have been crazy because I never slowed down.

I cant do that now because my current job start times are travel are different. My mech job was only 7 miles away so if I had to cut it short I could and had to be there by 8:30.
my current job starts at 5:30am and is 35 miles away.
 

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I try to ride daily for at least two hours, prefer longer but that does not always happen. Usually end up riding six days out of the week due to some kind of commitment making me miss a day.

Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
 

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Two days of intensity per week. It's hard to do more than that and not break yourself down.

You can ride 7 days a week doing recovery or long easy rides, but on an mountain bike? Difficult to pull off on trails. Too many steep sections that will put you over the limit.
 

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Over the years I've learned that my body responds the best to a lot of hard days in a row with few days of total rest. I actually like to put in moderate efforts on my recovery days. When I was running more ultras I found that tapering right before a race was one of the worst things I could do. If I was going to taper I would try to do it 2 weeks before the race then start building my intensity and effort in the days before the race.

I currently work 24 hour shifts so running or biking 7 days a week just doesn't happen anymore. But in the years before I had this schedule I would often run or bike 15-20 days in a row. During those times I'd have one recovery ride a week with that being a moderate effort.

The one thing that I found that really helped me to recover and progress is following each run or ride with a Protein shake. There is actually a very noticeable difference between the times I use it vs. not using it. In my early days of biking I used a variety of different products. Then a co-worker's wife gave me a partially used container of Beverly International Ultimate Muscle Protein powder. Been using it ever since.

Just remember. Your body is unique to you. What works for someone else may not work for you. It's a constant experiment figuring out what makes your body work it's best.
 

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You can ride 7 days a week doing recovery or long easy rides, but on an mountain bike? Difficult to pull off on trails. Too many steep sections that will put you over the limit.
Normally I ride MTB 2-4 times a week, couple of time pure technical (and quite exhausting) stuff near the office and couple of times - mix of XC and tech, usually totalling 60-90km over the week with 1-1.5km of climbing on gravel and rocks. I ride road bike only when MTBking is not an option (early season when trails are still under snow or after heavy rains). On top of that I do have 2 more days of other training per week.
For me the key to riding multiple days in a row is the recovery process.

YMMV.
 
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