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Whenever I go to a race or have a large sprint I always feel very winded in the middle of it, what is the best way to improve my endurance on a trainer during the winter months? and out in the open in the summer months?
 

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RaceFace29 said:
Whenever I go to a race or have a large sprint I always feel very winded in the middle of it, what is the best way to improve my endurance on a trainer during the winter months? and out in the open in the summer months?
Go on really long rides at a relatively slow pace.
 

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Something that I found that helped me with XC running, and Very much riding bikes just in general is weight training. Basically when your muscles are stronger (not bulky though) you tend to work less when racing or whatever. The excerise that helped me the most was Squats and squat thrusts. I was always terrified of doing squats (back injuries and what not), but when i did start lifting i became noticiably better. I did squats because i wanted to become better at accelerating ( i do alot of BMX and freeride stuff where getting up to speed is important), but i also noticed that it helped when i did XC riding. Now when i ride XC, hill climbing and just general riding doesn't tire me out nearly as much. I've always had good lungs but sometimes on really long hill climbs my legs would just burn horribly, but now that they are stronger it seems i work alot less to get up hills not to mention i got TONS more power (i snap alot of chains on my SS bikes). Also weight lifting is something you can do in the winter months along with riding on a stationary bike or a thingy you put your bike in.
RaceFace29 said:
Whenever I go to a race or have a large sprint I always feel very winded in the middle of it, what is the best way to improve my endurance on a trainer during the winter months? and out in the open in the summer months?
 

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If you're finding you're having a bad patch at the same time in every ride it's probably going to be what you're eating pre ride and during the ride.

Look carefully at what you eat pre ride to make sure there's no simple carbs (sugar, glucose, dextrose etc) as this will give you a short term boost BUT your blood sugar levels are going to crash massively after a few hours and you'll feel dreadful on the bike. If this is the case you're probably cracking around the 1 1/2 to 2 hour mark.

The meal should ideally be complex carbs (eg. wholegrain cereal like Weetabix with milk) and include some protein (I like a whey protein drink as this will be easily digested unlike solid protein (meat, fish etc).

That should be 1-11/2 hours before and then if you're doing a longish ride (3hr plus) have a 500ml bottle of energy drink and a cereal bar 15-20 min before the start.

For short fast races it's best to have an empty stomach at the start. Sip the 500ml energy drink over the half hour before the start and don't eat anything.

During the ride you should try and drink 1 litre an hour of energy drink and use either energy bars or gel sachets very regularly to keep glycogen levels up. If you feel hungry at any point in the first 3 or 4 hours you're not eating enough.

The other thing is that you're probably going too hard at the start of the ride. Start slow and finish fast!:)

To improve endurance you need to do more miles on the bike at a constant pace. Road miles are best as you can keep the intensity more controlled.
 

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did you read the article?

dukeblaster said:
do you use weights with the one legged squat???
whats the jist of kettelbell circles and pistols?
sounds interesting.
You can do pistols with or with out weight. The interesting thing is that it is often easier to do them with a little weight (10-50#) held in front of you. It acts as a counter balance, which helps immensely if you are tight in the hamstring/calf chain.

By kettlebell circles, I meant those who use and compete with them, not an actual exercise. For all you ever wanted to know about kettlebells, go to dragondoor.com and cruise the site. Some of the testimony seems sensational, but the fact is, you get out more than what you put in. They teach athleticism more than weightlifting/powerlifting/bodybuilding.

What I like about them is that you can be very strong and have good cardio endurance (for humans, not like Lance's) without the extra bodyweight that bodybuilding produces. They are also very compact and take up almost zero space.
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Progressively longer and more challenging rides

RaceFace29 said:
Whenever I go to a race or have a large sprint I always feel very winded in the middle of it, what is the best way to improve my endurance on a trainer during the winter months? and out in the open in the summer months?
If you want to build endurance for racing then you have to work hard. Long slow leisurely rides won't cut it. What's the longest ride you've done in the past two weeks? Repeat that length ride but at a brisk enough pace to leave you struggling to finish. A week later increase the length of the ride by something like 10% and keep the same pace; you want to feel used up when you finish. The pace should NOT go anerobic but if you aren't really tired at the end of the ride you simply aren't going to make much progress. Do the long rides once a week and progressively increase the length of time you are on the bike. Note that I did not say increase the distance............it's the TIME on the bike that counts. As you ride longer distances and do it at a brisk pace you'll not only improve your endurance but also your speed. Add some high intensity efforts a few times a week and you'll see some positive improvements pretty quickly.

Most of my endurance training is not on single track. I've used rail trails, dirt and gravel roads on the mountainbike as well as just riding my road bike. That's not to say that it isn't worthwhile doing long rides that include significant portions of single track. I don't suggest long rides that are exclusively singletrack as they wear you out and take a significant amount of recovery time. I sometimes will ride roads to a trailhead, ride the singletrack, throw in some dirt roads and then more road riding to the next trailhead. Surprising how quickly you can put in 4 to 6 hours of fun riding like this.
 

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Someone above mentioned long rides at low speeds, I concur. I started taking my bike on the road (with slicks) and riding about three times the distance I would on singletrack. Now when I ride singletrack, I have much more energy, climb better, and can ride for longer.

Easy.
 

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I like to use dumbells for squats, lunges and partial squats. Not a lot just a little once or twice a week. I only spend maybe 30 minutes all together. A road bike would help a lot. I had one but it was stollen. Bastards. My mountain bike is falling apart so I'm a little strapped for bike money. In place of biking I try to run 2X a week but running sucks and it's just not the same. You can get a lot out or running but you can't go at for 3 or 4 hours.
 

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indoor/outdoor

RaceFace29 said:
Whenever I go to a race or have a large sprint I always feel very winded in the middle of it, what is the best way to improve my endurance on a trainer during the winter months? and out in the open in the summer months?
For indoor training, I recommend snorting a couple lines of crank and watching a 6-hour I Love Lucy marathon while riding.
Outdoors, ride farther and longer. Once a week, go long and run out of food and water, then drag yer suffering ass back while contemplating your imminent death. If you have to eat green hard apples and trailside berries, so much the better. When you get to the point that roadkill starts looking good, you know you're getting in some serious endurance training. All that will train your mind to go off somewheres else, and your body to suck it up Marine, so next time out, you're stronger than before. Without suffering, there are no gains.
Like Eddy Merckx said when asked how to become a better cyclist, "ride lots."
Like my D.I. told me, "pain is good."
 

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bulC said:
Once a week, go long and run out of food and water, then drag yer suffering ass back while contemplating your imminent death. If you have to eat green hard apples and trailside berries, so much the better. When you get to the point that roadkill starts looking good, you know you're getting in some serious endurance training. All that will train your mind to go off somewheres else, and your body to suck it up Marine, so next time out, you're stronger than before. Without suffering, there are no gains.
Like Eddy Merckx said when asked how to become a better cyclist, "ride lots."
Like my D.I. told me, "pain is good."
Once a week is definitely a bit much as it'll compromise your training for the rest of the week. You'll get better fitness and endurance results eating properly whilst riding as there's less of a drop off in power and intensity at the end of the ride. If you're blown then you can't keep your HR in the correct zone or train hard enough. You'll recover better post ride too.

It is a good idea now and then to deliberately go out for a long ride and blow completely due to not eating and drinking enough. A "What's the worst that can happen?" ride.:) Quite simply it shows you where your limits are and how you react mentally and physically to fatigue.

The trick is to learn to keep your concentration and tempo even when you're suffering very badly. A useful thing to remember on these rides is that you can often ride through bad patches and suddenly start feeling better again by simply backing the pace down, drinking and eating which will give you confidence in your ability over longer rides.

I'd say once every 2-3 months max followed by a recovery week is the most you'd want to do that for though. Normally try and get round in good shape.:)
 

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Whenever I go to a race or have a large sprint I always feel very winded in the middle of it, what is the best way to improve my endurance on a trainer during the winter months? and out in the open in the summer months?
well there are two types of muscle fibers, fast twitch and slow twitch (Dont laugh). Sprinters have alot more fast twitch muscle fibers which lets them run faster, but theres a downside. fast twitch muscle fibers cant keep working for long.
Slow twitch fibers let you run for a lot longer distances but then inhibit your speed. no matter what your muscles are made up of either fast twitch or slow twitch.

your job, find the right mix of muscle fibers for you. if you wanted to have good racing muscles (long races) i would say have 60-70 % of slow twitch fibers so you dont die in the middle of the race. if your case it looks like you have more slow twitch fibers because you say that you really gett winded while sprinting. well, then again, STOP SMOKE THOSE BUTTS!!!!

want to increase your endurance? ride on a moderat trail and do it until your lasy ass cant no more, come back in a day or to and repeat, then in another day or too reapet. ALSO, HAVE THE RIGHT NUTRITION to build new muscle, yes that means protien and before you even think about riding for a long time EAT COMPLEX CARBS they will give you the lasting energy. also dont use creatine, ya that will make you a bit strong but people dont know of the side effects of it, it just pumps your muclecs with more water and dehydrates your body. also creatin adds more wheight to your body in the form of water.

hope this helps, ahh ya, do sqauts. better yet go on the mens health "homegrown muscle" plan, helped me out alot!!!
http://www.menshealth.com/cda/article/0,2823,s1-1-0-0-216,00.html
 

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Purposely maintaining a poor diet on an endurance ride is just moronic and dangerous. If your not careful, you can end up in the middle of no where with no food and no water and no energy.

Endurance rides should be completed with still some energy remaining. You will want to ramp up your distances and maintain a decent pace. You should be able to maintain a conversation the entire time. When I say decent pace, I don't mean rolling grandma pace and I don't mean lung pumping pace. Keep the HR around 120-140.

I like training on the road bike. So I may not take anymore water than you would for a 2 hour ride, but I'll stop in a conv. store and grab some gatorade or water. If your on the trail, go to a place which you can do long loops. This way you can head back to the car and grab some more water and food. On the road bike I just increase my distances for endurance rides. For the trail though, I would want to increase time as distances don't mean much.
 

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witcomb said:
Purposely maintaining a poor diet on an endurance ride is just moronic and dangerous. If your not careful, you can end up in the middle of no where with no food and no water and no energy.

Endurance rides should be completed with still some energy remaining. You will want to ramp up your distances and maintain a decent pace.
That's the benefit of doing it deliberately. You can plan the route and still have plenty of food and drink with you.

That's a very different thing from going out on a long ride without enough food or drink. The ride isn't really about endurance either. It's quite simply about developing mental toughness and is intended as a rare special event. Blowing every weekend from lack of food and drink is a mistake.:)

In my previous post I said once every 2-3 months which to be honest is probably a bit much still. 6 months to a year is more like it.

As I said earlier there isn't any endurance benefit from blowing massively every ride. It's better to get round strongly as once you're blown you can't train hard enough.:)
 

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road bike training /spin class

I have raced three races this summer, and have loved every bit of it. I have the riding abilities to jump up to sport, but want to improve my endurance between now and next spring to do well in it. For those of you who are above and beyond this point, how much does road riding fit into your training plan? I have read the threads about distance, amounts etc, but just want a little more regarding the use of the road bike and how effective it is. Also, high intensity spinning class, a good idea as a supplement training session??
 

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WR304 said:
That's the benefit of doing it deliberately. You can plan the route and still have plenty of food and drink with you.

That's a very different thing from going out on a long ride without enough food or drink. The ride isn't really about endurance either. It's quite simply about developing mental toughness and is intended as a rare special event. Blowing every weekend from lack of food and drink is a mistake.:)
I completely agree with you on this. If you ride enough, it's gonna happen, your gonna screw yourself up one time or another... whatever the reason, it would be much more ideal to learn about this and the warning signs of it in a safe environment instead of 30 miles out on a trail. If you do it right, I think once is all anybody needs to not want to ever find themselves in that situation again. The more you ride the more you learn about pacing yourself for the type and length of the ride and what you need to consume to finish the ride comfortably and not find yourself in this situation.
 

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Reader's Digest condensed version of Training Bible

Nutrition, hydration, proper rest, efficient technique, biking skills, good strategy, reaching your optimum weight and cumulative biking experience are all important in racing. Endurance is the cornerstone skill: without good endurance, you won't do well in sport class or higher bike races.

It's been alluded to, but get a heart rate monitor.

Buy the Mountain Biker's Training Bible and do their graded exercise test. This will give you a number for your lactate threshold. If you don't want to spend the money, after a good warm-up, slowly increase your effort until you find the point where your breathing just starts to get ragged. This will probably be several beats per minute less than your racing heart rate. The LT heart rate is a lot easier to check than a max HR and it works well for training.

Do endurance rides of at least 90 minutes keeping your HR within a few BPM of 85 percent of your LTHR. For example, my max HR is 186 bpm, LT is 160 bpm and my endurance HR is 130-143 bpm. Over time do one weekly endurance (Training Bible zone 2) ride at this intensity for longer and longer, you can go to several hours if you want. You'll need to do shorter, intense intervals on other days, but the key to endurance is the long, relatively slow rides.

You'll need the HRM to hold you back at first. If you go at a pace that "feels right," you'll probably be going a little too fast (Training Bible zone 3). Fitness writers tend to label zone 3 as "no man's land." It is hard enough that you need a recovery day after, and it's too hard to go long enough to build endurance, but it's not hard enough to really advance your fitness.

Endurance is the critical basic ability for racing, but to race well you also need to do more intense training on top of that. Still, you need to do lots of endurance early in your training year and at least one 90 minute endurance ride a week during the whole year. If you're serious and don't want to get a coach, the Training Bible books are about the best I've found for information on the whole business of training.

Good luck.
 

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RaceFace29 said:
Whenever I go to a race or have a large sprint I always feel very winded in the middle of it, what is the best way to improve my endurance on a trainer during the winter months? and out in the open in the summer months?
Training for bike racing is pretty straight forward. It just takes a lot of time, commitment, and effort. Cycling is an endurance sport. Many focus prematurely on things like sprinting and short intervals, but you have to have a base of endurance. There is no substitute for spending many hours in the saddle in the Winter and early Spring. I'm talking 4 or more hours a day each Saturday and Sunday when it is cold out in February if you aspire to being a decent Expert or Cat 3. Going on a cycling vacation to somewhere nice and warm like San Diego or Majorca is a great way to get a jump start on building your endurance base. Over the winter you want to do longer intervals. Like several sets of 6-10 minutes at a certain HR. Doing these on rollers with some resistance like the Kreitler Dynomite will also improve your pedalling technique. As the season nears you do more and harder intervals. More sets, or longer intervals, higher HRs. Sprint training comes later. Its a pyramid, with loads of slow endurance riding at the bottom and speedwork at the top. Then training races. Then real races. The more you race, the better racer you will be. So if you are serious about racing race every weekend. Remember, for most people it takes years to build up enough fitness to be a good bike racer. The endurance and ability to suffer is cumulative. If you really want to improve I suggest you find a local coach. Having someone to report to every week will keep you on the program. Otherwise it's too easy to slack off. Join a club or team, too. It's easier to suffer when you have company. Cycling is a hard hard time consuming sport. But it is also increadibly fun and rewarding, and it gets more and more so when you start to taste success.
 
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