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Clydesdale by CHOICE!!!!!
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For fun of course. I have been riding bikes, like probably most everyone on this forum, ever since childhood. I started on BMX and even use to race in the summers at the local ABA bike track, nothing to brag about just mainly for fun.

I got into MTB About 12 years back and for the past 2 years I have been avid with the sport/hobby. In 2010 I brought my weight down from 275 to 200lbs( I'm 5' 9"). I'd like to loose 10 more. I did that mainly in the gym. I average 12 hours a week in the gym - 1 hour weight training followed by 1 hour cardio.

Anyway, what type of training do you guys do to build stamina and leg strength for those grueling hill climbs? Besides just riding, riding, riding.

Right now with my cardio I use mainly the treadmill for an hour. I start with the first half hour at a fast paced power walk about 4.5 speed and a 2 incline. Then for the last half hour I do speed intervals at extreme inclines like this; 2 minutes on 8 speed at 8 incline then 1 minute back down to 4 speed 2 incline then for the last 5 minutes I bring the incline back down to 1 and sprint back and forth from 10 speed to 6.

I also weight train. I won't post my whole routine but for legs I do heavy squats, dead-lifts, lunges, leg extensions, hamstring curls, etc.

Since this would be my first race I would like some advice on some beginner MTB races that would be good for me to enter,nothing crazy long maybe a short 6 mile sprint or something. The other thing that could pose a problem is my bike, I'll post a pick. I ride this thing EVERYWHERE. I just finished the build-up on it, it's not a race bike but I don't care.

I would really appreciate any real training advice anyone has to offer. By the way, I don't have any delusions of grandeur that I'm gonna be some bad a$$ed racer or anything. I just love exercise and want to have some good competitive fun with a sport that I truly LOVE!!. When you go from morbidly obese to totally great shape the exercise bug bites and doesn't quit. :thumbsup: By the way, I'm in the Auburn California area and call the Auburn/Foresthill trail network my home. check it out on the net at www.fatrac.org. Thanks in advance rcp916
 

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Grip it and rip it.
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1,219 Posts
Firstly, well done what you've achieved so far.

What i would say is that if you want to get in shape for bike racing, you need to be riding your bike. Running gets you fit alright, but won't help out much when it comes preparation for a bike race, especially if its the main cardio you are doing right now. Is it?

If your just getting into racing i'd say its probably better to not try and make a training plan for biking, unless you are the type of person that prefers things structured. Trying to have one or two hard effort rides a week, and one or two easy /fun/ play rides a week could be an option. I don't know what your schedule is like though obviously..

As for weights, a lot of riders train with weights, mainly in the winter and then do them once a week for maintenance during race season. I didn't work for me though, i was getting knee pain.. so all i do is ride my bike for fitness now (at varying degrees of time and intensity), along with some core work and push ups etc. A strong core can be a life saver in a mtb race.

Start to try out a few energy products that you may be thinking about using during the race, less chance of stomach problems etc then.

Good luck..
 

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Clydesdale by CHOICE!!!!!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the response. Ya I ride about 2 times a week i'd like to be riding more but with family obligations it can be tough to get out on the bike. As far as my gym routine that will always take priority, that became a way of life for me. Thanks again rcp916
 

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Can you at least get on the bike at the gym?

As posted above, running is way better than doing only weights or nothing at all, but to prepare for mtb racing it's essential you get some saddle time on a bike - even if it's only the bike in the gym.
 

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Clydesdale by CHOICE!!!!!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I forgot to add that I do the spin class twice a week instead of running. The class is real tough because the instructors are all bike racers. The classes are 45 minutes long high intensity riding, and I'm wiped out when I'm done.

What do you guys think of my bike? I know it is pretty unconventional for a race bike but I love that frame geometry it reminds me of a BMX and when I'm out free-riding I wouldn't want to be on anything else. I think I'll try a race at first on it and if I enjoy racing then I probably would invest in another bike. Thanks
 

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Slothful dirt hippie
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rcp916 said:
...Ya I ride about 2 times a week i'd like to be riding more but with family obligations it can be tough to get out on the bike...
OK, this is the ONLY thing I'm really qualified to tackle in this forum... I work full time, have a 20 mile one way commute, a husband, a preschool kid, and 3 dogs. Life is complicated before even adding training in there.

Late fall through spring I ride rollers at night/weekends on a road bike in the house. In fact last night I was watching The Biggest Loser on Hulu with my husband and kid while I ground away for 25 miles (sounds cheesy but it's motivational). ANY TV time is redeemable, fam is happy to have me there, and you can still get a load of laundry over from the washer to the dryer during a quick break if you have to.

Lunch hours are either cardio, circuit training*, or XC skiing until the snow melts and the mud dries up... then it's time to start bringing the bike to work. I'm fortunate to have trails near work but they're all on steep terrain, so it's a hill/time trial to get back to the office before an hour is up every ride day.

One weekend day I try to get a 2-4+ hour ride, roller session, XC ski session, etc in. The other day is given over completely to household chores and/or whatever the fam wants to do. I'm trying to hit 7 hours of true quality time a week these days... probably not enough for some of the endurance racing folks here are doing, but it's what I can do and maintain a balance with everything else I've got going.

*This is the only way I really do weight training any more- gotta squeeze the few minutes I have available to the max.
 

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As many I have young kids and work etc. If you want to race and be good (or at least feel good and finish in the top half overall). Spend much of the time in the gym riding your bike.
Get a road bike and ride anytime you have free time.
It could take 1 year or 5 years to get where you want (and still you will be trying to get better).
I am 5-9 and was about 175lbs at my highest weight. I am now 142 and 100x stronger than I ever was. it's taken me a few years of learning and riding with people that are faster than me to improve. On average I put in about 10-12hrs a week on the bike.
 

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One quick suggestion is put some clipless pedals on the bike instead of your flat platforms. This will help out in the hills and make your much more efficient. Besides that, just make sure your bike is in good working order. If you are very unfamiliar with basic maintenance, some of your local shops might provide a type of class where they will give your bike a tune up but you are there watching and the shop guy will explain to you what and why. They might also let you do some or all of the work with their supervision.

Besides that, doing hill repeats helps with riding hills better. Sign up for a race in "Beginner" category which is usually a shorter distance and go out and have a hell of a good time.
 
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