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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two questions:

1. How many of you use the philosophy of "racing yourself to shape"? There's another thread with a rider wanting to train all season for a single race. I was thinking that is so unusual.

I know a local rider who seems addicted to racing. I see his name on everything: cyclocross, superD, crit racing, Xterra, XC ski races, 24 hr racing, running 5K's...it just doesn't seem to stop. Or is he doing this to keep himself in shape?

2. I decided to incorporate strength training on the bike (just from what I've read in this forum). I do my typical strength routine (pushups, bentover rows, abs, back extension, calves) but then finish with strength training on the bike, using it as a squat replacement. How do you guys do it??

I decided to do 4 set of 3 minutes each. 2 minute rest in between. RPM about 50. Lots of muscle tension, but HR may reach 10 beats below threshold. What routine/specifications do you use??
 

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"There's another thread with a rider wanting to train all season for a single race. I was thinking that is so unusual." I had no idea that this sort of thing was so unusual, I guess i have it backwards from the racer set, but I don't ride to keep in shape, I keep in shape to ride. In the decade and half I've been riding, I have done a couple of races and they were always great fun. The race I want to do is very difficult, so it's one exception to my above noted general philosophy. The path of the racer is, i think, a good path, but it is not my path, and it is not the only path. I do appreciate the advice though, so I hope I'm not coming across as ungreatfull...
thanks again, and have a good one all
 

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hmmmm... does it make a difference?

I ride to stay in shape, it's part of my fitness routine, period.

Traing for a single race, a few races, a series of races or an entire season of racing (IMO) only puts a tighter focus on that fitness goal and actually provides something to aim for. When I had the duathlons SERIOUSLY in mind, suddenly it took my training to a different level.

I think I actually said to the family out loud, "Now I have a purpose for doing all this work!" :D

The elliptical seems to kick my butt harder than being on the stationary trainer, yet working (what feels like) the same muscle groups as when I ride. So I say train hard and ride hard for one race, many races or NO RACE AT ALL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
FatTire said:
"There's another thread with a rider wanting to train all season for a single race. I was thinking that is so unusual." I had no idea that this sort of thing was so unusual, I guess i have it backwards from the racer set, but I don't ride to keep in shape, I keep in shape to ride. In the decade and half I've been riding, I have done a couple of races and they were always great fun. The race I want to do is very difficult, so it's one exception to my above noted general philosophy. The path of the racer is, i think, a good path, but it is not my path, and it is not the only path. I do appreciate the advice though, so I hope I'm not coming across as ungreatfull...
thanks again, and have a good one all
That's cool. At least you out there doing it!!!
 

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Poncharelli said:
Two questions:

1. How many of you use the philosophy of "racing yourself to shape"? There's another thread with a rider wanting to train all season for a single race. I was thinking that is so unusual.

I know a local rider who seems addicted to racing. I see his name on everything: cyclocross, superD, crit racing, Xterra, XC ski races, 24 hr racing, running 5K's...it just doesn't seem to stop. Or is he doing this to keep himself in shape?

2. I decided to incorporate strength training on the bike (just from what I've read in this forum). I do my typical strength routine (pushups, bentover rows, abs, back extension, calves) but then finish with strength training on the bike, using it as a squat replacement. How do you guys do it??

I decided to do 4 set of 3 minutes each. 2 minute rest in between. RPM about 50. Lots of muscle tension, but HR may reach 10 beats below threshold. What routine/specifications do you use??
1. Picking one race and training for it with a red fot focus will make you faster at that race than if you do random races every weekend. Nothing wrong with that tho' if you are having the time of your life. It always keeps you in shape but does not allow that one fine peak performance.

2. Nice one. Hill reps rule too.
 

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I think racing is important to get into tip top race shape, but I don't necessarily agree that racing yourself into shape is good. I think that implies that racing is your only intensity workout. You should be doing some structured interval training at different intensities to prepare yourself for race intensity.

As far as on the bike strength training. The muscle tension workouts are good. especially on a hill. If you know what muscle tension is, I'm guess you know what the Tempo workout is. that's a good one too, but probably should be integrated in to your workouts during the build/preparation phase.
 

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The whole " racing yourself into shape" doesn't apply to MTB'ers or really amateurs racers of any kind, it's more used by road racers who race 100+ days a year where you are on the bike so much that it'll actually work. Most amateurs might race 20 races a year 30 tops, hardly enough volume to get into proper shape.
 

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Rivet said:
The whole " racing yourself into shape" doesn't apply to MTB'ers or really amateurs racers of any kind, it's more used by road racers who race 100+ days a year where you are on the bike so much that it'll actually work. Most amateurs might race 20 races a year 30 tops, hardly enough volume to get into proper shape.
Rivet- I agree with you in your general analogy but for my racing calendar those 20-30 races are fit into a smallish period of time (4-5 mos). Thus is could constitute a race a weekend +/- and would allow you to "race yourself into shape" I personally have found that I never go harder than when I'm racing thus racing is very integral into my peak fitness plan. But I also consider the weekly crit series and Tuesday nighter as "racing"...regardless of entry fee or not.
 

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Race pace

I think that the more I race, the better I race. Now, having said that, here is the real deal. Like somebody just said, if racing is your only intensity, you won't be as fast as you can be. But racing is difficult to simulate. The super hard starts, passing (without blowing up) and then hanging on for dear life are hard to replicate in training. Also I feel it helps my bike handling because certain lines on a trail will open up (or shut down!) at race pace.

In season I do "race simulation" workouts on a trail I know well and where I know what a good time for me is. I blow these out pretty hard, but racing is still different. Maybe it's because you can't always ride at "your pace", meaning that you may have to gas it to make a pass in a section where you might normally recover or cruise through a section where you would normally be hammering away.

Another thing about racing a lot (which may not be a factor for many of you guys) is that you get your routines dialed in. What to bring, what to eat, what to carry, and how to warm up are some examples. I always seem more relaxed on the start line after I get a few races under my belt.

You can also figure out your racing stragagies. Do you need to be first to the ST or can you kill them on the climbs? Do you need to start slower then pass the field on the second lap? If it's a series you can also learn the other rider's tendencies. Last year there was one guy who was always first to the woods, then he would fade. Another one would get there 4 or 5 guys back then start making passes. Yet another would start sometimes behind mid pack, then come back & win the dang thing every time!

As for on the bike strength, I feel that nothing beats a singlespeed on some rolling trail!
 

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Once again, mtbfool nailed it - hard to "race into shape" as the guys racing agaianst you likely trained to race and may be in better shape. But 'fools pretty accomplished, and ought to know.

xray_ed said:
But racing is difficult to simulate - The super hard starts, passing (without blowing up) and then hanging on for dear life are hard to replicate in training.
This describes a lot of our team (road) training rides! Road riding with faster guys really, REALLY makes you push all-out. When you learn that it is "easier" to suffer like mad and stick a wheel than to fall off (and then try and "catch up later"), you will have found the perfect race-pace simulation. Chasing the Pro/1/2 guys around makes me wanna collapse, barf, see Elvis, and nearly pee my shorts... but is superb mtbike race training. Do it for 2-3 hours 1-2 times a week, in addition to some other workouts, and presto! Race form come on most years pretty well.
 

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mtbfool said:
Ahhh, college. :D
BWAAAHHAAAAAA!

Except back in the college days, um, I'd be seeing more than Elvis typically!

One time while under the influence of - not citric - acid I had this fabulous discovery, er - or what seemed like it at the time; A fresh stack of small paper-bags, like for school lunches and glue sniffing - appeared to be some sort of Alice in Wonderland stack, as I kept peeling one after another after another off that tightly packed pile of paper bags. My friends at that halloween party were VERY suspicious at my fixation on this amazing discovery, and for some reason not nearly as amused.

Um, yeah.

Why did I post that?

:yesnod:
 

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glenzx said:
BWAAAHHAAAAAA!

Except back in the college days, um, I'd be seeing more than Elvis typically!

One time while under the influence of - not citric - acid I had this fabulous discovery, er - or what seemed like it at the time; A fresh stack of small paper-bags, like for school lunches and glue sniffing - appeared to be some sort of Alice in Wonderland stack, as I kept peeling one after another after another off that tightly packed pile of paper bags. My friends at that halloween party were VERY suspicious at my fixation on this amazing discovery, and for some reason not nearly as amused.

Um, yeah.

Why did I post that?

:yesnod:
As you get older, aren't you supposed to figure out how to do things with ease? It used to be a lot easier to get to that state with the college method. Now we choose to get there by going hypoxic on a bike.:nonod:
 

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Sadly this is me also, but not because I only want to do one race but because if I weant to race I have to fly to another country or island to do so and that gets very expensive. I'm going to be working on trying to get some MTB racing going here, but for now it's focus on the LT100 in August an in doing so I'm pretty sure I'll get quite a bit fitter than I already am - managed to keep a bit of the fitness from last year so I'm building on it instead of starting over.

Poncharelli said:
.............There's another thread with a rider wanting to train all season for a single race. I was thinking that is so unusual................?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the responses.

1. I'll stick to general philopshy that "racing to shape" is best applied within the scope of your training plan (which some of you have advised).
Stick to the Friel rules: During build periods, use a crit (or short fast roadie rides, as Glenx described) to replace a speed endurance workout, a RR (or MTB race, I believe) to replace a muscular endurance workout. While doing that replacement, don't alter the training week to prioritize the race. "Train through the race."

Probably good idea to do very limited racing during base building periods.

As far as those that I've observed that seem addicted to racing (doing 60+ races a year), maybe that fits into their training plan.....or maybe they don't
have a plan? Who knows? I guess roadies typically do that because they have the races available.

"X-rayed" talked about the preparation practice that comes from racing a lot; that is a big plus. After doing 20 races last year I can say that the butterflies are 99% gone. I think I have my pre-race routine down pretty good.


2. I'll try to do the "strength on bike" on hills, once it gets warm enough. I'm currently doing them on my rollers. I just click it up to the
highest gear (53-12), and pedal slow and strong through the circle. According to the krietler conversion chart I'm around 250 watts doing this
exercise at around 50-60 rpm, hr 10 beats below LTHR.


Here is Carmichael's description for muscle tension intervals, he labels this as on-bike strength training:

MuscleTension Intervals (MT)

Goal:
Development of cycling specific strength. High muscle tension during the interval assists in the recruitment of fast twitch
muscle fibers, which are important during intense efforts.

How to Do It:
This workout should be performed on a long, moderate (5-8%) climb or on a trainer with your front wheel set on a slight
incline, 4-6 inches above the normal horizontal plane to simulate your climbing position. Pedal cadence must be low
(50-55 RPM) and the heart rate intensity is not important (because your legs are moving slow your heart rate will be low).
Large gears (such as 53x12-15 up hill) are required to produce the low cadence and high muscle tension. Correct form must
be strictly maintained during these intervals. Strong concentration is needed to keep your upper body absolutely smooth yet
relaxed while concentrating on correct pedaling form (over the top & through the bottom of the pedal stroke).

Anyways, thanks again.
 

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Being in my mid 40s and finding I had put on some weight, I began riding my mountain bike a lot more. But still I couldn't get all my weight off and sometimes didn't have a lot of motivation.

Then I discovered racing. It's my motivation to keep weight off and to ride even harder on training days. My goal is not to get on the podium, but to (in no particular order) keep weight off, not get hurt, have fun, not come in last, and at least do better than I did the year before.
 

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my.02 cents

I can only handle around 10 -15 races per year or i get burned out. I think everyone is different and you have to do what works for you.

I left the gym 3 seasons ago :thumbsup: ...and have switched to doing on the bike strength training. I've gone from a structured set up like your doing to just over-gearing on all the hills. I try to get 2 rides in per week, 3 hours long on my SS. OUCH :eek: :eek:
Be sure to get in some high cadence low tension work after the muscle tent ion intervals to clean the legs out.

Glen....I'll get you some new paper bags for your B_day ;) Great story. I have one about doing acid grave yard.but....thats another thread for another time
 

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merlin said:
my.02 cents

I can only handle around 10 -15 races per year or i get burned out. I think everyone is different and you have to do what works for you.

I left the gym 3 seasons ago :thumbsup: ...and have switched to doing on the bike strength training. I've gone from a structured set up like your doing to just over-gearing on all the hills. I try to get 2 rides in per week, 3 hours long on my SS. OUCH :eek: :eek:
Be sure to get in some high cadence low tension work after the muscle tent ion intervals to clean the legs out.

Glen....I'll get you some new paper bags for your B_day ;) Great story. I have one about doing acid grave yard.but....thats another thread for another time
Yea, the SS is great for intervals. I find that I have to be careful not to ride it too much especially during summer when I'm riding a ton, it's easy to get overtrained and dig yourself into a hole riding that bike all the time.
 

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merlin said:
Great story. I have one about doing acid grave yard.but....thats another thread for another time
___ooooooEEEEEEEOOOOOOOoooooooooooo....

Sounds scary!

:D
 
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