Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I've got a 2 hour race coming up in 2 and a half weeks. It is a race that I have done the previous two years and I'm hoping to improve my average speed this year. I'm riding quite a lot at the moment, commuting and riding with a friend who is also competing (we seem to make eachother ride a little faster). But I'm still feeling a little sluggish, not quite on my game.

Does anyone have any good tips for training in the last few weeks? I am reasonably fit now, but I could always be fitter and faster. When to start tapering?

Also, the bike I'm riding this year is about a kilogram heavier than the one I used last year. BUT the fit is better. For a two hour race, which is more important FIT or WEIGHT? I can still use the other one if need be.

Thanks for any advice you can throw my way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
I usually begin tapering the 7-10 days before a big race - cut volume by 50-60% but maintain intensity to keep some "snap" in my legs. You're not going to be able to increase your speed much, if at all, in 2.5 weeks. But, you may want to try a couple of interval workouts. Try going all-out for 45 sec followed by 5 min going as fast as can maintain for the duration. This will help with race starts, which are the most important part of the race.

Fit is ALWAYS more important than weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Two hours is a fairly long mountain bike race. Riders that I know in the expert class train at least 10 hours a week and ride at least five days to prepare for two hour races. If you havent been riding at least five days a week I think that can lead to sluggish performance. The reason is you never really get into good shape. I have tried the 3-4 day a week training routine and it never worked for me. Another reason for getting sluggish is getting old. If you are around 32-35 you will notice you cant go like you used to.

You didnt say how much riding you are doing so a last minute ride schedule is just a guess. I would ride fairly hard for three days straight then rest then ride hard for three more days and rest and continue right up till one or two days before the race and then rest completely. Riding fairly hard in this case is 1-2 hours at 80-90% of race pace. That averages out to 5.5 to 11 hours per week. If your all ready riding at least this much then I would probably add some more riding in and making the fourth day a light day of riding. The last two days really need to taper off.

Riders who have two or more bikes usually make their decisions by how bumpy-technical a course is going to be. If its a fairly smooth course the lighter bike would probably be the choice. On a bumpy course the full suspension gets the nod and will usually be faster over a long race.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice. I'm riding 10-15 hours per week at the moment. It is hot here now (32C) so my rides are about 2 to 3 hours max. My commute is 35-40 minutes each way, faster on the way home because doesn't matter if I'm a sweaty mess.

I'll give those intervals a go, race starts are definitely a weakness for me.

A bit more training and then some tapering. I'm 31 years old now, but I seem to be getting faster/stronger. Though admittedly my recovery times are longer these days.

Cheers,

Mtnkiwi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
mtnkiwi said:
Thanks for the advice. I'm riding 10-15 hours per week at the moment. It is hot here now (32C) so my rides are about 2 to 3 hours max. My commute is 35-40 minutes each way, faster on the way home because doesn't matter if I'm a sweaty mess.

I'll give those intervals a go, race starts are definitely a weakness for me.

A bit more training and then some tapering. I'm 31 years old now, but I seem to be getting faster/stronger. Though admittedly my recovery times are longer these days.

Cheers,

Mtnkiwi
That's actually a lot of riding for a regular joe. In addition, don't underestimate the toll that commuting can take on your recovery especially now that it is hot.

2.5 weeks is an ideal time to set up a 'peak' for a race. Something that has worked very well for me, though your mileage may vary is to ride a block of hard training 2weeks before a race. This 'peaking' block consists of 2-3 days. Very high intensity. Duration is decreased over successive days while intensity is maintained. For example the first day might be a race simulation, same duration as a race (2.5hrs). 2nd day would be same intensity but 1.75hrs. Third day would again be same intensity by 1hr.

After a block like this I am totally trashed. In the past it has literally taken me up to 11 days to start to feel halfway decent again. After the block is completed I'll take a 1-2 days really easy or completely off then I'll take a week to train with a normal schedule EXCEPT I'll cut back on all the durations. This allows your body to start to really recover and supercompensate for the previous hard effort.

Mentally this time is really hard because I feel like total crap. Patience is the key and just train through it, but be careful not to overdo it. that is why it is important to cut back on the durations as compared to how you typically trained.

The week of the race, I start to ramp up intensity but still keep durations a little lower than typical. 2 days before the race completely off or super easy

Day before: 1hr easy w/ 5x1min on 2min off hard intervals

Just an idea to try, but it has worked well for me in the past. See Eddie B's book on road race training for a more detailed description of this peaking strategy.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top