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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The more I ride and research, the more I learn and the more questions I have.

I am starting to figure my body out, what my heart rate means ect. I have a friend that is a cat 1 racer and is incredibly fit with out really trying (pro back in his day). He's been nice enough to let me ride with him now that I wont completely ruin his rides. Although I see him waiting for me time and again I always tell him to do his thing and I can find my own way home.

Went for a good ride today, about 60km at an average speed of 27kmh. That's a much higher pace then I am used to. Pretty windy in the way out but he was nice enough to let me cheat the whole way and tuck in(it was that or leave me out there lol). Keeping his pace(him not really trying it seemed) my heart rate was sky high the whole time. mostly in the 170-180 range(about race pace for me). I was able to keep this up to my surprise for 2.5 hours. I feel fine now that the ride is done.

What I worry about is pushing that high for that long of a period. Now it is early season and there is still snow every where and that was probably the first really hard consistent effort I have done since November of last year.

I feel I get a lot of fitness riding with people that are faster then me. I don't "know" how to train yet, but I'm working on it. Getting my lactate testing done to see where I should be training at. I find I don't push myself enough on my own so I really enjoy trying to keep up.

Am I doing harm by trying to keep up with him? As I said, I feel great after the ride. not tired and I can still go up the stairs :).

My though is it only gets easier right? I do listen to my body and I know when to shut it down or if I'm to burnt to keep up I will just do my own ride. Did a ride last week with him and didn't eat enough before hand and I hit the wall. barley got home and had to nap it off for a few hours.

On a good note, no cramps this year yet. I posted before about the issue and after some longer rides and some Cal/Mag/zinc and potassium vitamins they haven't came back. at today's pace, I would have cramped half way through!

I rambled, sorry. sum it up, If I feel good enough after keeping pace is there any harm in pusing past my comfort zone?
 

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EAT MORE GRIME
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just do what you are doing

pushing out of your comfort zone is how to get faster

you are lucky to have a hammer pilot to chase. keep doing that
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I feel pretty lucky. Most people I ride with like to stop at every junction or intersection.

My hope is I dont hinder his training in any way. it apperas to me that his easier days are the ones I struggle with lol.
 

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mnoutain bkie rdier
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just do what you are doing

pushing out of your comfort zone is how to get faster

you are lucky to have a hammer pilot to chase. keep doing that
+1 Your learning curve will be much less after riding with someone who knows what's up. Keep asking questions too. Just buy him some beer for hooking you up.

Same goes for me and I happen to be a Cat 1. I jump at the opportunity to ride with guys who are faster than me. My goal is the same as yours really..

.02
 

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Riding with people who are faster than you is useful as it both pushes you to improve and also raises your expectations of what you can do. If other riders can go that fast that's what you aim for too, acting as an incentive to raise your game to a higher level.:)

I wouldn't worry about pushing yourself hard for several hours. If you've done it once you can do it again. The main thing is to make sure you recover between these tough rides and also keep doing your own interval sessions to work on the other aspects of your riding also.
 

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washed-up moto guy
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Amen to the 'riding with faster people' point.

Regarding the question of pushing yourself too hard, I think it is a good thing that you feel hesitant on mindlessly pushing hard. Using heart rate is certainly better than nothing, however, it is tough to get an accurate figure of how your body is responding to your training load. I use the TSS (training stress score) metric and power to quantify my training load.

That being said, I think you're doing it right. Listening to your body and prioritizing it's condition over ambitions of holding with others should always take precedence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks. Mentally it was a huge plus for me to be able to keep a steady pace for over 2 hours. Last season I had a 50km mountain bike race that saw me cramp at my usual 20-25km range and that was keeping my HR around 170 trying to conserve. Knowing I can survive a constant hard/ uncomfortable effort for that long gives me high hopes for the first race next month.

Still getting use to road riding, there is no recovery.

Now to figure out intervals!
 

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mnoutain bkie rdier
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Thanks. Mentally it was a huge plus for me to be able to keep a steady pace for over 2 hours. Last season I had a 50km mountain bike race that saw me cramp at my usual 20-25km range and that was keeping my HR around 170 trying to conserve. Knowing I can survive a constant hard/ uncomfortable effort for that long gives me high hopes for the first race next month.

Still getting use to road riding, there is no recovery.

Now to figure out intervals!
Fwiw...if you ride road in groups and you know what you are doing, there should be some time for recovery with the ability to grab someone's wheel. During a crit...well..that is different.
 

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XCdude
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The simple answer is

Ride a lot.
Hours every week 12+hrs every week for a few months, after that, you will learn how your body responds to training loads. You need some long days 4+ hrs and some faster shorter rides (tempo). Performance improvement is not linear, so you have to learn that.
Keeping a ride journal will help, somethings work and some don't.

Find hills and ride them.
If your are really serious, some testing, diet and other things will come into play.

But more importantly you have to have fun, before, during and after riding. :thumbsup: if you do, you will get faster.
It will always hurt a lot, you just get faster and recover faster.
Stay safe
 

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I'm kinda doing the same right now. Lots of group rides (2-3x a week), mainly because they're fun as hell (remember WR304, I'm a group ride whore ;) ).

I figure as long as my weekly hours are solid (~12) and I do long and short Zone 1-2 on all the inbetween rides (or intervals when needed), I'm okay. I can do hi cadence Zone 1-2 and build the aerobic engine and endurance while letting the muscles recover a bit. I also do a lower volume week every third week.

Last Thursday I did a "drop" road group ride that was brutal. Lots of hard surges and short hard stretches where we were hitting 27-29 mph (in which 8 of us broke off the front), then we finished ride with this hill circuit with hills hitting 15% grade while i was trying to keep up with these four other guys stronger than me (while nearly getting "chicked" as well :D). My vastus medialis muscles (ball of quads) were so damaged that I needed three easy days (plus a day off) for muscle soreness to go away.

But in theory, everything (muscles and lungs) should be stronger from subsequent supercompensation. You have to tear yourself down, then recover, to get stronger. Recovery should be used within the week, month, and year.
 

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The other really important thing about riding with really fast people is if you can stay close enough to them, you can sort of start to figure out how they pick their lines. The really fast guys aren't just fit, they'll take lines in tech sections you didn't even know were there that save considerable time.
 

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washed-up moto guy
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...figure out how they pick their lines. The really fast guys aren't just fit, they'll take lines in tech sections you didn't even know were there that save considerable time.
This is so true, and one of the great things about MTB. It certainly applies to road as well, but to a much lesser degree. Try to ride with guys who have a successful background in motocross. After years of racing moto proper line choice is a subconscious decision for me and almost always plays a big part in deciding the outcome of my races.
 

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mnoutain bkie rdier
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This is so true, and one of the great things about MTB. It certainly applies to road as well, but to a much lesser degree. Try to ride with guys who have a successful background in motocross. After years of racing moto proper line choice is a subconscious decision for me and almost always plays a big part in deciding the outcome of my races.
Yep. You will also fatigue less when proper lines are chosen over the course of a race, as the wear and tear on the body is lessened to a degree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Only road rides right now, snow every where still. But when I do ride mtb his bike skills make his fitness looks silly. I've never seen some one take a 180degree switchback on his front wheel faster then I can in two lol. But you are right on the lines.

Watching him "float" over tech section while I plow through them.

Friend was ill today sonI went out on a simaliar route at my own pace(seemed to settle in at 150 95% of the time. I felt faster then usual at that heart rate. I went as hard as I could up all the hills I could find. Was surprised how much burn I was getting but equally surprised at how much longer I could hold it in the burn range. Recovery was also better good. Quads are full of lactic acid right now(still slight burn). A foam roller is on my list to buy.

I've promised my self im going to figure out and stick to an interval plan as I dont know if I'm keen on these 2hour road rides all the time. I have a hard time puttering about at low heart rates. But I guess the hill sprints is kinda interval'ish.
 
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