Hills or miles

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    • #215673

      Hey  everyone,

      I’m coming off a weak winter that plagued me with some issues.  I better now and getting back at it.  I am hitting Colorado in 2 months and need to get my climbing legs on.  I also need to fit some running and swimming in, but I am going to try and bike every other day.  When I do bike, what type of workouts should I focus on.  Bike training is much harder for me than running and swimming and I always think that I’m not getting the most potential out of my workouts.  Any help would be appreciated .  Thanks Chris

    • #215674

      How about a little of both?

      If you’re riding nearly every other day, you’ll want a variety of workouts to avoid overdoing it. A simple plan would be to do a long ride every other time, and do a speed or hill repeat workout the other times. Also, I’m a big proponent of running as a way to build fitness and strength, but I realize not everyone can do this.

      • #215675

        How about a little of both?

        If you’re riding nearly every other day, you’ll want a variety of workouts to avoid overdoing it. A simple plan would be to do a long ride every other time, and do a speed or hill repeat workout the other times. Also, I’m a big proponent of running as a way to build fitness and strength, but I realize not everyone can do this.

        I’m gonna totally butcher trying to quote you.  I can’t figure out how to reply with quotes on this forum.

        I’m glad you mention running, since I need to work on it.  One of my main issues over the winter was plantar Fasciitis and I am now just able to run a mile or so with no pain.  My last workout I rode 2 mi warmup on road bike then 1 mi run then 6 mile back on bike finished up with a few 80-100 ft climbs on a hill near my house.  The following day I rode MB about 7 miles on local trails which was a mistake cuz legs were kinda tired, but the weather broke and I haven’t been on the trails, I was itchin to get out.

        sooo, I am okay with mixing in running I just have to adhere to the 10% a week thing.  I can probably push up to 2 miles a bit quicker but after that I need to watch it.

    • #215681

      Yes, definitely mix it up.

      Waaaaay back in high school track our coach would make us do “fartleks” in this case 400m jog followed by insane sprints up this short, but very steep hill, over and over and over.  Nowadays, I try to do the same on my road bike; 1 mile level ride with a sprint up a local hill….over and over. Works for me.

      I also use the smith rack for squats at the gym, very low weights 135-185lb but 25-30 reps per set within a set time (which has gotten longer as I’ve gotten older).

      I’m surprised you find cycling more difficult than swimming…..swimming just kills me, it’s a great workout, but it wipes me out.

      • #215686

        Yes, definitely mix it up.

        Waaaaay back in high school track our coach would make us do “fartleks” in this case 400m jog followed by insane sprints up this short, but very steep hill, over and over and over.  Nowadays, I try to do the same on my road bike; 1 mile level ride with a sprint up a local hill….over and over. Works for me.

        I also use the smith rack for squats at the gym, very low weights 135-185lb but 25-30 reps per set within a set time (which has gotten longer as I’ve gotten older).

        I’m surprised you find cycling more difficult than swimming…..swimming just kills me, it’s a great workout, but it wipes me out.

        Robert- Thanks for the advice, I will definitely try that. I have quite a bit of rolling hills around me (road) but a bit harder for me to get to the trails.  I know it doesn’t exactly transfer over, but what’s your guys’ opinion on mostly road training for mountain bike prep?

    • #215698

      Let’s just put it this way: if your miles don’t have hills in them, they aren’t worth much.

    • #215771

      I’m a roadie but here’s my two cents:

      Hills and/or intervals.  Hills of a constant grade are great for training because you have to maintain a consistent power output in order maintain a constant speed, and provide motivation.  Really helpful if you only have a computer/stopwatch and not a power meter. Hill efforts also help smooth out the pedal stroke because you can really feel when you’re pedaling in circles vs squares – that is, a large deadspot on your pedal stroke will make itself very obvious on a steep hill.  Rest and enjoy the downhill.

      My favorite pre-season interval workout is:
      10 min at threshold
      5×30 second intervals at peak power and high/moderate rpm, with 15 sec rest periods – this keeps your heart rate from dropping too much during your rest period and actually makes the start of the next interval easier (but makes the workout, overall, harder and more productive).
      10 min at rest pace
      another set of 5×30/15 intervals
      5 min rest at cool down
      drink at least 1 bottle during intervals

      THEN DO:

      Bench Press, Squat, and lat-pulldown

      OR:

      Overhead press, deadlift, double hand row

      Warm up with a bare bar (45lb), adding weight each set until you’re at your 70% 1 rep max (or “working weight”)
      Once at your working weight, do 4 sets of 7 reps with 1-2 min rest periods between sets.  Its a good balance between developing explosiveness and building muscle.  You can get your “high rep, low weight” in during your warm-up sets.  This gives you a lot of volume which both contributes to your cardiovascular fitness and actually helps build muscle faster.

      Drink at least one bottle during lifting.
      Try to get some good 1 on 1 coaching with these lifts.  Most people should be able to do these lifts properly and safely, and building muscle and connective tissue can really help with performance but its probably more important to prevent injury and maintain bone density.
      Its very difficult to lift during the cycling season (if you are riding a lot of miles or racing) because its hard to eat and sleep enough to maintain (let alone build) body mass.

    • #215802

      Let’s just put it this way: if your miles don’t have hills in them, they aren’t worth much.

      Got it. Thanks Greg.

    • #215804

      I’m a roadie but here’s my two cents:

      Hills and/or intervals.  Hills of a constant grade are great for training because you have to maintain a consistent power output in order maintain a constant speed, and provide motivation.  Really helpful if you only have a computer/stopwatch and not a power meter. Hill efforts also help smooth out the pedal stroke because you can really feel when you’re pedaling in circles vs squares – that is, a large deadspot on your pedal stroke will make itself very obvious on a steep hill.  Rest and enjoy the downhill.

      My favorite pre-season interval workout is:
      10 min at threshold
      5×30 second intervals at peak power and high/moderate rpm, with 15 sec rest periods – this keeps your heart rate from dropping too much during your rest period and actually makes the start of the next interval easier (but makes the workout, overall, harder and more productive).
      10 min at rest pace
      another set of 5×30/15 intervals
      5 min rest at cool down
      drink at least 1 bottle during intervals

      THEN DO:

      Bench Press, Squat, and lat-pulldown

      OR:

      Overhead press, deadlift, double hand row

      Warm up with a bare bar (45lb), adding weight each set until you’re at your 70% 1 rep max (or “working weight”)
      Once at your working weight, do 4 sets of 7 reps with 1-2 min rest periods between sets.  Its a good balance between developing explosiveness and building muscle.  You can get your “high rep, low weight” in during your warm-up sets.  This gives you a lot of volume which both contributes to your cardiovascular fitness and actually helps build muscle faster.

      Drink at least one bottle during lifting.
      Try to get some good 1 on 1 coaching with these lifts.  Most people should be able to do these lifts properly and safely, and building muscle and connective tissue can really help with performance but its probably more important to prevent injury and maintain bone density.
      Its very difficult to lift during the cycling season (if you are riding a lot of miles or racing) because its hard to eat and sleep enough to maintain (let alone build) body mass.

      Thanks for all that Sean, I’m in PT now with a really good trainer and plan on having him work me into a better strength system.

    • #215835

      Hills, hills, hills. The hardest thing for me to get used to after moving to CO a couple years ago was climbing for 5-10 miles straight and then descending for the next 5-10 miles. There are definitely flowy trails here, but most of my favorites are long descents preceded by seemingly longer climbs. Where are you planning to ride while you’re here? That could be a determining factor as well.

    • #215840

      Hills, hills, hills. The hardest thing for me to get used to after moving to CO a couple years ago was climbing for 5-10 miles straight and then descending for the next 5-10 miles. There are definitely flowy trails here, but most of my favorites are long descents preceded by seemingly longer climbs. Where are you planning to ride while you’re here? That could be a determining factor as well.

      ..Salida area, probably Monarch and cottonwood, maybe something else depending on where my buddy wants to go.  I did those two last year and the first couple miles of Monarch was much harder than I anticipated after factoring in elevation.

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