Short Track XC Racing training?

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    • #84641

      I’m a collegiate rider and I rode seriously for the first time this year competing in most races on the collegiate mtb calender and I found short track was something I really liked (weird I know…) I did pretty good in those races, but I was racing B class. I want to up myself to A in the next year or two. I know for a fact I have a long way to go until i’m even near A level contention. Since short track is pretty much redlining it for at least 25 min I was wondering if there were any types of workouts like intervals and such. I get out just about everyday and do maybe 14 miles of cross country or a good road ride (if i get out of class in time). thanks for your input.

    • #84642
      "DaleCannon" wrote

      Since short track is pretty much redlining it for at least 25 min I was wondering if there were any types of workouts like intervals and such.

      I have to admit that I’ve never raced short track, but I’ve done some cross country races, etc., so I can tell you what I [i:2g0ksh8b]think[/i:2g0ksh8b] you should do training-wise.

      You’re dead on about the intervals, I think. Specifically, hit the shorter intervals (4, 6, and 10 minute) and try to gradually lower your recovery in between intervals. Start with 2x10x3 (two ten-minute intervals with a three-minute recovery in between). Try to reduce the recovery to two minutes. Then move on to six-minute intervals, 3or4x6x2. Then on to the fours.

      But because it’s mountain bike, I wouldn’t leave out doing 30s sprint intervals as well. Go hard for 30 seconds, recover for 30 seconds, repeat. If you get bored doing this in the middle of nowhere, go find a road with four or five traffic lights in a mile or a half mile and then practice racing the cars from light to light. One warning about that: Don’t get killed.

      I’d bet cyclocross would make for good cross (no pun intended) training. Just race your mt bike. Also, don’t neglect weightlifting. Hitting the weights can help you build up speed for those short, hard climbs.

      One other thought: With a race as short as 25 minutes, you’ll still need to build something of a base. Spend some time getting aerobic in the spring before you hit the intervals hard.

      Best of luck!

    • #84643

      Ok thanks! I appreciate all that info alot! But I have a question about the weights, weight training with the legs does build power, but I heard it also decreases endurance. I just heard that, its not set in stone but can you clarify what kind of lifting I should be doing?

    • #84644
      "DaleCannon" wrote

      Ok thanks! I appreciate all that info alot! But I have a question about the weights, weight training with the legs does build power, but I heard it also decreases endurance. I just heard that, its not set in stone but can you clarify what kind of lifting I should be doing?

      Bear in mind that you’re getting this information from an amateur racer who can barely afford three or four hours of actual bike riding per week. I can weightlift any evening, however, because it takes so little time.

      Honestly, I think the advice to avoid weightlifting is bunk, particularly for short races that involve variable pacing (i.e. short track or even cross country). Ned Overend advocates weightlifting (here: http://www.boure.com/wintertraining.html ) and he’s not the only pro to do so. I have it on semi-good authority (found it: http://74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:_c … ent=safari ) that Elizabeth Osl used weightlifting as part of her recipe for conquering the World Cup XCO series this year.

      Now, granted, if you read the official science literature about endurance cycling, they’ll tell you weightlifting gives no advantage, but this is one place where my experience and the available scientific info differ. (Besides, you’re slamming the trails for 25 minutes, not racing RAAM.) You can experiment with this yourself and see if it works or doesn’t work for you. You may find that weightlifting is a detriment to your training (as regional pro/cyclocrosser Kathy Sherwin did. Read here: http://www.mtbracenews.com/2008/10/hey- … -your.html )

      But given the explosive nature of mountain bike racing, I think you’ll find weightlifting a helpful aspect of training.

      (The long explanation is that you have three energy systems in your body: aerobic, anaerobic and creatine phosphate. Good endurance athletes emphasize aerobic but don’t neglect anaerobic or creatine phosphate—even marathon runners. Weightlifting builds creatine phosphate while anaerobic and aerobic should be done on the bike.)

      Something to bear in mind: Avoid training for hypertrophy during the season. Consider it maintenance lifting or even switch it with plyometrics. Do fewer SETS on fewer days per week (two at most); do higher reps and use less weight.

      What lifts should you do? That’s up to you. Personally, I’m a fan of leg press (although I no longer have one available to me), squats, dead lift, power cleans … that’s about it for my legs. I like chin-ups, push ups and core work for the upper half.

      I should also mention that I don’t gain muscle easily, so I don’t worry about getting bulky. Whether that’s true for you will determine how and how much you should lift. That’s largely a function of the ratio of type 1 and type 2 muscle fiber you were genetically endowed with, although muscle fiber expression is obviously trainable.

      Also, don’t neglect strength training ON THE BIKE.

    • #84645

      JDH

      Just remember the old adage; high weights and low reps equal’s strength and bulk, low weight and high reps equals’ strength tone and endurance. The more your body gets use to riding itself of the lactic acid that builds up when having to push heavy loads, (like peddling up a hill in a high gear), the faster it recovers and the more you can push yourself.

      WOW sending all that time in the weight room in between football seasons through high school and collage wasn’t a waste! I use the knowledge I gained lifting way more then I have ever used Calculus!

      *Disclaimer* I’m not an expert; it just works this way with my body!

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