XC Training

Calvin27

Likes Bikes and Dirt
the bike is not the problem!
no, it is the solution :D

But back on topic. Go do a track training session if you are around a velodrome to understand what it takes to generate power. When I did it it boosted my power and fitness so badly my mate decided to quit and build an ebike. Te coached there structure a brutal session that more or less involves 2 straight hours of stop-start full out sprinting on repeat and some simulated race situations. Basically forces you to go hard when you are already maxed out.
 

Daniel Hale

Likes Dirt
Go do a track training session if you are around a velodrome to understand what it takes to generate power. When I did it it boosted my power and fitness so badly my mate decided to quit and build an ebike. Te coached there structure a brutal session that more or less involves 2 straight hours of stop-start full out sprinting on repeat and some simulated race situations.
either this or get a cross bike & start hammering your local cyclocross circuit, all the tight corners mean you are doing intervals consistently, races are around 50min for good guys, you get to max hr within 15secs then try & maintain it till race ends (or you spew) , starts are brutal as everyone wants to get to the first 2 corners clear of traffic,
 

Cardy George

Is not in gaol
@silentbutdeadly Sarge has definitely improved his skill set!

@slider_phil That is awesome, again!

This is all good stuff, unfortunately I'm a little limited in available resources. No hills to speak of, no velodrome and no CX. Around here I'm a weirdo just for riding a bike.

But this thread is not all about me. Keep it coming, and I'll try to adapt it to suit.

SBD is on it. He should he built the track. There are sections of the track that are tight and punchy, and others that are a powerfest, open and flowy. It's probably a 50/50 mix, but there's not many sections for rest.

I'll definitely be going thru what's been posted, is there any more that can be done towards the endurance side of things?
 

Calvin27

Likes Bikes and Dirt
But this thread is not all about me. Keep it coming, and I'll try to adapt it to suit.
You basically have to force yourself to do actual structured training in some way shape or form. It's hard to do. With the suggestions it's all designed to make this easier (not in the sense of your training, but in terms of planning and sticking to it). VO2 training is hard work and almost dark art. You have to combine what woks with you with what the science says you should be doing.

This is a stupid one, but when i had knee problems I was told off the bike (cleats were suspected culprits) but do lots of hill sprints on grass. Volume was a problem but power was not for me. Surprisingly I improved fitness a lot. Nothing special just a short 1km job and then 5 x 3 sets of hill sprints at max power. It was also here that I found my max HR which corresponded to blacking out at the top lol.
 

caad9

Likes Dirt
Depending on how serious you are about this, a coach is a decent investment.
Maybe this sounds ridiculous, but they will end up structuring the sessions for you using all your commuting and riding time available.
My coach was $100 a month and helped quite a lot.

I wasn’t potting you for not working hard, but that was the biggest take away from my experience. I just never trained hard enough.

It was also the death of me as my body couldn’t cope with the hard training and I was floundering around in no mans land!
 

Cardy George

Is not in gaol
I wasn’t potting you for not working hard, but that was the biggest take away from my experience. I just never trained hard enough.
It's all good! My 'career' is all of half a season long, I'm still working out what riding hard actually is.
 

Cardy George

Is not in gaol
Yep, that's the next challenge. I'm 'only' 80ish kilos, but I have a long range fuel tank that hasn't budged in 10 years. It's the only part of me that's fat. I wouldn't say my diet was bad, but could use some improvement. Plus a few less nights out chasing kids and therefore cooking real food.
 

Tubbsy

quadragenarian
Staff member
In my limited attempts at racing, and I must stress I was never near the pointy end, I found going out hard and pushing myself at the beginning always ended up in a slower overall lap after cooking myself.

Since you have good pace over distance, I wonder if you could calculate the pace the front runners finish with and see if you can match that pace reeling them in slowly. They may be tapering off after a fast start, and your consistency could help you catch them if you know what number you need to hit.
 

Calvin27

Likes Bikes and Dirt
In my limited attempts at racing, and I must stress I was never near the pointy end, I found going out hard and pushing myself at the beginning always ended up in a slower overall lap after cooking myself.
You also have to consider overtaking on single track and the challenges there. Hence a lot of XC racers go hard at the start even if it costs them a bit.
 

Tubbsy

quadragenarian
Staff member
You also have to consider overtaking on single track and the challenges there. Hence a lot of XC racers go hard at the start even if it costs them a bit.
I'm assuming his pace would have him ahead of most of the traffic.

But it's just a theory anyway - race psychology is different for everyone. Some people get a boost from being out front, some relish the chase.
 

Cardy George

Is not in gaol
I'm assuming his pace would have him ahead of most of the traffic.

But it's just a theory anyway - race psychology is different for everyone. Some people get a boost from being out front, some relish the chase.
This, plus our track being flat there's plenty of places to dive through.

I also seem to go pretty well when I know someone faster is behind me. Like when they burp a tyre and have to stop or it's a TT and the fastest go last. Seems I go harder when I'm being chased, I'm just not fast enough to get out first (yet).
 

slider_phil

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Going out hard is a typical XC race thing. Usually it's to be first into the single-track. But people also underestimate the psychological effect of being out of 'line of sight'. The guy that took off and gapped you out of sight that one lap is probably only 10 secs up the trail and going your same pace again. But psychologically it makes people back off and not chase because you can't see them.

The race I did on the weekend felt like the first time I'd paced perfectly. My first lap was a flyer, keeping up with the guys around me. The second lap was the slowest of all as we recovered from the first laps efforts. Interesting to note that I was still with the same pack that smashed the first lap. Then every subsequent lap was faster after that until the end.

 

Cardy George

Is not in gaol
That's what I've come to realise too. I deliberately held back on the first lap in Silverton, with the mindset of what will be will be.

Turned out what would be is me being a shit-tonne faster going downhill than the locals. So I let them have 10 lengths going up, cos I caught them going down while recovering from the climb at the same time. Crossed the line second to the fastest Mildura bloke. Unfortunately we don't have the downhills to recover on here.
 

Cardy George

Is not in gaol
OK Rotorburn Brains Trust. I had the first real crack at the Sweet Spot workout today, and I found even after a spritely warm up, it took nearly 7 mins of the the first 10 min block for my HR to even reach zone 4, then I struggled to keep it up there. Block 2, 3 & 4 were at the low end, and fatigue had set in for block 5.

I know HR can be a bit random, and it's Friday, and work, and 30 something years of aerobic capacity and blah blah blah. For what it's worth, Training Peaks has suggested my threshold is 177, and I probably need to tweak my Garmin settings a bit to suit. It was saying I needed 167 to start zone 4.

Any suggestions to what I need to tweak? Is it because I'm doing a muscle endurance block? It will be interesting to see what I get when I do the VO2 set next week. Or should I leave it, have another go at Sweet Spot next week and see what happens?
 
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