best ways of improving ride/distance stamina for a noobie?

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  • best ways of improving ride/distance stamina for a noobie?
  • TandemJeremy
    Member

    Ride more – build up to that. 30 miles offroad is roughly the equivalent of 60 miles on road.

    Make sure you are fuelled up properly – food before you go and sugar when riding.

    thomthumb
    Member

    do 15 a couple of times a week and soon you’ll be able to do 30 soon enough.

    the very simple answer without getting all ‘elite race training’ is quite simply ride more.

    wheter this be slowly adding on a few extra miles a week. 15, 18, 20 etc. or riding more frequently.

    DeeW
    Member

    20-30 miles is a long way offroad, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

    Make sure you’re drinking & eating enough.

    The best training for doing 20 miles is going to be riding 20 miles (which you are alsready doing), but i think that where a lot of us go wrong is not riding hard enough. Put in 100% when you are out (and maybe extend that commute a bit on the way home) and you’ll soon find yourself going harder and longer….

    druidh
    Member

    Extend the commute. Or consider running instead of riding. It’s a better workout for that distance.

    there is no magic bullet, more riding is the only way.

    Technique also plays a big part, im unfit but dont seem to suffer as much as i’m cruising downhill past roadies who rely on pedaling to make up for a lack of technical ability. So after a couple of hours its fairly even.

    So yea, a couple of 15 mile evening rides and a 30 mile weekend ride should easily fit itno your life and will get you riding the bigger ditances fairly quickly.

    odannyboy
    Member

    recently got my flashy new mtb and have cycled all my life,but..the people in my local club seem to be doing around 20 – 30 miles on an average weeknight/weekend morning fun ride.when i go out and do anything around 15 im getting quite pooped.im not close to collapsing or anything but it does feel like a decent workout.
    im 33, not overweight and am physiclly active.commute four miles a day total to work.dont realy do any other exercise tho.

    how/whats the best way to get up into the twenty’s and then thirtys?

    ps its quite flat round my way (east anglia) so its not like its really hard going either!!

    jond
    Member

    Off a base* level of fitness I used to find a 12 mile commute – max (aerobic) effort 3-4 times a week or so for a month would be enough to keep on top of my local club medium pace rides (or enough for a 24hr event as a 4-man team, as happened a couple of times). That was a mainly flat ride too, no hill climbing – but some of it would be sprints out of the saddle I guess.
    I guess that kinda ties in with what’s been posted already

    *generally after a winter of occasional rides, but not awfully active – ymmv

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    I’ve been doing a 3 mile each way commute, five days a week during term time, for a couple of years now. That’s enough ‘training’ to allow me to complete a 90km (25 road miles, 7 mile black route at Hamsterley, 25 road mles) ride after 8 months of no other riding.

    Good diet and hydration help too.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    come up to the Peaks and do some of your 15 milers up here – you’ll go back to East Anglia and gobble up the miles πŸ˜€

    Keva
    Member

    im not close to collapsing or anything but it does feel like a decent workout.

    you’re fit enough already. I bet everyone else feels the same.

    Kev

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    im not close to collapsing or anything but it does feel like a decent workout.

    That probably means you’re riding at the right level to make fitness improvements.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    You’re 33 and struggling with 15 miles in East Anglia? Are you serious?

    Being a bit tired isn’t going to kill you, having sore legs is OK… Just set yourself a route and go and do it, take food, water, don’t have a time in mind, just pedal. If you can do 15 you CAN do 20, and if you can do 20 then you CAN do 25…It’s that simple, OK?

    Jamie
    Member

    I live in East Anglia, P’boro, and struggle also. Usually around the 50 mile point tho. 15 should be for fun in this next of the woods, especilly as its flatter nearer Cambridge πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    having sore legs is OK

    Just as well. Mine ache all the time. Mind you, I’m riding up to 200 (road) miles a week in the Peaks. Still useless at climbing, though….

    The answer, as everyone has pointed out – and in fairness to TJ, he said it first and most succinctly:

    Ride your bike more – that’s further and more often (at least 3 times a week).

    Worry less about the speed – distance and time in the saddle is your friend here. You need to build up what road cyclists refer to as base fitness. Once you have a good base, then you put speed on top.

    Kramer
    Member

    Hmmm. Not sure I agree, interval training would probably be a more efficient way of increasing fitness, rather than pure distance.

    Premier Icon Ogg
    Subscriber

    For a start do more miles when you get a chance – extend your 2 mile commute to 5 maybe and ride it fairly fast it should only add 15 minutes to your journey.

    Go riding with your local group (I guess you mean CamMTB?) – they will wait for you, you’ll be knackered the first few times but you soon get used to it.

    im not close to collapsing or anything

    Tsk pedal harder!

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Interval training will make you faster, but will not help your stamina as much as riding.

    Just ride more, build up the distance.

    Kramer
    Member

    njee20 – actually, I think that interval training has been found to improve stamina more efficiently than traditional stamina training as well. I don’ think anyone’s researched it with mountain biking directly, but they did look at it in army recruits, and interval training beat traditional training methods in pretty much all measures of improvement of fitness.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    I say forget about fitness and just have fun! Why are you doing it anyway ? If you enjoy it you’ll do more and collateral fitness will happen :o) I bet interval training, whilst possibly effective, is mindnumbingly boring πŸ™

    Jamie
    Member

    simonfbarnes:

    I bet interval training,….., is mindnumbingly boring

    …and as usual you would be wrong πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    pedal harder!

    You’re not Dave Lloyd are you?

    I bet interval training, whilst possibly effective, is mindnumbingly boring

    Too much like hard work to be boring.

    I think that interval training has been found to improve stamina more efficiently than traditional stamina training as well

    I’ve seen some evidence of this in clubmates who road race. Some of them eschewed the traditional long winter rides for intervals and shorter tempo rides, and it seems to work.

    I think the OP is looking for a general improvement, rather than a sick inducing battering every few days. Mind you, if I lived in East Anglia, I’d thrash myself into semi-consciousness just to alleviate the boredom of the flatness….

    Keva
    Member

    I reckon interval training is better method than just putting miles in. What sort of times are these 20-30 mile rides being done in anyways ? I can start to feel a bit pooped at around 20miles off road, or a couple of hours riding at a fair pace but I’m still good for twice as much and more, but there again I’ve been riding for years. maybe if you’re new to distance then a bit of base taining probably wouldn’t hurt. When I say training I don’t mean sticking to a rigid programme or anything just take some time out to do a few long rides at a slow pace to get your body used to being active for over two or more hours at a time. Once you’ve got that under your belt then start riding intervals. Adjust the pace on rides, do a bit of hard work, keep going ’till it hurts then back off ’till rested and repeat. Makes for fun riding and builds fitness. Eat well.

    Kev

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    …and as usual you would be wrong

    it would be for me – perhaps OK for cyborgs :o)

    Too much like hard work to be boring.

    that makes it sound boringer πŸ™

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    that makes it sound boringer

    I know you like an absolute, Simon, but the assumption that it is boring per se isn’t fair. There are plenty of people who one day want to ride so hard they’re sick, but the next day amble up the hills to look at the view and the day after do their grocery shopping on the bike and buying a hotdog on the way home. All of which are capable of being equally fun.

    Keva
    Member

    i do that, but without the hotdog !

    Kev

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    i do that, but without the hotdog

    You’re soooo missing out..!

    Keva
    Member

    nah… me no like ’em.

    stop off for a cheddar cheese ploghmans and a pint of cider πŸ™‚

    Kev

    Keva
    Member

    ‘ploughmans’ obviously, <cider> !

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    I know you like an absolute, Simon, but the assumption that it is boring per se isn’t fair

    didn’t I say “it would be for me” ? If you want to knock yourself out then go ahead – Barnes just wantsta have fun :o) My point is that, just having fun you can get fit too – it might take longer is all. I’m glad to see at least that no one recommended bizarre dietary methods!

    Kramer
    Member

    My interval training involves a fairly non-technical but enjoyable descent half way round my training loop. It takes 30 seconds to ride down, a couple of minutes back up, I start at the bottom, sprint up, then freewheel back down, repeat 10 times, puke, then carry on the loop.

    It’s not as fun as Jacob’s ladder (which would be a great place to interval train BTW), but it’s more fun than just spinning round my training loop.

    tinribz
    Member

    Having recently skim read 3 books on cycle training and being just over a month into my training program I now consider myself Britain’s foremost expert on this 😯

    I’ve gone from feeling like death after 15 miles to doing 40 miles relatively comfortably by doing an hour two week nights just below anabolic threshold (‘fairly’ hard just before your legs start to hurt / 155bpm). And increasing Sunday rides by 5 miles each week. This is all road though.

    What I’ve picked up from the books is that there’s slow twitch (weaker endurance) muscle used for long riding which uses mainly an unlimited supply of oxygen and barely fatigues, and the fast twitch (stronger shorter) that uses limited food / fat and depletes you of of strength and energy pretty quick.

    The key point is to go for longer you need to keep the ‘free’ energy from slow twitch in a bigger proportion as possible. That means higher cadence and increasing aerobic efficiency and threshold – so you can go faster before going anaerobic and using non oxygen energy.

    Riding harder is just strengthening your fast twitch and sprint speed, you should train aerobically which is about 80% max for best results.

    Although I agree with some of the interval comments, there seems to be evidence that improves anaerobic and speed/power. Did a session on the turbo last night and it was much easier than riding at a constant speed for an hour too.

    kennyNI
    Member

    Anabolic threshold? πŸ˜• More use for the fast twitch, see Ben Johnson, for example

    Think you should study those books a bit more closley.

    odannyboy
    Member

    thanks for all the advice peeps! couple of points from me.
    ive ridden 22 miles before now in two hours but my knees started hurting and as i say im new to distance so may have been too much too early.also im on plaform pedals at the mo so im in the process of going to spds and hopefully more efficentcy there.
    yes it is cammtb if anyone on her is a local!
    thanks for the points on training ways but im more in this for fun AND excercise.i dont want to compete or race but want to be able to turn in a decent ride happily and keep up with the pack etc or if i went off to more hilly climbs else where, be able to put in less distance but with more challanging terrain etc.
    more riding is obviously key but some people mention diet.is this just not eating pies and chips everyday or stuff to give me energy etc??no one mentioned more sleep??

    tinribz
    Member

    Think you should study those books a bit more closley closely.

    Stop nitpicking.

    people mention diet

    Bananas? or Google carb loading.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    repeat 10 times, puke, then carry on the loop.

    sounds like bilumia πŸ™

    What I’ve picked up from the books is that there’s slow twitch (weaker endurance) muscle used for long riding which uses mainly an unlimited supply of oxygen and barely fatigues, and the fast twitch (stronger shorter) that uses limited food / fat and depletes you of of strength and energy pretty quick.

    all muscles use oxygen and glucose in the same ratio (stochiometric)

    tinribz
    Member

    Slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibres make energy in different ways

    Muscles that contain a lot of slow twitch fibres are red, because they contain lots of blood vessels. Slow twitch muscle fibres rely on a rich supply of oxygenated blood as they use oxygen to produce energy for muscle contraction.

    Fast twitch muscle fibres don’t use oxygen to make energy, so they don’t need such a rich blood supply. This is why fast twitch muscles are lighter in colour than muscles that contain a lot of slow twitch muscle fibres.

    Fast twitch muscle fibres can produce small amounts of energy very quickly whereas slow twitch muscles can produce large amounts of energy slowly.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/body/factfiles/fastandslowtwitch/soleus.shtml

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    tinribz, your 2nd quote says something quite different from your first

    the fast twice muscles are anaerobic, producing lactic acid which is subsequently combined with oxygen to produce C02

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    “My interval training involves a fairly non-technical but enjoyable descent half way round my training loop. It takes 30 seconds to ride down, a couple of minutes back up, I start at the bottom, sprint up, then freewheel back down, repeat 10 times, puke, then carry on the loop.”

    Yup, this is how to make interval training not-boring. Done this way, it’s not training, it’s “sessioning”. Yo. On the rare occasions I can be bothered to actually do anything on the bike that isn’t just riding, I do the same- climb and drop, climb and drop, on a bit of trail that’s interesting enough that doing it 10 times is worth doing in its own right.

    For us slackers, the only way to train is to pretend you’re not training πŸ˜‰

    trail_rat
    Member

    went from downhill rider/racer who couldnt ride 10 miles on the road period to XC endurance rider in 2 years.

    number 1 for my endurance was singlespeed – you dont freewheel so pretty constant motion for the legs….anything flat becomes an interval session if you want any speed …anything uphill becomes an interval session if you dont want to walk

    Number 2 was ride with a group of riders who are faster than you – im luckier than most ive got a race orientated club local with a wide spectrum of abilitys. Pick the slowest and aim to stay with him – once you can do that pick another to stay with till you make your way to the front then start taking a singlespeed out with them and repeat. (may not work if your local club has oli beckinsale or liam killeen in it ! )

    number 3 Diet and nutrition. Its amaizing the difference eating nutritionally good stuff like fruit / veg / whole wheats makes against eating highly processed crap and white bread/pasta etc and staying well hydrated all the time to aid recovery.

    shoefiti
    Member

    “Ride lots.” β€” Eddy Merckx

    I’ve never won the Tour de France and I never will, but I can improve on this advice I think.

    “Ride Lots, and take some sandwiches with you or you’ll be peckish” – Shoefiti.

    Maybe not as catchy?
    πŸ˜•

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