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- April 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm #5233
This may be a fairly long, but I have many questions.
First of all, the race did not go as well as I would have hoped. I DNF'd at 32 miles. I am really bummed, but not down and out about it. I learned somethings about endurance riding, but am still confused about my performance issues.
I think all of this is similar to a forum topic I sent you a week or two ago in which I experienced the same problem. At that point we discussed that it could be dehydration due to the amount of water lost during a training ride, but I think there might more to it than dehydration.
First off…I think the plan I had and used had nothing to do with my lack of success in this event. The plan worked well and should have done the job.
There are several things that I want to throw out and see if you can help me determine where my limiters might be.
1. This was my first attempt at an endurance MTB race and found that I was not mentally ready for the challenge. I totally under estimated the challenge of the steep climbs and the steep descents; as well as the beating from the rocky trails. This I can overcome with better questions of those who have ridden the race and a little more mind control. Mentally, I could have done a better job.
2. The part that I am really confused about and ultimately caused my DNF, in my opinion, is my onset of leg fatigue. Let me fill you in on a couple of things about me.
a. In my past, I was a heavyweight powerlifter and played college football. Won several events in the midwest. Not that the numbers matter but I only share this to give you an idea of strength and muscle mass I had, but I benched 500 lbs, had an 800 lbs squat and deadlifted 800 lbs. Before I got back into biking, about two years ago, I was almost 300 lbs. Since then I have been able to trim my self down to as low as 213 lbs. I raced at 218 lbs on Sunday. I have a goal of 190 to 200 lbs, ultimately. Here in lies one of my first questions…Due to my past training for powerlifting, do I need to retrain my muscles? If I understand correctly, powerlifting would use mostly fast twitch muscles. Does this have anything to do with the wall that I hit from leg muscle fatigue? And a result of my next question…
b. Cardiocascularly I felt fine, it did not seem like I was short of oxygen or breathing out of control. My HR tells another story though. Out of the 4 hours and 30 minutes I was on the course, almost 1 hour and 43 mintues were in zone 4 and 1 hour and 3 minutes was in zone 5 based on my heart monitor. For me, zone 4 is 152 to 161. Based on this, I can see why my legs are fatigueing to a point of failure so quickly. How do I get my heart rate down? Others say I need to retest and get a better number for my LTHR. Even if it is off, I do not see how it could be so drastic that it would make the previous numbers look good. My max heart rate during the event was 188. In previous tests, I would say my max heart is 190.
During training for this event, many of my short workouts were on the trainer and as I think back I was probably controlling my heart rate by adjusting intensity. Once I did the longer workouts, mostly on the bike outdoors, I was experiencing the same zone 4 and 5 conditions. Most of my long workouts were on the road or cross bike on gravel due to poor trail conditions in the midwest. I was able to complete the 6 hour workout because, I again could somewhat control my intensity on the roads. Probably just ignored the fact that I was over the intended HR zone. I was able to ride 70 miles of steep gravel roads. When I got to the 7 hour workout, I was able to get on a singletrack. I completed 38 miles in 5 hours before complete leg fatigue. When I get on the singletrack, my heart rate is even harder to control with minimal effort and intensity.
3. Do I need to raise my LT to push off the onset of fatique? If so, how do I?
4. Am I trying to perform at a sport that my body is just not meant to do?
5. At a loss…looking for suggestions.
- April 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm #6788LyndaKeymaster
It sounds like your threshold, VO2max and neuromuscular power are well developed. You need to spend more time developing your aerobic endurance which is the heart of endurance racing.
- April 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm #6789
This is the purpose for the zone 2 training correct? There in lies the paradox to me…This challenges my mindset as a weight lifter. What I am saying is…if I want to get stronger (IE via weightlifting), I worked harder (increased intensity) and stressed the muscles more and the result was stronger muscles after recovery. Lots and lots of cycles like this. Please explain, in simple terms, the theory behind lower intensity workouts and how this would have helped me in the race.
Please understand I am not questioning your answer, I am trying to wrap my brain around this concept. I have heard it before, but it has not registerered up till now because I did not have a way to relate. Now that I have performed poorly in the event, I think I might find a way I can relate.
I am hoping that once I see how this works, I will be more focused on the significance of this type of training. I have to admit when I go through the zone 2 workouts, I probably more go through the motions because I do not understand the benefit. And particularly, how to measure it so I can see how it is helping my fitness/strength.
As indicated in a previous email, I am prepping for the Kickapoo Kicker and Dairyland Dare and do want to make sure I can complete these events. I begin the 100 mile Personal Best plan in May as you suggested.
Thanks for the help.
- April 8, 2012 at 10:23 am #6803LyndaKeymaster
You have a glaring hole in your physiology that if filled would increase your performance in endurance mountain bike racing as it is primarily an aerobic sport. Racing an aerobic sport with poor aerobic abilities and relying on your threshold, VO2max and nueromuscular power is difficult.
Explaining the benefits of aerobic training is outside the scope of a forum answer and more along the scope of a text book. I refer you to Exercise Physiology.
Here are some benefits:
enlargement and strengthening of heart muscle, improving the ability to pump blood; improvement of coronary blood supply, reducing the risk of heart attack; lowering of resting heart rate; lowering of heart rate needed to perform given workload, reducing stress on heart; improvement of lung ventilation; strengthening of respiratory muscles (e.g. intercostals); enhancement of pulmonary blood supply; improvement of ability to extract oxygen from lungs; thickening of articular cartilage and bones with weight-bearing aerobic exercises; increase of plasma volume; increase of total number of red blood cells, improving oxygen transport; increase of high density (beneficial) lipoproteins, while low density (harmful) lipoproteins are reduced, cholesterol level lowered, and arterial blood pressure lowered, reducing tendency for blood to clot spontaneously; strengthening and enlargement of skeletal muscles used during the exercise; increase in the size (but probably not the proportion) of slow-twitch muscle fibres; increase of the total number of capillaries and the number of capillaries per unit area of muscle; increase in muscle glycogen and fat (triglyceride) content, improving fuel supply; improved ability to utilize fatty acids, sparing muscle glycogen stores; increase in size and density of mitochondria; increase in myoglobin content, improving muscles’ ability to use oxygen; improvement of mental alertness; reduction of depression and anxiety; improvement of ability to relax and sleep; stress tolerance improved; lean-body mass increased; metabolic rate increases, reducing tendency to suffer from obesity or diabetes mellitus
- April 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm #6804
Thanks for all your help.
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