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Endurance Info

chrischris's picture

By chrischris - Posted on 31 August 2012

I am currently training for my first solo 8 hour in November. I've been searching the net for a few months now trying to get some 'tips' for endurance events, but I'm not finding a lot of info. A small 3-part series by Mark Fenner has been handy for training.

Anyone know of any good mtb specific websites or books? 'Ed Rides Bikes' is a great read, but not a whole lot of inside knowledge.

chrischris's picture

Oh yea - speaking of endurance events, the 'Big HuRT' starts tomorrow morning! It's a self supported race over 700+km. No sponsors, no prizes.

Follow along here---->

For those who are unaware of what this is, check out this website.

hawkeye's picture

Joe Friel's Mountain Biker's Training Bible is good. Contains a fair bit of detail, which may or may not suit, but it is meant to cover the subject comprehensively so you can chart the right course for yourself, as you'd expect from the title.

Fenner's article series on training and nutrition for 100km events in AMB magazine in 2010 was excellent as a practical demonstration of how to apply Friel's principles. PM me if you want an electronic copy.

Brian's picture

My advice would be is to sort out your nutrition and just ride as much as you can.

With the nutrition I've read consume 1g carb per kg of body weight per hour. I've also read 60g carbs per hour. The hardest thing is to work out what food works for you. I can't use commercial gels so I make my own using rice malt syrup and agave nectar.

As for the training, I'm not sure how much you train now but for me I've just upped my time in the saddle and its had a massive impact. I've taken a couple of hours off my 100km enduro in the last two years just simply by riding more.

As an example below are the kms I've done in the last few years. I talk kms simply because its easy to compare but it shows the more kms I do the quicker I go Smiling

2009 - 1,231km
2010 - 3,300km
2011 - 4,094km
2012 so far - 5,992km


Barnsy's picture

The only way to get ready for one of these enduro's is to ride lots.
If you want to be at the competitive end.
Don't aim for a total amount of kms per week, but for time on the bike at a good intensity. You want to be spending between one and four hours a day on the bike with a day off when you start to feel tired. You'll also need at least one ride a fortnight of around six to eight hours to push your limits of endurance and find the right nutrition for you.
If you just want to finish, try to get as many rides in as you can and maybe one long one a month to work out your endurance.
Just keep it fun. Is it the Awaba round your training for?

andyfev's picture

You just can't beat miles in the legs... In the last 5 weeks I increased my single weekly ride distance to 50km (riding my MTB on the roads) plus for the latest Rocky Trail round at Mt. Annan last weekend. Compared to my usual race day rides I actually felt that I could push a lot harder than I would normally and put in some good (for my standard) lap times. I couldn't have done this without the miles in the legs before hand. I didn't even cramp which I would normally have started around the 20km mark (rode approx 40-45km over 5 laps).

Now the minister for fun and finance has chucked a tantrum and told me that I spend too much time on the bike and not enough time with the family... So my 2 hrs a week on the bike isn't happening this weekend... here's to the depressing decline in fitness... Happy first fathers day!

chrischris's picture

I've ridden just over 2,500km so far this year. I'm aiming to finish the 8hr, not win! If I could put in 8 laps of Awaba in 8 hours, I'd be happy. 9-10 laps & I'd be ecstatic! (And really sore...)

I do already have that Mark Fenner article, thanks for the offer to forward it to me. I have found this quite useful. I've changed my entire riding schedual from 'going for a fun spin' into interval/FTP/Endurance sessions. It's paying off.

Nutrition is a big one. I find that my stomach has no issues with Staminade and the occasional Gu. A musli bar or banana don't go astray either. Rumor has it that English likes white bread with vegemite. Haven't tried that one yet. I've done quite a few 3-4hr rides, but 8hrs is very different.

My best was 64km at the Tele Point 3HR a few weeks ago. I was pushing a bit harder than I meant to, but, it was only 3hrs... Felt good after that, just have to work a little harder on core body strength.

chrischris's picture

Check out those HuRTers! I love tracking those dots. They're making great time. I'm intrigued to see the turtle/hare battle over the next few days. Who will stop for a decent sleep? Who will catnap & ride the night?

If you are interested, join up to the facebook group for heaps of commentary & telephone call-ins from the guys out there.

chrischris's picture

Out of 7 starters, 3 are still going.

One guy's frame broke clean in half. Another guy broke his pedal, & had a nasty sprained ankle. My money is on the slow & steady SS rigid bike bloke. Another story has surfaced of a bandicoot wedged under a BB. Really.

The leader is around the 260km mark heading towards Newcastle. (1/3 of the way)

chrischris's picture

For anyone interested, the BIG HuRT this year had one finisher.

Some riders were off like a shot. They only lasted 2 days. The slow & steady B-Rad (SS rigid 29er) finished after 5 days.

I am now SUPER KEEN to do the regular HuRT. I'm trying to ride parts of the course to learn how tough it is & gather info on gear. Tip - the parts I've ridden are not smooth single track. (except for 1/2 a lap of Awaba) Maybe I'll have a shot around Easter? Too hot over summer.

All these local club races at 1.5 hours are a bit of fun, but not really challenging. I'd prefer to push myself physically than play 'tactics'. As I'm always busy with work/kids, I honestly would be suprised if I finished! The longest rides I've had are 65km at an 8hr event (2 man team), and 64km at a 3hr event.

So, over 100km of TOUGH track a day? Over 3 days? I'll be sure to post & ask for encouragement when the time comes... Smiling

As Steve Timbrell recently said upon finishing... "Brutal".

EDIT: I'm out of the Awaba 8hr in November. I've already used my 'entry' money towards an Etrex 20.

hawkeye's picture

@andy... here's a trick I found works nicely Smiling Get up early before everybody else, say 5am, be vewy vewy qwiet, sneak out and ride your bike for two hours, and be back before they've finished their sleep-in. It's light by 5:30 at the moment.

Option 2 is to go to the doctor and get a medical report that says you have a blood pressure problem or a cholesteral problem (preferably both) and you need to get regular endurance exercise so you don't drop dead, say 6 hours a week minimum. I have it on good authority that works well.

Option 3 is to ride to work, say via Manly Dam, and that way you can say that you're saving money on bus fares. Just leave out the Manly Dam bit when in conversation about your commute.

chrischris's picture

For me - the very same dispute resulted in 2 winners.

1) me. Riding = stress decreasing = happy.
2) wife. In return, I make an extra effort to get her out of the house. Visiting friends etc.

This 'infant/young child' stage is a huge learning curve for me. A ride here & there keeps me mentally intact. My wife getting out of the house (leaving me with the kids) keeps her mentally intact.

@ Hawkeye - Option 4. Get a good light. Night ride.

Logan's picture

Get up early and ride to work.

I manage to "fit" in 13-15 Hours per week in training on the road bike. Fortunately for me, when I started seeing my now fiancee I made it clear that I train a lot and that wont change. But by getting up early and being home after 3 hours or so, you get a good training ride and the family is still happy!

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