Off-road strength and endurance improvements

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by JhnBssll, 23 Jan 2018.

  1. JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Evening all,

    I'm slowly improving my fitness on-road but still struggle slightly when it comes to riding my mountain bikes.

    On-road I have completed 50+ mile rides and never really do less than 15 miles in an outing (normally limited by available time rather than fitness) but off-road I'm creamed after about 8 miles. I understand it's harder work, but I am finding I'm struggling for strength when out of the saddle which I'm not used to. In some instances the terrain is demanding I stand and shift my weight around whilst climbing to get over/around obstacles and I'm struggling to do both simultaneously. I can stand fine on descents and I can stand and pump the pedals on flat ground but combine the two and I'm done for! In my youth I only used to ride mountain bikes and am used to throwing them around with wanton abandon :laugh:

    Is it simply a case of riding the mountain bikes more and improving my strength in the different muscles/muscle range that they demand? Is there some training I can do on my road bikes that will improve my strength in this area? My main issue is I find it very easy to get out on the road bike but I don't get many opportunities to get out in the woods and get dirty so I want to be able to push as hard as I can on the occasions I do go off road :smile:

    A few friends are doing the Dyfi Enduro in may, 60k of up and down off-road fun. I'd love to be able to do it with them and will probably sign up but I want to give it a good shot, I don't want to be last in after sunset :laugh:

    Any thoughts or advice gratefully accepted, ta!
     
  2. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry non-contributing ex-member

    Upper body and core are key off-road. Get down the gym. ;)
     
  3. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this..........

    Location:
    Ashton-under-Lyne
    Ride your MTB off-road more, lots more!
     
    Jody likes this.
  4. Jody

    Jody Über legend of a forum GOD!

    Pretty much sums it up. When the going gets rough its all about technique and knowing when to hit the gas. There is little you can do other than ride and hone the skills needed. You don't have to be he-man. Core strength helps but its useless without the right technique.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Yeah, I pretty much guessed right then. Need to find somewhere local to venture - having to load the bike up and drive out each time I want to use them is a bit of a chore :laugh:

    Cheers peeps :okay:
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2018
  6. ColinJ

    ColinJ Hillfinder General

    Are you significantly overweight? When I weighed 17+ stone I struggled to stand on the pedals for more than a few seconds at a time. I am 4 stone lighter now and don't have any problem doing it.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    I should probably have mentioned that 18 months ago I was seriously ill and plummeted 5 stone in 8 weeks and lost the majority of my muscle mass in the process. Since then I was urged to put weight back on fairly quickly as I was dangerously thin at 12.5 stone as I'm fairly broad shouldered. I enjoyed this a bit too much after being fed intravenously for a month and rather overshot my target weight :blush::laugh: A year has passed since then and I've lost a lot of the 'new' fat and rebuilt some of the muscle - I'm a little over 16 stone now but I'm 6ft tall so not significantly overweight although my BMI would have you believe otherwise :laugh: I think once the belly has been flattened a bit more and I've done a few more miles out of the saddle I'll have made some progress :becool:
     
  8. ColinJ

    ColinJ Hillfinder General

    Sorry to hear about your illness. I know what that is like - that is what happened to me too. My muscles just withered away at that time and they took me months to build back up again after the illness.

    I can't see how a 6' tall man who weighs 12.5 stone could be called 'dangerously thin' though! I am 6' 1" and still had a few inches of fat on my waist at 12 st 3 lbs. I actually weighed under 11 stone when I left university and my body then looked a lot like Chris Froome's scrawny one does now. Yes, that was a bit underweight!

    If you could get down to (say) 14 stone I am sure that you'd find things a LOT easier. You are carrying the equivalent extra weight of three 5 litre containers of water and that's a lot to be bouncing about offroad!

    Good luck!
     
    JhnBssll likes this.
  9. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    I'm aiming for 15 stone but I know what you mean :okay: I actually lost one and a half internal organs (gall bladder and half a pancreas!) which helped with the weightloss :laugh:

    As you can see pre-illness me on the left here:


    And then me after 3 months of laying down in hospital...


    I still don't like looking at pictures of me from that time as I genuinely don't recognise myself. I mean I know it's me, but its just not right :laugh:

    I hope your illness hasnt had any lasting repercussions ^_^ I was told when I came out of intensive care I'd probably get back to 95% health after 24 months; 6 months still to go :laugh:
     
    Drago and ColinJ like this.
  10. ColinJ

    ColinJ Hillfinder General

    Thanks - I made a pretty good initial recovery but then had a relapse 8 months later. I had to start my meds again and am on them for life now. I have damaged circulation in my left leg from the original DVT. It doesn't really affect my cycling, but the leg gets swollen and uncomfortable at times off the bike. My lungs are back to (say) 75% of pre-illness capacity so I have plenty of oxygen for most activities and even fairly intense cycling, but I run out of breath quicker than I would have done pre-illness. To counter that though, I am so much lighter that I don't NEED as much oxygen as I used to!

    95% would be an excellent recovery from a health problem as serious as yours!
     
    JhnBssll likes this.
  11. OP
    OP
    JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Suffolk
    I guess it's fair to say 95% is achievable if I keep taking the meds, stay active, eat a proper low fat balanced diet and never drink alcohol again. If I break any of those rules then I'm in a whole heap of trouble :laugh: Sounds like you've adapted to your new lighter frame pretty well - I wish I'd taken it easier on the carbs when they told me to bulk up but I like a challenge so I'll get the weight down again eventually :laugh:

    To be honest I've been incredibly lucky to recover to this state and I owe it all to medical science and the skill and care of a handful of NHS doctors, nurses and support staff. Quite humbling :smile: And yet here I am moaning that I can't stand up for long on my mountain bike :shy:
     
    si_c, Alan O, Dogtrousers and 2 others like this.
  12. Don't sweat the weight too much. I'm a whisker under 6'4" and nudging 19 stone. According to BMI I'm in danger of either imploding and becoming a black hole, or exploding like Mr Creosote. However, like you I'm a mesomorph with broad shoulders and a 54" chest, and a proper medical examination had my actual body fat way below acceptable limits. BMI has the scientific usefulness of witchcraft.

    I'm the mesomorph on on the right. The mesomorph on the left is daughters boyfriend.

    Anyway, glad you're recovering.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2018
    JhnBssll and T.M.H.N.E.T like this.
  13. hoopdriver

    hoopdriver Über Member

    Location:
    East Sussex
    Yes, BMI is meaningless. I am quite lean and right in the middle of the “healthy” BMI range for my height - yet that same range would suggest that I could lose two stone and still be “healthy” which would patently not be the case.

    On the other hand, the New York Yankees home run slugger Aaron Judge is 6’7” and over 20 stone and is obviously supremely fit and not at all flabby, yet according to those same BMI calculations he would be morbidly obese.

    Just meaningless...
     
    JhnBssll likes this.
  14. Fonze

    Fonze Totally obsessive , cool by nature

    Location:
    Bradwell
    I found a good way for overall strength was swimming, and the elyptical machine we have at work .. also rowing machine uses vast majority of muscle groups ..
     
    JhnBssll, Alan O, Drago and 1 other person like this.
  15. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry non-contributing ex-member

    Without the core and upper body strength, and the necessary stamina in those areas, you can't maintain the right technique, nor, in some cases, develop that technique in the first place.
     
    screenman likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice