What is the best way to train for a hour and a half hairscramble race?
In the off-season when it's cold and icey up here in MN I do weight lifting on MWF and cardio on T and TH.
When it warms up enough to ride, the best training there is, is to go out and ride in similar terrain you are going to race in. Which is what I do.
Seat time can't beat anything else.
Hope that helps
+1 on more seat time.
Get a stopwatch and ride for 2 hours and don't stop.
I like to train on my mountain bike during the weekdays after work.
Well at 1.5 hrs you've entered into the world of endurance sports, so most of your training time should be spent doing endurance work. Think cycling! The majority of your training should be spent on your bicycle.
The strength you're trying to build is endurance/strength, meaning sustainable power output. Pro cyclists can put out 300ish watts of power and still be around 128 bpm heart rate!!!! If you can put out that kind of power at that LOW of a HR the physical demands of racing are no longer an issue. SO that should be an objective. Bicycle rides need to be AT LEAST 1.5 hours in length to be worth while, anything shorter is speed/power work.
As for core/upper body work goes, THINK 3D! Think of how we move on the bike, 3D! NOT 2D, like in the weight room. I have my athletes doing bouldering/climbing gym work, mixed martial arts and parkour(free running, combination of gymnastics and running). Again think about what we're doing on the bike, what we do is only trumped by fighter pilots in complexity.
Of course there's plenty of throttle time as well, split between trials/track/desert and woods. Just depends on what skill set we're working on.
Feel free to PM me.
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