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  #1  
Old September 8th 08, 05:42 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
teachndad
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Default conditioning question


In order to get in some sort of suitable(he laughs) conditioning for Cal
MUni weekend. I am riding technical MUni on one day on the weekend for
about 1.5 hours to 2 hours. The riding gets my heart going very
strongly and I just work on skills on technical terrain. During the
week I am starting to Nordic track. I am currently up to 15 minutes.
I want to get to 25 minutes in two weeks and stay at that for the
remainder of the period until CMW on October 17.

I can't do much else for conditioning as my schedule doesn't allow it.
In order to do the Nordic track I need to be up at 4:45 a.m and the days
offer no time to do it, even in the evening.

My question is: Should I Nordic track every day or alternate and only
go every other day? What's the best for the body? On the "off" days, I
guess I could walk the dog for the same amount of time, but that offers
little benefit as its just not very fast.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

Thanks


--
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  #2  
Old September 8th 08, 06:55 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
tomblackwood
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Default conditioning question


For something like a muni weekend, I'm thinking a nordic track won't do
you a whole lot of good, but my recommend--if you have limited
conditioning time--is to focus your efforts on cardio, versus on
endurance. Whether using the NT, walking the dog, or riding, try to
work in some 'intervals training' (http://www.intervaltraining.net/).
If you're not riding much, it may be the best way to avoid sucking
major wind when you're out on the trail. Or so my two-cents claims.

Do you have any paved hills near your house? Even though trail riding
may not be convenient mid-week, if you have some decent short, steep
hills in or near your neighborhood, you could get a good little
interval training regimen going on your muni, which even without the
dirt and boulders, will still have you closer to trail shape than a
nordic track. I think the cross-over works. As an example, it's now
getting dark too early for me to do my traditional 15 mile climbing
route on my 36-er after work. So how do I finish training for next
week's 'Bike MS'
(http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72122) tour? I toss
my 29-er in the car, drive about 5 minutes away to a neighborhood that
has a long steep uphill, and climb, descend, climb, descend, etc. until
dark. The climb from bottom to top takes me about 4 minutes, but it's 4
minutes of major cardio, heavy breathing. Then I beat it back down
while my heart rate recovers, turn around, do it again. Even though
I'm not logging the major miles on my coker, I'm building the strength
and power, which will help when I hit the big hills out on the ride.

I've done this in the past to try to prep for Moab. Admittedly, that's
a bit closer a comparison...paved hill to slickrock hill...but I still
think any time you can get on the muni pushing your cardio--dirt or
not--will help.


--
tomblackwood

Tailgate at your own risk...
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  #3  
Old September 8th 08, 07:26 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
munimutant
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Default conditioning question


That's cool you use a Nordic Track. I used to have one many years ago,
as part of off-season training for real nordic (skating mostly) racing.
Those years taught me alot about conditioning. Way too much than I have
time to write now, but I'll try to contribute some basics that work for
me.

I find training for muni to be very similar to training for xc skiing,
because they're both "total body" sports. You essentially have three
"needs" you're training for: endurance, strength, and power. You get
all three just by riding the muni, but cross-training can be very
beneficial to any sport. For example, I've found that strength training
has REALLY helped me feel more "in charge" of the muni, especially when
steering & correcting using the seat handle.

BTW, obviously you're also training for TECHNIQUE, muscle memory, etc.,
things I lack in a big way right now as a beginner, but since your
question is just about cross-training I'm just focusing on that. Also
it's important to note that beginners do not get the same aerobic
effect in an hour of muni-ing that pros get, because we spend so much
time on UPDs. So cross-training is a great way to keep in shape so that
when we CAN hop through rock gardens like a gazelle, we have the
endurance to keep going for many more miles.

Back to your question. I would recommend getting up to at least 25 min.
sessions on the Nordic Track, preferably 30 if possible, at least 3x a
week, preferably 4. The purpose of this is to raise your aerobic
conditioning, endurance, and anaerobic threshold (that line you cross
when you start breathing like a locomotive). Check your heart rate and
try to hover at 70 percent max (max = 220 minus your age). So if you're
50, your target rate would be 119. The formula varies depending on your
conditioning, you can check the web for more on this.

And man, that Nordic Track (or any exercise machine) can get REAL
boring, so think about mixing it up with some running, swimming or
other aerobic activity.

One cool thing about the Nordic Track is you're working arms & legs,
mostly legs, so it's probably a great choice for muni.

Then add in some strength exercises. Just a quick 20-min session doing
1-2 sets of dumbell curls, military press, pushups, situps, bar dips
and pullups is good. You can do legs too, but I think you get enough of
that on the muni rides. Try to do this 2x - 3x a week.

As for power, that explosive ability to stab the pedals hard and fast
when you need to, probably the best training for that is the muni.

One more element is stretching. Especially for us older folks, I can't
stress the importance of stretching enough. It keeps up limber,
flexible, less injury-prone (or able to recover from one faster) and
much more. Do it while you watch TV.

This is a really basic program, old school. There have surely been many
advances in physical conditioning that you can read about or discuss
with a professional trainer. Interval training, plyometrics and other
activities can be part of a well-rounded program. And of course, don't
overdo it, and consult with your doc if you're going to start really
pushing it beyond your normal regimen.

I'm sure there are countless pro riders who have really effective
routines, and hopefully they'll contribute here and give us all some
good pointers. Hope this helps.


--
munimutant
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  #4  
Old September 9th 08, 02:08 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
skilewis74
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Default conditioning question


It's best to take days off, keep it light every other day, or what I
would do; cardio one day & strength training the next.

A workout I like:
*20 squat jumps - squat, explode up and land back into your next
squat.
*50 knee push-ups.
*20 double leg lifts - lay on back and when your legs get virtical lift
your legs and hips as high as you can.
*30 swimming - lay on stomach w/ arms overhead and raise alternating
arms and legs, like a freestyle stroke.

I could get in 4 sets w/ a couple of minutes for stretching at the end
w/in 30 min. Since I do it w/o resting, it gets a decent cardio
workout as well.

Some other things you might want to try:
*Hopping back and forth over a bench w/o stopping. And/or doing the
same w/ pausing for an instant on top of it.
*Jumping lounges - do a lounge, jump switch feet in the air and land
back in a lounge.

If you bring an extra shirt, you could do the above workout on your
lunch brake.

A long time ago I heard about a semi-pro athlete (I forget the sport)
who would do stuff like walking lounges around the office when he went
anywhere and 50 push ups/leg lifts/etc every time he got up from his
desk, which he did several times an hour. This allowed him to be as
compettitive as he could be w/ pros, short of quiting his job (he was
attracting intrest of some big sponsors, he said if he got some of
those, he'd quite working).

I think running, w/ a few short sprints, would be better than nordic
track. Like running laps and sprinting 30~40 yds each lap. Improving
your sprinting could help w/ some UPD's.

To keep from getting bored doing things like cardio, I listen to music
or books on tape.


--
skilewis74

Ride everywhere and never just ride anywhere. If you can ride where you
are going within a hour, do it, and if you can do a trick 50-75% of the
time do it along the way.- Bob Burnquist

What next? 'IUF skill levels'
(http://www.unicycling.org/iuf/levels/)*'
Street'
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  #5  
Old September 9th 08, 03:38 PM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
Kerv
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Posts: 78
Default conditioning question


I am also using a Nordic Trak and find it a terrific cardio workout. I
am up at 5:00AM and use the Nordic for 45-55 minutes. Contrary to what
was said above, the Nordic Trak gives a great cardio workout. I think
it is terrific for general conditioning and it has helped my MUni
ability greatly.

Taking days off is more important if you are doing weight training,
where your muscles really do need a day to rest. It is less important
to take a day off between cardio workouts. Let your body tell you when
it wants a day to rest. I try to do 5-6 days each week on my Nordic.

All cardio can be boring. A lot of folks watch TV. After I lot of
practice, I can go at a fast pace and read the newspaper! No kidding.
I rip out the individual pages I want to read and place them on a music
stand at eye level. When I finish a page, I throw it on the floor and
read the next one in the stack.

when I want a change of pace (and it is light enough outside in the
early morning), I do multiple laps on my MUni around my house. The
house is built into a hill, so every lap has an uphill and a downhill.
My rough, bumpy lawn is harder to ride on than a well-ridden off-road
trail.


--
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  #6  
Old September 9th 08, 06:44 PM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
munimutant
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Posts: 61
Default conditioning question


+1 on OK for cardio every day, weights every other. Or weights every day
too if doing different muscle groups. There's also great variations on
cardio that increase fitness while adding variety. LSD's (long slow
distance at target heart rate 70 percent max) help build an endurance
foundation, good to do once every week or two. Interval training (going
hard for a few minutes, slowing down to recover, then doing it again for
several reps) can raise the anaerobic threshold. Speedplay (random
bursts of speed) is a fun variation on intervals that isn't so rigid
and painful.

Many seasoned riders might think we're crazy talking about all this
cross-training, wondering why we don't just get out and ride. For me,
the main reason is I'm a beginner and with all the UPDs and
balance-checks I simply can't get a great cardio workout on the muni
yet. But even when I can, I'll still like the variety.

And yeah, Nordic Track rocks. Cross-country ski racers have incredibly
high V02 max numbers, due to the combined leg and arm exercise (and
probably from training so much at higher altitudes). Since muni is ALSO
a leg/arm combo sport, the NT sounds excellent.


--
munimutant
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  #7  
Old September 9th 08, 08:18 PM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
skilewis74
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Posts: 1,597
Default conditioning question


munimutant wrote:
Many seasoned riders might think we're crazy talking about all this
cross-training, wondering why we don't just get out and ride.



For me it's mainly a time thing. If I'm looking for maximum skill
improvement w/ the least amount of time, it's best to do some strength
training and cardio.

I've found that about 25% of my total uni time should be spent doing
some sort of cross training, more if I can't get to the trails often,
less if I ride every day.


--
skilewis74

Ride everywhere and never just ride anywhere. If you can ride where you
are going within a hour, do it, and if you can do a trick 50-75% of the
time do it along the way.- Bob Burnquist

What next? 'IUF skill levels'
(http://www.unicycling.org/iuf/levels/)*'
Street'
(http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/The_Unicyclopedia/Street)*'unicycletips.com'
(http://unicycletips.com/)*'Trials class system'
(http://tinyurl.com/yqpvxk)*'Trials Building'
(http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64235)
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