What are you trying to express?

On NPR yesterday a veteran musician said he long ago transcended the mechanics of his music, and now he focuses on expressing himself. He can play the same song at a wedding and a funeral, same notes, and share completely different emotions.

That got me thinking: What emotion do I want to express when I ride? Can I express an emotion when I ride? 

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How hard should I pedal during Red Intervals?

Lee,

I am a Enduro, and occasional DH racer and have been slacking on training like I should this season.  I am trying to finish out strong and get in a solid 7 weeks of training before my last race at the end of the September and am working hard on the Prepare to Pin It program, building on a base of PUTB done through winter and early spring.  My question(s) are regarding power and gearing for the red intervals:

Should we be doing all out sprints?  In the book it states 120-140% or something along those lines, but I’m putting out north of 700 W @ an FTP of 278 W, which is over 200%.  Like you’ve said, this says a lot about my endurance, plus I’m a pretty big guy (190ish lbs, a hair shy over 6’), but I wasn’t sure if I am going to hard.  To me I’ve never gone below 90% in a race so I don’t know why I would do it in a training session.

In the book, it states when power drops by 10% the session is over.  Is this over the course of the entire sprint session or during easy “set”.  My first set of 3 x 20 sec I was in the 650-700 W range, second set was 600-650 W, but the third I went from about 600 W to just below 500 W, which is over a 10% drop.  This was my sign I was toast, but if I follow the rules of 10% over the workout I wouldn’t have even made it through my second set.

Lastly, is it normal to not to be shifting during the middle of these sprints?  I start out with a somewhat challenging gear but I’m spinning too quickly to feel like I’m delivering good power pretty quickly and shift 2ish times during each sprint.

Thanks for the great programming, both on skills and fitness.  My riding has improved immensely over the last 2 years despite being pretty inconsistent about training.

Brian Rowbotham

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Faster than I once was, slower than I’ll be

Last week the satellites told me I was riding slower than in past years, and that prompted me to ask if I am Slower than I once was, faster than I’ll be? That doesn’t appear to be true.

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Strength training for bunny hops

Our friend Lem Stevens has made huge progress in his quest to bunny hop higher on his mountain bike. I asked him to send a video showing his off-bike training (which includes RipRow, Olympic lifting and more), and he kindly obliged.

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RipRow 12-week build to MTB XCE Worlds: Week 1

Our friend and pro mountain bike racer Fairlee Frey (KS-Kenda Women’s MTB Team) is prepping for XCE world championships, and her coach Mike Durner (@mikedurner) is working RipRow into her training. Here’s how an elite coach uses RipRow to prepare an elite racer for a huge event.

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Slower than I once was, faster than I’ll be?

I turned on Strava for today’s trail ride because 1) marketing, 2) practicing the release of outcomes, 3) to smash the downhill KOM. I owned it at one point, years ago, and now I’m in the top 1 percent. Read more

Bike and Life advice from Yoann Barelli

In this video, pro enduro racer and cool dude Yoann Barelli dispenses some great advice about riding, racing and living.

Pace yourself.

Exit speed is more important than entrance speed.

Do all of your prep work, then stop worrying.

And so on …

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Riding my little gray pill

Why do you ride?

That’s a powerful and seldom asked question. To lose weight, to prove something, to be with friends, to have fun?

Fun is one of the better answers. Let’s dig into that.

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Buying the wrong size bike sucks

Here’s a comment thread from the Lee Likes Bikes MTB School (www.llbmtb.com – membership required). This poor guy was advised to buy the wrong size bike. I see this happening a lot — and it’s not cool.

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Focus outside and start over again

I’m starting to understand that our current experiences are stacked on our previous experiences, and that the real stuff happens below consciousness. On one end, maybe you deeply believe that life is pain and, as a result, you suffer more than you should. On another end, maybe you’ve put a lot of work into developing a skill, and you’re enjoying the process of becoming great at it.

I work both ends of that spectrum. Today I enjoyed the fruits of the latter.

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Elbows in or out?

Hi Lee and thanks for all the great info online.

Last year I got some instruction at Whistler and my instructor kept on stressing elbows out – “chicken wings.”

Then I bought the book Mastering Mountain Bike Skills 3rd Edition and learned that elbows out used to be taught but is actually wrong, hold elbows behind grips.

This week I’m riding sweep for my son’s DH camp and the instructors stress elbows out. I even spoke to one great, extremely experienced instructor after and he doubled down on elbows out.

Can you clarify the thinking behind in and out and why you changed? I haven’t been this confused since girls in high school.

Andrew

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Two shortcuts to riding better and faster

By Coach Andy Somerville

Learning how to ride better (and faster if that’s your goal) takes time, practice and commitment.

For riders serious about attaining new levels of confidence, performance and fun, there are two shortcuts to riding better, faster, or riding faster better:

Shortcut #1: Work with a skills coach

Shortcut #2: Add a RipRow to your regime

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