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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm doing a double century in March. I'm only riding my Mt. bike currently. How many Off-road singletrack miles would one have to do to equate 200 road miles. Should I be concerned with miles or hours in the saddle?
 

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Bertleman said:
I'm doing a double century in March. I'm only riding my Mt. bike currently. How many Off-road singletrack miles would one have to do to equate 200 road miles. Should I be concerned with miles or hours in the saddle?
I would look at hours and heart rate. Do you have a HR monitor?

If not, focus on hours and perceived exertion. My guess is it will be 12+ hours of saddle time at a tempo level. Enjoy!

Silas
 

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It also depends on what kind of terrain you are riding on your MTB. If it is mainly roads and fire roads or trails that let you spin for extended periods than yes that could be comparable to the road bike. If you are doing more technical trails where it's stop and go pedaling then you need to reconsider your approach. If you ride the MTB on the road then the miles should match one to one. Although for that distance you probably would want to stick to the road bike since sitting in that position needs training just as much as pedaling. I say this if you are trying top maximize your efforts. The MTB can definitely help you build a base, but get back out on the road as soon as you can.
 

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Bertleman said:
I'm doing a double century in March. I'm only riding my Mt. bike currently. How many Off-road singletrack miles would one have to do to equate 200 road miles. Should I be concerned with miles or hours in the saddle?
It can be hard to equate road miles to road miles, let alone off-road miles to off-road miles. 100 miles through the Sierra Nevada mountains is entirely different than 100 miles across the plains of Kansas. (Even two different 100 mile routes in Kansas might be different, if its a windy day and one route is straight downwind, and the other is straight upwind.)

I agree with the other posters, go with hours and intensity, or if riding at a roughly constant intensity (as is common on double centuries) go with just hours.
 

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From someone whose main passion is MTB- don't beat yourself up on technical trails while training. Smooth singletrack or fire roads are better for the cardio work you need for a DC.
Although my goals are somewhat lower than a DC, I've made that mistake of pounding myself to exhaustion working out on the trails only to find minimal benefit on my long club/charity road rides.
Don't be afraid to do long tempo pace road rides on your MTB. Invest in some slicks for smoother asphalt riding. Obviously your MTB is geared lower than a road cycle, but the 46/11 combo in alot of MTB's is still tall enough for some long distance cardio work.

Best of luck with the DC!!!
 

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I have found that fireroads are great for recovery rides.
I also like the intensity and strenght training of mountain bike singletracks at top speed.... you just cant match the steepness, intensity and changes of rhythm it provides.
 

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Specificity in training is essential to any serious distance ride goals. You should be riding distances on road bikes in the last six/eight weeks of training.

That said, the key to improving physical capacity is intensity in training. (Citing Joe Friel et al here.) Studies suggest that trained athletes improve performance more with intensity training as compared to duration training.

So, you can get pretty intense on an MTB.

But you should be working on specificity for your event objective. That would be long rides with intervals of intense exertion, on a road bike -- a mix of intensity and specificity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the advice!! Too bad I crashed on my way to work on Friday and broke 3 bones in my wrist. Now it looks like I'm getting an indoor trainer and doing some livingroom miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not a team kelly cast nor is it a Miami Hurricanes cast. They didn't have any good colors or any sports teams, so I had to go with the green accent stripe over the road worker orange.
 
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