Training Tips With Ned Overend

To really simulate a race, I try and do a segment that is a complete loop. That way, it’s not just a hill-climb, and I am working on my downhill skills as well. I am better on hills, so if there is a climb in that loop, I will t try and set a fast time on it, but I need to be thinking about the energy I will need for the entire loop.

Here is an example: I am in Fountain Hills, Arizona, right now and only a short ride from McDowell Mountain Park, which is still open for riding. I focused on this P-G-B-P-TT-P Loop last week. Those initials are all trail names: Pemberton, Granite, Bluff, Pemberton, Tonto Tank and Pemberton. It’s about 9 miles and takes 30 minutes. The segment is in the middle of this ride:

One way Ned keeps fit is by swimming in a small pool with bungee cords tied to his feet to keep him from reaching the other side of the pool.

There is so much data you can analyze from Strava. I can look at the downhill sections, and by comparing smaller segment times within the whole downhill, I can see where I am losing time to the other riders.

McDowell Mountain Park is a good place for this, because it is pretty wide open, so you are not trying to race around blind turns where you might endanger other trail users. It’s super important to slow down when other trail users are present and know that proper trail manners are more important than your Strava time.

I am also trying to maintain some whole-body fitness. To do this is pretty easy. All I need is a pair of 15-pound dumbbells. I have a quick routine that involves four or five exercises with the dumbbells and some push-ups—and, of course, some stretching afterward.

There is a small pool at the house where I am staying, so on alternating days with my weight training, I strap bungee cords to my ankles and swim in place for 20–30 minutes. They make these swim cords specifically for swimming workouts in small pools. Nothing too long; I’m not trying to be a triathlete, just working on whole-body fitness to supplement my cycling.

Bonus Tips: Ned Overend’s Off-Season
Training Secrets

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