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Hi. Sorry for the longish post. 

A bit of backstory: 

Since incorporating primal into my life, I've obviously had to refine certain beliefs - y'know the type: saturated fat is evil, girls shouldn't lift because they'll get buff, etc. So now, my questions may seem simplistic; questions a beginner would ask when they just start their sport out. 

It's not that way: I've been cycling most of my (short) life, and have only in the past year simultaneously quit competitive racing and taken up primal eating. I've always had a bit of a belly, despite cycling absolutely loads and following a "healthy" diet, but I only really noticed when I became a teenager. Disgusted with my body, I began to notoriously cut calories and increase cardio for the sake of losing my belly. I never did, and soon cycling became a means of burning calories and fat instead of a healthy, enjoyable exercise. How sad.

When I was 14, I decided that I didn't enjoy cycling any more and quit. I don't know whether it was because I was trying to race a growing body on 1500 kcal or less per day, but I became slower and slower and more and more tired; it was just a task instead of a good environment. Like I said, I adopted VLC primal, and lost weight after two weeks; fwlt great. Spoilt it with a trip to the cinema, a full tub of ice cream, and two big bars of chocolate. became a slave to fat-and-sugar, and ended up with a BED. That's all gone, thank Christ, but I'm still overweight, and trying to lose. Though I'm eating well now, and hopefully my body will regulate itself, as I'm growing and all. I've grown about 2 cup sizes in a year-and-a-half, and have finally grown upwards! (and outwards, it seems...) I'm 15 years old, 5'4", and god knows how heavy. I have a solid frame, though.

I'm lifting weights, I'm strong. I eat primal - only just started incorporating more fruit and starchy carbs.


I think I want to race again. Mountain biking, that is. Specifically.

Yet I know the stance on "CC". I suppose cycling would be classed as CC; what with the general consensus being "miles miles miles!!!!1". But the type of racing I'd like to do is around 60-90 minutes long, and with bursts - as we'd be climbing hills and descending. 

So: how do I train, primally, for a mountain bike race? Intervals, long rides, what?
How can I incorporate primal eating into an athlete's diet?
Any primal cyclists out there? Ones who race?
Are long rides really necessary, or will intervals, short hard rides, and weightlifting suffice?

I think I want to lose weight before I start to cycle again. a) to prove I can, and B) because cycling makes me really hungry and I'd end up eating more carbs and probably not lose weight. I'm working on that (check my journal) and I could really use some advice for it all.

Thanks :3

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I'm still working diet out myself, but as far as the training goes the best thing to do is simply ride. There's really no better way to train although I would recomend adding in strength building. Not only does strong arms and core mean less fatigue in your arms when you're going long distances, but it helps you refine control of your bike. When I'm riding (both mountain and road) most of my steering comes from shifting my weight rather then yanking the handle bars around unless I'm doing tight turns on a singletrack course.


Also, mountains are your friends for building that endurance up.

Level 0 Dwarven Ranger

Str:0 ⌠Dex:0 ⌠Sta:0 ⌠Con:0 ⌠Wis:0 ⌠Cha:0


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Hi galacticgoose,

I'm also a pretty comparative cat3 road racer and endurance mountain biker.  I don't know that I would say that my diet is primal, but my general rule of thumb is that I don't bring anything home from the store that had more than one ingredient. I started this halfway through the race season this year and replaced the energy drinks and bars full of pseudo-scientific  compounds with unpronounceable names with high nitrate vegetable and fruit juices made in my own juicer, and started stuffing my jersey pockets with bananas and small baked sweat potatoes. When I'm not on the bike my meals usually consist of a pile of veggies and a big hunk of meat. I add in more high nitrate vegetables and fruits during my building and race training phases, and particularly in the days leading up to an important event.  The main difference I've noticed is that I tend not to put as much fat back on when I lay off the cycling a little.


There is a lot to be said about training for bike racing and libraries full of books on that very topic.  If you are planing on doing a lot of shorter races, like participating in a local xc race series with 10 15-mile races throughout the spring and summer, the way you train will need to be different than if you are training for a specific endurance event, like a 100 mile or 24-hour mountain bike race.


Generally, if you plan on doing lots of shorter (less than 3-hour) races throughout the season, you will want to spend the last half of your "off" season spending lots of time on the bike pedaling and a low to moderate intensity and decrease the duration of your workouts while increasing the intensity leading up to race season (more short interval workouts and spring drills).  Also as you approach a race, tailor your workouts more specifically to whichever race you have cumming up. If you are doing a hilly race, do lots of climbing workouts, and the longest workout of the week should match fairly closely to the length of the race you plan to do.


If you are training for an endurance event, do a few intense interval workouts and one medium-length ride at a fast but steady pace.  On the weekends, do a long ride at around the speed you plan on maintaining during the event and bump up the length of your weekend ride by about 10% each week until you get just less than the event length. Don't forget to take rest days and taper at least a week prior to the event.
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