Author Topic: Energy/Stamina  (Read 2552 times)

Offline aliasdck

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Energy/Stamina
« on: December 19, 2020, 09:40:16 PM »
I started riding again 2 years ago after a about a six year break. Since starting back up I've rode fairly regularly, probably averaging 5 out of every 7 days for the last two years.


I've learned a lot but my ability to ride hard or for long times has not redeveloped like it used to be. Currently I'm only riding about 30-45 minutes per day, and even then I find it difficult to focus intently on the same trick for very long because I feel fatigued quickly. I'm only practicing combos of 2-3 tricks, I don't have the stamina for longer.


Maybe it's because I am older now (~39 years old) and this is normal, but I feel like I'm too sluggish most of the time and it's causing me to progress slow. Perhaps this is normal for me for my age, I don't know. I'll get a checkup at the doctor with blood work just to make sure nothing is wrong but I suspect I'm healthy.


My question is: have you found any exercises helpful in strengthening stamina specific to flatland? I do some light weight lifting periodically but it hasn't helped much. I'm thinking of starting to jog/run on a regular basis. Like maybe 10-15 minutes several times a week.

Offline DaddyCool

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2020, 11:21:00 PM »
Hello aliasdck, very interesting topic! I am pretty much in the same situation (little older). I ride two times a week for about 1 h or 1.5 h and used to run for 30 min with my colleagues at work during the lunch break two times a week. Now with the pandemic I run only one time per week or less (home office with family stuff and so on).
I also feel much weaker than a few year ago although I did not have a longer break. Long combos are critical because of my poor consistency but also because of the lack of stamina. Running helped a little bit, but it was not a big change. I also do push-ups and pull-ups which is good I think but not for stamina...
I guess running slow for 1 h or more would be better, but this just does not fit into my lunch break and it just costs too much time (I used to do this some years ago when I did not have a family and had more time). I assume that my overall stress level also puts me down. I thought about breathing after watching Lionel's Freestyle Tactics about this and also Scott Hagnas gave some advice on this in the context of "Health matters" on Flatmatters. But until now I did not really push this topic.
So to be short: I know what you mean but so far I did not find a solution. I see Scott Powell, Peter Brandt and Marton Szilagyi and they make me feel depressed. Now idea how to be such an athlete at 50 years of age... At least I still have fun when I am riding.

Offline Mambocowboy

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2020, 11:57:00 PM »
I started riding again 2 years ago after a about a six year break. Since starting back up I've rode fairly regularly, probably averaging 5 out of every 7 days for the last two years.


I've learned a lot but my ability to ride hard or for long times has not redeveloped like it used to be. Currently I'm only riding about 30-45 minutes per day, and even then I find it difficult to focus intently on the same trick for very long because I feel fatigued quickly. I'm only practicing combos of 2-3 tricks, I don't have the stamina for longer.


Maybe it's because I am older now (~39 years old) and this is normal, but I feel like I'm too sluggish most of the time and it's causing me to progress slow. Perhaps this is normal for me for my age, I don't know. I'll get a checkup at the doctor with blood work just to make sure nothing is wrong but I suspect I'm healthy.


My question is: have you found any exercises helpful in strengthening stamina specific to flatland? I do some light weight lifting periodically but it hasn't helped much. I'm thinking of starting to jog/run on a regular basis. Like maybe 10-15 minutes several times a week.
I don't think cardio will help; it'll just wear you out. I do believe that bodyweight core work such as push-ups and ab work enhance riding without draining your energy like running would...I'm 49 by the way and riding every day for an hour.

Offline DaddyCool

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2020, 04:09:14 PM »
Interesting idea Mambocowboy! The main thought with running for me is that the physical demand is total different. You can have a constant pulse rate for some time whereas when you ride flatland, it changes all the time. So this may give a balance to your overall stamina. But I am sure you are right, if you do too much it may exhaust you somehow.
I have heard from Matthias Dandois in an interview that he runs around 13 km twice a week. But I think he is on another level in general.

Offline Mambocowboy

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2020, 06:26:17 PM »
Interesting idea Mambocowboy! The main thought with running for me is that the physical demand is total different. You can have a constant pulse rate for some time whereas when you ride flatland, it changes all the time. So this may give a balance to your overall stamina. But I am sure you are right, if you do too much it may exhaust you somehow.
I have heard from Matthias Dandois in an interview that he runs around 13 km twice a week. But I think he is on another level in general.
Lol he also has no job to drain energy other than riding his bike and is 31. I'm not sure he'll be doing all that running when he's 40, but hey try it out and see how it goes.

Offline aliasdck

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2021, 05:48:08 PM »
Sorry for the delay in response, I seem to actually be experiencing some depression and so haven't felt the motivation to reply much. I think the cold weather + limited sunlight is really starting to affect me, thinking back I had much more energy, stamina and a better mood throughout the spring, summer and fall. But this depression is not the only problem, I do really feel like I need to work on my energy/stamina overall.

I have implemented a work out system on top of my riding:
Monday: 5 minute run
Tuesday: Push-ups (3 sets of 15)
Wednesday: Sit-ups/crunches
Thursday: Rest day
Friday 5 minute run
Saturday: Push-ups
Sunday: Sit-ups/crunches

This does seem to be helping. I have noticed an increase in my overall energy levels, riding my bike seems more easy and natural lately. Might also add some light weight lifting as well.

I have also been working on the basics more. Been focusing on the back wheel most of 2020, I started out practicing peg wheelies in a straight line everyday down a long street. I forced myself to learn all four variations and now do them each day: regular, switch-foot, opposite and opposite switch foot.

Then I started working on these same peg wheelies but in circles instead of a straight line..Been trying to get comfortable pumping each one and also turbine them as well. Still have a lot of work to do on my opposite and opposite switch foot but getting better every day. This also includes my standing leg being on the inside and outside of the circle, so there are many variations to work on. Plus also have started working on each position but rolling backwards instead.

I really think focusing on these basics is helping me. I've noticed my leg muscles are getting stronger and my stamina is increasing. Plus my confidence on the bike has improved as now I feel more comfortable on either side or on either foot, and I can spend half the session on one leg and the other half on the other leg. Eventually I plan to start the same routine on the front wheel, already learned opposite hang 5s last year.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 05:50:01 PM by aliasdck »

Offline Mambocowboy

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2021, 06:22:53 PM »
Sorry for the delay in response, I seem to actually be experiencing some depression and so haven't felt the motivation to reply much. I think the cold weather + limited sunlight is really starting to affect me, thinking back I had much more energy, stamina and a better mood throughout the spring, summer and fall. But this depression is not the only problem, I do really feel like I need to work on my energy/stamina overall.

I have implemented a work out system on top of my riding:
Monday: 5 minute run
Tuesday: Push-ups (3 sets of 15)
Wednesday: Sit-ups/crunches
Thursday: Rest day
Friday 5 minute run
Saturday: Push-ups
Sunday: Sit-ups/crunches

This does seem to be helping. I have noticed an increase in my overall energy levels, riding my bike seems more easy and natural lately. Might also add some light weight lifting as well.

I have also been working on the basics more. Been focusing on the back wheel most of 2020, I started out practicing peg wheelies in a straight line everyday down a long street. I forced myself to learn all four variations and now do them each day: regular, switch-foot, opposite and opposite switch foot.

Then I started working on these same peg wheelies but in circles instead of a straight line..Been trying to get comfortable pumping each one and also turbine them as well. Still have a lot of work to do on my opposite and opposite switch foot but getting better every day. This also includes my standing leg being on the inside and outside of the circle, so there are many variations to work on. Plus also have started working on each position but rolling backwards instead.

I really think focusing on these basics is helping me. I've noticed my leg muscles are getting stronger and my stamina is increasing. Plus my confidence on the bike has improved as now I feel more comfortable on either side or on either foot, and I can spend half the session on one leg and the other half on the other leg. Eventually I plan to start the same routine on the front wheel, already learned opposite hang 5s last year.
Sounds like it's working, which is good to hear. I'm recovering from covid. Pretty sure I got it because my wife is a nurse who cares for covid patients. Needless to say it knocked me off my bike about 10 days but I'm back . Talk about something that'll sap your energy.... Stay safe everybody!

Offline DaddyCool

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2021, 11:33:52 PM »
Hi Mambocowboy, sad to hear from your covid infection. All the best for your and your wife's and family's health!
Hi aliasdck, I wish you to gain more positive feelings back! I hope spring will not be late in your area and I fully agree that the lack of sunlight is not helpful.
About the stamina: I also to push-ups and pull-ups and also try some of Scott Hagnas' advice for my back as well. After having too much back pain from early December I am off the bike for almost four weeks now. I hope I can try to ride again soon, but my stamina of course has not become better...
It is very interesting what you write about your peg wheelie experience. I have a "city bike" (old parts, heavy) to ride to the supermarket and stuff like this and most of the time do pegwheelies on the way, often opposite. Unfortunately it still feels weird to do them on the weak foot although I do this little practise since years. I always thought strengthening the weak foot might help for multiple whiplashes for example, but it did not really happen so far. I fully agree that one can spend a lot of time on pegwheelie variations which is kind of funny considering that this one of the first tricks that people learn.
Opposite hang five is hard for me, but I can do it more or less. But I cannot do a whiplash from it although I can do normal and opposite whiplashes. Flatland is a mystery...

Offline aliasdck

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2021, 03:43:19 AM »
Mambocowboy, glad to hear you are back from getting covid. I've avoided it so far but I think it's mostly luck, for example my parents and a few siblings got it and I had visited them just before they knew. I also go to hospitals often for work and luckily haven't caught it (as far as I know). Glad you are feeling better!



Daddycool, I need to review Scott Hagnas advice again, I'm sure I would benefit from it from what I remember. I'm sorry to hear about your back, back pain can be so awful and debilitating. I hope you recover and get back on your bike soon.

I have been practicing the various peg wheelies almost daily now for quite some time. It's gotten to the point where I feel almost as comfortable on my weak leg as I do on my strong one (when going in a straight line). Took a lot of practice to get to that point though. But this hasn't translated to the front wheel unfortunately. For example, I can do opposite hang 5 but it still feels quite uncomfortable which is frustrating because I can balance the opposite peg wheelie no problem. The one that really is hard for me though is Karl kruiser on the opposite side, it just feels so awkward and alien, I think I may never dial it in properly.

Whiplashes is still something I have yet to approach since coming back to flatland after my long break. I was able to do doubles and even a handful of triples as a teenager but I relied heavily on the brake. One of these days I want to start working on them brakeless.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2021, 03:45:57 AM by aliasdck »

Offline anthony

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2021, 04:24:41 AM »
Work out and do some heavy stretching with lots of good cardio, that's my advice... I'm 39 as well and my sessions are way better, I'm able to ride  up to 3 hours sessions without problems, I work out 4 to 5 times per week ( 1 hour ), I ride up to 4 times per week if the weather is ok ( New York).
Do a little bit of weight too, the key is consistency and after a few weeks you will see the difference.
PS...DO HEAVY STRETCHING... LIKE CALISTHENICS STUFF

Offline mal

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2021, 03:31:37 PM »
You can also try a smaller gear ratio like 20/9 with 160mm cranks.

We get tired from pedaling through the session too and we don't even consider it as a factor.

For example 25/9 on 170mm cranks is actually hard for the body.

Also psi,got to have 100 at least.


Check it

Offline Mambocowboy

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2021, 05:27:23 PM »
Mambocowboy, glad to hear you are back from getting covid. I've avoided it so far but I think it's mostly luck, for example my parents and a few siblings got it and I had visited them just before they knew. I also go to hospitals often for work and luckily haven't caught it (as far as I know). Glad you are feeling better!



Daddycool, I need to review Scott Hagnas advice again, I'm sure I would benefit from it from what I remember. I'm sorry to hear about your back, back pain can be so awful and debilitating. I hope you recover and get back on your bike soon.

I have been practicing the various peg wheelies almost daily now for quite some time. It's gotten to the point where I feel almost as comfortable on my weak leg as I do on my strong one (when going in a straight line). Took a lot of practice to get to that point though. But this hasn't translated to the front wheel unfortunately. For example, I can do opposite hang 5 but it still feels quite uncomfortable which is frustrating because I can balance the opposite peg wheelie no problem. The one that really is hard for me though is Karl kruiser on the opposite side, it just feels so awkward and alien, I think I may never dial it in properly.

Whiplashes is still something I have yet to approach since coming back to flatland after my long break. I was able to do doubles and even a handful of triples as a teenager but I relied heavily on the brake. One of these days I want to start working on them brakeless.
Thanks for the well wishes. One thing on the bike is I do is everything ambidextrous. I do think it'll keep my body more balanced. While I does slow down my progress with certain tricks I love the challenge mentally too....

Offline anthony

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2021, 06:12:55 PM »
ALSO.....
In my case and related to stamina/focus I dont listed to music anymore, I used to ride with an mp3 player, but with the time I found that I focus more without music and I put more attention to my riding, some people love to ride with music, at the end whatever works and helps to improve is a plus.

Offline razorlab

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2021, 03:49:59 AM »
I just got back into riding this last June after twenty years away.


I'm 45, I work at a computer all day long and because of Covid, I was getting MUCH less daily exercise. I used to walk to/from the train station every morning and night, walk/run up stairs of transit stations and walk through NYC to get to work every day. I also had a very hard year before I started riding again. Death in the family and some life changes. I was depressed and drinking alcohol much more than I had before.


Basically, I was very out of shape when I started back up. I ended up hurting myself a bunch. Pulling muscles, all that fun stuff. I hurt myself very easily. I went over the bars a couple times relearning hang-fives and bruised my ribs. I put my foot down after a simple spinning peg wheelie went wrong and sprained my calf muscle so badly it bruised black and took me out for a month. Just getting up the stairs was a chore. I eventually got some riding centric muscle back because I forced myself to ride my bike every day. Just normal bike rides around the neighborhood. That really helped. I also started rowing with a stationary rower.

Riding also helped me start drinking much less as I noticed my balance would be all F'd up if I drank the night before, not to mention I just felt like ass and didn't want to ride if I had been drinking.

I still have a LONG ways to go to really get back into shape and get my core stronger. One day at a time.


I have no idea how much your bike weighs but the other thing that very noticeably helped me have longer sessions before getting tired was reducing the weight of my flatland bike. Going from 25 lbs to 21 lbs made a huge difference to me. It very much changed how long I could go before quitting a session.


I have to give Anthony, who posted above, credit for giving me that idea!
« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 03:56:36 AM by razorlab »

Offline aliasdck

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Re: Energy/Stamina
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2021, 05:06:59 AM »
Yes I can relate, the first couple of months were hard for me too when I first started back up. Had problems with my ankles, wrists and most especially my knees, was out of shape and also had problems with occasional pulled muscles (in my back mostly). Luckily I pushed through and things improved with regular riding.

I too also reduced the weight of my bike but was done slowly. Bike was like 28-29lbs at first, slowly replaced parts over the last two years and now it's down to like 25ish. My wheels (rims, spokes, hubs) are like 20 years old so newer ones would be lighter but I'm not ready to spend the money yet. I could also probably loose 2lbs if I removed the brakes but I like having them on for the moment. I'm happy with the current weight so not in a rush to get it any lighter.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 05:08:51 AM by aliasdck »