A little background. I started mountain biking in March or April of last year and did one XC race which absolutely kicked my ass. I was looking for something fun to lose weight and I lost around 25lbs last year (dropping from 225lb at 6’2"). I had been struggling with runners knee so running particularly on concrete wasn’t an option. Now I can play sports without my knee braces the doctor gave me for the runners knee and I am the lightest and in the best shape I have been in since highschool (12 years ago this year). Around the start of this year I bought a trainer and started doing TrainerRoad with a Kurt Kinetic Smart Road Machine and a single speed cyclocross bike. Since the start of the year, I have been riding a bit of freestyle BMX (cause taking up BMX at 30 seems like a perfect idea). My goals for this year are to do an XC race or two. Try Cyclocross and also depending on how my skills develop, an enduro race. Really though my biggest goal is to get to the point where I don’t feel like I am holding people up when I go on a group ride. I have done the Sweet Spot Low Volume 1 and I am two weeks into Low Volume General Build. I can already see a big improvement.
My first question is about off the bike workouts. I play ultimate frisbee league usually once a week (not to be confused with disc golf) which can either be a pretty big workout or a fairly light one depending on how many people show up. On days where I don’t have a trainer ride, I generally do some stretching, pushups, leg lifts, etc as well as spending some time messing around on my freestyle BMX. So I have three trainer rides a week plus ultimate frisbee (which is mostly sprints and jumping). Should I be doing off the bike workouts on the other days or the same days as trainer rides? I was also going to start doing workouts from somewhere like fitnessblender to get a more structured workout. I want to increase flexibility and core and upper body strength. My biggest reason behind this is to attempt to help prevent injuries. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
My second question is about using my single speed for training but my trainer does not have ERG(?) mode so hitting cadence numbers is not really possible. How much is that actually going to hold me back? I can’t use the mountainbike on the trainer due to hub size and I don’t want to spend the money on adding gears to the cyclocross bike since I like the simplacy of single speed and I plan on trying cyclocross single speed anyway.
My third question is about mountainbike rides versus trainer rides. It is hitting the time of year that it will be easier to get in mountain bike rides (at least if it ever stops raining down here in the south). Of course, I’d much rather go out and ride then ride on the trainer (although I don’t hate trainer rides). I know mountain bike rides will not have the structured nature of training rides but how much effect is there if I replace trainer rides with approximately the same or longer mountain bike rides? So basically I plan on going mountain biking unless I don’t have time until after dark or the trails are shut because of rain. Should I try to fit in a shorter structured trainer ride if I still feel ok after my ride?
Finally given my goals (a couple XC races, at least trying cyclocross and maybe enduro). What plan or plans should I go after I finish the general build plan? I am pretty sure I am never going to be an XC racer since I kind of completely hate climbing. Also my 150/140mm travel bike is never going to be mistaken for an XC bike. Mostly want to do to hang out with friends and ride some trails but I’d like to finish better then 3rd from last. Cyclocross looks like a lot of fun though so I really want to try that. Really my biggest goal though is to be in good enough shape to somewhat keep up with friends (well my skills need a lot of work to get to that point as well).
Thanks for the help.