I started biking a little over 10 years ago as a mountain biker. Since I’ve transitioned to mostly a roadie, but I still do about a 60/40 split and all the racing events I’ve every done have been as a mountain biker. I am also a single speeder. It’s the only bike I have and have been doing it for 3-4 years. I’ve been doing TrainerRoad for about 2 months and because of crappy weather have been unable to ride the mountain bike and have substituted a trainer ride for my mountain bike since.
On Saturday I did a 45 mile mountain bike race. It was a C race for me so I was doing it more as an accomplishment and a good excuse to get back on the mountain bike. I was expecting to be strong because I’ve been riding strong on the road and my TrainerRoad workouts have been very good. Overall, I suffered. I finished and I was proud about that. I was competing againsts gears and suspension since there was no Singlespeed class. However, about 2 hours in, my arms completely gave out on me. As a singlespeeder I rely heavily on standing and being able to swing the bike back and forth and by the end of the ride, I could barely move side to side, much less get any punch from swing the bike back and forth. What I believe is going on is my trainer rides do absolutely nothing for my arms. In fact, the goal is to keep the upperbody mostly still most of the time, so I think I’m losing lots of fitness that I need for mountain biking. Standing on the trainer doesn’t seem to help because no where can I simulate that pulling and pushing except on the bike or perhaps with some extra strength training.
Does anyone have any tips to counteract this? Any specific exercises or recommendations of how many mountain bike rides I need a week to maintain my arms and if I should do any specific training on the bike to maximize that workout?