Question about endurance

So I had a question about how long you guys are able to ride at a time, before you have to get off and catch your breath.

I love riding Muni. I do it as much as I can, and love being in the outdoors. However, I’ve found that I rarely ride more than a mile or two before I’m getting off to suck wind for a few seconds. My trails do involve a fair amount of up and down, but nothing crazy that I can think of. I guess what I don’t get, is that I’m very physically fit. Play football, do a ton of weightlifting, run, etc. Is this normal? Or am I way out of shape? Are any of you guys able to ride “straight through” a trail?

I’ve been riding for a year on Tuesday so I would think I’d be acclimated to riding by now? :thinking:

It’s normal, and you’re out of shape. :slight_smile: Being in shape is relative, muni takes a ton of energy.

Depends on how muh you ride and where/how.

You have to train the right muscles abd your endurance, but you also have to improve your technic, how to put as much weight as possible onto the saddle, the way you ride uphill, if and how you grab the handle, etc. etc.

What muni are you riding? My riding experience improved greatly when i switched to light pedals, light tube and new bearings.



For my regular muni rides 5-7 miles xc I push hard and rarely get winded, the only reason I ever stop is to adjust my male anatomy and I wait till I fall to do that, which is usually 3-5 times per ride. The few races I’ve done I was definitely winded but didn’t have to stop.

For road riding it’s about the same, my knees start to ache way before my lungs give out. I don’t normally fall on the road so I have to stop every several mile to “pull everything back up” into place.

So the order of my weakness is balls, knees then lungs. Unicycling is my only exercise besides planting trees and flowers for a living.

I would agree with the others, muni does take alot of energy and equipment and technique are very important as well. You could video yourself and do a self analysis on your posture, hand/arm positions, etc. Equipment wise maybe make some upgrades, make sure everthing is lubed and tightened up as it should be and maybe adjust your tire pressure. Personally, I find a higher tire pressure rides alot faster/easier on any surface, although it may not be optimal for muni or trials.

Maybe lay off the weights, you may be winded from carrying around all those beach muscles, haha! :slight_smile:

Three times I’ve done 2 or more hours without a dismount. 27 miles was my best “in one”.

Thanks for the info guys. BYC, I’m riding a Nimbus Drak with Moments, nimbus pedals, kh seat. Sounds like I need to work my technique more than anything. I haven’t been riding as much because of football season (play on my highschool team), but even before when I was riding 2-3 times/week, I was still struggling. I remember my best run ever for Muni was a few thousand foot descent on a climb I did in August. On the way back down, I rode the 8 miles with only 2 dismounts.

I’m getting back into it now and I guess I’ll have to hit the trails more! :slight_smile:

Yeah, it really depends on what kind of riding you do. On a paved bike path with my Coker, a KH Slim and a handle bar, I’m so relaxed I hardly fatigue at all. During my century in July, I had a section where I knew I had to push if I wanted to meet my time goal, and I ended up riding for 40 miles straight.

Granted, that’s not a fun experience.

When I’m riding in the snow up and down hills and what not like today (which I believe to be similar to muni) I tire far easier. It’s a strenuous activity; the technique is entirely different and you can’t be relaxed. You’re always moving around, shifting your balance.

It’s hard to answer a qualitative question like this. It really depends on what kind of unicycle you’re on and the technicality of the terrain. Like I said, a paved bike path will be a different experience than technical singletrack.

The trails I’m riding are rated intermediate tech. with some advanced sections.

Flat DT’s not a problem, just those rolling ST trails give my lungs fits…

Thanks guys. Think I got what I was looking for.

There’s no training like MUni training. I can be off a bike for months and hop straight into a 100-mile ride, but if I’m doing 100-mile bike rides and hop straight into MUni when I haven’t been doing it, I’ll suffer massively.

You can get more efficient, especially on easier sections of trail, but if you’re doing difficult MUni it’s just tiring, and the only thing you can do is keep riding until you’re in better MUni shape.

I never rest as it is counter productive to improving your endurance.

If I blow out on a massive hill and bail through my legs actually wilting under me I carry on jogging up the hill pushing the Uni, or I might stop mid hill rather than bail and static stop o hop on the spot to change the muscles I am using briefly then carry on.

All of that ensures your body gets used to dealing with the latic acid etc. So much if it is mental as well, no matter how fit you are you can always push yourself past the point your body says stop, I have been physically sick at the top of climbs many times in my life which to me shows a tried as hard as I could :stuck_out_tongue:

I road 41 miles with just a 10 minute food break at the mid way point on undulating trails (nothing too hilly) on hilly stuff I ride 20+ miles without resting, normally I run out of time than endurance (have to be home for the kids). I was out for 8.5 hours of riding and walking (it was sooo muddy hiking through foot deep mud was harder than riding) I felt tired after that but still had to cook dinner when I got home, go to the shops, bath the kids, put them to bed blah blah, in fact screw riding being a parent takes more endurance :stuck_out_tongue:

When I started ridding 11 months ago a 2 mile MUni ride destroyed me and after riding MTBs for 20 years that was a shock as I considered myself pretty fit. The thins is MUni takes loads of body language to stay balanced on the rough stuff and as a newer rider you are not very efficient and wast a lot of energy. With time come the fitness and the riding skill to conserve energy.

My challenge next year is a century ride on my 36er

I’m with Tholub on the difference from road to MUni riding. Lots of road riding does not prepare me for MUni. I need to get more MUni in…

You can shift your sitting position, move your hands and shift your feet on the pedals, but you have to keep your mind fixed on riding - and then if you have the skill to ride a mile, you have the ability to ride almost indefinitely.

I’m learning this one the hard way. Ever since the change with DST I had to cut back from 3-4 times per week to 1-2 times per week. Today was my first ride in a week and I suffered as a result.

I can see what you guys are talking about with Muni endurance being different from other things. Being a competitive XC skier I can only get out muniing once every two weeks at the best and I’ve found that endurance wise they are very similar, they translate back and forth quit a bit.

Muni training… well what I have found out to be very good for non riding activities is to hike. If Im filming a video I do a lot of hiking and riding, setting up the camera and doing the same line a couple times before im happy with what was filmed. I would honestly say that muni is one of the most demanding types of riding out there. The terrain is always changing and this means so is your body position.

For when I train I do a 3mile loop and try to spin the entire time, I do this at least 3times a week when the weather permits and after a month of doing ive noticed a big difference in my riding. One I can ride longer and harder, two Im not as tired, three I can hike up steep hills a lot faster without being tired and four it just makes me feel better.

Biggest thing is to have a high self discipline with your training. Also is to always push yourself to new limits and never stop dreaming :wink:

In what ways do you think the two sports are similar? Is it the exertion or the actual technical aspects?

As for muni being tiring, a mtber asked me if riding my muni was harder than with a bike. I said “yep, a little bit”.


The balance from unicycling helps a lot with XC skiing and it also strengthens your core a lot. I also find that since XC skiing is not only about strength but also how much you have to push your cardiovascular system, which I find you do the same thing with continuous hard riding. Endurance wise, I would say that mountain unicycling is more closely related to XC skiing and running as to mountain biking. In mountain biking you are pushing hard and the stopping, it’s like a continuous set of sprints, on off, on off. You have a bit of this in XC skiing but nowhere close to as much as mountain biking. Whereas in mountain unicycling you are always working no matter if it’s flat, uphill or downhill, exactly like running and almost like XC skiing.

Thanks for this. I am just starting out in cross country skiing (not racing, more telemark/touring), so always interested to hear such insights.

no problem

That’s right. The first day i rode my 26" Muni, not very far many upds, i had so much fun, and riding my other unis on the street feels really better since then.