Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CulBaire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    835

    How to Tackle Early Season Races, and Carrying Speed Throughout The Season

    Hi Guys,

    After a bit of advice regarding how to tackle early season races, and keep going during the season. For next season I had planned on racing the state endurance series which runs from late March to late October, in addition to a few marathon events which fall in mid / late April and maybe the odd road race in there too.

    Just this weekend I discovered our National XCO Championship Race is on relatively close to home in early March or some 15 weeks away; while I am certainly not likely to grab the podium I am keen on a good performance in Masters even though XCO isn't my preferred event.

    At the moment I am working on an off season training plan, which comprises of 6 weeks of a lot of work in Z2, Z3 (tempo), also limited work at Z4 (sub threshold only 2x20 once per evey 5 days). followed by a 6 week period of reduced the tempo work, but increase the sub threshold work and includes some over unders.


    Now my first issue, the end of second 6 week period coincides with exactly 4 weeks out from the National Champs; do I continue with my original plan which includes, a little tempo, work at threshold, some over unders and longer 5 minute Z5 intervals and just see how I go; or do I hammer out Tabatas, and 30/30's for a few weeks then taper for the nationals?


    My second issue, the endurance series is a series of 7 6hr races spaced about a month apart; it's occurred to me that in the past I've only ever trained to peak for a few races within a close time frame, never a whole season - How the hell do I train during the season whilst avoiding burn out?

    Any help would be appreciated!
    Cul is a regretted trademark of the CulBaire Co'op Pty Ltd, as are his random ramblings and associated bullshit.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,149
    Being fast in March starts now. Some good base work in Nov, Dec, Jan, will set you up well for March. I find that traditional base has worked better for me in the past: lots of zone 2 time (10-15 hrs per week) with some speed work, then transition into tempo, threshold, etc. Getting some long Saturday group rides during base is a good way to keep that motor sharp. It would be beneficial to get some races in before Nationals, if possible. Nothing is better to get ready for racing than racing.

    If you have four weeks in between those endurance races, you can overload and taper for each one of those. Week 1 Endurance Emphasis, Week 2 Endurance and Tempo, Week 3 smaller volume with some Higher intensity stuff, Week 4 taper for race. You could target a 50+ hour month for "B,C" priority races, and a 35-40 hour month for "A" priority.

    I find when you try to peak for everything you wind up nothing getting your best performance, since you not overloading as much as you could. Peaking = smaller load after several periods of overload.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    477
    How many hours per week/month?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    373
    Quote Originally Posted by CulBaire View Post
    How the hell do I train during the season whilst avoiding burn out?

    Any help would be appreciated!
    The way it works for me is to know my body won't be great for all those races.

    This is the craftwork of periodization and figuring out what period cycles work for you so that you are good for many of them. Even then, don't expect lots of PR performances racing for so long.

    Recovery is both mental and physical. You'll need to pay as much attention to rest as workouts.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CulBaire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    835
    Thanks for the responses guys… Here is a little more info

    This will be my second season back on the bike after a five year hiatus; prior to taking time of due to a shoulder injury and life is was doing a fairly solid 20hrs per week, and performed well in a lot of 6, 8, 12hr races. This year the results have gone from very unimpressive and well under trained at the start of the season to top 20% of the field in Open at the end of the season the improvement has been tremendous to date I’d love to continue that theme into next season.


    Poncharelli, I’ve tried the traditional LSD method before and while I will agree yes it works well; when I was using this approach I found I would get sick A LOT, and subsequently loose a lot of time. At the moment I am working on Z2 and Tempo as this is said to be better for “bang for buck”. I am still getting in some pretty good volume between 12 and 14hrs per week. I’ve already found myself getting quicker while riding Z2 and Tempo so obviously it’s working well.

    At the moment the focus is “base” and building a good core for the season ahead; There are a number of races held over summer such as the local 3hr MTB race series with 1 race in Dec, Jan and Feb, and also the summer road season which I will be entering races as they fit in with what I am doing.


    Scottz – averaging around 12 to 14hrs a week; even though I have a lot of time up my sleeve I am trying to make the most efficient use of time.


    Asphalt Jesus; I think I mentioned it in one of the other threads, rest is something very important having faced burnout before - good rest is something detrimental to mental and physical health, and also adaptions. I work on a 5 day micro cycle as I find this is what works for me best having spent the last 9 months or so toying with training routines, volumes and the like.
    Cul is a regretted trademark of the CulBaire Co'op Pty Ltd, as are his random ramblings and associated bullshit.

Similar Threads

  1. Why is the XC racing season so early in the year?
    By spsoon in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-12-2013, 01:25 PM
  2. Early Season MT Conditions
    By mtengineer in forum Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
    Replies: 65
    Last Post: 10-22-2012, 07:10 AM
  3. Early 2012 DH season?
    By hitek79 in forum Colorado - Front Range
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 04-21-2012, 08:00 PM
  4. Any DH races in NC this season?
    By Sharknet in forum North & South Carolina
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-03-2011, 03:51 AM
  5. Early season Highline flight
    By Endomaniac in forum Turner
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-22-2011, 11:19 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •