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  1. #1
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    Preparing for first MTB race of the season

    First race of the season is about 3 months out. (Beginning / middle of may). Sport level. Longest races about 1hr 30m.

    Due to time constraints, I am doing things a little different this year's noncompetitive season. (In past more volume w/ less intensity)

    These are the Four 'key' workouts a week during non- competitive season I have been doing. Just about all work has been on trainer due to winter weather in midwest.
    Tues-lifting (strength maintenance & short spin)
    Wed - 4x10 @ FTP with some short anaerobic efforts at end
    Fri - 2x20 @ FTP (I plan on increasing volume slowly next 3-4 weeks)
    Sat - couple lite lifts & spin
    Sun - SST (most recent 2x30 w/ 10m recovery between - I plan on building this up slowly next 3-4 weeks)

    Approx 8 weeks from first race I want to start 'anaerobic' workouts. As weather breaks - I like to get to trails and ride vs. dedicated workouts like I have been doing indoors.

    Any input on what to do with 'only 3 quality' workouts a week on bike for?

    For example: substitute one threshold workout for anaerobic?

  2. #2
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    Not all workouts need to be in one particular family. Some of my favorite workouts are:

    -4-6 X 1-2min all out uphill intervals. Then immediately ride down to the flats and do a 20min TT. So this mixes AC with FTP stuff.
    -Tabathas are another popular workout to stick in pre-peak. High-intensity interval training - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    -I've also done some microburst/crit workouts before a peak race and/or during a build period.

    Too bad about the time constraints. Over the years I've found that there are really no substitutes for saddle time. Last year for me to do well at national level Cat 2, I had to do a solid 14-15 a week. The big base work along with subthreshold work (lots of tempo, some threshold (usually an hour of total interval work per day, 2-3X a week)) was crucial. The anaerobic stuff really didn't matter that much in hind sight, especially when you have a 1-hour climb right off the bat.
    Last edited by Poncharelli; 02-11-2013 at 02:26 PM.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  3. #3
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    Thanks Ponch

    With my limited schedule (college student w/ job)

    Are you leaning towards making my two current threshold/ FTP workouts combo workouts like example you gave me? Simulate going anaerobic at start of race to get position - then maintain @ threshold?

    Just FYI - Living in midwest no real long prolonged climbs like you have out west (I guess I would describe it as rolling terrain). Typically a sprint into single track - I have not had a problem with starts (ex all-state sprinter HS, college career ended with hamstring issues).
    Last edited by scottz123; 02-11-2013 at 05:55 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    With my limited schedule (college student w/ job)

    Are you leaning towards making my two current threshold/ FTP workouts combo workouts like example you gave me? Simulate going anaerobic at start of race to get position - then maintain @ threshold?).
    I would recommend integrating the higher intensity workouts when your key races are closer. Probably for a couple of months max towards those races.


    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    Just FYI - Living in midwest no real long prolonged climbs like you have out west (I guess I would describe it as rolling terrain). Typically a sprint into single track - I have not had a problem with starts (ex all-state sprinter HS, college career ended with hamstring issues).
    That's some good info there. I was a sprinter myself. As sprinter-mesomorph type people we will always have FTP as a weakness. So maybe you personally don't really need that much high end stuff and instead should perform workouts that address your inherently weak aerobic abilities: lots of z2, z3, and z4.

    Since you race in the midwest, and I imagine there's more up and down riding, therefore you could do well in that MTB race scenario. If you lived in Utah, I would advise against trying to be a competitive MTBer since ectomorphs always dominate the long climbs. I would tell you to focus on road-crits and/or cyclocross instead.

    With you being an all-state sprinter, it's likely you have the rare natural ability to throw down 1300+ Watts in a sprint, which doesn't really do jack in an MTB race......but pays HUGE dividends in other types of cycle racing.
    Last edited by Poncharelli; 02-13-2013 at 10:26 AM.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  5. #5
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    Ponch

    That is an interesting observation on body type/muscle fiber. I never gave it any thought - just like to ride in the woods.

    As I think about it - I always thought my strengths were starts of XC races and hills. When I went on group rides with people I always felt they went fast on flats - and they said I hammered hills.

    Getting on trainer I was weak for steady state workouts - if it was my own lack of concentration or as you probably are correctly observing just not a strength for me.

    Where I live no real flat time trial areas = everything is at least rolling terrain. Trainer on place to due steady state type work

    Thanks for observation

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