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  1. #1
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Time Crunched Program: Chris Charmichael......results anyone??

    I race Cat 1 mtb in S. Calif for what it is worth...

    Any other 1's/local pros out there that have used this with great success? I am interested in switching things up and doing less volume / higher intensity this season.

    I know he is trying to sell books, but at the same time, the testimonials and examples used at the beginning of the book are intriguing.

    I was thinking of doing two phases... One will allow me to perform well for the majority of my mtb races (April-June). Phase two will allow me to be fit and ready for cross in the winter.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    This past season I did a cyclocross focus, therefore I started base training late (March, April, May), did some build in June for a nice peak in mid July. For that peak I was targeting the local midweek series. I had a good season there with some podiums (against all the youngsters) prior to the midsummer week off.

    Based again in August and September (integrating some Tempo intervals and eventually working into SST), and working into shorter intervals in October. By the end of October won my first CX race and upgraded. CX runs through the whole month of November up here in Utah and ends first weekend December.

    Next season I'm probably going to do some things different. I'll probably only do mountain midweeks races through June, and really concentrate on base in July. Definitely going to integrate more running.

    Here's some more CX training tips:
    Cyclocross Training Schedule

    I was really surprised how much running there is in a true CX training schedule. One of my teammates was coached by Jonathan Page and she told me that she had to run quite a bit as well. She really kicked some butt nearly getting a top ten at Pro Nationals that year.

    As far as Time-Crunched, you know I don't believe in that Time Crunched stuff, haha. I was putting in as many base miles as possible for a 40-min race. Now that Justin Lindine (Redline Pro) has moved down the street from me, I can see he also practices the "big miles for short races" model, by integrating 3-4 hour rides in his training even during season.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
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  3. #3
    Tough Guy Extraordinaire
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    I did this program last year for our local MTB series. Started it in late winter to be ready for the majority of our races in mid-Spring. Went into it with a pretty solid fall/winter base period.

    I have a freind who has done it on the road for a few seasons and had pretty good success. Not to race, but to be a really strong rec rider.

    After a few races, I found it was pretty good but left me deficeint in a few places. First, it's hard to fit in the long rides you really need with this program. With all of the short intense stuff, I really felt like I would hit the last 1/4 of a race and just run out of energy. Second, the high cadence, high intensity, high gearing, does little for building power, which is critical for mountain bike racing or cross for that matter.

    Given all of that, I think there are probably ways to alter this to be better for MTB racing and someone way smarter than me can help you there! For cross, it's probably a bit better, but I have trouble sitting on the trainer in the summer, so my cross training is less structured.
    - 2013 Pivot Mach 429 C
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  4. #4
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    CC says it will be good for all racing 3 hours or less. My races are typically 2 to 2.5 hours.

    He also claims that following the program, while very painful, will yield nice gains in LT and VO2. Hmm.

    His newest version of the book includes a section for mountain bike racers. I wonder what it says...

  5. #5
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    I used this program literally all last year for base, build and race fitness. I cycled through it 4 times from November -September (not too smart on my part) with only a few breaks in between. In my first season of racing I won cat2 series for my AG and placed well in all of my races. I'm not physically gifted in anyway and believe this program helped me reach my limited potential. Fwiw, I was burnt by August and my motivation to punish myself every workout quickly dropped off. I averaged 4-5 hours a week. My build plans for this coming season will be less intense so I can maintain some love for the sport. Oh and my fitness seemed to start dropping at about the 13th week of doing the program with breaks following soon after, which is rider dependent you might be able to extend it longer with your higher fitness level. Hope that helps.

  6. #6
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    Good thread. I'm cat2 singlespeed, 10 weeks into the "new competitor" program.

    @Shmack: as a ss rider, I've had concerns about how good a match all the high cadence stuff is, considering much of my riding is low cadence.

    I posted a thread in the singlespeed forum asking whether or not to stay with the new competitor program (because it seemed too easy for me) and got some decent feedback: throw in some hill repeats, see how it goes with the new comp. program and switch to the experienced comp. program for the next race to compare.
    Last edited by TallChris; 12-15-2013 at 06:54 AM.
    SE Racing Stout 29er

  7. #7
    go vegan!
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    Sorry to rake up an old thread. I just started this program and am a bit confused...

    I put the plan into Training Peaks so I get the daily reminders and when I read the workout description it will say for example- for SS intervals you want to be in HR zone 5 for the 8 minutes. My question is, do I ride in the SS heart rate zone that you calculate according to the book in the beginning or zone 5 that Training Peaks is showing because they are completely different for numbers like almost 20bpm off.

    So which one is it?

    Any advice and/or feedback is appreciated.

  8. #8
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    If you're using the Carmichael Training Zones from The Time Crunched Cyclist book you would use the zones calculated from the book for all your workouts.

    Once you've calculated the zones according to the book and a CTS field test you can then open the Training Peaks website - Click on your name at the top right of the screen and then go to Account Settings - Zones - Heart Rate Zones and manually type in your correct Carmichael heart rate zones, so that the Training Peaks heart rate zones match the ones that you intend to use.

    If you're using a Garmin Edge head unit I'd manually enter the correct Carmichael heart rate zones into your profile on the Garmin Connect website also, before sending them to your device, so that when you send training workouts to your head unit the correct heart rate zones are present there too.

  9. #9
    Tough Guy Extraordinaire
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    TallChris, sorry for the sloooow response, just saw your reply now. I went through the experienced comp last year and thought it was pretty good. My plan this year, is much closer to what you have indicated.

    I have been focusing on much more low cadence base work so far this year than I have in the past. Also plan on adding in much more power work and single speed riding this spring and early summer. So it sounds like it will be pretty similar to your strategy. Also, there is nothing that says you can't do the Time Crunched program at a lower gearing to get more of the strength benifit. I would be interested to see how this would work out.
    - 2013 Pivot Mach 429 C
    - 2010 Niner MCR
    - 2009 Cannondale Super Six HM
    - 2007 Santa Cruz Super Light

  10. #10
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    Why not gear easier and spin faster? No need to grind away all the time on a SS.

  11. #11
    go vegan!
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    If you're using the Carmichael Training Zones from The Time Crunched Cyclist book you would use the zones calculated from the book for all your workouts.
    Thank you!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kawigreen99 View Post
    Why not gear easier and spin faster? No need to grind away all the time on a SS.
    SS= Steady State intervals. Its a term from the book.

  12. #12
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    TallChris had concerns about the usefulness of high cadence work because he rides a single speed. It is absolutely useful. You should train in all ranges if you're racing a single speed.

  13. #13
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    I used it for the first time last year to help me train for the Mohican 100k. I've raced periodically but never seriously over the past decade and I've done the Mohican 100k one other time. I did the new 100 miler plan and really liked it. Combined with a change in diet, I was able to drop 20 pounds (203 to 183 on a 6' 3" frame).

    As for the results, I was able to take roughly 30 minutes off my time for the Mohican 100k (that I did 3 years earlier and younger). It was also a generally easier ride because of the training. The amount of training time I did was also much much less than what I did 3 years ago. That being said, I would have never imagined that I was going to be competing for a top ten or anything close. My goal was to complete it and not feel awful in the process.

    There is an endurance mtb plan that looked like it could be really effective for a 100k/100 mile race. The time commitment goes drastically up and I couldn't afford the time (sometimes over 14 hrs/week).

    At the end of the day, it's a small money commitment with a big time commitment. You could give it a shot for 2-3 weeks and see how you respond then make a decision.

    I plan on using the new/experienced competitor plans this year and do some periodic short mtb races as well as some criteriums.

  14. #14
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    @ Kawigreen- I found the 32:19 gear ratio works is the best combination of speed and energy efficiency for me in my local environment. I've ridden extensively on 32:20 and 32:18 gearing to find the best fit for me, which bore the following well-known results:

    On 32:20 I'm good on the hills but spinning out at 13-15 mph on the flats. I'm better physically preserved at this gear ratio, but slower overall, so that doesn't work at XC races (though this would be a plus for endurance races).
    On 32:18 I'm faster on the flats but spent on the hills and unable to clear some of them. Knee pain becomes an issue too.


    It's also worth noting that I completed the New Competitor plan, took 2 weeks off with some easy spinning, re-took the CTS Field Test and improved by 15 watts and 3bpm. Right now I'm at the end of week 4 on the Experienced Competitor plan, substituting one training session with a just-below-race-pace 90-minute trail ride and feel strong. The trail riding variety helps stave off monotony and burnout.
    SE Racing Stout 29er

  15. #15
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    Reading down through the thread I can't tell if anyone has actually completed the Endurance MTB plan that is in be second edition?

    Anyone try it?

    I am reading through the book now. Not sure when the 2nd ed. came out
    The mtb specific plan is 8-15 hrs a week. Basically high intensity short stuff during the week, long rides on weekend

  16. #16
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    Time Crunched Program: Chris Charmichael......results anyone??

    The 2nd edition of the book came out at the beginning of 2012. I've only got the first edition so haven't seen the MTB plans.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgerow View Post
    Reading down through the thread I can't tell if anyone has actually completed the Endurance MTB plan that is in be second edition?

    Anyone try it?

    I am reading through the book now. Not sure when the 2nd ed. came out
    The mtb specific plan is 8-15 hrs a week. Basically high intensity short stuff during the week, long rides on weekend

    +1 here...I'd be curious to see if anyone had results.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgerow View Post
    Reading down through the thread I can't tell if anyone has actually completed the Endurance MTB plan that is in be second edition?

    Anyone try it?

    I am reading through the book now. Not sure when the 2nd ed. came out
    The mtb specific plan is 8-15 hrs a week. Basically high intensity short stuff during the week, long rides on weekend

    anyone?

  19. #19
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    I used the training peaks version of the “Time Crunched” MTB Endurance plan early last year. My results were good however it’s worth noting that I was only just starting to cook when starting the plan; I had a few months earlier only started racing for the first time in five years and a few months prior to that started riding again for the first time in five years….

    Just looking over the plan now it seems to make good use of the 8 to 9 hours in there, however there are a few things I would change a little for example one phase of the plan there is a heavy dose steady state intervals at various durations, i.e. one week might have 3 x 8mins but twice a week, the next 3 x 10mins twice a week; I would mix this up a little so instead of doing 3 x “Duration” twice a week I would change the durations of the intervals so you get roughly the same work (i.e. 1 x 40min, and 3 x 10min). I would do the same to some of the other things prescribed such as the overunders.


    I think the plan will serve you well if you are “undertrained” and only have 8 or so hours to make a difference; It should cover you off for most XCO type events that are <2hrs in duration. However if you are aiming for longer events, or coming off 13 – 15 hour weeks with some structure then I can’t see this plan doing much for you.
    Cul is a regretted trademark of the CulBaire Co'op Pty Ltd, as are his random ramblings and associated ********.

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