Preparing for back-to-back XC races- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    LA CHÈVRE
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    Preparing for back-to-back XC races

    Hi racers and trainers!

    The Quebec Federation just released their preliminary mountain bike race calendar here and they are introducing two week-ends with two Quebec Cup XC races, one on saturdays and one on sundays. They justify it because these are held in more remote areas so with gas prices and the expenses to go that far, might as well make it worth the trip. I think it's not a bad idea but it might require a different preparation... at least leading up to those two week-ends.

    Now, how would I prepare best for those? Just add back-to-back hard training days in my training? But when? One of the doubles is my first race of the season mid-May, the other is the last, early September, just before the cyclocross season (which I plan to do only for fun so I prioritize my XC season)... I started base training December 1st if that matters...

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  2. #2
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
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    doubles

    I always do workouts in blocks. I'll do 3 or 4 day blocks, always with 2 hard days together. The 4 day plan is not ideal, but my free days are always consecutive like that. I guess it will help on stage races...My coach said 3 day blocks are ideal.

    I did 2-a-days to prepare for double weekends 2 seasons ago when my racing schedule had quite a few of them. I'd do 2 of them in a week split up by a recovery day. My understanding is that it takes 2 weeks for physical adaptations to occur, so I would do them for a few weeks leading up to the races, and then drop them in the 2 weeks prior to let my body recover from the madness.

    One thing I have never figured out is why my body struggles on day 2 but is usually as fast or faster on day 3...
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  3. #3
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    This is great for peaking, so yeah, plan your peaks around those races if they're A races. Add rrest days, and I wouldn't recommend riding hard days back to back. Maybe ride 2 hard days mid week, a moderate ride 2 days before, and go for a spin the day before.
    I just thought of this: Try to do most of your training in the circuit you'll be racing on, if you can.
    Last edited by Garlock; 12-13-2008 at 11:01 AM.

  4. #4
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    as part of those back to back hard days, work on your Recovery nutrition and rehydration. no matter how fit you are, if you don't recover and prepare properly for the second day...

    i had back to back race days in 08. had the kids along for the weekend, basically forgot to eat or drink the morning of the second day. was fine for 20 minutes of racing, then blew up / bonked... the second it happened, I knew what the problem was. pretty stupid, but it can happen.

    so might as well practice the recovery routine as well.

    i would suggest not to overdue the multi day blocks though, unless you have already been doing that in years past, as it will be taxing on you. i would maybe only do those 2 or 3 times leading up.

    good luck.

  5. #5
    Waiting for Godot
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    you can "trick" your body into thinking its a hard day by varying intensity and distance.

    one day do hard intervals, the next do a long ride and throw in a few of the same intervals in the middle of the ride.

    the next day you will feel like you did two long rides and have saved your joints all those miles.


    another old school way is using three day blocks of easy, med, hard, then two days rest. we used to do these to build up to stage races without having to ride too many miles.

    remember, quality is most important and what your body remembers in a race.
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  6. #6
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by OilcanRacer View Post
    you can "trick" your body into thinking its a hard day by varying intensity and distance.

    one day do hard intervals, the next do a long ride and throw in a few of the same intervals in the middle of the ride.

    the next day you will feel like you did two long rides and have saved your joints all those miles.


    another old school way is using three day blocks of easy, med, hard, then two days rest. we used to do these to build up to stage races without having to ride too many miles.

    remember, quality is most important and what your body remembers in a race.
    I was curious if anyone has anything to add to this older thread/discussion.

    I've got 2 or 3 potential weekends this summer where I could do a race on Saturday and one on Sunday. I'm Cat 2 Masters, so distances/durations are usually targeted to be in the 60-75+ minutes range. Problem is recovering enough at my age to do well on the Sunday race to make the Sunday trip worthwhile. Based on my training miles and how I have felt after the last two Mondays following Sunday XC races (felt really strong the day after and not tuckered out like in years past when Cat 2 races were more like 90+ minutes), I think I might be okay. But any advice experience from those that have done back to backs would be welcomed. Is it a pipe dream to think I could do as well - or almost as well - on the 2nd day as the first day?

    TIA

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    I was curious if anyone has anything to add to this older thread/discussion.

    I've got 2 or 3 potential weekends this summer where I could do a race on Saturday and one on Sunday. I'm Cat 2 Masters, so distances/durations are usually targeted to be in the 60-75+ minutes range. Problem is recovering enough at my age to do well on the Sunday race to make the Sunday trip worthwhile. Based on my training miles and how I have felt after the last two Mondays following Sunday XC races (felt really strong the day after and not tuckered out like in years past when Cat 2 races were more like 90+ minutes), I think I might be okay. But any advice experience from those that have done back to backs would be welcomed. Is it a pipe dream to think I could do as well - or almost as well - on the 2nd day as the first day?

    TIA
    Nothing solid, just what I have seen with myself and think and sort of inferred from others (i.e. people just starting out with doing road stage racing at high levels - women)...

    I have struggled doing the Pro XCT/Triple Crowns/Nationals with XC on Saturday, and then Short Track and Super D on Sunday, and those two events are much shorter (albeit arguably faster/harder in some respects). I think with "practice" or rather, training the body/systems/mind to handle those conditions it gets better. My friend that just started doing 3-4 day road stage races also seems to be getting much better at handling the load of back to back (to back) hard days on the bike.

    If you can start now, definitely start training similarly with 2 hard days back to back and experimenting with recovery.

    Friel did a post not too long ago on recovery methods between TT efforts and I believe the best method the study found was a super easy 20 minute cool down after the first effort. So, I'd definitely suggest a solid cool down on Saturday, followed by impeccable nutrition (as much as possible), a nap if you can, maybe a soak in an ice bath, and just attempting to rest/recover as much as you can and not add stress. Try to nap, try to go to bed early, and solid nutrition the next morning.

    HTH and let us know how it goes!

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