MTB: 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race, Level II Cyclist, 4.75-22 hrs/wk

Average Weekly Training Hours 10:15
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 10:15
Training Load By Week

Mountain bike racing at the 100-mile distance is increasingly more popular. Some courses are near sea level and others begin at over 10,000 feet and go up from there. One course might be very technical while another course has minimal technical sections. Some courses have check points and time cuts that are generous, others do not.

No matter the specifics of the course, you are competitive and want a fast race finish. This training plan is written for a cyclist that is currently fit and is looking for a solid performance at a 100-mile mountain bike race.

Find the supporting documents you need to help you with this plan accessable as free downloads at this link.

PROFILE

Before beginning this plan, you are training approximately nine hours per week. You are riding two long rides each week. One ride is around two hours long and the second one is roughly three hours in length.

You are riding two or three other weekday rides that are an hour each. You may or may not be strength training.

This plan is designed to follow the Level II Foundation Fitness training plan found on on this main page.

After completing 18 weeks of that plan, you can move directly into the plan in this chapter. That combination provides you with 32 weeks of training.

Due to the volume of training necessary to complete this plan you will need to focus on recovery as much as you focus on accomplishing the training. Improved performance is accompanied by recovery techniques and high density nutrition. In summary, in addition to completing the training sessions, you need to get adequate rest and eat nutritious foods that fuel a high performance body. Be sure to read the supporting document on my main page that covers nutrition.

If this profile doesn't fit, you can find more training plan choices at THIS HOT LINK.

GOAL

Your goal is to ride a 100-mile mountain bike race in a personal best time. This competitive goal is more than just completing the event, it is competing at the event. The competition may be for a spot on the podium or to beat a past personal record (PR). You want a new PR.

THE PLAN OVERVIEW

The plan begins with a four-week cycle. This means three weeks of building volume, then a week of rest. The first block of training is followed by a three-week cycle, with overall training volume continuing to build. After a rest week in Week 7, the training volume in Week 8 jumps up significantly to 22 hours. This plan uses a “crash” training week where volume and intensity is increased far beyond normal training. Crash training is effective only if the cyclist is rested going into the high volume week and recovers the week following the training.

A crash training week can give you a significant boost to your fitness and can be accomplished by participating in an organized bicycle tour or riding the hours on your own. If you are unable to do all of the hours shown on the plan, I will give you tips on how to modify the training.

Monday workouts are shown as strength training. If you are currently doing a strength training program, you can continue that program on Mondays. You may find you need to reduce the weights, sets, repetitions or some combination of all to keep strength training from negatively affecting your cycling.

If you are not currently strength training, but want to begin a routine, see the supporting documents on my main page for a description of the SM phase of training.

Find the supporting documents you need to help you with this plan at this link.

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
SM

Warm up cycling or running 10-30 minutes. For each of the designated exercises, complete 1 set of 20 reps at a light weight, increase the weight and do 1-2 sets x 12 reps, increase the weight and do 1-2 sets x 6-8 reps. For the remaining exercises, complete 2-3 sets of 12 - 15 reps. Decrease the sets and weight in heavy racing periods.

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
Mountain bike skills.

After a warm-up, practice skills in a grassy park on in a mountain bike skills park. The focus is on balance (track stands) and negotiating turns equally well in both directions. Begin with large radius turns and work your way to smaller and tighter corners. Practice both on flat and sloped terrain. The workout is all done at less than Zone 2 intensity.

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
Speed-endurance 3-* x 3'

After a good warm-up, do the specified number of intervals, allowing heart rate to climb into Zone 5b. Take 3 minutes of easy spinning to recover between each work interval. The intervals may be done on road or mountain bike, a flat course or slight uphill. Timing begins when effort in increased and ends when effort ends. You must be rested for this workout.

Sample Day 5
1:00:00
Hills, low cadence.

Ride a hilly course, (road or mountain bike) using a gear or two bigger than you would normally use on the uphill sections. This will require you to use more force on the pedals and a lower cadence. Aim for a cadence of about 60 rpm. Increase your cadence, with 90+ rpm on the downhill sections. Most of the ride is in Zones 1 to 2. This workout can be used in place of strength training.

Sample Day 6
2:00:00
Endurance - All Zones

This is a multi-faceted workout for building endurance, speed and strength. The first time you do an E4 workout, keep heart rate in 1 to 4 zones. As training progress continues, and depending on the specifics of the plan, you can spend some time in the 5 zone. As fitness increases, it is possible to spend progressively larger amounts of time in the 4 and 5 zones. In some cases, this progression is left to the individual athlete - begin conservatively.

Sample Day 7
3:00:00
Endurance - rolling

This level is used for aerobic maintenance and endurance training. Heart rate should stay primarily in Zones 1 to 2. How much time is spent in each zone depends on how you feel that day. The goal of an E2 ride is not to see how much time you can spend in Zone 2. Ride on a rolling course if possible, with grades up to 4 percent. For reference, most highway off-ramps are 4-percent grade. Riding in a slightly larger gear can simulate a gentle hill, if there are no hills where you live. Remain in the saddle on the hills. If you ride with a group, inner discipline is necessary to let the group go if they want to hammer.

Sample Day 8
1:00:00
SM

Warm up cycling or running 10-30 minutes. For each of the designated exercises, complete 1 set of 20 reps at a light weight, increase the weight and do 1-2 sets x 12 reps, increase the weight and do 1-2 sets x 6-8 reps. For the remaining exercises, complete 2-3 sets of 12 - 15 reps. Decrease the sets and weight in heavy racing periods.

Gale Bernhardt
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Gale Bernhardt Consulting Inc.

I offer one-on-one, completely personalized coaching for athletes that want customized training.

For athletes that enjoy self-coaching, but need a bit of help, I offer phone consulting services.

You can find more information about these services on my website www.galebernhardt.com