Our tried and tested LW Coaching Category 1 TIME CRUNCHED Cross Country Mountain Bike Build, Peak and Race Training Plan has been updated with TrainingPeaks structured workouts to make the most of both indoor and outdoor riding opportunities. For outdoor training, power (watts), TSS and IF targets can be downloaded to your Garmin. For indoor training, download your plan to your favorite Smart Trainer app such as Zwift, Rouvy or Trainer Road.
Each workout in this LW Coaching Category 1 Cross Country TIME CRUNCHED Build, Peak and Race Training Plan has both power and heart rate training guidelines. Athletes can follow along with a heart rate monitor only or take advantage of a power meter on some or all of their rides.
Are you trying to have a real life and race your best? Do you have other time commitments (demanding jobs, school, kids, other extracurriculars/interests) preventing you from putting in the massive hours usually required in most training plans? This training plan maximizes the time a busy person *does* have. You know, kinda like - train smarter, not harder.
This is not the quick & easy way to suddenly be a Category 1 Expert mountain biker, but a time efficient training plan maximizing workout time for busy folks who want to set their own personal records - which may or may not include a podium finish.
This plan is designed to follow on after the 12 week LW Coaching Category 1 TIME CRUNCHED Cross Country Base Training Plan. This plan will take you up to a peak fitness level and push you to breakthrough performances during your race season.
Most weekday workouts have tips to help you work the sessions into your busy life and advice on whether to move the workout to another day or just miss it out. Optional extra point bonus workouts are included in the plan for you to take advantage of when you have unexpected free time and each Friday has a bike commute option to take advantage of casual Friday's. The longest ride of the week is at the weekend.
Weekly training hours average around 6-8 hours with 1-2 extra bonus workouts per week on top of that available for you if you have the time and energy.
Visit the LW Coaching website http://lwcoaching.com/ to ask training plan questions on our forum, read mountain bike specific training articles, learn new workouts and see what events our coaches and athletes have been racing.
DAY 1: Do a variety of exercises for your hip, abdominal and lower back muscles.
Examples are bridging, pillar exercises, crunches, back extensions, bridging, Pilates. If you are time crunched today you can split this up into 2-3 ten minute sessions and fit them into your schedule wherever possible.
Follow this link for exercise suggestions Core Training for Mountain Bikers.: http://lwcoaching.com/core-strength-for-mountain-bikers/
- Gradually bring intensity up to power L3 or HRZ3 over the first 20 mins
- Recover for 2 mins easy spinning in power L1 or HRZ1
- 1 min in power L4 or building to HRZ4 by the end of the minute
- 3 mins power L1 or HRZ1
- 5 x 4 minutes in power L5 or HRZ5 with 3 minutes easy spin recovery in power L1 or HRZ1 after each interval.
Bonus option: If you are riding outside and have extra time today, add up to 30 minutes of zone 1- 2 riding after the intervals.
Read this Recovery Strategies Doc: https://lwcoaching.com/tools-to-speed-recovery today and use every recovery method available to you.
DAY 3: This is a bonus workout. Only do this workout if you have a fridge full of healthy groceries, can sleep 8+ hours tonight and have given time and attention to all of your loved ones.
- 10 mins easy pace power L1-2/HRZ 1-2
Repeat 8 times
- 30 sec spin-ups to max cadence of 110 rpm in smallest gear available. Power and HR stay in zone 1
- 2.5 min recovery after each spin-up interval in power L1/HRZ1 at 75 - 85 rpm
Relax during the 30 sec spin-up interval. Experiment with muscle groups and see just how relaxed you can be while at 110 rpm. The goal of this workout is to fire your neuromuscular pathways quickly without creating muscular fatigue or cardiovascular work. When doing this session correctly power and heart rate stay low.
- 6 min easy power L1, HRZ1
DAY 4: Race start practice
If you do not have time for this workout today miss it out. Do not make it up another day. Move on with the schedule as is.
You will be generating heart rate zone and power training levels (if you have power available) on Saturday with a field test. Today review this Training Intensity Guidelines Doc: https://lwcoaching.com/training-intensity-guidelines to check in you are training at the correct intensity.
- Gradually ramp up power and HR over the first 20 mins to power L3 or HRZ3
- 3 mins power L1/HRZ1
- 1 min at power L4 or building to HRZ4 by the end of the minute
- 3 mins power L1/HRZ1
- 1 min at power L5 or building to HRZ5 by the end of the minute
- 3 mins power L1/HRZ1
Repeat this sequence two times
- From a full stop with one foot on the ground, ride power L6 or at 90% effort level for 1 minute. Pick a good line and practice fast clip into pedal. This 1 min segment is too short to pace with HR so use power or effort level or PE for pacing
- Without stopping, settle in at power L4 or HRZ4-5a for 10 minutes.
- 15 minutes easy power L1/HRZ1
This is best on a course which simulates the start of your next race. This is a great session to do with a competitive group.
- Short easy cool down spin
DAY 4: After riding today use a combination of rolling on the foam roller and stretching to work out your hot spots.
DAY 6: Riding is the priority today. If you are time crunched skip this session. Do 15 minutes of core training. Choose a variety of exercises for your hips, abdominals and back. Examples are bridging, pillar exercises, crunches, back extensions, Pilates. Then do 15 minutes of stretching. Focus on your legs and hips.
Here is a sample 30 min core and stretch routine suggestion: https://lwcoaching.com/30-min-core-stretch-routine-mountain-bike-racers/
Use a combination of rolling on the foam roller and stretching to work out your hot spots.