This twelve week training plan is designed for the rider who has already raced Category 3 Beginner and now has goals to move up to the top of the Category 2 Sport field. You should have raced beginner, be confident riding fast on dirt roads and be comfortable on single-track prior to starting this plan.
The plan is designed to bring you to a performance peak at an “A” priority Category 2 Sport cross country mountain bike race in week 12. Along the way, in weeks 7, 8 and 10 you have the option of doing a fast group ride or a training race. Every week on this plan you will be riding 4 times per week. This plan incorporates pedaling skills, endurance, strength, core training, threshold training, VO2max, race skills, start practice and specific recovery days.
The weekend rides are your longer endurance days. The weekday rides are shorter insensity focused sessions.
Training intensity is monitored using a Perceived Exertion (PE) scale you are given. There is no need for a heart rate monitor or power meter to follow this plan correctly.
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: Use a combination of rolling on the foam roller and stretching to work out your hot spots. Scroll down to the bottom of this Stability Exercises for Cyclists: http://lwcoaching.com/stability-exercises-for-cyclists/ page to see a photo of a foam roller and how to use it.
DAY #2: Warm up by riding easy for 10 minutes. Then do 10 X 30 second Spin-Up Drills with 2.5 min easy pedaling recovery between each. Spin-Up Drill: Shift to an easy gear (light resistance). From a comfortable cadence progressively increase cadence until at 110 rpm. Hold it at 110 rpm until the 30 seconds is up. If you start to bounce you are going too fast - back off until you are smooth. You can do this workout on the road, trainer or on a spin bike. Relax every muscle which is not contributing to pedaling during the Spin-Ups. 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 but not to cause any muscular fatigue or cardiovascular work. If you feel like you are pushing hard and your heart rate is rising, shift into an easier gear. When doing this session correctly your heart rate and breathing level should remain low at all times. This is a technique session, not a fitness session. You should not feel tired at the end of this ride. Finish the ride time pedaling comfortably at an easy pace. Today read through this Training Intensity Guidelines Doc: http://lwcoaching.com/training-intensity-guidelines/. Follow the training intensity guidelines during every workout to ensure you are riding at the correct intensity.
DAY #3: Go to a Yoga class, Pilates class, Core class or follow your own program combining stretching, stability work and functional strengthening. For some exercise suggestions click on this link Core Training for Mountain Bikers: http://lwcoaching.com/core-strength-for-mountain-bikers/
DAY #4: Tempo Training. On road or trainer. After a long warm up do 2 X 20 minutes at a moderate-fast pace with 10 minutes easy pedaling between. Relax! Smooth pedaling. 90-100 rpm. Read through the Training Intensity Guidelines Doc: http://lwcoaching.com/training-intensity-guidelines/ for a reminder of what a mod-fast pace should feel like. Finish the ride time at an easy pace.
DAY #5: Go to a Yoga class, Pilates class, Core class or follow your own program combining stretching, stability work and functional strengthening. For some exercise suggestions click on this link Core Training for Mountain Bikers: http://lwcoaching.com/core-strength-for-mountain-bikers/
DAY #6: Ride on a flat to gently rolling course. Ride the first 15 minutes as an easy warm up then finish the ride at a continuous non-stop moderate pace. 90-100 rpm. Ride the final hour without stopping. Read through the Training Intensity Guidelines Doc: http://lwcoaching.com/training-intensity-guidelines/ to hone in on what a moderate pace should feel like.
DAY #7: Today ride on a course resembling your next race course. The first 30 minutes are easy pedaling. Then increase effort to moderate for 30 minutes, then race pace (moderate-fast) for 20 minutes. Finish the ride with 40 minutes easy pedaling.