This plan combines the speed required for cross country with the endurance required to keep up the pace and be fast for 50 miles.
You will need a heart rate monitor to follow this plan. Each workout also contains power training guidelines for those athletes with the huge advantage of a power meter. If you have both follow the power guidelines.
This is the plan for the mountain biker who is familiar with the 50 mile distance and has set a goal to finish the next one in a personal record time - you want to go faster and place higher than you have before.
You must have competed in at least one 50 mile race prior to starting this plan and have been riding 4-5 times per week recently. This is an intensive plan designed to push the envelope of your performance. You should be confident riding fast on dirt roads and single track and racing in close proximity to other riders.
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: Warm up with 5 minutes of easy aerobic exercise or calisthenics. Then do 10 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, 10 pillar ball twists, 10 psoas crunches to each side, 10 regular crunches, 10 oblique crunches, 10 side lifts to each side, 10 supermans, 10 glute bridges. Repeat 2-3 times through.
Follow this link for exercise descripions:
Core Training for Mountain Bikers: http://lwcoaching.com/?p=210
DAY #2: Warm up for 10 minutes with easy spinning.
Max Cadence Set: 10 X 1 minutes as 10 seconds max cadence and 50 seconds easy spin recovery. HR stays low.
Spin-Up Set: 8 X 2 minutes as 1 minute high cadence, 1 minute easy spin. HR stays low. Use an easy gear.
Single-Leg Set: 8 X 3 minutes as 1 minute right leg only at 90 rpm, 1 minute left leg only at 90 rpm, 1 minute both legs at 95 rpm. HR stays low.
Cool Down: 10 minutes easy spinning.
DAY #3: Warm up with 30 minutes easy spinning then do 12 X 30 seconds at max effort with 4.5 minutes easy spinning between each repeat.
DAY #3: Do this strength session after riding today. Five minute aerobic warm up. 10-15 push-ups, 5 minutes of core work, 10-15 pull-ups or rows, 5 minutes of core work, 5 minutes stretching hips and legs. Repeat two times.
DAY #4 After riding today use a combination of rolling on the foam roller and stretching to work out your hot spots.
DAY #4: Warm up well then ride for 60 minutes at power L3 or in heart rate zone 3. Choose a gently rolling or flat course. Stay on the gas without a break. Cadence 90 - 105 rpm. Fuel and hydrate during the tempo.
DAY #5: This ride is an optional extra this week. Today the strength session is a higher priority. This ride can be split into two and done as a commute, warm up for strength work or shortened. Ride today only if you are super motivated are sure you will have enough time and energy to complete the ride tomorrow. If not miss out this ride and do not try to make it up another day. Tomorrows ride is a higher priority than this ride. Ride at an easy relaxed pace and effort level. Shift often to maintain 80-90 rpm cadence. Choose a mostly flat course with few technical challenges. Light relaxed pressure on the pedals.