Our tried and tested LW Coaching 50 Mile Mountain Bike Race - Personal Record 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.
This plan combines the speed required for cross country with the endurance required to keep up the pace and be fast for 50 miles.
This plan is paced by power (watts), heart rate and perceived exertion. At a minimum, a heart rate monitor is recommended to follow this training plan. A power meter and smart trainer are optional (and highly advantageous) extras. A power meter or smart trainer is not required to successfully follow this training plan.
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 our LW Coaching website 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.
Repeat 2-3 times through.
- 10 push-ups
- 10 pull-ups
- 10 pillar ball twists
- 30 sec chair pose
- 10 regular crunches
- 10 oblique crunches
- 10 side lifts to each side
- 10 supermans
- 10 glute bridges
Follow this link for exercise descriptions: Core Training for Mountain Bikers http://lwcoaching.com/core-strength-for-mountain-bikers/
Day 2: Use a combination of rolling on the foam roller and stretching to work out your hot spots.
-10 minutes easy spinning in power L1
- Max Cadence Set: 10 X 1 minutes in power L2 as 10 seconds max cadence and 50 seconds easy spin recovery. Use your easiest gear to get cadence up and keep power in L2. HR stays zone 2 and below.
- Spin-Up Set: 8 X 2 minutes in power L2 as 1 minute high cadence, 1 minute medium cadence. Shift gears to keep power and cadence on target. HR stays zone 2 and below.
- One Leg Pedaling 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 zone 2 and below. Power will fluctuate between power L2 and L1.
- 10 minutes easy cool down spin.
Tip: Review this Training Intensity Guidelines Doc: https://lwcoaching.com/training-intensity-guidelines/ to be sure you are training at the correct intensity. Today use perceived exertion (PE) to pace your training if you do not already have power training levels and heart rate training zones established. On day 6 of this week you will set training power levels and heart rate training zones with a field test.
DAY 3: Do this strength session after riding today.
Warm up with 5 minutes of easy aerobic exercise or calisthenics.
Repeat 2 times through:
- 10-15 push-ups
- 5 minutes of core exercises of your choice
- 10-15 pull-ups or rows
- 5 minutes of core exercises of your choice
- 5 minutes stretching hips and legs
- Gradually bring intensity up to power L3 or HRZ3 over the first 16 mins
- Recover for 3 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
- 1 min power L5 or building to HRZ5 by the end of the minute
- 3 min power L1 or HRZ1
- 12 x 30 sec sprints at 200% FTP with 4.5 min power L1 recoveries after each.
NOTES: Do the first six intervals seated 100%. On the next 3 intervals do the first 15 secs seated and last 15 secs standing. Last 3 intervals do whatever gets you the most power.
Be sure to take the full 4.5 minutes recovery between each repeat. This workout is to stimulate speed and muscle development. The muscular fuel source is Creatine Phosphate (CP). CP is entirely used up in 30 seconds and takes 4.5 mins to regenerate. If you start the next repeat before CP has regenerated the effectiveness of this workout is undermined. I KNOW you will feel ready before 4.5 mins is up. This workout requires patience to reap its magic.
- Short easy spin to cool down.
Coach Lynda Tip: If you do not have a power meter, pace with perceived exertion today. The interval duration is too short to use heart rate as a pacing tool.
Review this intensity chart https://lwcoaching.com/training-intensity-guidelines/ to dial in your pacing by perceived exertion.
DAY 4: After riding today use a combination of rolling on the foam roller and stretching to work out your hot spots.
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 and 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.