Are you racing Category 2 Sport but have limited time to train? Want to know how to be competitive without padding your schedule with junk miles? This is the bare bones TIME CRUNCHED Category 2 Sport Cross Country Training Plan. All the fluff has been trimmed and only the key workouts remain. On this 12 week plan you will work through a base and build period and peak for your top priority race in week 12. Along the way options for cross training, commuting and weekend racing are written into the plan to make the most of the time you do have. 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 Stability Exercises for Cyclists: http://lwcoaching.com/stability-exercises-for-cyclists/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 5 X 30 seconds spin-up drills to a cadence of 110 rpm. Spin-up Drill: From a comfortable cadence increase to 110 rpm for 30 seconds. Focus on being smooth and relaxed with no bouncing around in the saddle or clunking the pedals. Quiet and strong upper body. If you have to bounce or bob, back off the cadence until you are smooth and gradually bring it back up staying smooth and quiet. Between each 30 second spin-up drill, ride 2.5 minutes easy at any comfortable cadence. On trainer or road is best. Relax every muscle which is not contributing to pedaling during the spin-ups. Experiment with muscle groups to see 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. When doing this session correctly your heart rate will stay low.
DAY #3: This ride is an optional extra bonus session to do after the stability training today. You are only allowed to do this ride today if your fridge is full of groceries, you can log 8 hours of sleep tonight and you have given the attention to your loved ones you need. You can split this 30 minute session up as 15 mins before core work and 15 mins after core work. Cross training with the eliptical, a swim, row, run, boxing class etc is super also. If you can, do this with a loved one to combine social and workout time. Maximize your time. Be creative. Make it fun.
DAY #3: Do the recommended exercises and repeats at this link Stability Exercises for Cyclists: http://lwcoaching.com/stability-exercises-for-cyclists/. Today's exercises are pre-hab work to counter and prevent strength imbalances caused by cycling that lead to niggly overuse injuries. This workout is preventative maintenance. If you are crunched for time today split this up into 2 or 3 ten minute sessions where you can fit them into your day. Any little bit you get done will be great for your body.
DAY #4: Today ride on a hilly course. Start the ride with an easy 10 minute warm up. Then increase your effort to moderate. Stay at the moderate effort level for the next 15 minutes. Stay mostly seated on climbs. On the downhills allow your effort level to drop to easy and concentrate on riding with good technique. Then ride easy for 10 mins and moderate again for 20 mins. End the ride with 20 minutes of easy riding. Read through the
Training Intensity Guidelines Doc: http://lwcoaching.com/training-intensity-guidelines/ to hone in on what an easy and moderate pace should feel like.
DAY #5: Spin with an easy effort at the high end of your comfortable cadence range in the small chain ring. Allow your feet and legs to relax while spinning. Note and record your average cadence for the ride when done.
Casual Friday Option You can split this ride up into an a.m and p.m. session today if you like and commute to work on your bike. If you don't have time to bike commute or ride today, do the most time efficient exercise available to you for 30 minutes at a happy feel good cruise along aerobic pace.
DAY #6: 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. Follow this link for exercise suggestions: Core Training for Mountain Bikers http://lwcoaching.com/core-strength-for-mountain-bikers/