Colorado Trail Race Bikepacking Mountain Bike Training Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 18:47
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 18:47
Training Load By Week

Our tried and tested LW Coaching Colorado Trail Race Bikepacking Mountain Bike 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.

This 12 week bikepacking training plan is for an experienced endurance racer who has completed one or more endurance events (12+ hours) and is ready to commit to racing the Colorado Trail. This plan is detailed and committing, assuming performance in CTR is one of the top priorities in your life for the next 12 weeks. Your goal is to finish, and to stretch out your personal limits to learn just how fast you can complete this beast. The plan has big hours and hard training. It is an aggressive plan designed to push you to your limits in pursuit of the perfect alpine multi-day racing experience.

Weekly total training hours range from 14 to 29. This includes 2-3 hours of strength training and stretching every week. Plan focus is on speed and fitness building for the first 3 weeks and then transitions to a combination of continued improvements of threshold power, endurance abilities, and many aspects of the self-supported racing genre. There are several multi-day rides scheduled with flexible options to do other races.

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.

Guidelines are presented for: bikepacker bike fit, altitude acclimatization, recovery at altitude, CTR course specific equipment considerations, race strategy tips, self-supported fueling overview, functional GI maintenance and more.

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.

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
Core and upper-body strength

Warm-Up:
-5 minutes of easy aerobic exercise or calisthenics

Main-Set:
- 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.

End your session with 15 minutes of stretching and rolling on the foam roller.

Exercise descriptions found here https://lwcoaching.com/core-strength-for-mountain-bikers/

Sample Day 2
0:15:00
DAY #2 Foam Roller and Stretch

DAY #2: After the bike field test today use a combination of rolling on the foam roller and stretching to work out your hot spots.

Sample Day 2
1:30:00
92TSS
Power and HR Performance 20 min Field Test (structured)

DAY #2: Heart rate, Power and Performance Field Test.

Do a long deep warm up prior to the test. Then time trial 20 minutes on a flat out-back course or up a continuous gradual climb. Pace the 20 minutes evenly with a maximal effort. i.e. go as fast as you can for 20 minutes without blowing up and stopping or slowing down significantly before the end of the 20 min test. Record average heart rate, average power and distance covered in the 20 minutes. Finish ride time with long easy cool down.

CALCULATING YOUR HEART RATE ZONES: Use the TrainingPeaks training zones calculator found in the SETTINGS > ZONES tab as follows:

1. In TrainingPeaks open your athlete account setting page and select Zones (click on your name > settings > zones).

2. Enter the average heart rate from your 20-minute test into the Threshold Heart Rate box.

3. Choose type “Lactate Threshold” from the drop-down menu in the auto calculation box.

4. Choose method “Joe Friel for Cycling” in the drop-down menu in the auto calculation box.

5. Click Calculate > Apply > Save.

CALCULATING YOUR POWER LEVELS: Use the TrainingPeaks training zones calculator found in the SETTINGS > ZONES tab as follows:

1. In TrainingPeaks open your athlete account setting page and select Zones (click on your name > settings > zones).

2. Enter the average power from your 20-minute test x 0.95 into the Threshold Power box. For example if your average 20 min power is 200w, enter 190w into the threshold power box (200w x 0.95 = 190w).

3. Choose type “Threshold Power” from the drop-down menu in the auto calculation box.

4. Choose method “Andy Coggan” in the drop-down menu in the auto calculation box.

5. Click Calculate > Apply > Save.

Prior to conducting this test review the Testing Guidelines doc found at this link: http://lwcoaching.com/?p=138

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
Core workout

Core training. Do a variety of exercises for your hip, abdominal and lower back muscles. Examples are bridging, pillar exercises, crunches, back extensions, Pilates.

Core training tips and exercise options at this link https://lwcoaching.com/core-strength-for-mountain-bikers/

Option: Do a core strength or Pilates workout in the SWORKIT app https://sworkit.com

Work hard and get a sweat going. A strong core means being more comfortable at the end of long days on the bike.

Sample Day 4
0:15:00
Foam Roll and Stretch

Use a combination of rolling on the foam roller and stretching to work out your hot spots.

Sample Day 5
0:45:00
DAY #5 Core and upper-body strength

DAY #5:

Warm-up:
- 5 minutes of aerobic exercise or calisthenics.

Main-set: Repeat 2-3 times
- 10 bench or chest press with a weight approaching but not reaching failure
- 10 lat pull or pull up with a weight approaching but not reaching failure
- 60 second front pillar
- 30 second side pillar to each side
- 10 ball pikes
- 10 bicep curls with a weight approaching but not reaching failure
- tricep dips to failure.

Cool-down:
- 5 min stretching

Sample Day 5
1:30:00
54TSS
Optional Recovery spin

Optional ride. Go for an easy recovery spin in heart rate zone 1 or take the day off the bike in favor of passive rest if you prefer. Passive rest may be the better choice. The strength session is a higher priority today than this recovery ride.

Lynda Wallenfels
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LW Coaching

Mountain Bike Coaching, Consulting and Mountain Bike Training Plans. We are mountain bikers and specialize in mountain biking.

Browse our LWCoaching.com website and give our LW Coaching mountain bike training plan finder App a try https://lwcoaching.com/mtb-training-plans/planfinder/ to see which mountain bike training plan stack fits your goals.

Personal coaching, pre-built mountain bike training plans, telephone consultations. See www.lwcoaching.com or contact lynda@lwcoaching.com