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MTB 100: Leadville 100 Race Training Plan, 4.25-20 hrs/wk (only 1 wk @20 hrs)

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MTB 100: Leadville 100 Race Training Plan, 4.25-20 hrs/wk (only 1 wk @20 hrs)


Gale Bernhardt

All plans by this Coach
4.63 (8)


28 Weeks

Plan Description

A multiple-time Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race finisher, Gale Bernhardt knows what it takes to be successful on the course. She has a full range of trophies including the Last Ass Over the Pass, two first in category mining pans and she's one of the few women possessing the coveted 1,000 mile buckle for successfully completing 10 Leadville 100 races. She has coached others to successful finishes - she can help you succeed.

This 28-week training plan is a performance plan written specifically for the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race and includes tcx files for training on the course. Because of the difficulty of the Leadville 100 course, weekly instructions include climbing goals. If you live in a location where elevation gain is not possible, the plan gives instructions for simulating climbs as well as goal times for simulated climb training.

The plan begins with preparation training to prepare for the work to come. Training in weeks 1 through 15 include a strength training program and take winter riding conditions into consideration. Long rides are capped at 3 hours and weekly training volume stays at 9 hours or less.

Training is structured so lactate threshold power (and speed) is increased before training volume increases. This format yields a bigger aerobic engine so you can go faster at an aerobic energy cost - an adaptation critical for Leadville 100 racing.

Moving into weeks 16 through 28, weekly training volume is between 6 and 14 hours. A big training week (18-22 hours) is planned three weeks prior to race day. This design is for cyclists that plan to travel to Colorado three weeks prior to race day for altitude acclimatization. It can also be used by Colorado Front Range cyclists aiming to train on the course prior to race day. TCX files are included so you don't get lost on training rides.

The big training week can be moved to four weeks prior to race day or two weeks prior, but I would not recommend including the big week two weeks prior to race day. However, you can break the course into smaller pieces and train on those segments within two weeks of race day. I don't want you wiped out from training by the time you get to the start line.

It is impossible to include all training modifications in a single document. If you have special needs for your training, or you want to include a qualifier race in your training, consider scheduling a consulting session with Gale. You can find more information on training plan consulting on her website at

You can find additional plan information on my blog at this link.

Additional information is included with the plan in the form of a 21-page pdf file. There are tips for training and racing at altitude, race day strategies and more.


Look at the plan preview. The first week should seem very manageable before beginning the plan. If your current fitness is lacking, you will need to modify the plan. Some modification tips are included.

Within the first 15 weeks of the plan, you will find lactate threshold and some anaerobic work. The purpose of this work for an experienced cyclist is to raise lactate threshold heart rate and speed. If lactate threshold moves from 80 percent of maximum heart rate to 90 percent of maximum heart rate, you’ve increased the capacity of your aerobic engine. For example if your maximum heart rate is 185 and you can move your lactate threshold from a heart rate of 148 to 167, you’ve got a larger aerobic engine. This pays big dividends in an event that lasts some seven to twelve hours.

You can find more training plan choices at THIS HOT LINK.

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Bike x3
05:16:00 05:00:00
Strength x1
01:21:00 01:30:00
Day Off x1
—— ——
MTB x1
02:13:00 07:00:00
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
05:16:00 05:00:00
01:21:00 01:30:00
Day Off
—— ——
02:13:00 07:00:00

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor

All supported devices

Gale Bernhardt

Gale Bernhardt Consulting Inc.

I offer one-on-one, completely personalized coaching for athletes that want customized training.

For athletes that enjoy self-coaching, but need a bit of help, I offer phone consulting services.

You can find more information about these services on my website

  • This plan includes a Free Basic TrainingPeaks Account.
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  • Track your performance with robust data tracking and detailed graphs.
  • Plan for your event in the TrainingPeaks calendar.
  • Track your weight, sleep, hours, fatigue and stress while you train.
  • Completed workouts sync with popular apps like Garmin and Wahoo. Learn More
  • If plan includes Structured Workouts, then planned workouts sync to compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time. Learn More

Refund Policy

This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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