40+ Masters mountain bike 3-4 day stage race training plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 12:17
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 12:17
Training Load By Week

Consistency – Strength – Skills – Intensity - Recovery

This plan is designed specifically for the 40+ Masters racer with a goal to excel in a 3 – 4 day mountain bike stage race.

A 20 year old athlete has different natural abilities and training requirements than a 40+ year old athlete and will thrive on a different training plan. The most obvious change with age is a slowdown in recovery. With age there is less time and room to absorb training mistakes. A Masters athlete excels on a targeted and specific plan. This LW Coaching 40+ Masters mountain bike 3-4 day stage race training plan works on a three week training cycle, two training weeks then one recovery week, to match fitness development and recovery cycle of the Master athlete. Athletes “age” at different rates. This Masters 40+ plan might be appropriate for a 30-year-old with naturally slow recovery.

Completing the 12 week LW Coaching Masters 40+ Cross Country Mountain Bike Base Training Plan and the LW Coaching Masters 40+ Cross Country Mountain Bike Build, Peak and Race Training Plan prior to this LW Coaching Masters 40+ mountain bike 3-4 day stage race training plan is a recommended way to stack these training plans.

Consistency: This the most important factor for a Masters athlete. “Use it or lose it” is a big element in continued performance with age. The more frequent recovery weeks in this plan promote increased consistency by keeping the athlete below the over-training, injury and burnout threshold.

12 week strength maintenance program: This Masters training plan contains a 12 week strength maintenance program to maintain muscular strength and bone density established during base training. Muscular strength increases resilience to injury, contributes to consistency and keeps you in the game as you age.

Weekly technical ride skills practice: Weekly skills practice is in this plan. Use it or lose it definitely applies to technical mountain bike ride skills for Masters. Stay smooth, ride efficiently with no mistakes, make up time on descents in races.

Weekly intensity sessions: This Masters 40+ mountain bike 3-4 day stage race training plan contains weekly on the bike intensity sessions to increase speed and power building towards race day with neuromuscular power, threshold and VO2 max intervals.

Race execution practice: Endurance sessions contain specific fueling practice and guidelines covering calorie intake, hydration balance and electrolyte balance. Stage race pacing guidelines and race pace practice sessions build towards race day. Recovery techniques are practiced to dial in a successful routine to use at the stage race.

This plan is paced by Power (watts), heart rate and perceived exertion. A heart rate monitor is recommended to follow this training plan. A power meter is an optional (and highly advantageous) extra. A power meter is not required to successfully follow this training plan but power pacing guidelines are included with every session. Most cycling workouts in this plan contain both power and heart rate pacing instructions. In week one you will set heart rate zones, power training levels (if you have power available) and a performance benchmark with a field test. This test is repeated in weeks 6 and 8 to track performance improvements, power increases and check your heart rate zones are accurate. Visit the 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
0:45:00
Strength Maintenance A

Focus: Maintenance of strength established in Base training plan.

Warm up with 5 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. Then do 2 sets of maintenance weight lifting; squat, power clean, bench press, cable row. First set is light (12 reps with 15RM load). Second set is heavy (3-6 reps with 6RM load). 1-2 min rest between sets. Lift with good technique and at a comfortable speed.

Do the exercises in this order: 2 sets of squats, 20 x crunches, 20 x oblique crunches, 2 sets of power clean, 20 x back extensions, 2 sets of bench press, 2 sets of cable row. Then for 10 mins do core work or strengthen a personal weakness or complete personal rehab exercises. Finish with 5 minutes of stretching.

NOTES: Power clean demo video here http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/movements/power-clean.html

Crunches and back extensions are with body weight only.

Sample Day 2
1:30:00
Power and HR performance 20 min TT test

Heart rate, Power and Performance Field Test. If you are continuing on from the LW Coaching Masters Base Training Plan then you did this test last week. There is no need to repeat it this week. Instead do the below workout - do not do the test and the workout today, choose one! If you are new to LWCoaching training plans, do the test today to set your heart rate training zones, power levels and performance benchmark. NOTE: training with a power meter is optional and not required.

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. Record average power, average heart rate and distance covered in the 20 minutes. Finish ride time with a long easy cool down. 

Use the LW Coaching Heart Rate Zone and Power Training Level Calculator at this link to calculate your training zones/levels: http://lwcoaching.com/trainingplans/levelCalcs.htm . Prior to conducting this test review the Testing Guidelines doc found at this link: http://lwcoaching.com/?p=138

Sample Day 2
2:00:00
Option #2 Intervals

Miss out this session if you do the 20 min test today.

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. 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.

* Pacing notes: Pace these intervals using perceived exertion (PE). Heart rate is not responsive enough to use for pacing intervals with a short duration like these. Review this Training Intensity Guidelines doc to calibrate your PE http://lwcoaching.com/training-intensity-guidelines/

Immediately on ending this ride replenish your muscle glycogen stores with a recovery drink containing both carbohydrate and protein such as Ultragen, Recoverite or Carborocket Rehab or eat real food. Fast recovery after today's session is crucial to be able to put out a quality session tomorrow. Read this Recovery Strategies Doc: http://lwcoaching.com/tools-to-speed-recovery/ today and use every recovery method available to you.

Sample Day 3
0:45:00
Strength Maintenance B

Focus: Maintenance of strength established in Base training plan.

Warm up with 5 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. Then do 2 sets of maintenance weight lifting for deadlift, push press barbell and dumbbell snatch. First set is light (12 reps with 15RM load). Second set is heavy (3-6 reps with 6RM load). 1-2 min rest between sets. Lift with good technique and at a comfortable speed.

Do the exercises in this order: 2 sets deadlift, 60 second plank, 2 sets push press barbell, 10 x each leg box blast, 2 sets 20 x each side dumbbell 1-arm snatch, 10 x each side 1-leg glute bridge. Then for 10 mins do core work or strengthen a personal weakness or complete personal rehab exercises. Finish with 5 minutes of stretching.

NOTES: Plank, box blasts, 1-leg glute bridge are body weight only.

Pushpress barbell (demo video here http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/movements/push-press-barbell.html), glute bridge 1-leg (http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/movements/glute-bridge-one-leg.html), box blast (demo video here http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/movements/box-blast-continuous.html), dumbbell 1 arm snatch (see demo video here http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/movements/snatch-1-arm-dumbbell.html).

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
Recovery spin

Easy recovery spin on a mostly flat course or indoors in heart rate zone 1. If you are sleepy, tired or time-crunched, miss this ride out and choose passive rest instead. You can bike commute, do errands on your bike, warm up for strength work on a stationary bike, spin on rollers etc. Any pedaling time counts towards this session. The strength session today is higher priority than this ride. This is a low priority ride.

Sample Day 4
1:30:00
L3 Tempo 45'

Warm up riding in HRZ1-2 or power L1-2. Then ride 45 minutes non-stop in power L3 or HR zone 3. Keep cadence on the high side of your comfortable range during the L3/Z3 tempo. The L3/Z3 tempo is best done on a flat course where you can stay on the gas non-stop for 45 minutes. Finish the ride time in power L1-2 or heart rate zone 1-2.

Sample Day 4
0:19:59
Restorative yoga

Short yoga session with a focus on restorative, stretching and relaxing poses.

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