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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Help with a training plan

    Iíd like to try a race on May 1, 2004. This will be my first mountain bike race. I need some guidance on how often I should be training a week and what should I focus on (long, hard rides, or intervals, etc). My goal is to not to win, but not to look like an idiot. If I did better than last place Iíd be happy. The category is Womenís Beginner.

    My fitness level is good. Just this past mountain biking season was my best ever. I had never been in that kind of shape before. We easily rode 4-5 times a week once the trails were all free of mud and snow. I donít keep up with that schedule now (winter months), but I have been strength training 2-3 times a week at home, usually a 2 hour cross country ski on the weekend, and walks around the block with my dog almost every night. Once it warms up some more, I plan on commuting to work on my bike (only 5 miles RT however).

    Iím positive I need to build my endurance back up. But last season I had no plan, just ride as often as we could. No training goals at all. The lower elevation trails near me wonít be free until 2 weeks before this race. So hereís what I have to work with: a stationary recumbent bike and my commuter, an old mountain bike with slicks for road rides. Also, I don't like running.

    Anyone want to a rought schedule for a May 1st race?

    Length of the race course with one lap is 11.0 miles, I'll do two laps. Altitude change is 400 feet, but you'll roll up and down for total climbing of about 1000.
    Last edited by Shannon-UT; 01-30-04 at 03:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Head wind
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    Hey Shannon, look for a book called "The Cyclists Training Bible" or "The Mountain Biker Training Bible" by Joel Friel. It is a great read and will help you to create your own training program. Drop me an email and we'll see if we can get you on track with your training. Good luck Jeff


    Quote Originally Posted by Shannon-UT
    Iíd like to try a race on May 1, 2004. This will be my first mountain bike race. I need some guidance on how often I should be training a week and what should I focus on (long, hard rides, or intervals, etc). My goal is to not to win, but not to look like an idiot. If I did better than last place Iíd be happy. The category is Womenís Beginner.

    My fitness level is good. Just this past mountain biking season was my best ever. I had never been in that kind of shape before. We easily rode 4-5 times a week once the trails were all free of mud and snow. I donít keep up with that schedule now (winter months), but I have been strength training 2-3 times a week at home, usually a 2 hour cross country ski on the weekend, and walks around the block with my dog almost every night. Once it warms up some more, I plan on commuting to work on my bike (only 5 miles RT however).

    Iím positive I need to build my endurance back up. But last season I had no plan, just ride as often as we could. No training goals at all. The lower elevation trails near me wonít be free until 2 weeks before this race. So hereís what I have to work with: a stationary recumbent bike and my commuter, an old mountain bike with slicks for road rides. Also, I don't like running.

    Anyone want to a rought schedule for a May 1st race?

    Length of the race course with one lap is 11.0 miles, I'll do two laps. Altitude change is 400 feet, but you'll roll up and down for total climbing of about 1000.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    We got the Mountain Bikers Training Bible. It has a good schedule, weight lifting...etc. But I'm not sure if it can be done in 3 months.

    Good Luck

  4. #4
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    Sure you can train for a race in 3 months. I'll PM a link to you of my own schedule, I am training for an endurance race in the end of March. I do most of my endurance training on the road, and mix in technical mtn bike rides every other ride if possible to keep up my skills. I also try to do an epic mtn bike on one weekend, and a long road ride the next. Good luck...

    Mike

  5. #5
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    sounds like a good goal and your timing is very good... (the strength training you can skip although it will help)

    oh, just for reference, my BIG race of the year is the 8-day MTB stage race, the TransAlp Challenge July 17th-24th with 22,000 meters of vertical (73,000 ft!)-- i will be doing 3 "preparation" races, the largest of which is May 1st (or 2nd? i forget) with 104km and 3600meters of vertical (12,000 ft)... i should currently be strength training now except i hurt my knee skiing (jumping) so that is on hold one more week i couldn't ride for 2 weeks but started riding again last Friday

    4 training stages:
    1) strength --- weight lifting plus basic riding like commuting 2-3 days per week + technique training if possibly (spinning and "pedalling" circles - lots of people ride fixed gear to get round pedalling)
    2) base/endurance --- LOTS of miles but mostly at relatively low intensity -- also cross-training with running, swimming, whatever
    3) intervals/hard training -- HARD riding to get FAST - this is where you really push yourself to the max!
    4) maintenance/taper --- reduced training to allow for complete recovery before a big event for maximum performance

    with a race date of May 1st, i would:
    1) strength --- now - Feb 14th
    2) base/endurance --- 4-5 weeks Feb 14th - March 13th/20th
    3) intervals/hard training -- 4-5 weeks so March 13/20-April 17th
    4) maintenance/taper --- 2 weeks before the race, reduce your volume by to 70% and cut all MAX-effort hard rides -- so around April 17th-May 1st --- of course the 1-2 days before the race you should only do easy rides/spinning. if you preride the course, don't do it the day before (lots of first-timers do this!) unless you do it REALLY slowly.

    and for each stage, try to do both short and long cycles: 2-3 days training followed by a rest/recovery day and then 2-3 weeks hard training followed by a less-intense week...

    good luck!
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  6. #6
    The XC Hucker Blue Thunder's Avatar
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    You doing Five Mile? Very nice. Knowing the strength of the beginner class, what you're doing right now would be more than adequate. However, if you wanted to start getting into the upper categories (sport, etc) you'll want to start a regimen. However, I'm not the source for such stuff. But anyways, I'll be racing there too..hopefully I won't get killed in Sport

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Thanks for all the advice everyone. Nathan, that race is crazy!

    Blue Thunder, yes it's Five-Mile Pass. I saw some pictures of that trail on www.utahmountainbiking.com and it looks relatively easy and minimal elevation gain. So you've raced this one before? Am I really doing more than other beginners? That is surprsing. Are beginners weekend riders? I'm not into the sport category, those girls race for team Sugar and stuff.

    The 2003 results for Beginner Women's said one 11 mile loop took 1:20-1:30. That's 7-8 mph. I think that is very doable. I just asked my husband what our mph ranges since he has the computer on his bike and we're in that range.

    This race is just a test. I don't know if I'll like racing. But it should be fun to try with my good friend. No single track on this loop, so the passing thing won't be too difficult. I don't even know the ettiquite for passing on anything other than dirt roads.
    Last edited by Shannon-UT; 02-03-04 at 10:42 AM.

  8. #8
    The XC Hucker Blue Thunder's Avatar
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    Yeah, the trail itself isn't too difficult, there isn't any massive elevation gain, its mostly rolling, but there are a couple short tough climbs. Its all doubletrack, not hard at all to pass on. I'd suggest going with someone who knows the course (it is extremely easy to get lost, theres tons of routes) and seeing how hard you think one lap is. Beginner (And even about half of sport) is mostly weekend warriors, you should be fine. I'm racing sport this year as an independent, theres no rule that states you need to be on a team to go fast

    Anyways, if you're looking for people who know the course and to ride with, post on UtahMountainBiking, theres a ton of people who will go. We went out there about a month and a half ago and had about 20 people show up.

    later-

    Nathan

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