Ive been thinking about getting in mtb racing. But i think the main problem is my health. Although i am the best shape of my life...my body isnt fit to compete. Im shooting to start racing in the spring of next year when my studies have died down and im in long haul to graduation from college. This would give me 4-6 months of solid training before i try out my first race. Is there any advice you all can offer me in terms of a training regimen?
Get a good book on training, then keep track of your workouts so you can monitor your progress. This way you will see what works and what doesn't. Everybody is different.
Try http://pclog.com:8888/ It's an online Journal with lots of good stuff in it.
" Is there any advice you all can offer me in terms of a training regimen?[/QUOTE]"
A good journal is VERY helpful when you are training for competition. Keep track of everything you can think of, including how you feel. You'll be able to spot trends and make corrections to your training sooner.
A few suggestions to track: Sleep hours & Quality, waking HR, weight, Diet, Workout Time/distance/quality/average HR, Stress level, body measurements ... Body fat % is nice to know.
Look at the numbers collectively. Don't let the bathroom scale or mileage total dictate your training. If your cycling performance is improving, stay the course. If you plateau or decline, change it up (more or less recovery, more or less volume/intensity etc).
I measure my progress by doing a moderate time trial at a prescibed HR (~75% or max, ~ 20 bpm below my race pace). As the season progresses my times drop even though I'm at the same heart rate.
I've tried several comercial journals but perfer to make my own custom spreadsheet.
Wow - I never thought of that. I've always measured my progress by my time @ full tilt over a given distance. I think I'll try your method as well.
Some of the advantages of doing sub-maximal Time Trials are you can do them more frequently and they don't sap you for your other training.
The HR I use is just enough to require me push a little to keep it there but not to high that I feel thrashed afterwards. I can focus on my technique (position and cadence). I've found besides giving me a way to measure my progress, getting the technique "reps" in pays off in actual time trials too. The muscle "memory" of the cadence and position it develops translates into better form when you going b@lls out too.
The fastest guys in the cat 5 races I did last year were college students. Those guys were able to take off for 3 hours a day and ride due to their flexible schedules. You should be able to train for racing and have a big advantage over the weekend warriors.