Looks like a lot of good training discussion in this forum and I’m struggling with putting together a solid off-season plan, so thought I’d give this a shot.
Short version of my question: Is it better in the off season to just focus only on aerobic endurance or should you also try to maintain LT and VO2Max fitness levels with some speedwork?
I just read Friel’s MTB Training Bible and thought it was helpful overall, but wonder if the off-season training needs to include more speedwork than he recommends. Without maintaining LT and V02Max in the offseason, wouldn’t you be starting over each year re-training these areas? I’d think that if you maintained your “speed base” in the offseason, you would start each season from a higher fitness level and achieve a higher peak fitness level at the end of the season.
My thought is to keep my offseason focus mostly on aerobic conditioning, but add some L4 and L5 level speed work like 10-20 min L4 sessions in my longer rides, as well as a few spin classes to maintain a “speed base”. Later on in the build phase, I’ll transition to a higher volume of L4-5 training.
Does that approach make sense and how do you figure out how much speedwork is “too much” in the offseason? I know burnout is a concern from too much speed training too early, but think some offseason speedwork may help prevent burnout from too much distance training. It’s also more interesting to do speedwork on trainer than steady Zone 2 training.
Are there any good books or websites that lay out a more speed-intensive annual training plan?
Goals are to get top third in 2hr Sport Class MTB races next summer. I have 4-5hrs per week to train and am 38yrs old.
Thanks for any guidance on the off-season plan!