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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:34 am 
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Hi all, looking for some advice please. I race mtb xcm (60-100mile events) and as such my training is aimed at developing the requirements required for this discipline.

As a healthy 42yo I tend to follow a pretty standard endurance training model based around simple periodization and have done for a number of years i.e. base & build, although I work around the lack of available volume during base by upping the intensity slightly to including a fair amount of SST. I pay attention to my nutrition and eat a healthy diet (95% of the time :wink: ).

Currently I am building towards an initial peak in April and am able to get in about 6-9hrs per week which includes a fair amount of early or late evening trainer time, my typical week looks something like this:

Mon. off
Tue. 2x20 @ 93-95% LTHR
Wed. Off
Thur. 3x10 @ >100% LTHR Cad 70-80rpm
Fri. Off
Sat. 3x20 SST
Sun. 3-5hrs LSD (road) or 3x20 SST

However I have a 4 week period coming up over Christmas where I will not be working so I plan to make the most of this available training time & hopefully the weather shouldn't be too bad so I can actually get out and off the trainer during daylight, It maybe cold and wet but I can handle that I also now have some simple lights which enable me to get out earlier so I'll be able to get most of my riding done before lunch and still have family time. With the aim of working my aerobic engine I'm planning on getting in at least 2 full weeks of training, here's what I'm looking at doing at the minute, 3 & 2 day blocks of med-low intensity on the road with a recovery/rest day in between, something like this:

Day 1. 2-3hrs with 30-40mins med intensity (i.e. SST)
Day 2. 2-3hrs with 30-40mins med intensity
Day 3. 3-5hrs LSD
Day 4. off
Day 5. 3-5hrs LSD
Day 6. 3-5hrs LSD
Day 7. Off

Occasionally some of my LSD rides I plan on breaking up into 2 a day sessions i.e. 2-3hrs AM and 2-3hrs PM, I'll also have some stretching and some simple & light core exercises using resistance bands thrown in there too.

Thanks for reading, what are your thoughts on this approach?

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Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:34 am 


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Location: Canada
the mini-training camp during your holidays seems like a good idea, especially for XCM. Though you must make sure you will recover properly to keep hitting the intensity after those weeks, since I guess the intensity will go up in january in your plan.

I'd replace the 3x10 with another 2x20 or a 2x20 over/under workout.

As a complete aside, you sound like a motivated rider training wise, before saying they are too expensive etc, etc, have you ever thought investing in a powermeter? Those LTHR are not a bad gauge for intensity but you would be way better off with a PM. Used PM arent THAT expensive, and it is really the best investment I have made cycling wise.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:57 pm 
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Thank you for the reply, I will be paying attention to my recovery during those weeks and i have the intention of having a complete easy/recovery week after those high volume weeks especially as you have already mentioned I will be upping the intensity during the end of Jan.

Any particular reason why you would consider replacing the 3x10 with another 2x20? Only asking as I used to work two of these into my week but I wanted to focus on improving my climbing by adding a few low cadence strength intervals during base.

I'd love a power meter and it's on my to get list but most of my spare cash goes on my family right now, maybe once Christmas is out of the way :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:51 pm 
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I'd remove the 3x10 and replace them with 2x20 because I dont like 3x10min efforts especially if your aim is to increase FTP. I feel they are not as effective as a 2x20 workout and they do not bring enough adaptations for someone who wants to increase his FTP.

I have tried the following lately: 2x20min @ 100% FTP and then added 3x5min @100% FTP @ 60RPM with 5min rests. I find its a nice way to add L4 work and to load the muscles specificaly to MTB riding. Plus, its not too hard and quickly done!

You could also just hit the 2x20min and work some low cadence sections within the 20min efforts, something like 5min normal rpm, 5min low rpm, etc,etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:13 pm 
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Thanks I'll give those a go, just concerned I'm hitting on too much L4/5 work at the minute. I'm happy with throwing in one 2x20 session per week but when I plan to up the volume in Dec/Jan I'll mainly be sticking to L2/3 work and then crank up the >L4 work for a 10 week period after that :thumbup:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:45 pm 
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have you thought including a few L6 micro bursts workouts here and there during november-december and early jan?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Interesting, never thought of that, what is your reasoning for those type of intervals? I've never included any >L6 "micro" type intervals in any of my programs. I generally tend to focus on building my aerobic engine using whatever volume and intensity I think necessary to get the most out of my available time, then I move onto threshold work 2x20's, over unders etc. Then add in some vo2 intervals 3x3's, 5x5's etc.

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Michael Jordan


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:30 pm 
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MTB racing requires short bursts of power, as you know, even if you race XCM. I prefer doing my short L6 workouts in the winter, it helps anaerobic capacity and you dont run the risk to ruin your season when doing them in the off season.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:26 pm 
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I'd like to precise a point re 3x10.

I dont think 3x10 are bad. What I meant is I think they are not the best bang for the buck for someone who wants to increase FTP, especially for a XCM racer like ACDC.

Maybe, if you hit a plateau, you could try switching to 3x10 @ 105% FTP but many other workouts could do the trick as well.


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Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:26 pm 


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