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Open coaching day recap Oct 2015

Here is the open coaching day recap Oct 2015. It was great to connect again with athletes far and wide and I appreciate everyone who took part. I enjoy this monthly opportunity to connect with our LW Team. We have settled into doing the open coaching day the first Thursday of the month on our LW Coaching Facebook page. Join us for our next one on November 5th. open coaching day Oct 2015Lots of good chat about how to stack training plans for 2016 based around race schedules and goals. Here is our recap:


Michael Paul Granata: Completed your Cat 1 40/Masters program this past spring and was very happy with results. Probably the best conditioning I have been in since college football days. My question is bike handling skills: I was usually hanging with the leaders on any climbs and big wattage efforts (long flats) but immediately dropped off as soon as we hit twisty/turn. Any suggestions on improving bike handling/turning skills.

Coach Lynda: Michael, Every time you are on trails, think about your bike handling skills! Cues like weight in your feet and eyes forward are two basics. Improving your skills is like free speed in races and a huge advantage on the more technical courses. Taking a skills camp or lesson from a talented coach is the best thing you can do. A great skills coach will send you away with drills and techniques to spend the rest of your life practicing and thinking about, to continually improve your skills. Good online resources are Lee Likes Bikes and BetterRide but nothing beats in-person coaching to fast track your skills development. Post up your location and I might know of a coach in your area to recommend.

Michael Paul Granata: Dallas, Texas Thanks Lynda smile emoticon

Coach Lynda: Michael, I don’t know of a MTB skills coach in your area. If another rider does I’d love to hear about them. BetterRide has a camp coming to Austin, TX next week.


Joe Edwards: Next years racing plan for me is a bit ambitious, and I’d like to try to peak around mid June for Lumberjack. I was thinking of doing the 100 miler PR plan to peak then. Here is schedule. 4/16 Barry Roubaix, 6/4 Mohican 100k, 6/16 Lumberjack 100, then Hilly Billy Roubaix the end of July. Also, planning Mohican, and lumberjack ss. Thoughts?

Coach Lynda: That sounds like a fun summer. I recommend starting on the 12 week SINGLE SPEED Cross Country Mountain Bike Base Training Plan on 12/14. After that plan on 3/7, take a week off plan for extra recovery or to catch up on a missed week. On 3/14 start the 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race – Personal Record Plan and follow it to a peak at Mohican. After Lumberjack repeat weeks 11 and 12 to peak again for Lumberjack 100. Then take a week off and repeat weeks 11 and 12 once more to race strongly at Hilly Billy Roubaix.

Joe Edwards: Thank you. I appreciate the info.


Luis Rosa Colon: Hello Lynda I’m a 45 years old guy who love to compete and be competitive. Currently leaving in NYS. The season that just ended I competed Cat 1 35+ in the NYS MTB Series with average results. Placed mid to rear pack did around 6 races in total including a 40 miles race. My goals for 2016 is race the same series and the H2H Series in NJ also would like to do some Endurance racing like Whiteface Wilmington 100k. In summary more races with best results. Had a coach before but not this past season.

Coach Lynda: Luis, stacking these 3 training plans will be good for you: Category 1 Cross Country Mountain Bike Base Training Plan, then Category 1 Cross Country Mountain Bike Build, Peak and Race Training Plan and then 100 km Mountain Bike Race – Personal Record Plan

Luis Rosa Colon: I’m taking break and doing some cross training like running, when will be best time to get back to training, to implement the Base training plan?

Coach Lynda: Luis, Start the 12 week base training plan 25 weeks before your first important race. After that plan take one week of training for extra recovery or to catch up on a missed week. Then do the 12 week Build, Peak and Race plan ending that plan on the week of your first important race of the season. When exactly to schedule your 100 km training plan depends on which endurance race and when it is that you choose to do.

Luis Rosa Colon: Thanks!


Luis Fraile: First of all congrats about your radio podcasts on mountain bike radio: They are well explained and easy to process both from the expert biker and the beginner point of view. My goals for next season are: 1) 3 days MTB stage race on 13 -15th of May. 200km total. 2) 7 days stage race. Last week of July. Alps or Pyrenees. Lots of climbing and tech descents.

Coach Lynda: Luis, thank for the kinds words about my Mountain Bike Radio shows. Tell me more about yourself and your goals for your races and I can recommend the best training plan stack for you. What is your age? Are you racing single-speed or gears?

Luis Fraile: I am 38 next year. Racing on gears (single-speed not really popular here in europe). Racing regularly last 6 years, but not big results (around top 20/30 on marathons). Looking forward to improve results and PR. highly motivated smile emoticon

Coach Lynda: Luis I recommend you start your base training on Nov 23rd with the Category 1 Cross Country Mountain Bike Base Training Plan. The week of February 15th take a week off training for extra recovery or to catch up on a missed week. The week of Feb 22 start the 3-4 Day Mountain Bike Stage Race – Personal Record Plan and follow it to a peak in week 12 at your May stage race. Take a week off training for recovery after your stage race, then start on the 7-Day Mountain Bike Stage Race – Personal Record Plan to peak again for your 7 day stage race. This is a 12 week plan so miss out weeks 3 and 8 to shorten the plan to 10 weeks and peak on target at your 7 day stage race the last week in July.

Luis Fraile: Thanks a lot. I´ll give a look at it.


Luke Hurley: Lynda, As I noted in your Forum I came in 2nd and 3rd in the two New England Series this year for 40-40 Cat 1. I plan on sticking with the same training for 2016, as I think it was a good fit for myself as a masters athlete. My greatest issue, is recovery, and what I call chronically sore legs. Following the Masters 40+ plan do you have any additional tips on recovering or even additional fueling? Thanks Congrats again on your breakthrough season and great results. I’m always stoked to hear that.

Coach Lynda: Luke, chronically sore legs are nearly always nutrition related. The top 3 reasons are 1. Insufficient daily calorie intake leading to chronic under-fueling. 2. Insufficient protein intake leading to a chronic negative protein balance 2. Sub-optimal timing of protein intake. I recommend you buy the Apex nutrition book Fuel Right, Race Light, read it cover to cover then implement her nutrition recommendations.

Luke Hurley: Great thanks.


Dave Byers: Hi Coach! My question is about “switching gears”: For someone who trains for endurance MTB racing most of the year, but then races cyclo-cross in the fall, how long does it take for the body to adapt to the new style of training/racing once cyclocross begins?

Coach Lynda: Dave, good question!! This is highly personal and depends on whether you are a fast twitch dominant or slow twitch dominant athlete. I’m not sure slow twitchers have the time over the course of a cx season to truly adapt as the seasons are so short. On the flip side, cx is such good training for these athletes. Heavily fast twitch dominant athletes can come out of the gate swinging in a couple of weeks so long as they are not carrying excessive fatigue from their endurance MTB season.


John Karrasch: Any thoughts on weekly long ride time vs weekly hours? I.e. If I average about 8 hours a week what amount of that should the long ride be? I ask as I’m focusing on 50-60 mile mtb races next year and want a long ride goal for each week. 3 hours give or take seems reasonable but you’re the coach smile emoticon thanks.

Coach Lynda: John, You don’t need a long ride every week. Every other week or every 3rd week is good. Build your long ride up to your expected duration of your longest race. 3 hours for your longest ride will leave you short on endurance. A good 3-week cycle is a rest week, an intensity week and a long ride week. The amount of total time the long ride takes out of your weekly hours will vary from week to week.


Kim Cross: I plan on doing the Mohican 100 on June 4th. This will be my 1st 100 miler. The 2015 season, b/c of injury, vacation, motivation etc. has turned out to be pretty low-key in terms of training and racing volume. I’ve been doing 2 person team 6 hour races so my endurance and overall fitness is not what it was even a year ago. I plan to use your 100 Mile PR plan to train up for the Mohican, preceded by your Masters Base plan (I’m 41). Is that what you would suggest? Any thoughts on what I should be doing now, before I begin base training to help get my fitness back up? Also, any advice for a 1st time hundy is appreciated! Thanks!

Coach Lynda: Kim, I highly recommend you follow the Masters 40+ MTB 100 Mile Personal Record Training Plan instead of the 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race – Personal Record Plan. To peak on June 4th at Mohican start the base plan on 12/14 and allow a week off plan after on 3/7 for extra recovery or to catch up on a missed week. That gives you 10 weeks from now until you start the base plan. During these 10 weeks, rehab any injuries, improve your tech riding skills, increase pedaling efficiency, learn how to fix mechanicals on your bike, learn how to meditate, do yoga or Pilates, get any dental work taken care of or other elective surgery, get a baseline blood panel and physical, lose weight if you need to, work on a weakness and upgrade any of your equipment – these are a few ideas for the next 10 weeks.

Kim Cross: Thanks Linda! Yes, I’ll definitely do the Masters plan. I consider climbing a weakness so what intervals would you recommend to improve climbing speed? I know one sure way to get faster going uphill us to lose weight which is on the list of things to do over the next 10 weeks.

Coach Lynda: Kim, mix up short hill intervals like 10 x 1 min with medium ones like 4 x 6 min and longer ones like 2 x 20 min to hit your climbing all around.

Kim Cross: Sounds good. Thanks Linda!

Kim Cross: Oops, I think I need more info. How often and aim for HR zone 5 during these?

Coach Lynda: Kim, 1 min intervals are paced by effort at 90%, 6 min intervals in high HRZ4 and 20 min intervals in low HRZ4. Do 1-2 sessions per week except for rest weeks that are 0 interval sessions.

Coach Lynda: BTW my name is Lynda not Linda

Kim Cross: It certainly is and I’ve typed it correctly enough to know that…Sorry Lynda!

Stefanie Gore: Lynda – do you recommend the intervals during base workouts in December and January?

Coach Lynda: Stefanie Gore – Not generally, no.

Stefanie Gore: Kim Cross- I would love to be your training partner.

Kim Cross: My other very important question is how do I get my hands on one of those t-shirts??

Coach Lynda: Which t-shirts?

Kim Cross: With your name on it! The one you’re wearing in the video.

Coach Lynda: Kim, Ah! I only have 3 left out of that batch of T’s in size small or large. They are $20 including shipping within the US. PM me your addy if you want one.


Robert Dorobantu: Hello Linda. I’m 33 years and I’m riding in xc races for almost 3 years. I have some problems climbing and after climbing. My HR drops very slow. How should i train this? Also, how should I train if I have races almost every weekend from April to October? Should i have multiple peak dates, or how should i plan my training season?

Coach Lynda: Robert, in training I recommend you ride easier terrain and in lower heart rates to train the aerobic part of your physiology. You sound like you are lacking an aerobic base. Complete a 12 week Base training plan prior to your race season. I have 8 different base training plans available. Tell me more about yourself and I can recommend the best one for you. Do you race gears or single-speed? What XC Category do you race? To successfully race a series with races every weekend from April to Oct you have to complete all of your base and build training before your first race. After your first race you do not have room to train but should switch to a race and rest cycle to continue your performance development and maintain speed throughout your entire series.

Robert Dorobantu: Thank you Linda for your quick reply. I race in 3×10 bike. Xco, xc, and marathons. In Romania we don’t have categories like in US. We have only elite, amateur and age 30-39 in my example. How should i choose my peak period? Should i select 2 or 3 events or is too much for one season to reach 2-3 peaks of form? Thank you.

Coach Lynda: Robert, you can peak for specific events or you can choose to maintain a high an even level of fitness for most of the season. You set your race priorities and decide if it is the whole season you want to perform evenly at or a few individual events you want to do really well at. The best plan is to start 25 weeks out from your first important race of the season with a 12 week base training plan such as the Category 1 Cross Country Mountain Bike Base Training Plan, then take a week off training for extra recovery or to catch up on a missed week. Then follow 12 week a Build, Peak and race plan such as the Category 1 Cross Country Mountain Bike Build, Peak and Race Training Plan with week 12 ending on the week of your first important race of the season.

Robert Dorobantu: Hi Lynda. I prefer to perform evenly. How should I train after those 25 weeks?

Coach Lynda: Robert, with races almost every weekend you have no room for training once races start. For a week with a race follow week 12 of the Category 1 Cross Country Mountain Bike Build, Peak and Race Training Plan and on a non-race week follow week 11. Weeks 11 and 12 repeated make up a race and rest schedule. Following this schedule you can use each race to maintain performance and have an even or slightly increasing performance from April to October.


Mike Welch: Hi Lynda, More of a season review than a question. First off, thanks for all of the great advice on your forum, open coaching days and MTB radio. SO much good advice, has helped me a lot. Last winter I did your masters maintenance plan while working a physical job in the ski industry. Got through the season and started into the masters base plan with some spring, summer race goals. Early May had an injury that kept me from any exercise for one month. So changed my goals and aimed for a race on Sept 6th and then onto CX racing. Followed the Master BPR plan which finished a couple of weeks ago. Used the Sept 6 race as my week 10 race. Finished 6th out of 15. For me this was a good result as I just started racing 3 years ago and often finish at the end of the pack. The plans certainly worked!! I felt like I was racing and on the final hill I put the training to good use to shed a gal who I had been swapping positions with the whole race. Race time was just over 2 hrs. CX season is under way now and I am happy with my results. CX is so different from XC racing but I really like it. Our season finishes mid Nov. so I have just re-set that as my end date and am re-doing the BPR program after taking a full week off last week as we had a 2 week break in the CX schedule. I am also using this as a fitness program for my ski work which starts Dec. 1. If you ever develop a masters CX program I would be on your first to order list. Anyhow, loved the programs, they work, happy with my results and will be doing the same thing for this coming winter. Thanks Mike

Coach Lynda: Mike, thanks for the season review and the nice comments about my training plans. I appreciate that.


John Gulledge: Lynda, 45 Male fire fighter with two small kids, been racing 50 milers for a couple of years. Looking at improving times, ie: shaving off 15 min from my PR at the Firecracker. My question is, if I purchase your Winter Endurance Plan and then your 50 miler PR Plan, do i have access to you as a resource to tweak and change things via email? Naturally im not expecting to be on the phone with you daily or having you review my Strava file daily, I would imagine that would fall under private coaching. Also, as a fire fighter I have a bit of a weird schedule in that I work 2 days on and have 4 days off. This has been a challenge in years past with tweaking the Friel plan to my work schedule. Thanks for all you do, I listen to all your LW Coaching Show podcasts on mtbradio! John

Coach Lynda: John, Read through this thread on my forum for some tips on training on a firefighter schedule

Coach Lynda: When you are working with my training plans I am available once per month on this open coaching day and also on my forum to ask training plan questions. For more personal and in-depth look at your training I am available for Skype and telephone consulting sessions.

John Gulledge: Thank you


Erica Tingey: Hi! I am thinking about doing some stage racing next year. Some 3-5 days. I need to be ready to race early March (possibly late February). When I do I need to start base training? Do I need a much larger base than I have had for XC racing? How do I determine the weekly volume I need now?

Coach Lynda: Erica, you are an outlier as far as your response to training. You respond very quickly which can lead to peaking too soon. I’d advise you to be conservative with your volume. You don’t need to step it up much beyond a consistent XC level like most people would.

Erica Tingey: Thanks Lynda. I will consult with you soon for a full plan.


Open coaching day recap Oct 2015 was last modified: October 9th, 2015 by Lynda