- October 26, 2023 at 5:34 am #27257Scott PollockParticipant
I hope all is well. I have a question regarding your NICA plans. My son is 13 and just finished his third year of NICA, he’s finished in the top ten every year but wants to get faster. He will race as a freshman next year. What training plans would suggest for him? Our race season begins at the end of August with our last race towards the end of October (5 races).
- October 26, 2023 at 4:20 pm #27259LyndaKeymaster
That’s great your son finished the NICA season motivated to get faster. The first place to start is with a rest! Take a break from training and racing for at least a month. Then look at incorporating some other activities for a few months. Optimal long term athletic development comes from sampling many different activities while 12-16 years old and specializing later in the mid to late teen years. Young athletes are in a perfect development period to quickly learn sport specific skills in several sports which will contribute to a higher level specialized one-sport athlete later. Juniors should practice a great variety of sports and exercises focusing on enjoyment, development of character, strength, speed, cardio, mobility, balance and technique.
If cycling is his only jam, look for the variety in bmx, pump tracks, jump parks, enduro, gravel rides etc. Aim for fun and variety. For example, learning to jump your bike is so much easier at 12 years old than 25. Focus on fun and skills.
Then, 12-weeks prior to the start of team training in 2024 follow our PRE-season High School JUNIOR-VARSITY Mountain Bike Training Plan. Once team traning starts, I always recommend joining the team and following their training plan. If the team does not have a training plan, recommend they follow our FALL-league High School TEAM mountain bike training plan Mountain Bike Training Plan.
- October 27, 2023 at 5:40 am #27260Scott PollockParticipant
Thanks, Lynda! I agree 100% with doing different sports. He’s an avid golfer, cross country (running) and hurdler. I help coach his team and we don’t do any structured training, it’s mainly riding bikes on different trails that will mimic our next race. Given that, would you suggest another training plan for when our season starts? We typically practice twice a week for 1.5-2 hours.
I appreciate all of your help!
- October 27, 2023 at 2:49 pm #27262LyndaKeymaster
This is the plan we designed for teams to follow during their regular training and race season.
This plan coaches your entire team through the season, first timers to Varsity podium. Practices include pacing guidelines, nutrition, bike maintenance, tech riding skills and peer coaching opportunities. Practices start with a focus on riding skills and progress to more focus on race-speed fitness by race #1. Race specific drills such as passing, starts, short tracks and sprinting are included along with fitness building practices your student-athletes will love, such as hill intervals and tempo training days to peak their fitness and get them race ready.
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