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Restart training after a long break

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    • #19933

      Hi Lynda-
      I am a 54 yo getting back into racing. Over the past 30 years, I have done a ton of running, triathlons, and some mtn bike racing and always finished at the top of my age category in races (even winning a SS mtn bike state championship race when I trained consistently over two seasons) but I have taken the last 5 years off completely from exercise, primarily I think because I was burned out on decades of exercise training and tired in general (getting older you know!). Now I’d like to experience the thrill of doing well again. To get back into shape and racing fitness, I started mtn biking again about 3 months ago, and entered 2 NM state mtn bike races as Cat 2 (20-22 mi ea) in the past two weeks. The first I was dead last and this last one I was fifth from last. I am not discouraged because I had entered these races to remember again what it’s like to race and to get encouraged to get fit again. I am happy to be back riding again and looking forward to improving. Here are my questions for you.

      1. This year, there are two more races (24 mi on Sept. 29 and 30 mi on Oct. 5, both not very technical). I was just going to keep riding and see how I do. Is there anything I can do in that short time to improve, besides just getting used to the distances? I don’t expect to win anything but would like to get better over the next 1.5 mo.
      2. I would like to race our state Cat 2 mtn bike series next year, and my goal is to get up to Cat 1 level, which I think is feasible witht time. But, importantly, I don’t want to get burned out. I had thought about just riding and exercising for fun through the rest of the year to gain fitness and skills again — and lose a little weight I’ve gained –then starting training in January. Our state races series has 3-4 races in the spring (end of March through May), then 5-6 more from Aug-October. Do you have recommendation on training plans based on that schedule?
      3. Can you tell me how many hrs/week I can reasonable assume I will ride in the training plans you recommend?

      thanks in advance for your advice.

      • This topic was modified 11 months ago by AvatarMarie.
    • #19937

      Hi Marie,

      Congrats on getting back into racing!

      1. I recommend you keep doing what you have been as you are on a great trajectory right now. Keep having fun and building your bike fitness back gradually. Try adding one day of interval training per week to your routine such as 3 x 4 min fast with 4 min rest or 10 x 1 min fast with 3 min rest.

      2. I recommend you follow our 12-week Masters 40+ Mountain Bike Base Mountain Bike Training Plan followed by our 12-week Masters 40+ Cross Country Mountain Bike Build Peak and Race Mountain Bike Training Plan. Schedule these so week 12 of the second plan falls on the week of your first spring race.

      3. Average weekly training hours are 10.5/week. Rest weeks are 6-7 and highest volume weeks are 12.5 hours. This includes bike, core, yoga and stretching sessions. More details are in the links above.

      Coach Lynda

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