Mountain bike training plans. Mountain bike coaching.

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MTB open coaching day recap Feb, March and April 2016

Wow, it has been 3 months since I put together a recap of our open coaching days. Here goes. This will be a mega post! Get your popcorn ready.

We do this open mountain bike coaching day the first Thursday every month on our LW Facebook page.  Next one is May 5th. Tune in and chat!

open MTB coaching day Thurs Feb 4th, 2016

Kim Cross: Hi Lynda, I will be starting the 100 Miler PR Plan in about a month for the Mohican 100. While the elevation gain is about 11,000, judging by the elevation profile, there are no really long (>1 mi) sustained climbs but many shorter, steeper grunt climbs. In training for such a race, should I mostly try to mimic the race course elevation profile on my long rides? Would long grinds hinder my performance on this type of course?

Coach Lynda: Kim, definitely put in lots of shorter grunt climbs into your training but it doesn’t have to be every ride. Longer hills are great for training and will build performance, not hinder it. All the short duration intervals are perfect to do up these types of hills. In weeks 7, 9 and 10 of the 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race – Personal Record Plan on day 7 it calls for doing your training ride on a route that mimics the race course. Those are your 3 key long rides to do course specific training. All other endurance rides can be done on your favorite trails and dirt roads.

Kim Cross: Thanks for the reply Lynda, that makes total sense. I have another question. In regards to the same plan, Week 7 day 3 & 4 prescribe hill intervals with a 20 & 15 minute climbs respectively. I can’t get to a climb that long during the week so, do I instead focus on intensity?

Coach Lynda: Yes, exactly, the duration at the target intensity is the priority. You can do these intervals on a flat route with no stops or indoors.

Kim Cross: Excellent. Thanks!

Sarah Councell: Hi Coach Lynda, what are some physical qualifiers you use to determine when you’ve recovered from a race/ training block and are ready to resume training?

Coach Lynda: Good question. There are many indicators of training readiness and you should pay attention to most of them. You are ready to resume training when your weight, appetite, sleep, energy level and resting heart rate are back to normal and you have no muscle soreness. Tracking HRV is another useful tool to indicate training readiness. You should be able to hit your target intensities in your training sessions with the appropriate effort when you are ready. If you are using a power meter you can use the PMC to track your TSB. In most training cycles you are ready when your TSB is positive.

Sarah Councell: I’ve got a couple of endurance races this spring that I’ll be racing as part of a duo- 10 hour and a 12 hour. I’m wondering about pacing. I know what pace I can maintain for about an hour, which is the approx time for each lap, but I’m not sure that I can do that for 5+ laps. I should be able to crush the second race a little harder, as I’m still recovering from a 50-mile race and haven’t built since then (using the Masters PR Plan). I use a HR monitor and PE for self-monitoring. I read your article on racing duo, which was really helpful but I could use more insight into the XC race pace, and am interested in any other thoughts you have on pacing.

Coach Lynda: Sarah. For a 10-hour duo race you will be racing approximately 5 hours or about 50 miles on most courses. A winning strategy is to alternate laps with your partner and keep your glycogen, electrolytes and hydration topped up between each lap. For the first race, pace it exactly as you would a 50 miler. Go out at a sustainable consistent pace with lots of time in HR zone 3 on the climbs. For your second race, assuming about 1 hour laps and racing for 6 hours and alternating laps and where you are more recovered at the start: Pace the first lap at cross-country race pace, then drop to 50 miler race pace for your 2-4 or 5th laps then push it back up to XC race pace for your last lap.

Sarah Councell: LW Coaching Awesome, thank you. So is a XC face pace going “all out”? I haven’t done one of your XC plans so that pacing is a little hazy.

Coach Lynda: Sarah, XC race pace is not all out. XC races last in the range of 1 – 2.5 hours and the pacing strategy for a 1-hour race will differ from a 2.5-hour race. There is not a single defined pacing template to follow as pacing depends on your race strategy, goals, recovery status, recent training and course profile. A XC pace guideline is to maximize HR zone 4 time and dip into zone 5 for short periods that will bring you a strategic advantage such as the start line sprint to an early bottleneck in the course or maintaining speed over short power hills.

Sarah Councell: thanks for the clarification! That gives me a much better framework for these races. Woo hew!

Katherine Houston: Love this concept – With cold and rainy weather, I ride a trainer more in the winter. Does it matter if I have a “program” to follow? Also, is it important to vary my training program on the trainer or can i ride the same one over and over? Thanks smile emoticon

Coach Lynda: That all depends on your goals. What are you training to achieve?

Katherine Houston: I want to make sure that I’m using the trainer to support my mountain biking and increase speed and a little endurance.

Coach Lynda: Katherine, the top priority for you is consistency. Just getting on the trainer frequently and doing something is progressing you towards your goal. With a program to follow and more variety in your training you will make better use of your time and get better results that will transfer over to mountain bike performance outside. Doing the same thing over and over is better than nothing but you will reap more performance gains from your time with increased variety in your program.

Katherine Houston: Thanks! I just saw the mountain bike training plans you and Kim were referring to. May have to invest in those. Appreciate your time and insight

Sarah Parman Stimely: I am 65 years old, and just started mtn biking last April. I try to ride approximately 3-4 times a week on dirt trails, when they are dry. I ride beginner terrain and find that I am lacking stamina for climbing. After a long relatively gentle climb or a short steep climb, I’m very short of breath and my heart rate is very fast. I’m not training for racing, but I really want to improve. What would be some exercises to help me build my stamina for climbing, given my age and short duration in mtn biking? (I’m doing your core exercises, and during this snowy time, spinning twice a week.)

Coach Lynda: Sarah, you rock and are a role model for all us ladies with hopes to be out and loving the trails still when we are in our 60’s! High fives to you. The best way to improve your fitness for climbing hills is to climb hills – it really is that simple. Keep at it and your fitness will increase. Spinning twice per week will help too. Push your pace in spinning for short periods like 1 – 4 minutes then go easy for an equal amount of time to recover and get your breath back. Start with a few of these intervals and build up as your fitness increases. This takes time and patience as it doesn’t happen overnight.

Sarah Parman Stimely: LW Coaching Thanks so much, Lynda – I’ll definitely keep at it!

Nathan Collier: Hi Lynda! I’ve been using your 100 km PR plan for several years with great success! I’m getting old though, and I just can’t make it all the way through weeks 8 & 9 which I lovingly call the Hell Training Block. By the time I get to the last long ride, I’m lucky to get an hour. Is there any of the hard days I can take down a notch? Perhaps stay in zone 2 on the endurance days? Or is the whole point to be dead by the end of the two weeks, and just means I did a good job of destroying myself? Thanks in advance!

Coach Lynda: Nathan, here are the things you can do to take weeks 8 and 9 down a notch in order of priority (1) Replace day 2 with a recovery ride, (2) Drop target power to border of L3/4 on day 4, (3) Cut day 6 in half. You should be good and tired at the end of this training block but not destroyed. Save the destroyed status for after your peak race.
Nathan Collier: Thanks Coach Lynda Wallenfels!

John Karrasch: I have about 8 hours weekly to train and this is split up 3 rides and one 30 minute zone2 run (you suggested these a couple of months ago to keep some ground legs going).
For rides I do one 2 hr mtb ride Thursday, a 3-4 hr mtb Saturday and a 2hr road endurance pace Sunday. Any additional input here? Focus on 50-60 mile mtb races.

Coach Lynda: John, this is a good use of your time. I suggest adding in some core work and stretching to keep your body strong, balanced and healthy. As race time approaches add lots of race pace riding to your Sat ride.

John Karrasch: Thanks Lynda Wallenfels. My current way to get the body work done is 10 min core and hips every morning and foam roll/stretch nightly.
As a quick follow-up I have a feeling my weekly volume (not enough…) puts 100 milers out of reach. Agreed? Pondering what seems to be enough riding to do a couple a year.

Coach Lynda: John, if you can get in a 6 hour ride once every 3 weeks you can race 100 milers on this schedule.

Josh Carter: Hi Lynda. I am planning on using your stage race plan for the 12 weeks before the Breck Epic. I am a little confused on what I should do leading up to that block of training and I would love your input. I will be racing road and MTB in the Spring, should I focus more on XC races, what would be a good plan to follow, etc… thanks

Coach Lynda: Josh, with a little more info I can recommend a plan stack for you. What is your age? What is your goal for Breck Epic? Are you racing single-speed or gears at Breck Epic? XC races are great for training and work well to build speed for BE.

Josh Carter: Hi Lynda, sorry, I didn’t put that in question form really. What should I focus on for spring racing/training to come into the Breck Epic stronger, XC or marathon training? I have both available to me here in Utah and I could plan accordingly depending on what route you think would be most beneficial for summer.

Josh Carter: LW Coaching Sorry, ignore that last post. I am 33 and have been racing category 3 on the road for 10 years and expert/cat 1 XC/marathon for 8 years. I will be racing gears at BE. I need to drop some weight, but I usually do that once I am able to ride more outside, this snowy winter has been rough. My goal for the Breck Epic is to be competitive in the 30-40 age group category.

Coach Lynda: Josh, thx for the clarifications. I recommend you focus on the early season XC races and start on 2/8 with this 12-week Base training plan – Category 1 Cross Country Mountain Bike Base Training Plan. At the end of that plan progress on to the Category 1 Cross Country Mountain Bike Build, Peak and Race Training Plan but only do weeks 1, 2 and 4 for a quick speed training block. 5/2 is 12 weeks to Breck Epic and when you want to start the 7-Day Mountain Bike Stage Race – Personal Record Plan

Lane Myers: Hello Lynda. Thanks for having this format. I got into MTB last August and was hooked. I did a few races. I want to take my training to another level. I’m trying to qualify for Nationals out of Michigan. SS Cat 2. I am coming from an athletic background and BMX so my results were better than my bike fitness because my bike handling was advanced. Stepping up to EESS this year and these guys hammer. We don’t have USAC in Michigan so I can enter elite. I want to race Elite locally so then when I go nationally I can compete in cat 2. I’m not focused on winning this season.
I need to get my fitness to a Cat 1 level but SS. I was thinking do the Cat 1, then ss1, then ss2. My only race I care about results will be June 6-7 when I try to qualify for Nationals. I wanted to race a couple of times a month while still training starting May 1. I’ll be done with Cat 1 and want to race during the SS plans so I can test the techniques in race situations. I don’t necessarily want to train for peaks based on specific races. I just a continual progression all year. Then 2017 make a real calendar and target races. This year I just want to train all year basically. Using races as part of the training plan vs the end game.
I want to do a 100 or two but that would just be off general fitness. Not targeted training. My “big weekend” ride may be Lumberjack or Mohican. Not pushing the pace more just dialing nutrition.

So are the SS plans at a Cat 1 or more level? Or more about drills?
I am looking to start a plan now and be “on a plan” till Iceman. Then do winter and then start of 2017 get coached full-time.
I have cadence, HR, a couple SS bikes, all the cogs. Was thinking about getting a geared road bike I’ve been using a SS on trainer for high rpm spinning.
I am not time crunched, have plenty of hours, have local trails and roads, am already in shape/lean, have experience training. So all the raw materials are there for me to improve. Thank you for any insight and look forward to a couple plans.

Coach Lynda: Lane, I like your goals and focus. I recommend you start now with the 12-week SINGLE SPEED Cross Country Mountain Bike Base Training Plan. Complete all 12 weeks of this plan then progress on to the SINGLE SPEED Cross Country Mountain Bike Build, Peak and Race Training Plan. Again complete all 12 weeks of this plan but do add in extra rest periods before and after races to ensure continued fitness development. The SS plans are at a Cat 1 level with additional SS specific training and drills. Put your head down and follow these 24 weeks of training then connect with me again to reassess your goals and how far you have come.

A geared road bike will be a good training tool. A power meter is another valuable training tool to look at adding.

Lane Myers: Awesome thank you. That’s exactly what I am looking to do. Just grind away all year training while racing. Get all the new racer and new to training gains I can and then attack my weaknesses. Thanks again. I’ll probably check in with you along the way maybe do a phone meeting once I get some weeks under my belt. Thanks again.

Christina Probert Turner: Hey Lynda Wallenfels. Is it possible to mix xc and Enduro racing? I want to do both to train for Downieville in August. Which is a really hard xc race with technical descents.
Dville is not your average xc 1.5 to 2 hr race, it’s 27 miles. What plan do u suggest for it? Thx

Coach Lynda: Christina, XC and Enduro racing go really well together. Both need high power and speed work. The DH skills and speed component needed for Enduro boosts your XC results and the XC speed gives you power for Enduro racing. To train for them both I recommend our cross country training plans, either the Cat 1 plans or the 40+ Masters cross country plans. Start with the Masters 40+ MTB Cross Country Base Training Plan and then progress on to the Masters 40+ MTB Cross Country Build Peak and Race Training Plan

Christina Probert Turner: Thx

Greg Awalt: Lynda, thanks for your time. 50 y/o going for first 50 miler 5/14 will start program 2/22. I would like to race the spring XC season of 8 races which fall in this training period. What’s the best way to do that. I race Sport 45 minute to 1:15 but was thinking about racing Expert for the additional time and distance for training for May. What do you think? I am on schedule with your winter base masters plan now.

Coach Lynda: Greg, look through your training plan and you will see that often on day 6 there is an option to do a race or a training ride with a race pace segment already designed into the plan. Racing expert for the additional time is a good plan. On weeks where you have a race and there is not that option in the training plan you can swap out the day with the previous or following week. If that doesn’t fit then add extra rest days before and after your race to make sure you do not get over trained.

Greg Awalt: Thanks I see that now.

Veda Gerasimek: Hi! I am a competitive jr mountain biker and I’m coming to St. George on Saturday for a few weeks of training. I’d love to ask you about the best training options (paved / dirt roads and trails.) Looking for long gradual climbs, flat / rolling places for tempo, mellow Zone 1 – 2 trails, and epic technical singletrack. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I can’t wait to ride!

Coach Lynda: Veda, we have many trails in St George. Start off at Navajo Drive trailhead and ride Bear Claw Poppy trails and link up Snakepit and Flowmaster. Prospector is good. Barrel Roll, Sidewinder, Suicide and Rim Runner are all must-do trails. Find all of these on Strava or on the MTB Project app or at Utah Mountain Biking 

Mark T Snidero: What’s your take on doing intervals and leg work with weights on the same day and then taking an easy day the next day.

Coach Lynda: Mark, that can work well. Do the intervals first and put at least 4 hours and a meal between riding and doing weights.

Open MTB coaching day

On to March! Here is the discussion on our LW Coaching Facebook page.

Shawn Hansen: Alright, I am(was) training for a marathon and then your mtb base training plan. Unfortunately, almost three weeks I got mono. It stopped me in my tracks. While I’m over the crude, I still deal with the exhaustion. What do you know about mono, and trying to return. My goal was to run this marathon and then focus completely on cycling. Now my goal has changed to running the half marathon instead. I’ve lost three weeks and about 14 lbs. So I have some ground to make up. My overall goal is a much improved time at the Dakota 5-0 in September. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Coach Lynda: Shawn, getting mono is unfortunate and as an athlete it is difficult to know when you are truly recovered. Re-starting training too early can cause the mono to linger for another 6 months to a year at a low-grade. As you are still dealing with exhaustion, you are currently in this non-recovered state. I recommend dropping the half marathon as a goal and taking another 2 weeks on the sofa to really get over this. Drop everything and focus on getting healthy first. Restart training when you jump out of bed in the morning eager to train and can make it to mid-afternoon without feeling exhausted. A 14 lb weight loss is huge for an athlete in 3 weeks!

Shawn Hansen: That’s what I feared. I’ve been riding to work. But that doesn’t cut it mentally. But I understand just getting better is the real goal. Just poor timing as I was getting ready for the season. Thank you so much for the reply.

Lane Myers: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. No silly questions when talking about improving yourself.

Coach Lynda: That’s right!! Thanks Lane!

Bruce Brown: Hi, Lynda. I’m in week 10 of your Cross Country Base Training plan for Masters. When I hit the end of week 12, I was planning on rotating right into the 12 week Masters Build, Peak, and Race 12-week program. Is this the recommended way to stack the plans, or should I take a few days or week between the two plans? TIA

Coach Lynda: Bruce, progress right on to the Masters 40+ MTB Cross Country Build Peak and Race Training Plan without a break. They are designed to be done back-2-back with no break. Happy training!

Mike Welch: Hi Lynda, 1-Just finished Friel’s book “fast after 50” which helped put the masters plans that I have been following into more perspective. I have heard you reference Friel on MTB Radio podcasts so I thought I would check it out. Great read, really enjoyed it as I am a bit of a training geek. 2-Have spent my second winter doing the Winter fitness maintenance plan, I find that any zone 5 work outs to be too fatiguing when I am working my winter job as a ski guide. So I have moved them to overlap onto my weeks off. I work a 2 weeks on , one week off schedule. I just find that the zone 5 work fatigues my legs to much for skiing and I don’t want to overtrain. This approach sound reasonable? 3- I have been asked by a friend to do a Gran Fondo on July 10. This will be a 160KM road ride, not racing, guessing 6-7 hours to complete. It will be just after finishing my masters spring base training plan and will be at the end of week one of my BPR plan. Any thoughts on how I should re-arrange my BPR? Should I just start it a week later after the Fondo is over? My BPR plan is not peaking for a specific event but being used for my CX season. Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions. I know this is a bit of a long post but I have been saving my questions for open coaching day. Appreciate all your knowledge and ideas. Thanks Mike

Coach Lynda: Mike, rearranging your schedule to avoid over-training is a good plan. Doing your Gran Fondo after the Base plan is good timing. Push back the start date of your Masters 40+ MTB Cross Country Build Peak and Race Training Plan to after your Gran Fondo. You may want to add a rest week after your Gran Fondo if you ride it hard.

Mike Welch: Perfect, Thanks Lynda

Nicole Gunton: Hi Lynda, I am in the middle of your 100k Mtb PR plan and for the race I’m doing the past year’s top times (for women) are right around 6 hours, the longest rides you have on this plan is 5 hours, should I be bumping up the ride time on the long rides?

Coach Lynda: Nicole, I recommend sticking to the plan and focusing on hitting your target intensities and the quality component of the training plan. This is where your performance improvements will come from. A 5-hour ride is perfect as your longest ride to prepare for a 6-hour race.

Luis Rosa Colon: Hello Lynda. I’m training mostly to complete in XC events around 1.5 to 1.75 duration but I’m also have an interest for some Endurance events like a 100k in Wilmington Whiteface NY. How I can combine a training that takes care of both short intense races and long endurance events.

Coach Lynda: To train for both XC and Endurance racing I like to have my athletes on a 3-week training cycle. Week 1 is XC focused with VO2max, threshold and race specific workouts like start practice and short tracks. Week #2 is more endurance focused with more volume, less intensity and the week ending with the longest ride of the training block. Week #3 is a rest week.

Josh Carter: Hi Lynda. I am currently following the Cat 1 build peak race program. I have a question regarding the weekly schedule. Is it okay to mix up the days/workouts depending on my schedule throughout the week? Still hitting all the sessions, just not in the order laid out in the plan.

Coach Lynda: Josh, yes it is ok to change the order of the workouts in non-race weeks. When you have a race week, the order is more important. Do your best to stick to the order in race weeks so you land on race day fresh, peaked and race ready.

Mark Wellsted: Hi Lynda, I have to sometimes split the longer rides, 5hr+ rides split into am/ pm. What is your recommendation for intensity, as the shorter rides could be working on muscular force not muscular endurance? Thanks Mark

Coach Lynda: When splitting up a 5 hour ride into am/pm, aim to match the intensity on both rides to the original target goal.

Mark Wellsted: Thanks Lynda, it’s great having this each month.

Chris EchoHawk: What races would you recommend as a first 100 mile race to a fairly new Masters racer who has completed four 50 mile races over the last two years?

Coach Lynda: Chris, where are you located? Any of the National Ultra Endurance Mountain Bike Race Series events are top quality.

Chris EchoHawk: I’m in Santa Fe, NM, so races in the four corners states are easiest to reach. I entered the Leadville 100 lottery, but did not get in. I am looking at the Breckenridge 100 and BarnBurner 104, but have no experience with either and don’t know what else might be out there. Have been training for three months indoors so far (TrainerRoad) for a base, ready to build. Currently entered in the Whiskey 50, Hundito 50, and Steamboat Stinger 50.

Coach Lynda: Breck 100 is maybe the hardest hundie out there so not a great one to start out with. Barnburner is a great event for you and a good stepping stone to qualify for Leadville Trail 100. Look at the events put on my Zia Rides in NM. They are timed raced. Doing a 12-hour solo race is a great way to get your first off-road century under your belt. Look through the Mountain Bike Radio endurance race calendar to find other events


open MTB coaching day

Here is April!

Luis Rosa Colon: Good morning Lynda I’m in my second week of some specialty Off-road training mostly indoors since here in the eastern side the winter just came back, I had a my first XC race schedule for the 17th of April I should approach this race since I will not peak later in a few weeks more?

Coach Lynda: Luis, to train through an early season race you are not peaking for, approach it like any other key hard workout on your plan. Take a day off 2 days before the race and the day before the race do a short easy spin with 3 x 1 min power L5 opener intervals. Push hard in the race. The day after the race is good for a lower intensity endurance day or another rest day.

Luis Rosa Colon: Lynda, another question, I will be peaking around last week of May. Time to an Endurance race Wilmington Whiteface 100k. The first race I referred in my previous question have the option of a 4 hours Endurance race. I need to make a decision if go for a higher intensity XC race or a long 4 hrs Endurance race. Mostly my concern is would be ok to do a long race as my first race of the season!

Coach Lynda: If this practice race falls within the middle of a training block, do the XC distance and focus on intensity. If it falls at the end of a training block and is immediately followed by a rest week, do the 4-hour endurance distance.

Luis Rosa Colon: Thanks!

Mark Gabot: Tips for racing in the rain or muddy conditions?

Coach Lynda: Ah that is a good question and I would love input from other athletes to hear their tips. Here are some of mine: Use lock on grips and mud tires. Put a crud catcher on your down tube. These do a great job of keeping the mud out of your eyes that gets fired up from your front wheel. You can DIY one from a plastic bottle and zip tie it on there. If it is a less tech course a fender on the rear can work too. If it is going to be cold, dress appropriately. Forget about staying dry. Just get soaked and then change as soon as you are finished.

Dave Harris: A liberal use Pam non-stick spray, especially on tire sidewalls, helps keep from collecting a lot of mud weight. Don’t spray your rotors though! Also, if it’s cold a shower cap on the helmet will keep you a bit warmer. Questionable style, but it works.

Dave Byers: Carry a 1″ wide plastic paint scraper in your jersey pocket to use to scrape mud from your frame/wheels…this works much better than looking for a random stick along the side of the trail.

Adam Lisonbee: Single speed! Be mindful of mud gumming up your drivetrain and ripping off your hanger and turning your 11 speed into a one speed. Also, just have fun with the crappy conditions. Nothing you can do to change the weather, so may as well enjoy being out there!

Libby Felts James: Hi Lynda! I’ve heard a lot lately that in the absence of a power meter, RPE is more accurate than a heart rate monitor. Sweet, I get to ditch the HRM! But do I still need to do a field test to establish zones? Or should I work with both HR and RPE? If I don’t do a field test, what should I replace that workout with early in a training plan? Thanks!

Coach Lynda: HR, PE and power are all useful training metrics. Using PE and HR together is a good combo. I don’t recommend ditching the heart rate monitor. PE is famously unreliable when you are full of caffeine or excitement at the start of a race. Yes, still do a field test to establish your zones and set a performance benchmark.

There are two reasons to conduct performance field tests: (1) To set a performance benchmark. After future tests you can compare performance benchmark data to check you are improving or see if you are not improving and need to make changes to your training plan. Keeping tabs on performance benchmarks gives a good reality check. Maximum distance ridden or average power output over a specific duration are a standard metrics to track. (2) To set training zones to follow during workouts.

Libby Felts James: Awesome, thanks!

Luke Hurley: Hi Lynda. Since starting back up in the late fall i have increased my power at threshold by about 40 watts. Thanks. This was started early for getting a good start to the season only to get bronchitis this week, before the first race of the season. Oh well! I noticed at this point in my training my on weeks are structured with 3×3 z5 intervals on Tuesday and 3×15 z4 intervals on Thursday. Now that the trails are drying out here I like to put in a good effort ride for 1.-2 hours on Thursday before races on Sunday. Would that suffice to change the 3×15 intervals or a hard XC ride, or should I switch Tues for Thurs and still get the longer intervals in? Thanks. And unrelated, but always curious. Why do pro XC racers go for long rides when the world cup races don’t tend to be much longer than about 1.5 hours for XC. is it because they simply can because they’re bionic, or does it benefit them at all?

Coach Lynda: Congrats on increasing your power at threshold by about 40 watts! That is a lot! With a power meter on board you can track your time at a specific power level during a workout. Calculate what the demands of the scheduled interval session are and match that in your XC ride. Stick to the plan timing as far as your Tue/Thur goals.
Pros have the time to do long rides to develop their aerobic efficiency.

Bill Morris: Hey Lynda. I coming up from AZ to your area to race Frog Hollow this next weekend. I’ve been riding about 10-15 hours for the past 6 weeks. Gonna drive up Fri and do an easy lap. What kind of training should I do leading up to it on Mon thru Th Thx Bill

Coach Lynda: Bill, what to do in race week depends on what you have been doing the prior 6 weeks. If you are currently tired, then resting will be of most benefit. If you did a rest week last week, then openers and some short race pace efforts are best. Thurs should be a day off and Fri a pre-ride for a Saturday race.

Bill Morris: Thx a bunch

Luis Rosa Colon: Lynda, what would be the rule of thumb when conducting an assessment indoors, on cadence, speed gears and duration?

Coach Lynda: What are you assessing?

Tanya Hanham: Hi Lynda, if you have a very limited time to train, say 5 hours per week, how much of that should be high intensity?

Coach Lynda: If you can split that 5 hours up into 1 x 2 hour ride and 3 x 1 hour rides, I recommend focusing on intensity during each of the 1 hour rides. During the 2 hour ride focus on skills and aerobic base.

Gary Meyer: Hi Lynda, I find when I have high intensity intervals, like 4 sets of 5×1, in the plan that night when I try to sleep it’s like I drank a quad shot espresso! I’ve tried doing the intervals early in the day but the results are the same my mind is just flying. Any Ideas? Thanks

Coach Lynda: Trouble sleeping after a high intensity training session in the evening is common. Most athletes can fix that by switching to early morning sessions. Other than prescription sleep meds, the best thing for slowing the body and mind down and encouraging sleep is a meditation practice before bed. Avoiding screen time and white lights is helpful too. Meditation has been the magic that worked for many athletes.

Gary Meyer: Second question. On days with long sustained hill climbs or quite often on weight training days as I stretch and roll my legs out I see little tiny twitches I don’t really feel. Then late at night I weak up with an odd feeling in my legs, not cramps more like energy moving around. I’ll get up and stretch and see the same little twitches going on. Is this a sign I’m in need of ?? I take magnesium, vit D3, C, Multi , glutamine. Thanks

Coach Lynda: Straight up answer is I don’t know!! In fact, nobody knows exactly what causes twitches and cramps in the body! The most likely answer for you is dehydration or over-hydration. Many dietary factors have been indicated too. Trial and error is the best way to find if your body is lacking a certain mineral. Some theories link twitches and cramping to over-stimulation or exhaustion of neural pathways and meditation might be your answer (again!)

Sports nutrition expert Kelli Myers Jennings with Apex Nutrition, LLC might comment with more nutrition insight on this post if we are lucky (Hi Kelli!!)

Gary Meyer: Thanks! I did have better luck this week by meditating/relaxing for a while before going to bed.

Kelli Jennings: Apex Nutrition. @Gary Meyer – alright, I’m only about a week late here:). Sorry for the delay. These could be related to many things. If you feel like you’re well hydrated, my best guess would be low sodium, magnesium OR neural pathway mechanisms. My recommendations are 1) make sure you’re getting the full 400-700 mg sodium per hour when training 90+ minutes. If shorter, and esp if it’s hot outside, use an electrolyte drink like NUUN or get in some sodium with recovery. Mag: I recommend a full 400 mg per day during the on-season, taken in 2 doses of 200 mg each. You can also try one of the dermal-absorption sprays like life-flo (found on amazon) and spray on legs before bed. Neural: Although the mechanism is unknown, vinegar can help a lot here. Try this drink before bed OR try 1-2 oz. pickle juice. The vinegar actually works on the nerve level as soon as it hits your mouth, and the effects last for several hours. Taking diluted vinegar before bed is often recommended for anyone with cramps, twitches etc during the night. You can do all of these together, they are all good for you during on-season training smile emoticon I hope they help.

Coach Lynda: Kelli, Awesome info – thanks! Better late than never!!

Coach Lynda: Gary Meyer, Kelli posted some great nutrition info!

Gary Meyer: Apex Nutrition, LLC Thanks Kelli and Lynda. I have been doing everything including the raw apple cider vinegar before be and when I get up. On Intense training days and long days that are not (CS) training days I use Spiz which has the needed sodium On Convenience Store (CS) training days 😉 I take Hammer Endurolytes. After your post above, I got to thinking about the rest of my diet. I rarely salt my meals and use salt sparingly when cooking. Since we cook almost all our meals I was wondering is this is where my short fall of sodium maybe. This last week I have been taking one Endurolyte before bed and the leg crawlies have almost completely gone away. Definitely not preventing sleep or waking me up! Thank You!!!

Kelli Myers Jennings: Gary Meyer that’s awesome! Thanks for the follow-up report 🙂 take care!

Joseph Higginbotham: Hi Lynda! I’ve been using your 50-mile finisher plan and am currently on week 9. Love the plan! During my long rides it is incredibly difficult for me to keep my HR in zone 2, I’m typically zone 3+ for the duration of the ride, which makes me extremely tired the rest of the day (wife says zombie-like). My question is, do I need to find a trail that allows me to keep a more consistent zone 2 or should I continue to ride a trail that I think is similar to my race course? Whiskey 30 is the course.

Coach Lynda: Glad to hear you love the plan. On the days where the training plan calls for you to ride a “race course-like route” follow a course similar to Whiskey 30 and allow your HR to ride up a zone when necessary. On other days choose a route that allows you to keep your HR in the prescribed training zones.

Joseph Higginbotham: Excellent, thanks Lynda!