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MTB open coaching day recap for June and July 2015

Here is our MTB open coaching day recap for June and July 2015. In addition to training questions we had some great race stories and training successes reported – I love hearing about those!!

We’ll be back again with our next open coaching day the first week in August.


Simona Vincenciova: I raced Mohican 100M last Saturday and doing the Wilmington Whiteface 100k this Sunday. You advised to rest but what does it mean exactly? No riding at all? It’s been raining all week so it has not be horribly hard not to ride but I feel like loosing form by not doing anything. I have been stretching and using the Elevated Legs and by yesterday I felt great even walking up the stairs. What do I do for the rest of the week?

Coach Lynda: Simona, Here is a plan to describe a rest week between hundies: Sunday – Tues off the bike with some light stretching, massage or restorative focused yoga. Wednesday, 45 min easy spin on flat road or trainer. Thursday, 60 min easy MTB ride. Friday, off the bike again with light stretching. Saturday, short pre-ride on course with 3 x 1 min at race pace. Sunday, race. There is no way you are losing. In fact the more recovery you can log and the more fatigue you unload means you are actually gaining performance this week with rest.

Simona Vincenciova: Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that I had a great race at the Wilmington Whiteface 100. My legs and body felt great! Finishing 5th female over all and 3rd in my age group, moving from 8th to 4th corral for Leadville. Thank you!

Coach Lynda: Congrats! That is a huge corral jump. Good luck at Leadville!

Dave Harris: No question here, I want to thank you. First a little story. As you know, after the 2009 race season my body said no more. For unknown reasons, my body could not absorb training anymore, and as a result 7-10 days of any regimen had me sick or injured. This was at odds with my desires – I wanted to ride, and I am a mountain biker above all else! Usually if you’re blown you know it, right?

Fast forward to 2015. My new outlet to share the MTB love is volunteer coaching for the SW Utah Flying Monkeys high school team. I’ve still never committed to more than a day a week mostly because that’s about all I had the capacity for. This year it’s all coming together. You’ve given me a plan that I could actually stick to for 3 months and also kept me on target when I wanted to do too much. For the first time in 5 years weight is dropping, power is rising – and best of all stoke is rising. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you!

Our team’s varsity coach, the legendary Kenny Jones, had a bad cycling accident and now has a healing, broken leg. It was a shock to everyone. He asked me to coach his A team while he heals – at first thought it seemed impossible. These kids are faaaast, some of the fastest in the state. But I had to try, and sure enough it’s not impossible and the first week of practice has been great.

So, if you ever ponder the value of your coaching, look at all the people touched by it in this instance alone. Great coaches make the world a better place.

Coach Lynda: Great story Dave. It’s been rewarding seeing you finally emerge from your deeply over-trained hole and look joyful on the bike again. You still don’t have a free-for-all hall pass tho! I’m watching you wink emoticon Watch out world, DH is on the comeback road.

Beth Vertrees: Hi Lynda. I am a busy mom with 2 younger kids so my riding time is limited. I am not necessarily training for a race, but like to be competitive on group rides and am always looking to climb faster. I can fit in three rides a week so my question is how to get the most bang for my buck on those three rides. Thank you!

Coach Lynda: Beth, Do one long aerobic ride and two high intensity rides each week. If technical ride skills is a limiter for you, drop one of the high intensity rides every other week in favor of a skills development session. Another option is to put the kids in a bike trailer and take them with you – I miss those days!!

Beth Vertrees: Awesome! Thanks so much!

Mike Welch: Hi Lynda, On July 21-23, I will be on day 2,3, and 4 of week 4 of the Masters Build, Peak race program. On those days I will be unable to train as I will be on a fun fishing trip. I could squeeze in a 30 minute core workout or something like that. It s…See More

Coach Lynda: Mike, Flip flop day 2, 3 and 4 of week #3 and week #4. This moves the higher priority sessions to your prior week and the lower priority recovery rides to your fishing trip week. Have fun on your fishing trip, miss out the low priority 3 days of training and bank recovery time instead.

Mike Welch: Perfect, thank you

Mark T Snidero:After 12 weeks of following your excellent 100m 40+ PR plan, my race this Sunday was postponed until Sept 19 due to torrential rain (we have to forge a river 6 times during the race) and trail damage. Super disappointing as I was primed for my A race this season. I’m not sure what I’m going to do at this point. Try to re-peak for Sept 19 or just find another race. If I were to try to re-peak, should I just count back from Sept 19?

Coach Lynda: Mark, that’s a bummer. What race is that? Mother Nature has had her hand on more races than normal this season.
I recommend looking around to see if there is another race you can jump into to spend your peak fitness right now. Then take a short break to recover and re-peak for Sept 19. Yes, count backwards from Sept 19 to schedule your plan.

Mark T Snidero: Patapsco 100. OK…I was thinking of the Breckenridge 100 but I don’t think I can work that out logistically in time. Maybe the week after?

Linda Brumley: Hi Lynda- I’ve been following the Cat 1 program as best I can, and have managed to ride 5-9 hour weeks regularly for months. I was at Cape Cod/NJ for 10 days recently, so I rode 10 hours in 4 days when I had a bike until last Thursday. When I got back Monday and until now, I’ve ridden 3.5 hours total mostly easy with a few pushes, but I’ve been careful so as not to overtrain. I feel energetic, but my legs feel tired. I live at 9100 feet, so maybe my legs got more work in at sea level due to lots of O2. My cardio system is begging to ride, but my legs say hold on now! I have two WP races and the Breck 32 in the next 3 weeks starting 7/11. Any advice? (I’ll get the 40+ program for next year. The Cat 1 may be a bit much for me.)

Coach Lynda: Linda, follow the cue your legs are giving you and keep it easy until they are ready to go. You are spot-on that your muscular system was churning out higher power at sea level than 9.1 k and needs more time to recover.

Linda Brumley: Thanks Lynda. It just didn’t feel that hard at the time, just a whole lot of fun! And the recovery was amazing.

Chris Plesko: Is there a time when you should not foam roll and/or stretch daily if you have time?

Coach Lynda: Daily is wonderful. Same goes for using your Elevated Legs.

Christian Hon: You find there are training methods / nuances / differences that are unique to Clyde riders? I’m usually able to ride with strong riders during hard, 90 minute efforts ( by putting down high power) but it seems like my recovery is much longer than theirs. Does power factor into training the ideal recovery times? My FTP is 388w @ 20 min. Hard question to phrase but hopefully you get the gist. Thanks!

Coach Lynda: Yes. I agree with you that larger riders putting out higher absolute power numbers need more recovery. Also the impacts, G-Forces, rotational forces etc. exerted on your Clyde-sized body are all higher than a rider 100 lb lighter experiences. These factors add to fatigue and increase recovery rates. Small sized and boned athletes in general can adapt to a higher volume training program than larger riders.

Andy Brauthingham: What is the minimum necessary dose of training for a 100 miler? I’ve done a few in the past, but now I have young children, and much less time. Could you get away with riding four hours hard every few weeks, and doing as much intensity as possible at other times? Not looking for a PB – just a finish.

Coach Lynda: Andy, the minimum dose is getting up off the sofa with a large degree of motivation and gutting out the hundie… The more you do beyond that, the better your performance and the easier it will be. One long ride every 3 weeks is totally reasonable while training for a 100 mile MTB race with a goal to finish.

Brittany Mixon: When training for Enduro and super d style racing, how can I add interval training to boost power into a 10 mile mtb ride. Or Would it benefit me to have a 1 mile downhill then climb back up over and over as interval training? I want to maintain endurance but build quick power to easily climb up short sections.

Coach Lynda: On your 10 mile ride, pick up the pace to your target intensity on the climbs for the duration of interval you want. Or do a dedicated interval ride of 10 x 1 min hard pace uphill with 3 min easy after each interval.

Phil Panipinto: I have used your time crunched cat 1 base & race plans and loved them. What would be a good plan for a cat 3 CX season (45min races) that runs from mid October to Christmas. Thanks!

Coach Lynda: Phil, the TIME CRUNCHED Category 1 Cross Country MTB Build, Peak and Race Plan works great for CX

Phil Panipinto: Thank you!

Scott Rider: I am racing in a 100 mile MTB race 7/17. I’m also considering a 6 hour race at the end of June (3 weeks apart). Do you believe the 6 hour race will cost more in recovery time than I will gain in adaptation, or could it benefit my training and performance on the 100M? Thanks

Coach Lynda: 3 weeks apart for 6 hour and 100 miler MTB races is super timing. Peak for the first one then rest and peak again for the second one – with this plan design you will gain performance.

Randy Wegener: I’ve completed several 100 mile, 12 and 24 hr. solo races. Nailing one 24 solo for a 2nd place finish. This year I’ll be tackling the Vapor Trail 125. This is a whole different animal than those previously mentioned races. I also live in the Midwest. I’ve always trained with a 12 week program for a big event. With periods of base, strength & speed, event like intensity, and recovery. First and foremost I want to finish. A good time would be a bonus. What should I do different or what area should I focus most on for an event of this type then I have in the past? I’m estimating a finish of 15+ hours. Obviously equipment and fuel is a whole different discussion.

Coach Lynda: Randy, the one-big-thing you should add to your training for Vapor Trail is hike-a-bike! 15 hours is fast for VT125 and will likely put you in the top 10!

Randy Wegener: I guess I’m thinking optimistically, lol! Thanks for grounding me! Will definitely add hike-a-bike. Have a fire tower near my house where I can shoulder the bike and hit the stairs. How far out from the event would you do the last race? Say a 12 solo or 24 duo. It’s scheduled for August 1st.

Coach Lynda: Randy, racing a 12 hour solo or 24 duo will be great on Aug 1st. That gives you plenty of time to recover and peak for VT125.

Also add some heat adaptation training before VT125. That has been shown to help with altitude acclimatization. Current thinking is this is due to either increased blood volume or some adaptation factor due to exposing the body to another challenging environmental condition.

Randy Wegener: Thanks so much Coach! I assume by heat adaptation training you mean just get out and ride on those steamy days?

Coach Lynda: Randy, exactly. 10 days prior to travelling to altitude is when it will have the greatest effect for you.

Tom Stringer: Hi Lynda, I generally compete in 100km events in Australia and have been using your 100km PR plan. Every 4-6 weeks I join our roadie club for longer training rides – usually 200km, 8hours, 2000metres – .but not within 3 weeks from my A grade events. Being 45 years old, these training rides leave me fatigued for at least 7 days, meaning I miss workouts and intervals prescribed in the plans for at least a week after. Is it good to smash my body like this occasionally, or are these longer rides hindering my prep for 100km events several weeks later because of the missed intervals?

Coach Lynda : Tom, a session that leaves you smashed for a week and unable to train is spending fitness, not building it.

Tom Stringer: Ok thanks a bunch Lynda

Christina Probert Turner:  Hey Lynda; I dug myself a hole, over training on the “base plan”. I ended base training the beginning of May with (felt great) SEA OTTER,(felt great) 70 MILE BWR AND A 50 mile (felt horrible) MTB ride took a week off, than tried to go right into Cat 1 XC Build Peak and race. I can’t seem to get out of this hole I dug myself..I tried to do 3 wks of the plan, power was the lowest ever, took the rest week and went back to the beginning of the plan and still can’t hit good numbers..I almost feel I should go back to base to get out of the over training slump? Any suggestions. Thanks

Coach Lynda: Christina have you had blood work done to check iron and thyroid levels or for mono or another underlying cause for your fatigue?

Christina Probert Turner:  Yeah, thyroid is low.. I am hypothyroid and on meds, did blood work a couple of weeks ago and its low..

Coach Lynda: Christina, low thyroid is a doozy and will kill your recovery speed. Do a 3 day food log on myfitnesspal or fitday and check you are consuming adequate calories. Training while trying to lose weight is one of the fastest ways into a hole. To get out of a hole you need to balance calories. A calorie deficit will keep you in the hole forever. Also look for adequate protein and carb levels in your diet. It is all a fine balance and chronic underfueling with normal training will put you in the hole. Don’t go back to the base plan right now – that is not your answer. Stay in recovery mode until you have normalized your thyroid levels and have your energy level back up to normal. Make SURE you are sleeping as much as you can and at least 8 hours per night and 10 is better. Track this with the SleepCycle app – it is awesome.

Christina Probert Turner: Thx

Stacey Radowicz Holz: Hi Coach Lynda, I have been stacking your 100k finisher and 100 mile finisher plans as I plan for the Leadville 100 MTB. I turn 40 at the end of the year and it has always been a goal to ride Leadville before then smile emoticon I enjoyed the 100k plan as it had some nice long rides up to 7 hours which were a good challenge. Through that plan, I felt stronger and got faster on my long and shorter rides. I am in the 2nd week of the 100 mi plan as the last day is Leadville Race day. I live a just about 300-400 ft frown emoticon but that is where the flatness stops – there are no rides – short or long – that I can do from my house that do not have at least 1000-4000ft of climbing – this is good to prepare for Columbine but when I read the plan …it often says to do a relaxed ride or a flat to gently rolling course and stay in 1-2 – this has been hard to do as I really have nowhere to go but up most of the time in the greater area including a just under 4000 elevation gain mountain – I ride on the trails with my mountain bike most of the time for my training as that is what is fun! Any ideas with that being said and my training grounds for the 100 mi plan ? PS I will be going to Tahoe Trail 100K race in July as well as visiting Leadville early July – thank you and also would be happy to pay for a consult smile emoticon Thanks!

Coach Lynda: Stacey, great to hear you are enjoying our training plan. It is important not to over-do the recovery rides and get over-trained. Options for you are to drop the recovery ride in favor of passive rest, ride a trainer or rollers or drive somewhere flat to train. Email me anytime to schedule a consult.