Mountain bike racing at the 100-mile distance is not an easy task, no matter how you look at it. Depending on the course, only the best riders can expect to be under the 10-hour mark. For other courses, it takes a very strong rider to be under the 12-hour mark.
You are aiming for the 100-mile distance and you need to accomplish the mission with a minimal amount of weekly training time. Because your training time is limited, you need structure. You need a plan of attack.
Before beginning this plan, you are riding consistently and doing between five and six hours of training each week. Your long ride is around two hours long and it includes some intensity as well as hill riding. At least one other ride during the week contains some intensity. That ride can be an indoor spinning class.
If your current fitness does not meet the description above, begin your training journey by following the Level I Cyclist Foundation Training plan found on the page link above, prior to this plan. After the last week of the Preparation plan, begin with Week 1 of this plan.
During the week, you are limited to an hour of training on three days. You need two days off for other activities. Additionally, you do not have time to commute to a mountain course, so the training needs to be on an indoor trainer, spin class or a road bike.
Your goal is to comfortably complete a 100-mile mountain bike race. While you want to ride in a time that is as fast as possible, you realize you are restricted for training time. You want the best time, given your limited training time.
THE PLAN OVERVIEW
The plan begins with two, four-week cycles. This means three weeks of building volume, then a week of rest. As training volume increases, you move to two, three-week cycles to help improve recovery. The final three weeks include decreased volume so you can be fully prepared for race day.
Monday workouts are either easy rides, skills rides or form workouts. If you are currently doing a strength training program and want to keep strength training as part of your training, continue that program on Mondays. You may find you need to reduce the weights, sets, repetitions or some combination of all to keep strength training from negatively affecting your cycling.
If you are not currently strength training, but want to add a routine, see the General Instruction Documents for a description of the SM phase of training and use that phase throughout the plan. Begin with very light weights and work your way into slightly heavier weights as the program progresses. There is no need to lift weights that are very heavy during this plan.
Tuesday and Thursday are days off. You may have to adjust the days off to better suit your personal needs.
Wednesday workouts are typically interval sessions. You need to be rested for these workouts to get the most out of them.
Friday workouts change some throughout the program, but stay below the one-hour limit that you need.
Saturday workouts are for mountain bike skills and building endurance. Combined with a long ride on Sunday, this two-day combination packs a punch to build your overall race endurance.
The Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday workout combination gives you four solid days of riding.
On the long weekend rides, be certain you are working on your nutritional strategy for race day. Iron out any equipment choices prior to Week 12 so you have time to do final testing before race day.
Find the supporting documents you need to help you with this plan accessable as free downloads at this link.