Mountain bike racing at the 100-mile distance is increasingly more popular. Some courses are near sea level and others begin at over 10,000 feet and go up from there. One course might be very technical while another course has minimal technical sections. Some courses have check points and time cuts that are generous, others do not.
No matter the specifics of the course, you are competitive and want a fast race finish. This training plan is written for a cyclist that is currently fit and is looking for a solid performance at a 100-mile mountain bike race.
Find the supporting documents you need to help you with this plan accessable as free downloads at this link.
Before beginning this plan, you are training approximately nine hours per week. You are riding two long rides each week. One ride is around two hours long and the second one is roughly three hours in length.
You are riding two or three other weekday rides that are an hour each. You may or may not be strength training.
This plan is designed to follow the Level II Foundation Fitness training plan found on on this main page.
After completing 18 weeks of that plan, you can move directly into the plan in this chapter. That combination provides you with 32 weeks of training.
Due to the volume of training necessary to complete this plan you will need to focus on recovery as much as you focus on accomplishing the training. Improved performance is accompanied by recovery techniques and high density nutrition. In summary, in addition to completing the training sessions, you need to get adequate rest and eat nutritious foods that fuel a high performance body. Be sure to read the supporting document on my main page that covers nutrition.
Your goal is to ride a 100-mile mountain bike race in a personal best time. This competitive goal is more than just completing the event, it is competing at the event. The competition may be for a spot on the podium or to beat a past personal record (PR). You want a new PR.
THE PLAN OVERVIEW
The plan begins with a four-week cycle. This means three weeks of building volume, then a week of rest. The first block of training is followed by a three-week cycle, with overall training volume continuing to build. After a rest week in Week 7, the training volume in Week 8 jumps up significantly to 22 hours. This plan uses a “crash” training week where volume and intensity is increased far beyond normal training. Crash training is effective only if the cyclist is rested going into the high volume week and recovers the week following the training.
A crash training week can give you a significant boost to your fitness and can be accomplished by participating in an organized bicycle tour or riding the hours on your own. If you are unable to do all of the hours shown on the plan, I will give you tips on how to modify the training.
Monday workouts are shown as strength training. If you are currently doing a strength training program, you can 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 begin a routine, see the supporting documents on my main page for a description of the SM phase of training. Plan to 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.
Another option is to take Monday as a day off, rather than strength train.