I would be interested to know what combination of training plans people are using for Gravity Enduro and what other training they do to compliment it.
After a work and injury interrupted year I have hit the reset button for next year and have started again doing by a base phase. At the start of the year I was doing a short power build phase but I was finding I was struggling to be full gas for a stage so this time around I will doing the sustained power build phase.
What is your plan combo and how has it helped your enduro racing?
I’ve personally used SSB in the offseason to train for Enduro and other forms of gravity racing, and then supplemented it with a lot of outdoor riding. @Bryce, our other Community Manager, successfully raced a pro XC and Enduro season back to back by using TR and could probably weigh in here with some more personal anecdotes.
We generally recommend a SSB - General Build - Gravity plan progression for this type of goal. You can see the different Gravity volume options here: https://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/plans/category/49-off-road
The Gravity High Volume plan has enough of the longer-work stuff that you should be ready for multi-day enduros or even long XC races:
higher-volume options for riders looking to dominate their events through superior fitness or even mix their racing styles to include longer endurance events.
Last year I did SSB, Short Power Build and the Gravity Plan (mostly low volume except for first session of SSB did mid-volume). I finished Gravity right around my first big race of the year and came out of the gates strong, fitness was at an all time high and it paid off for enduro. It was a race with roughly 4,500’ of climbing and I felt strong on transitions and was able to go full gas all day (roughly 25 minutes of racing) to win my class. No doubt that this formula will have you ready to go for the first / A race of your season.
Where things get more complicated is maintaining that level of fitness. The tough part with enduro is maintaining a balance between fitness and skills / outdoor rides. After my first race, I did a few gravity workouts per week and fitness felt on par for the next race in mid-June. Following this race, things declined. The series transitioned more towards bike park racing / lift-assisted stages and so did my riding. I did a TR ride per week focusing on peak power and didn’t focus enough on my aerobic base. I felt it big time on stages and ran out of gas. My ability to push hard through stages felt non-existent.
Currently working on a plan for next year. I think I’ll go through the same off-season training, likely low volume again, to allow time for skiing and outdoor rides. First race again next year is Memorial Day then from that point, I think I may focus more on just riding. The race season has something usually every week or two and I have no problem pushing pretty hard outdoors. Maybe throw in some road riding / xc racing, big days on the bike and try to keep a good base level of ~10 hours / week of riding which usually does the trick for me.
Don’t forget in the winter to supplement indoor riding with strength training. While the fitness aspect from TR is great, you’ll need more than strong legs and lungs.
Thanks for the feedback @larry, I’ll look at doing the General Build over the Sustained Power Build. Any tips on training between events? Our season has an enduro event every 4(ish) weeks and I was thinking to do the first two weeks as a general ride (something like Base/General Build/Sustained Power Build) and then doing two weeks of workouts from the Gravity plan.
Congrats on the win @jgaube !! Yeah the fitness through the season is another question, we generally have about 4 weeks between events but the season goes for almost 10 months so I was looking at doing a few weeks as a general ride (base/general build) so there is some recovery and then a few weeks of sessions from the gravity plan to get ready for race days again.
You mentioned 10 hours of riding per week, is that just on the mtb or is that in total (mtb, road/xc and TR sessions)?
I’m interested in this same topic. It’s the main reason why I went with Trainer Road. I noticed that even though I rode my trail bike outside all summer long almost everyday, i would just end up looking for new lines, fun gap sections, hucks, etc… never paid attention to power, cadence, nothing. I really did start to notice myself not making much progress physically and just stayed kind of stagnant. So my plan was to do the SSB, SPB and then Gravity specific. I’m going to do the low volume, because I still like to ride outside, so I’m going to try to do that as much as possible. Also, outside of the bike, I do a lot of power yoga for strength and flexibility.
Yeah, some of these enduro series seasons are quite long. You can look at finishing the specialty plan a little later, perhaps mid-season or so. Additionally, you can repeat weeks 7-8 of the specialty plan indefinitely as a kind of “maintenance” phase, or ‘rebuild’ by repeating the Build>Specialty progression.
We touch on that a little bit here: https://support.trainerroad.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001766351-Re-build-Off-season-or-Maintenance-for-Your-Fastest-Season
Awesome insight here.
This aligns with my enduro off-season training plan for the season.
I am doing SSB Mid -> General Build high -> Gravity High which leads my into may for outdoor season.
Than i plan on throwing in a sustained build plan at mid volume to tune in some longer power leading into June race season.
Unfortunately at this time, I am just too darn broke to afford 1. a subscription to TR and 2. a smart trainer to go with it (combining a new born child with university will do this to a man). As of now I rely on outdoor rides, in which I try to simulate enduro stages/liaisons races (slow steady climbing at a easy exertion for at least 30-60 minutes consecutively for approximately 2.5 hours), with a day of high intensity sprints (6x90sec @ 115% FTP followed by 3x5min @85-95% FTP), a day of sweet spot work (3x20min @85% FTP with 4min rest) and three strength training days. I would consider my offseason training program very structured. I have determined my FTP by completing a ramp test on a stationary bike, at my local gym (it reads out wattage). I ensure that any indoor rides are completed on the same bike every time, to ensure accurate results.
My primary goal is to increase overall endurance, to make it through a multi day staged enduro race. Am I on the right track with regards to my on-bike training? Should I add in a recovery ride throughout the week as well as I currently have a rest day that only includes stretching (30-90 min @ 45% FTP)? Should I focus more on sweet spot work and remove the one day of sprints until I get closer to the events?
Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I do understand that as a “non-member” of TR, at this time, they are not benefitting form me (once my budget allows for a smart trainer/account I am for sure getting started with TR), therefore respect if people are not willing to answer in great detail. However, any information is greatly appreciated.
@Chase_McLeod, One quick note. You do not need a smart trainer to train effectively. A simple standard (dumb) trainer is plenty good.
An extended option is to use Virtual Power in the TrainerRoad app. I know you said you don’t have the funds for it, but just wanted to mention it as an option. It converts the speed information from a sensor, and a known power curve from the trainer into essentially a virtual power meter. It allows for consistent training.
@mcneese.chad this is great! I will need to look into this, deeper. I really appreciate the help.
I’m in a good situation. For some reason I miscounted when I needed to start my off-season training plan. Once I complete Gravity Specialty Phase, I’ll have 4 weeks before my first race. Any ideas on what to do for those four weeks? My thought was to copy the last four weeks of Gravity LV as it has some tapering workouts in there as well. I figured others would have some insight on what has worked for them.
I should take a second to thank you @mcneese.chad. I took your advice for a trainer and absolutely love it!!
Right on, glad to have helped.