How to look at past events and determine which plan is best

Not sure if this is the right spot to ask a question for the podcast but here we go. I used TR last season and went from 2.5 w/kg to 3.25 w/kg anf had my best Iceman result yet. As I get ready to set up my training plans for 2024 I was curious the best way to look at a race and match that to the best plan. The race is consisted of punch climbs less than 1 minute long, gravel roads and lots of single track. My finish time this year was just over 2 hours, good enough for 10th in my age group! In 2023 I selected the XCM plan. Obviosuly it worked well but with spending the most time in an Anerobic zone over any other would it be better to select a plan that focuses on that more? Always unsure which plans to select as I feel like multiple plans would help in different ways.

Thank you and keep up the great work!

What are your strengths/weaknesses? Physiologically and psychologically?

When you say most of the time was spent anaerobic - are you saying you had more Zone 6 than all others combined? For example 120min race and you had >60min above “VO2max/Z5 power”?

That sounds off to me. I’ve seen my XC files with a-lot of z6 power efforts, however if you look at the sum of TIZ from Z5/VO through Z1 versus TIZ above Z5 its a bit more realistic picture of what you need to train.

Whats the total distribution from last year’s race?

1 Like

I should rephrase, anerobic was the zone I was in most. 25 minutes in anerobic and just over 10 minutes in Vo2 Max, 12 minutes coasting thanks to being in a later wave, 21 minutes active recovery, 17 minutes endurance and less than 10 minutes each in the other zones. The year before I was not in great shape coming off a car accident and throwing my back out and family dealing with Covid around race time.

I will say I was riding with a guy who had some quick twitch that I could not replicate but was able to just stay steady and work my way back every time. Have a few races that are similar on my calendar and just want to optimize my training.

Id say more of an XCO tilt than XC marathon if its a 2hour race.

IMO it doesn’t matter as much which plan you do as long as you’re consistent, and get the volume you need for the race.

I’d look at the plan that will help with your mental toughness for whats hard in the races, and not what physiological effects your trying to achieve - cause thats tougher to control (I mean the studies cited have such small samples - it not like theres 20,000 participants all trained at 8hrs/week and level).

The second thing Id add, and sorry if I’m reading into this wrong, but just learn to race your race over holding a wheel especially f its off road. It sounds like the rider in front of you surging had you surging to hold his wheel. If you’re not a fast twitch guy dont let him blow you up surging. Give him room and drop him on a longer climb or after the apex when he’ll be gassed (Im the explosive guy- so I dread the long climbs). In other words race to your strengths.

  • and practice hard starts if its mtb. Get used to that suck and thinking clearly to get a good position into the first singletrack.

So, basically:
Whatever base you like and can get volume up
Build - stuff thats mentally tough AND specific to the race
Specialty - same

This should create some confidence, and then just race your race, focus on the end, and believe in yourself enough to race your race. Over time thats the way to podiums and the top step.

1 Like

Hey there – awesome to hear about your progress from this last season! :muscle:

I think @CLG212’s advice is great! We recommend training and preparing for the demands of your goal race(s), so if you look back at your power data and notice you’re spending more time in certain zones than in others, that’s valuable information you can use when determining which plan you should choose to follow.

Our XCM plan is meant for long off-road races – usually 3+ hours in duration. Our XCO plan might be a better fit for you if your race is about 2 hours long. You’ll get more anaerobic and VO2 Max work slotted into that plan during the Specialty Phase, which sounds like it might be a better match for your goals.

Hope that helps! Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions. :slight_smile: