Question for everyone on here, i race 6-8 events throughout the year(Marathon MountainBike 3-6hours). Last year i did not follow a plan and just built in SST work and sustained power work through out the entire year. Did have a 3 month break in between events during the summer so i did lower my volume and took some much needed rest during that time period while still maintaining my FTP and time on the bike just at a lower effort. Do any of you have any shared experiences with this type of schedule? Any recommendations to enhance the training?
I also would test my FTP about every 6 weeks to make sure i was hitting the numbers i needed to always be improving.
Our recommended training progression for XC Marathon Racers is:
Sweet Spot Base
Sustained Power Build
Marathon XC Specialty
It sounds like you may have a pretty long season, so you may need to do a re-build after completing the first Base/Build/Specialty progression. A re-build will look like this:
Sustained Power Build
Marathon XC Specialty
You will want to plan your season such that you finish the Specialty Plans leading up to your most important events if at all possible. These will be considered your “A” races. To plan out your season, add your races into your Calendar as A, B and C races to help prioritize and see how they fit with one another. Keep in mind that you’ll have a maximum of 2 A races in most cases. This will give you an idea of how they will fit with your Base/Build/Specialty/Re-build progression. Then, you can add your training plans to your calendar to plan out your season
Bryce thanks for the input. I was actually looking at that as a possibility. Would something like the low volume sst plan be good if i use 2 days a week to ride outside? I like training 5 days a week and was contemplating the low volume plan, then doing a short 1 hour recovery ride 1 day and also a mid length ride(2-3) hours on the other weekend day. Here in the southeast i like to stay outside atleast a couple days a week. However i always do my interval workouts on my trainer. My outdoor rides are generally recovery and bike handling and a good low Z3 ride. Thanks for the input.
Looking at Echo workouts vs a workout like Augusta. Both sweetspot/High Z3 workouts what are the differences? I feel like if I do both workouts at equal time, I get more benefit from echo. Is this normal? Is echo a great workout for sustained power athletes such as a marathon mountain biker?
Echo and Augusta are very different workouts that are intended to work different energy systems. Echo is a tempo workout (less intense than sweet spot) while Augusta is a threshold workout (more intense than sweet spot). In general, Augusta has a much higher TSS in the same period of time, which means that it will have a higher training stimulus.
There is a time and place for both types of workouts, and the Training Plans are designed to incorporate both types of stimulus in order to build you into a stronger racer.
In other words, one is not neccessarily better than another. They both serve to improve different energy systems and improve your fitness in different ways.
I’m not Bryce but that’s not gonna stop me from putting in my 2cents . I think you’re correct in thinking MV is the appropriate TSS level. It’s easier to do outdoor rides as a substitute for TR workouts in MV then to add rides to the LV plan. At least with MV you’ll know the intended intensity for the day and you can try to mimic that outdoors if you like.
Ok so I have set the mid volume to my calendar. I know I will remove the short recovery ride and replace it with 1 hour on the trails at a z2/low Z3 effort. Having a hard time figuring out the other ride to drop and replace with a 2-3 hour ride outside.l as I discussed towards the beginning of the thread. Any recommendations?? I actually have a really good base coming into this plan so I am doing as TR recommends and starting at mid volume ssb1 anyways, or should I start at mid volume ssb2 and move on from there?
Starting with SSB I is always our recommendation unless you have been doing structured Base Training for 6+ weeks. Having a solid and structured base is always a great time investment.
As for dropping a ride to replace it with a 2-3 hour outdoor ride, I would recommend dropping the 1:30 Sunday Sweet Spot workout. This is the closest equivalent to a 2-3 hour outdoor endurance ride. You definitely do not want to skip the Saturday over-under workout, as that is one of the most productive structured workouts of the week.
Question- i came from having some knee pain, both knees, from a bad fit on my bike. That has been rectified now but i still havent gotten fully over the pain. My A race is last weekend April and will take 2 weeks off the bike after that race. Is there any type of workout i should give up to take some strain off my knees or is it safe going all in on the workouts? My pain was more than likely tendinitis or some form of overuse. I ice, stretch constantly, do body weight leg exercises twice a week to prevent imbalances, do extended warmups and cooldowns, and maintain a little higher cadence. I know the right thing to do is rest and i have seen Nates post on knee problems, and to be honest, my A race is just the fact that i want to finish it. I have zero intentions on a podium spot. I do it purely for enjoyment.
I have to be honest Mike, this isn’t really in my wheelhouse. In almost all situations, we advise against training with any kind of knee pain whatsoever just to be on the safe side. I would recommend working with a physical therapist to determine the precise cause of your pain, and monitor your healing to determine when it is safe to train again.
As a general rule, you will likely experience less pain on lower intensity rides, so if you can do Sweet Spot without pain, but Threshold hurts, then stick to Sweet Spot. Use your pain as a guide to determine how much your body is able to handle at this time.
We have some extensive discussion regarding knee pain in this thread, as well as some workouts and best practices to alleviate the pain. I think you will find most of what you are looking for by reading through this thread:
Best of luck with your recovery, feel free to reach out if you have any further questions.
to clarify i have zero pain while on the bike. its really soreness following the workout late in the day and the next. But a good warmup always loosens me up to where i am soreness free during a ride or workout.
Hmm, I would still probably recommend seeing a Physical Therapist to be sure you’re not doing any damage.
If that is out of the question, I would recommend starting our easy with some strictly Sweet Spot work, and slowly progressing in intensity from week to week and pay close attention to any worsening of your pain symptoms. And definitely stay away fromthe low cadence drills .
Sorry I don’t have more concrete advice for you, but without a thorough examination from a PT I can’t fully understand the nature of your injury, and my advice will always err on the safe side.
Thanks Bryce. I have a training plan question. I am doing the MVSSB and I am dropping the recovery workout for the same type just outside. . I noticed today on my ride that this plan is working. My overall pace is up already but I have a concern. The punchy 2-3 min climbs. I know once I get to sustain power build there will be some 3 minute Vo2 work but would it be acceptable to work that in now if I kept the TSS close or should I stay easy from that?