Training plan recommendations - Short track & BC Bike Race

I need help or recommendations/comments on my training plan. I am training at the moment for my B event, short track xc series that will consist of 6 races once a week for 6 weeks. Each race should be sub 40min likely 30min, very short climbs, flat, tight, crowded aggressive field. Starting April 30th ending early June.

My A event is BC Bike Race, July 2nd-10th.

My current plan is:
Just finished Base
Build: Short Power (mid-volume, started today)
Specialty: Short Track XC - ending April 30th (mid-volume, peaking right at XCC series start)
Specialty: Cross County Marathon - ending June 28th (low-volume w/ taper week)

Is this too focused on short track, should I make changes to these blocks to accommodate BC bike race in July? I will have roughly 8 weeks, from the end of Specialty Short Track & start of XCC series, to fit in an almost full specialty cross country marathon series low volume while I race XCC series.

I am usually a cross country rider so XCC is new to me, which is why I feel I am focusing on it too much. I live in CO, I can get quality long days with climbs in during those 8 weeks before BC.

Thoughts on this plan? Any recommendations or thoughts from experience? Should I swap my Build or specialty stages?

I haven’t done BC bike race, but given it is a 6(?) day stage race instead of a one day XC marathon, I would think at least a general build would be a better choice. It will help build more aerobic capacity and lasting power.

I race some short track in the summer and CX in the fall and my n=1 experience is if I focus too much on short power efforts too early in the year it gets difficult to maintain volume later in my CX season.

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I would have planned it all for BC, and just fit the short track races as intense workouts. General build or even sustained power build with marathon XC speciality.

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That sounds better, that is what I have been thinking. I think I am hung up on being unfamiliar with short track. I will switch to General Build. I am curious with my extra 8 Weeks after specialty? Any thoughts on that?

Thanks that is helpful, I am switching to General for my Build. Then I will relook at my specialties when they get closer and see how I am feeling on the bike.

@bal8419 @stefanf curious if you have any thoughts on this:

Our data shows that athletes with extra time who fall in the Advanced category gain the most by prioritizing the Build Phase of training.

Makes me think I should do something like:
Short Power Build MV
Sustained Power Build MV
XC Marathon LV (while racing XCC) peaking the week before BC

Of double up on specialties like previously but with general build instead, since specialties are designed to get you race specific ready.

The BC Bike Race is a fantastic choice. However, I don’t think you want to do two specialties. I would recommend changing your short-track races to C races. Maybe pick one that you would want as a B race. Essentially, they will replace workouts, but you won’t taper or adjust your plan otherwise. .

You’re focus needs to be on developing the sustained power needed for the BC Bike Race. I’ve never done it, but I had a friend who did it. He said it was really hard, and this guy is a beast. He said it is like doing the old Test of Metal Race (5 hour race) six days in a row.

Just my thoughts.

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@CaptainEndo Thanks for the insight, so helpful. I think you’re right. I am starting to lean maybe switching my build phase to Sustained Power now, I am on my first two days of General build so wouldn’t cause issues. If I do XC marathon specialty I will finish that with 8 weeks until BC Bike Race. Any thoughts on what I should fill that time with?

I’m a Cat 1/Expert XCO and MTB 100s racer. From my experience and after using a power meter on my MTB, I don’t think Sustained Power is a good fit for races on singletrack. Sustained power increases your ability to maintain near threshold efforts for a “longer” duration. However, these events have very little, less than 15%, in that zone. This is somewhat course dependent, but usually you either need power, lots of it, or you don’t (z2). Unless you have plenty of sustained climbs over 15-20 mins in your event, think Leadville, you’re likely better off with General Build. General Build is a nice mix of short and longer demands and has served me well in the past. This allows you to punch and recover over and over again, which is usually how these races go.

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The new recommendation with plan builder is to sequence base 1 - build - base 2 - build - … -speciality. So if you have too much time, you could fit in another short base and build block. When I played with it, targeting a ‘xcm’ event, the build blocks were all the same, so for a xcm event, it gives you ssb1 - sustained pb - ssb2 - sustained pb - xcm speciality. Personally, I think this is way too much ‘sustained’ stuff and I wouldn’t want to go into any offroad race after only doing near-threshold workouts for over half a year. So I’d swap to general build for at least one of those blocks.

From racing cx last season (first time with TR), I felt that short power build didn’t help me much - I lost my ability to go hard longer and my short power didn’t improve (the ‘short power’ in TR is too long for the punches in cx imo). I also found sweetspot and threshold workouts to be much better during the season, than more short stuff.

I’d do general build, but maybe swap some of the vo2max sessions for the races (or apace them apart in the week).

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Thanks, I will stick with General. What specialty do you usually do?

Last year I did XCM but this year I’ll do XCO since those are my A races.