Twelve weeks, what to do?

I’m 54, entered into BC Bike Race which is 7 consecutive days of 3 to 5 hours per day on the mountain bike. I kept a reasonable basis fitness over the winter. My FTP probably sits at 272 right now (3.2 watts/kg) similar to what it was in September. It is 12 1/2 weeks until my race begins.

I’m definitely going to be doing some outdoor trail riding. My question is the following:

Do I do an abbreviated build phase of 4 weeks followed by a full 8 weeks of mid volume cross country marathon training? Or the full 8 week build with 4 weeks of the mid volume cross country training?

Either way I plan some outdoor rides.

Thanks for your thoughts.

  • This gets my vote. Build is more important in my 4 years of experience, and I would choose that over Specialty (assuming appropriate base).

Build. :100:

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When you say your base level fitness is “reasonable” I’m curious. Could it be better? Scares me a bit given that you’re doing a massive week. Also, what are the specific demands of this stage race in terms of how you plan on riding it? I think that determines what you do next.

Maybe you’re better off served doing a 6 week block of Sweet Spot base followed by Build. If you feel as though you have a well established base then I would move into the build phase then start specialty.

Of course it could be better :wink: but few could say otherwise. I’ve put in a couple of hundred hours on the bike at moderate to high intensity over the past year and skied Nordic and alpine a bunch this winter.

I’m entering spring with, subjectively, better fitness than I had 4 and 5 years ago when I successfully completed equally demanding weeks

and enjoyed them. I have no numbers to prove this, since I wasn’t then measuring FTP.

I’m riding as a team with a 45 year old friend whose base fitness is currently less than mine but who is ten years younger and I think capable of quick gains. We aren’t trying to win. I’ll be watching to ensure that I’m not driving my HR too high for too long on any given day to recover to enjoy the next day.

IIf it was me, id stick to the full Build, with a smaller specialty phase of 4 weeks. No point putting frosting on the cake without having a kickass tasting cake to build on…if ya get what I mean :wink:

How did you get on with your Race? I am around 3wkg (good technically) at the moment and I guess I am looking around a top 250 finish. Any tips? I am doing it as an individual.

Hey Jason,

First of all, you’ll have a blast! The organizational skills blew me away. Tent city was fun and social, and respectfully quiet. The beer garden is a must. The food and coffee are fantastic.

Your goal is totally achievable. My power was 272/83 kg = 3.27 at this time last year. I didn’t start truly into my dedicated training until the time of my post, around April 9. I followed the build phase for 8 weeks at mid volume (I think) and then 4 weeks of mid volume (I think!) marathon event training. By race day I was at 292, and a little lighter 82 kg 3.56 w/kg

Of course as the weather got drier I replaced some indoor rides with fun outside!

Had I raced solo I prob would have been right around 250. I was around 290 racing with a marginally slower friend as a team.

I’m an average BC descender. If you are bomber you’ll make up time on me.

Bring a fresh riding kit for each day. Make sure you have a fresh drivetrain. Know how to repair a chain.

Have a ball!


Cheers Phil. Great tips.

I have a friend who I will be doing the race with but we are diametrically opposite riders with him being fast uphill and me fast downhill.

Yes I am pretty quick downhill so that is a plus, I will probably be frustrated trying to pass all of the racers that pass me uphill but I am getting used to that.

My FTP hasn’t improved much in the last year even with trainer road (230-235) and 76kg but my endurance has certainly got better after road riding and completing some 5-7 hour races.

I however have decided to start with 6 weeks of Z2 then SSBase, Build and speciality. Hopeful the Zone 2 might be what I was missing.

I have a 4 day stage race to do in Australia in May so that will be a good test of my fitness as the MTB over there isn’t as technical as here in NZ.

Can’t wait for the race, I have been to Whistler for a week for the last 5 years and ridden once in Squamish so know roughly what to expect.

I will probably have a 120mm travel bike and plan on riding racing Ray and ralph 2.35mm with the exo sidewall.

Thanks Again