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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After looking at some of the training program examples (lwcoaching, alisondunlapcoaching) on the web, as well as a magazine article from ftptraining.com about training for endurance mtb events(http://www.tomhoppe.com/misc/training/enduro_8_fenner.pdf. http://www.tomhoppe.com/misc/training/enduro_9_fenner.pdf. http://www.tomhoppe.com/misc/training/enduro_10_fenner.pdf) , I made up my own training program. Doesn't seem like rocket science. I followed the method from ftptraining.com so far, as I only mapped 3 months out. I will have more training following that, including a taper for before my "big race" which is the SM100.

I just wanted to make sure that I was on the right track here. I ran my heart rate test, and setup my heart rate zones according to http://lwcoaching.com/trainingplans/levelCalcs.htm

Here is my training program: https://spreadsheets0.google.com/ccc?hl=en&key=t8-ANpzDL1G1qC-Y8fZp8bQ&hl=en#gid=0

I made tabs for the months, and then highlighted in green the races that I'll be doing through the year. On the weeks where I do not have races, I follow the full program of intervals, but not weeks leading up to races, I do less intervals and more rest, to make sure I'm good to go for the race.

What do you guys think? Too much? Not enough? This is my 1st year racing, and 2nd year riding, and the whole goal of this is to finish the SM100 with a good time, and actually enjoy that. I also want to place well in the SE Chainbusters series. Finished 4th so far on the first race.

-Tom
 

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4 days of intervals a week and 3 of those days are in a row? That's a lot of stress on the body. I've always heard that 2-3 days of intervals and give your body rest after. I do 2 days of intervals. Steady state and hills. I always do a light day after intervals. I also do one long ride and one longish ride the day after, both at pace. Other days are for "fun" rides.
 

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These are my opinions and I'm certainly not an expert coach but have managed some respectable results in some Endurance events so take it with a grain of salt.

First off most endurance plans are based on 12 weeks with the last two weeks being taper for the race you're trying to peak for. The plans are usually cyclical and cover different intensities and durations which come together as a whole in the end. I follow this basic cycle;

Base - 4 wks. minimum

Strength - 3 wks.

Intensity - 3 wks.

Taper - 2 wks.

It seems you've completely skipped the base period. Maybe you've already been through this stage and your plan takes off from there so what I'm about to say could be a moot point. The base period may seem slow and boring but it is setting the foundation for everything to follow and is key in helping you to actually complete those higher intensity workouts and long rides. It can also help prevent injuries. Everyone does things a bit differently and the plans are all a bit different but I think what they all have in common is some type of base building.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There does seem to be a lot of intervals in this, and maybe I should cut one of those a week and just turn it into a long"ish" ride instead. Hmm.

As far as "Base", I feel I've been doing that all winter. I've been doing longish MTB rides, hanging out on the road bike, and doing some interval training over the last 2 months. I've got ~600 miles between the MTB and road bike since the start of the year, so I figured I'm ready for some more structured and harder training. Dunno?

-Tom
 

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Ok, assuming you've got the base in then these are my other suggestions. You've seemed focused on a couple 6 hr. races yet I don't see any rides over 3 hr.'s. I would get at least a couple 4.5 hr. rides in. My other suggestion is you've got workouts scheduled for T, W, TH, F, SAT. With the last ride being a long ride. I can bet that you'll be dragging ass by time you get to that ride. You need adequate time for recovery before a long ride so you're fresh and can make the most of it. Also I don't do more than 2 high intensity rides, whether hills or intervals, per week and certainly not two days in row.

Since you've posted in the Endurance forum I'm assuming that's what your interested in training for. With that being said the better part of your program should focus on going the distance. It doesn't matter how fast you can go for a short time. In the end you want to go fast for a really long time. To do this you first must be able to ride a really long time.
 

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trhoppe said:
I made up my own training program. Doesn't seem like rocket science.

-Tom
Yup, it's not rocket science. Unless you want the rocket to hit the target.

There's lots of free advice out there on the general Internet and in forums. Some of it good, some of it bad. None of it is specific to you. Nobody knows how old you are, what your work/life balance is, what you weigh, what medical conditions you may have or previously had, what your first year of riding consisted of, what your trends are, etc, etc, etc.

If you ask around three different forums you will get a bunch of different (and usually opposing) ideas, comments or urban endurance myths 'that for sure will work in your case'.

Out of all that general advice you get some might work for you, or not. Even the best intentioned forum member with a pile of endurance racing and coaching experience can't look at a general 3mth trg plan and say "that will work", or "there's no way that will work" because nobody knows how you, the unique individual, are going to respond to the general plan. Nobody knows how you will adjust that general plan once your immune system gets compromised and you are sick for three days, or you have to work real late and can't squeeze in a session so you make it up the next day. Nobody knows how you will evolve the plan as your adaptations take place. Nobody knows your trends. Nobody knows you.

Unfortunately (and I know this from experience) it's unusual for a self-coached first time racer to have the depth of insight to understand training mistakes specific to them as a unique individual and then for them to have enough clarity to correct those training mistakes so they are heading down their optimal path. But I could be wrong and you might get lucky and see your full potential this year self-coached. I can't comment specifically on the trg plan you created because I didn't look at it, for reasons already discussed. Hopefully it all works out for you. Good luck with your race season and the SM100.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all of the comments and the help. Really appreciated.

I also posted this in the XC forum and got some advice there. Reading and trying to understand all of this, I've modified my training program a bit. I totally hear the bit about self-coaching not getting the full potential, but I think that this year, I'm not focused on hitting my 100% full potential. I want to make sure I'm not totally plateauing, and I think with the intervals I'll have planned and my first year racing, I won't do that.

Here are my changes:
a) Pull out one of the intervals per week, so I have 2 actual interval sessions. I can make sure the interval sessions are top intensity and raise the stakes on those a bit to really push myself.
b) That way I can focus on the 2 interval sessions (one on the road, one on the MTB), and the one 4 hour weekend ride (on the MTB).
c) On the 4 "off" days, I'll take a day of total rest, a day of longer riding on the MTB (2hr spin on the local loop) or riding 30 road miles on the greenways with the GF, and 2 days of cross training with running and soccer.
d) Actually plan March/Some of April and stop there. Re-evaluate where I am in 6 weeks and take it from there.

Thanks again for the help and advice.

-Tom
 

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Long Ride

Tom,

I glanced at your training plan (12 wks). There are a couple of things i would add if you don't mind.
1)You need to dedicate either a Sat or a Sun as a long mtb ride (3-7hrs) and the longest ride should be at wk 10).
2)too many intervals in your plan. I'd do one tempo ride on the road(15-40min) and one interval on the mtb(hill repeats)
3)you needs to ride your bike at least 5-6days/wk

The weather have been crappy where we are so you need a trainer/roller. 100mi will probably take you 9-12hrs to complete. That's a long time in the saddle so you gotta ride more and ride longer. I hope it helps and good luck

I'm doing the Chain Buster Series also. My bro and I ride 9hr solo SS. I also plan on doing a couple of the 100miler this year and the first 100miler would be Cohutta 100.
 

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staylor said:
Yup, it's not rocket science. Unless you want the rocket to hit the target.

There's lots of free advice out there on the general Internet and in forums. Some of it good, some of it bad. None of it is specific to you. Nobody knows how old you are, what your work/life balance is, what you weigh, what medical conditions you may have or previously had, what your first year of riding consisted of, what your trends are, etc, etc, etc.

If you ask around three different forums you will get a bunch of different (and usually opposing) ideas, comments or urban endurance myths 'that for sure will work in your case'.

Out of all that general advice you get some might work for you, or not. Even the best intentioned forum member with a pile of endurance racing and coaching experience can't look at a general 3mth trg plan and say "that will work", or "there's no way that will work" because nobody knows how you, the unique individual, are going to respond to the general plan. Nobody knows how you will adjust that general plan once your immune system gets compromised and you are sick for three days, or you have to work real late and can't squeeze in a session so you make it up the next day. Nobody knows how you will evolve the plan as your adaptations take place. Nobody knows your trends. Nobody knows you.

Unfortunately (and I know this from experience) it's unusual for a self-coached first time racer to have the depth of insight to understand training mistakes specific to them as a unique individual and then for them to have enough clarity to correct those training mistakes so they are heading down their optimal path. But I could be wrong and you might get lucky and see your full potential this year self-coached. I can't comment specifically on the trg plan you created because I didn't look at it, for reasons already discussed. Hopefully it all works out for you. Good luck with your race season and the SM100.
I was shocked to see a link to a coaching web site in this posters sig.;)
Unless you are a pro, or have money falling out of your pockets coaching is like a Chris King headset... nice but not that necessary.
 

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Lenny7 said:
I was shocked to see a link to a coaching web site in this posters sig.;)
Unless you are a pro, or have money falling out of your pockets coaching is like a Chris King headset... nice but not that necessary.
Lenny7, feel free to search back through all the posts I've put up on mtbr.com and see if I make a habit of using this forum to promote what I do. That's not really my style.

I was hesitant to post up to the OP's question because I realized there was a small potential for someone to think I was doing it for self serving reasons. Of course you are entitled to your opinion on what I wrote. So now that we know you have an opinion on Pro's, money, pockets and Chris King headsets, do you disagree with what I wrote?
 

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I was just giving you a hard time.
You could say the same things(what you wrote) about almost anything posted on here. What kind of bike should I get? What kind of this or that. People are just looking for a little chat and some affirmation. He was just a novice asking for some opinions. If he was looking to win the 24 hours worlds then I would tell him not to ask a bunch of goons(like me) on a forum.
 

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Lenny7 said:
I was just giving you a hard time.
You could say the same things(what you wrote) about almost anything posted on here. What kind of bike should I get? What kind of this or that. People are just looking for a little chat and some affirmation. He was just a novice asking for some opinions. If he was looking to win the 24 hours worlds then I would tell him not to ask a bunch of goons(like me) on a forum.
I think we are going to have to disagree on this.

Sure, people post up with questions like 'What kind of tire lever should I get' but giving bad advice on a tire lever and bad advice on trg/physical health related matters will have different consequences.

I think forums like this are great for chatting about subjects, it's why I come here because I (usually) enjoy the mindset, and I learn things as well. If I'm giving an opinion I prefer to offer it with an eye towards their best results. If a person wants to do their best at the SM100 or do their best at 24hr Worlds it still requires good advice. I don't categorize a persons race/event/goals as 'not worthy of good advice', if I'm gonna say something I like to make a conscientious effort.

I doubt you're a goon and I'm sure you could teach me a thing or two.
 

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I don't personally subscribe to Shaun's exact training approach, finding it too rigorously disciplined for my tastes, but one thing he really helped me with was finding my LT (and related zones). I've had good success in endurance racing, but it always involved huge suffering and pure stubborness. With his help in finding my LT and other zones, I finally gave in last year and trained and raced with an HR monitor for the first time. It was great. I really believe that in endurance races, you have to race yourself, and let the chips fall where they may. You don't dare burn a lot of "anaerobic matches" during a ten hour race! With the HR monitor and some (new to me) zone knowledge, I had good races again last year, without nearly as much pain and suffering. I give credit to stubbornly refusing to go over a certain HR during the entire race, once I knew what that number/zone was!

Anyway, long winded, but if you're looking for coaching, he seems to know his stuff, and if I wanted to get more serious and stuctured, he would be my first call.

As far as intervals go, I find that mountain biking is kind of the definition of an unavoidable interval workout -- at least where I live -- so I can't see not doing a fair amount of that in your training. Plus -- again, for me -- it is a huge help in making a training ride more interesting and fun.
 

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I think we agree in a way. But I drive a jeep and not a bmw because I can't afford it. But I still like to drive and ask my dad mechanical questions even though he not a mechanic. Anyway, in a nutshell coaches are good, but so are other sources as long as you consider the source. Oh, don't underestimate a good tire tool and I'm kind of a goon.
 

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kosmo said:
I don't personally subscribe to Scott's exact training approach, finding it too rigorously disciplined for my tastes, but one thing he really helped me with was finding my LT (and related zones). I've had good success in endurance racing, but it always involved huge suffering and pure stubborness. With his help in finding my LT and other zones, I finally gave in last year and trained and raced with an HR monitor for the first time. It was great. I really believe that in endurance races, you have to race yourself, and let the chips fall where they may. You don't dare burn a lot of "anaerobic matches" during a ten hour race! With the HR monitor and some (new to me) zone knowledge, I had good races again last year, without nearly as much pain and suffering. I give credit to stubbornly refusing to go over a certain HR during the entire race, once I knew what that number/zone was!

Anyway, long winded, but if you're looking for coaching, he seems to know his stuff, and if I wanted to get more serious and stuctured, he would be my first call.

As far as intervals go, I find that mountain biking is kind of the definition of an unavoidable interval workout -- at least where I live -- so I can't see not doing a fair amount of that in your training. Plus -- again, for me -- it is a huge help in making a training ride more interesting and fun.
Was glad to help, Kosmo. It was a pleasure to see you reap the rewards of your efforts!

Shaun
 

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staylor said:
Was glad to help, Kosmo. It was a pleasure to see you reap the rewards of your efforts!

Shaun
Yup, thanks a lot! Fixed the Scott/Shaun thing in my original post. I've know a Scott Taylor since I was a tyke, and it just kind of flowed out of my fingers!
 

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Lenny7 said:
I think we agree in a way. But I drive a jeep and not a bmw because I can't afford it. But I still like to drive and ask my dad mechanical questions even though he not a mechanic. Anyway, in a nutshell coaches are good, but so are other sources as long as you consider the source. Oh, don't underestimate a good tire tool and I'm kind of a goon.
I understand your point.

When considering a coach, budget should be a concern. As a general comment (definitely not directed at anyone in particular) I find it a bit short sighted that any racer with a big event and aspirations to do their very best will spend a large portion of their budget on lighter and shinier bike parts assuming that the bike will help them do better, when in fact it's a pile of other things (non-bike related) that help produce results. The pile of other things that they might not be aware of is within reach if they set aside a small amount for some retained experienced advice. Of course not everyone wants to be all that they can be for a big 100miler or whatever, they simply want to ride their bike, when they can, as much as they can and have a lot of fun - I get that, because I like to do that myself as well.

When it comes to coaching I like to use this analogy... if a person wanted to learn Kung Fu they wouldn't think twice about going to a dojo and paying a monthly fee or a drop in fee to learn from an experienced hand. There is no disadvantage to paying for good advice individualized to the unique circumstance a person may have. I pay for advice when my mechanic works on my 10yr old Audi 1.8T. Why do I pay him? Well he's been working on Audi's way longer than I have and I trust that his experience will keep my car on the road, if I had to do it myself the Audi would spend a lot more time not being driven or causing me to pull my hair out in frustration.
 

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Sorry to poach a little, but is there much difference between riding the trainer with a road bike or a mountain bike? ( besides the bike?) I am generally focusing on heart rate and cadence.

Thanks

BTW- I wish I had that much time to ride and still work my more than full time job. Good Luck!
 

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staylor said:
I pay for advice when my mechanic works on my 10yr old Audi 1.8T. Why do I pay him? Well he's been working on Audi's way longer than I have and I trust that his experience will keep my car on the road, if I had to do it myself the Audi would spend a lot more time not being driven or causing me to pull my hair out in frustration.
You understandably derive pleasure from driving your Audi and having it work perfectly, but some of us get more out of the process of working on things ourselves even if it means that car will be stuck in the garage every now and then or have some issues when it is on the road. Professional coaches are perfect for the riders who want to get the most out of their bodies and don't really get much pleasure from trying to figure out how to do that on their own. Furthermore, it's absolutely possible for a motivated individual to do as well or better than a processional coach in the end, it's not like the pros have mystical powers or are immune from mistakes. Using a coach is almost certainly the faster and most direct route, but it's not the only way to get there.

There are benefits to using a professional coach, and for most people it is probably "better" than trying to figure it out on their own if results are the primary goal. I don't pay for coaching, partially because I'm a cheapskate, but also because I don't mind learning from my mistakes and most of all I enjoy the process of discovery more than reaching the goal.
 
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