Training between races


#1

I am training for a MTB single track sprint series in February. The serious is 8 one hour races, one about every 3-4 weeks. Can I get some input on recommended training inbetween races?


#2

This has come up on the podcast several times. Seems like there’s 3 approaches. 1) train like the first race of the series is the A then try to nurse peak fitness along thru the series. 2) train like the last race of the series is the A and massage the tss delivery thru the early races so you’re not knackered on race day. 3). Put the A race on some race in the middle and do a little of both 1 and 2 before and after the peak. I suppose it depends on how much time you have. If you’ll struggle to do base build specialty by the first race, 1 is not really an option.

I dealt with his a little coaching NICA racers who had races on a 2 to 3 wk interval. Typically we’d aim at a recovery day or recovery spin days right after a race. Try to build a little fitness with hard efforts in the first off week or week_and_a _half, then work on a little taper in the last few days going into race weekend. Of course high schoolers recover quickly, so your timing may vary.
When you think about it, that’s really all you can do. Recover. Take advantage of whatever short build opportunity presents. Taper so you’re not fatigued going into an event. The exact timing of that depends more on how quickly you can recover than anything else. It’s funny how often this all boils down to effective recovery rather than delivery of training stress.


#3

Thanks for the advice. Recover, train, taper, repeat! Recovery is the key. The biggest decision I have now is picking the A race. Ha


#4

The other thing to think about is how you can use the race results to guide your in-between-race efforts to focus on max power, sustained power, or endurance. Or maybe skills, equipment, warm-up, nutrition, or weight. Like Thomas Edison and the light bulbs, this kind of race series format is a good chance to run experiments. I’d suggest keeping a journal of what you did and how you felt/raced/recovered to create some positive momentum late in the series when other racers may be getting burned out.


#5

My approach would be regular base/build into the feb race…taper 1 week into the first race…spin out the legs the day after the race then apply a lot of FTP/sweet spot training stress the next 1.5 weeks. Two weeks out replace some of the FTP/SS with VO2 (as in, a couple workouts). One week out taper. Day before the race openers to let the body know, ‘Hey, we’re going to go fast tomorrow.’ Repeat.

For me it really takes ~3 weeks to really adapt to FTP training stress but VO2 adaptations seem to kick in a lot faster.

Of course, every race is a trim tab that can send your workout plan to an appropriate attitude.