Following on from the article about attaining a sound endurance foundation, I am going to outline the next phase in our quest for acquiring race fitness this coming season; the Peak Preparation Phase. If you have been following the Foundation Phase programme over the previous few months, you will no doubt have acquired a good endurance base. If you haven’t, then all is not lost, you can still gain a significant amount of fitness, but time is running out. If your situation is the latter, then I suggest you look up the previous article and follow the programme for 4-6 weeks.How do I do that?
Following a warm-up, ride at 65-75% max Hr for 5 min, then sprint for 2 minutes at as close to 90% max as possible, follow this with 10 minutes at 65-75% max Hr and repeat two more times. To increase the overload add one extra sprint every two weeks.
Following a warm-up, climb as hard as possible up a hill (about a mile is ideal), turn around and coast down to the bottom and repeat as many times as you can. Use different techniques – in and out of the saddle.
If all is going to plan, then it is time to repeat those fitness tests that you did at the start of the programme. Try and make the testing environment as similar to the first test as possible. The results of these tests should indicate that a training effect has occurred and that you are now in a position to move on to the Peak Preparation Phase. If this is not the case then you need to stick with foundation phase for a few more weeks and then repeat the tests.
The aim of the Peak Preparation Phase is to maintain your hard earned endurance base whilst simultaneously bringing into play the components of your fitness that require less time to peak, namely strength, speed, and power. Your weekly plan should contain at least two endurance workouts (one low intensity and one high), which are punctuated with high intensity speed and power workouts. You should also maintain your weekly weight training, but increase the weight and reduce the reps (8 to 12).
Below is a sample training plan, but feel free to mix it about to meet your own weekly schedule.
|WEDNESDAY||2HRS LOW INTENSITY ENDURANCE (65-75% MAX HR)|
|THURSDAY||WEIGHT TRAINING (FULL BODY) MEDIUM REPS (8-12) PLUS STRETCHING|
|SATURDAY||1HR HIGH INTENSITY ENDURANCE(85+%MAX HR) PLUS 1HR LOW
INTENSITY ENDURANCE (65-75% MAX HR)
|SUNDAY||2HRS HIGH INTENSITY ENDURANCE (85+%MAX HR) PLUS 10 LONG
SPRINTS (50M) WITH 5 MIN RECOVERY (65-75% MAX HR).
This is a pretty intense workout, so include extra rest days as and when you need
them. This plan will take you up to April, when you will then be in a position to
move onto the peak phase.
(C) Copyright 2000 John Metcalfe
John Metcalfe is a mountainbike physiologist, regular mtb magazine contributor and avid racer. In order to pay the bills he is also a Sports Science Lecturer.