By now, if you’ve read the two prior posts, you should have some mountain biking performance goals written down, and you should be considering how they may be accompished with a basic, sketched out plan.
But, before we go any further, let’s review a few of the important ideas for the creation of a training plan and how it can help you achieve your goals.
First, we coaches use a term called “periodization” to create trianing plans. Below is an example of an annual training plan “shell”:
- The “Annual Plan” is called the Macrocycle and describes the entire year.
- The “Phases of Training” is called the “Mesocycle” and grossly incorporates the main three phases of training during the year, the “Sub-phases,” as well as macro cycles within the Mesocycle
- Lastly are “Microcycles” which comprise all 52 weeks and what training is done during each of those weeks.
Now, if you haven’t seen this concept before, it can be a bit confusing and even overwhelming! Even if you do know how these work, it can be daunting at times!
For our clients, we want this to be as simple as possible, so we create three to six week periodization plans for each of our athletes, and they typically look like this:
We place a high level of importance on this schedule because,
- It keeps the athlete on track
- It creates structure and understanding for the athlete so they learn how to balance the all-important, work-rest ratio.
- It makes it easy for the athlete, they just have to do what it says to do!
- It allows for stressing of the athlete to force the body to adapt, and then allows for adequate rest periods in order to grow (see the 3rd week in the chart and the “1/2” workouts)
- It helps racers to be fresh and optimally prepared come race time
“Well now what”, you ask?
Honestly, choose your goal date and work backward.
Months to weeks- Take the number of months from working backward from your goal and create a 4 week training block for each month (like above) and make the 3rd or 4th week an “active rest” week. Ex- if you have six months till a key race, then you’ll end up with six of the above charts.
Weeks to days- Now be sure to include one to two days of rest per week, and choose one of the three options:
- Two workouts to one day of rest
- Three workouts to one day of rest
- Four workouts to one day of rest
Caution, you will have to experiment with those three options to see which works best for you, but if you are 40 years or older, err toward number one and two as our body’s need a bit more rest than the young pups!
Again, I know it can be a bit overwhelming, but if you do any basic research on “periodization” you will find plenty of information if you want to do this yourself. Otherwise, find a coach, or better yet, hire us, and let us do all the dirty work for you!
Not only will this allow you to focus on training, but you will have peace of mind knowing that your coach is going to direct you down the most optimal performance path for you!
Tomorrow… solution day!
Have a great day!