Tomorrow ends “Doug’s Leadville Training Phase 1”. This phase was brought to you by the letter “B” for “building” or “base” or “base building”. We worked on building base fitness and building muscle strength. Now its time to get more serious.
I talked with Coach Drew on Wednesday about the next two months (we are working on two month blocks) in specific (which gets me to the Tour of the Battenkill) and the build-up to Willmington and then Leadville in general to get an idea how the next couple of months will flow.
Drew’s first question was: “When will your weather break so that you can get out onto the road?” The simple answer is I don’t know. The temps are warm enough to ride. It all depends on snow and ice on the roads. If the roads are clear I am biking outside as much as I can. I am looking forward to getting back onto the roads and trails on a regular basis.
Here is how the next two months will look to shake out:
Increased volume: In training terms Volume is Intensity times Duration. Over the winter we have focused on high intensity short duration efforts. Its a great way to build and keep base fitness levels. But, its time to get into longer rides. Willmington and Leadville are long rides and a test of endurance more than anything else. So its time to build into the longer efforts. Right now I am sure I could do a 100 mile road ride. Maybe not at my fastest pace, but I am sure I could do it. But that’s not good enough.
Less emphasis on weight training: Ideally you would like to make your training to be as event specific as you can. That would mean moving away from strength training and trading that time for bike time. But here is the thing. When you get to a certain point in your life, it pays to stick with weight training just a little bit to maintain muscle mass. Guess what? At the ripe old age of 43 I fall into that category. So the plan here is to back off on the intensity for the weight training but keep it in the routine. We are going to cut out the leg weights all together (save those muscles for riding) and concentrate on maintaining core and upper body strength. Core strength is really important in long events because it keeps you comfortable (i.e. decreases the likelihood of back pain). Upper body is important in mountain biking because it is more physical than road biking.
Continue running: If you have ever watched the videos on Leadville you have probably seen people pushing their bikes up hill. Its fair to say that Leadville has some significant “hike a bike” sections. Willmington also has that at the end when you go up Whiteface (i.e. the ski mountain). Drew and I talked about keeping some running in there so that those muscles are not neglected and stay strong for those races. So the running stays.
The rest of the season shakes out into three blocks of two months. This next block runs up to the Tour of the Battenkill (April 13). Drew and I decided to approach Battenkill semi-seriously. That means we will do some tapering, more rest really, the week of the race so that I can go hard in the race. I have no expectations for that race at all. Its really about getting a good effort in and experiencing what is rumored to be a really fun event. The middle block goes from Battenkill to Willmington (June 15). We are going to train hard for that race and make it into a real dress rehearsal for Leadville. I have a definite goal in mind for that race. I want to cut 45 minutes off of my time from last year. That’s a pretty good chunk. Drew says there will be times its going to hurt. And the Final block goes from Willmington to Leadville (August 10). Yes the goal there is to finish in under 12 hours and buckle. But I am shooting for a sub 11 finish time. I want to be at 10:20 for that race.
Its time to ramp it up. (Hopefully I can get my ride in outside on Saturday before our next snow storm :)).