Posted by: cdmmtb | April 17, 2012

How to Improve your Fitness in Just 18 Days!

We have about 18 days until our last race. If you’re willing to put in the time and discipline, you can do a lot over the next 18 days to improve your race fitness. In fact, you can do a few short workouts and gain very real speed and endurance.

Your best shot at improving is by completing a series of short but painful high intensity workouts and allowing plenty of time for recovery between sessions.

This is where the discipline comes into play. It’s much easier to go ride your usual mountain bike loop a couple times during the week, then ride an epic loop on the weekend. Fine and dandy, but if you want to focus on your race results, it’s time for a temporary change in your approach.

Here’s a plan you can adopt and modify as needed. It assumes riding is your primary activity. If you are in track or another high-intensity sport, you can substitute sport-specific intervals for the bike intervals.

45 minute Interval Workout

Notes:

  • Complete this workout 4 times between 4/17/12 and 4/29/12.
  • Take a 100% rest day after completing this workout
  • This is best performed on a trainer, spin bike or on a bike path without traffic lights or other interruptions
  • If you are performing the intervals outdoors, you can start each interval as a standing sprint, but sit down and continue accelerating for the last 15-20 seconds
  • You should feel like puking after completing your last 30 second interval!

10 min easy warm-up

1 min fast spin @120 RPM

1 min recovery

1 min fast spin @120 RPM

2 min recovery

5 sets of:

  • 30 seconds max intensity at 120 RPM (these should hurt!)
  • 30 seconds recovery

5 minute recovery

4 sets of:

  • 30 seconds max intensity at 120 RPM (these should hurt!)
  • 30 seconds recovery

5 minute recovery

2 minutes @ 100 RPM/medium hard gear

2 minutes recovery

2 minutes @ 100 RPM/medium hard gear

5 minute cooldown

Hill Repeat Workout

Notes:

  • Complete this workout 1 time between 4/17/12 and 4/22/12
  • Take a 100% rest day after completing this workout
  • This is best performed on a road or mountain bike outdoors
  • Use a hill with a 6-8% gradient – not super steep – the goal is to climb at sub-max intensity for 10-12 minutes per repeat
  • You can also use a milder slope and push a bit harder to increase the intensity
  • Hill candidates:
    • Newport Coast Drive from PCH to San Joaquin Hills (do early in the AM when traffic is light)
    • Bake Parkway from Irvine to Portola (do early in the AM when traffic is light)
    • Aliso Bike Path from Aliso Woods parking lot to Live Oak (milder slope)
    • Blackstar Canyon (off-road)

15 minute warm-up on flat ground

10-15 minute climb at sub-max (7.5/10 on intensity scale)

10 minute recovery (can be rest break if off-road)

10-15 minute climb at sub-max (7.5/10 on intensity scale)

10 minute recovery (can be rest break if off-road)

10-15 minute climb at sub-max (7.5/10 on intensity scale)

15 minute cooldown

If you follow the above program, you’ll complete five quality workouts and get a minimum of five rest days. The other days can be spent doing other activities, including mountain bike rides, but no rides should be longer than two hours in length, and resting is encouraged!

On the weekend of 4/28, we will offer a hill climb workout at Blackstar Canyon. This will be a nice addition to the program, consisting of a 75 minute sustained climb to Beeks Place and a nice easy ride back down.

Note that all these workouts are scheduled to be completed by 4/29/12.

So what will you do for the week leading up to the race? Focus on eating lots of food, including plenty of protein. Go to bed a little earlier than usual, rest after school and mentally prepare for your best race of the season. On the Thursday before the race, if you are too amped up, do a quick interval workout with two to four 30 second intervals, but no more than that. Your goal for the final days is to maximize recovery.

That’s about it. E-mail me if you have questions!

Coach Andy

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