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LT100 Build: Second Half…

Post Series: Cody Waite

As described in a previous post, my early summer training program consisted of an 8-week Race Prep build designed around a peak in early August for the Leadville 100 MTB. The first 4-weeks were designed around twice weekly high-intesity interval training combined with progressively building endurance rides. The last 4-weeks were focused around improving sustainable power through weekly Anaerobic Threshold intervals and races.

After a 5 week period without any racing, training was focused, fitness was on the rise, and the hunger for competition was strong.

MY ‘SECOND HALF’ RACE PREP BLOCK

The basic weekly structure consisted of the following:

  • Monday – Strength Maintenance Gym Session
    • 45 Minutes: Movement Prep, Core Sets, Push/Pull Sets, Squat & Deadlift Sets (main: 3×3 @ 70% 1RM), Power Sets, Mobility Sets
  • Tuesday – Anaerobic Threshold Intervals
    • 90 minutes: 4-6x 8:00 hill reps at 32:00 power (330w)
  • Wednesday – Endurance Rides
    • 6-7 hours, 8-10k climb
  • Thursday – Recovery Spin
    • 45 Minutes: very, very slowly
  • Friday – Race Openers
    • 60 Minutes: w/ 4:00 @ 32:00 Power, 2:00 @ 16:00 Power, 1:00 @ 8:00 Power, 0:30 @ 4:00 Power, 0:15 @ 2:00, 0:08 @ 1:00 Power (4:00 easy recoveries)
  • Saturday – Race Day
    • 2-4 Hours, Go Hard!
  • Sunday – Recovery Spin
    • 90 Minutes: very slowly + coffee & pastry

This was the plan for four straight weeks. Racing started a little slowly, as expected being away for 5 weeks, and each week managed to get a little faster as I found my rhythm…

  • Race #1 Bailey Hundito (50 miles) = 3rd Place
  • Race #2 Crested Butte Fat Tire 40 (40 miles) = 9th Place
  • Race #3 Firecracker 50 Relay (25 miles) = 1st Place
  • Race #4 Leadville Silver Rush (50 miles) = 3rd Place

Over this 4-weeks of training and racing I accumulated some solid numbers in the training log, getting my Training Peaks CTL (fitness) metric up to the highest of the year at (121). After a couple easy days prior to the final race, I tacked on an Anaerobic Power Test to see where where my numbers are after the training block…

  • 1:00 Power = 571w
  • 2:00 Power = 472w
  • 4:00 Power = 410w
  • Calculated Fatigue Rate = 7.0%

I am pretty stoked to see these numbers as they are not only improvements from my previous test, but PR numbers from the last decade since returning focus from triathlon training to cycling only. In addition to the improved Anaerobic Power numbers, more importantly my Fatigue Rate continues to decrease indicating improved endurance and fatigue resistance. This is my primary goal for endurance training and the Leadville 100… to be able to start strong and not slow down.

For those interested in an “FTP” number, with the calculated Fatigue Rate it works out to:

  • Calculated FTP = 320w
  • @ 145 lbs = 4.86 w/kg at Anaerobic Threshold (getting closer to that elusive 5 w/kg!)

Through the training combined with some tough climbing races at high altitudes, by the fourth race I was feeling pretty fatigued and ready for a nice break.

Mission accomplished!

RECOVERY WEEK

Following my 8 week long training build I was more than ready for a little break. Fortunately this planned well in advance with a family vacation to a Lake House in Michigan. The goal of my last block was to build large amounts of fitness, which comes with large amounts of fatigue. Resting is critical to allow the body to “absorb” the training, rebuild muscles, restock fuel levels, and rejuvenate enthusiasm and mental focus.

It can be hard for us “type A” endurance athletes to take a week off from training when our fitness is building and our goal event is just 5 weeks away.

Sitting here with my feet up in Michigan, as I write this, having taken several days off the bike and a few more to come, I’m feeling “out of sorts” and like I’m “losing fitness” and even a little “fat”. I know deep down this is not the case, and it’s all part of the process. Taking time away and doing nothing is not something I do well, but I also know that I will come out of the other end with improved readiness for the final push to race day in August.

THE FINAL PUSH & TAPER

Once back from vacation, the plan is short, big endurance training overload. This will be 6-8 days with 4-5 days of long rides in the mountains at easy to moderate paces. This will cap off my LT100 Race Prep Build and lead into a 3-week taper to race day. The big volume week will be followed by a handful of easy days to again absorb the “overload” of training stress from the big rides. Then I’ll toe the line at the Leadville 100 Stage Race: 3 days of racing over the entire LT100 course. This will provide a 3-day “intensity block” to remind me what racing is like.

The goal with the taper will be to lower volume over the 3 weeks into goal race day, while increasing intensity to sharpen up and prepare for racing. More recovery days after the stage race, followed by some short interval sessions and descending volume, the goal will be to arrive in Leadville fresh, focused, and ready to race for 6+ hours.

But before then, it’s time for a few more lazy days at the lake before heading home and preparing to hit it hard for 4 more weeks.

 

Cody Waite, Professional Off-Road Endurance Athlete & Coach
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