By Ted Willard – G2 Altitude Training and Coaching
Week 2: Bridge to Engine Room, WE NEED MORE POWER!
Last week we talked about the basic building block of any mountain bike racer, aerobic fitness. This we’ll take a step up from the beginner level and talk about ways a sport or even an expert rider can improve there game ahead of the now looming OTH start Tuesday May 21st.
Chances are if you race Sport Class or Expert Class at OTH you are a Cat 1 or Cat 2 USAC racer on the weekends. The two biggest differences that I see in competitive racers at these levels is:
- Aerobic Fitness: You have to have enough aerobic fitness to stay in contention for a podium spot. (Chapter 1: What’s you Hump offered some suggestions to improve your aerobic fitness.)
- Ability to Recover: Can you respond to accelerations and attacks by other racers during crucial moments during the race without going to far into the red zone and falling off the pace.
Can you recover from an all out acceleration at the top of the Lollipop Climb? Will you make it back on that leaders group? You can if you train your body to be prepared for the moment, you can be ready and YOU WILL.
What we are talking about is what many coaches and trainers refer to as anaerobic ability. Your anaerobic efforts and your ability to recover from anaerobic efforts is one of the easiest and simplest systems to train. The good news is that you will see the benefits after only a few weeks of a few specific drills.
Here’s a great drill that can really boost your race performance and can be added onto the end or beginning of your ride.
30/30 Acceleration Workout
-The 30/30 Workout consists of 4 min. of 30 seconds of effort followed by 30 seconds of recovery (If each 4 min. block is considered “1 set”, you can practice by doing 1 set once a week and building up to 2 or 3 sets per ride in the following weeks.)
Step 1: Start your watch or computer lap. If you don’t have a computer with laps you’ll have to be aware of the time in your head.
Step 2: From a standing start position, clip into your pedal and pedal as hard as you can for 30 secs. Shift up to the biggest gear you can manage to pedal quickly (a bike trail or mtb trail is good for this workout).
Step 3: Rest for 30 seconds by spinning in an easy gear or not at all. Remember the gear you made it to in the first 30 seconds.
Step 4: Repeat another 30 second acceleration as hard as you can pedal!
Step 5: Recover again by spinning lightly for 30 secs.
Repeat Steps 4 and 5 again twice until your timer or lap timer gets to 4 mins.
If you are doing more than 1 set, rest for 4 mins.between each set by spinning lightly in an easy gear. Then repeat the entire workout.
If you can work this drill into your rides once a week for the weeks prior to OTH maybe you’ll be that guy who takes a look back at the top of the Lollipop climb to see where all your competitors are. Or at least the leader will look back and see you!
About the author:
Ted is a USA Cycling Certified Coach and avid mountain biker. He cut his teeth on the US Cup MTB Series in 2011 taking the Series overall and landing on the top podium step at 3 US Cup XC events last year in Cat 1 30-34. He is owner of G2 Bike in Aliso Viejo. G2 Bike is a full service bike shop and also offers all types of athlete coaching programs and compliments many of its athletes training with G2 Altitude Training.
More info at www.g2bike.com
Chapter 3: Fuel for your Fire
Chapter 4: Lightening the load, Equipment choices and tips!
Chapter 5: Ready, Set, Go!