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LT100 Build: First Half…

LT100 Build: First Half…

Post Series: Cody Waite

After a week off of training & racing in early May, I was refreshed and ready to hit it hard with a late-Spring training block as part of my 2018 Leadville 100 MTB build up. My previous post, LT100 Race Prep Plan, laid out all the details of the complete build-up to the August event following a customized version of our Ultra-Marathon MTB Race Prep Stock Plan.

The last four weeks have been focused purely on training.

Meaning, no racing over the last month until just this last weekend (June 9th) with the GoPro Vail Mountain Games XC race. This nice block of time has allowed me to focus on a re-build of sorts, building up some solid volume on the bike with longer outdoor rides while backing out the intensity in two week mini-blocks of training.

In the off-season, within our 24-Week Base Builder Program, we train in the more commonly found 4-week blocks: with 3 weeks of focused energy system training and 1 week of recovery/easy endurance. In our  Race Prep Phase we condense the training blocks into two-week mini-blocks of focused energy system work combined with increasing endurance volume.

Once we reach our Race Prep Phase our fitness is already high; we can now focus on extending endurance and polishing our energy system intensities to match the specific race demands that we are expecting on race day.

Picking up where our Base Builder Program left off, with Peak Power Intervals, we begin the Race Prep Phase in the reverse direction backing down an energy system intensity level with each mini-block of training. Mini-block #1 goes to Anaerobic Power (targeting 1:00-4:00 power), followed by Vo2 Max (8:00-16:00 power), Anaerobic Threshold (32-64:00 power), and for the longer endurance based events down to Aerobic Threshold and even Aerobic Endurance energy systems.

What’s Been Accomplished

So for the first four weeks of my previously mentioned 8-week training block, I performed two 2-week mini-blocks of Anaerobic Power & Vo2 Max energy system training. Basically, short duration, high power intervals with fair bits of rest between reps & sets. In addition to the structured intensity sessions, I progressively built up longer aerobic endurance based rides to begin to pile on the required mileage to tackle a 100 mile MTB race. Without racing in the way during this time period, I could execute, and successfully recover from/absorb, two intensity sessions & two long sessions per week for the first 4 weeks.

The third, and equally important piece of the puzzle is the twice weekly Strength Maintenance sessions in the gym. In Race Prep I’m no longer trying to gain strength, but rather maintain strength. In the Race Prep Phase the focus shifts to more on-bike fitness with intervals and long rides, but I don’t want to lose all my hard earned strength gains from the Base Builder Program. To manage this we target two strength sessions a week on non-race weeks and one sessions early in the week on B-prioroty race weeks in Race Prep Phase. Loads are lighter & reps are fewer in Race Prep, but we maintain focus on core stability and mobility to keep healthy and stay strong.

On the 4th weekend of the block I raced an XC race in Vail, Colorado. Big climbs and fun descents were the ticket. I used this race as a “re-entry” to racing intensity with a good hard effort to signal time to get back to racing. Race went well and fitness feels strong and where it should be. From my estimates from training and racing data, I’d say my FTP is up another 15 watts since the conclusion of our Base Builder Program back in late-April, putting me in the low 300s at 6000 ft elevation and 145 lbs. Solid fitness base re-established!

Next up is the second half of my 8-week Build Block.

Second half will include slightly less training and more racing to be used for training. Anaerobic Threshold will be the focus energy system to train. That’s 32:00-64:00 power, over 8:00-16:00 interval durations. Classic Threshold training! With racing added to the mix, I’ll do one structured session early in the week, followed by one endurance session. Then recover a bit and race the weekend races for added “threshold” training and endurance combined. I expect this 4-week block to elicit even further gains in fitness and power production. Making sustainable power the primary goal, before heading into a mid-July recovery block & family vacation.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming “B” races and pushing myself in those for both physical & mental preparation for the big show in August in Leadville.

The Bailey Hundito, Crested Butte 40, Firecracker 50 & Leadville Silver Rush should each provide some solid challenges over some of my favorite terrain for racing!

Let’s GO!


Cody Waite, Professional Off-Road Endurance Athlete & Coach
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