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Coach's Column with Andy Applegate

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |April 10, 2012 2:04 AM

Andy Applegate is a Pro level coach with Carmichael Training Systems. He has over 20 years of racing experience and has been coaching cyclists full time since 2001. His passion is endurance mountain bike racing. We would like to welcome Andy to our amazing group of elite coaches. You can find out more about Andy and his training programs at www.trainright.com

 

Question: Can intensity take the place of volume for endurance racer? Or should there be a good amount of volume some time during the year?

Answer:The optimum training plan for an endurance mountain bike racer would include both intensity and volume at appropriate times during the training and racing season. Can a racer get away without too much volume? Sure, it is amazing what the human body is capable of suffering through, but that kind of suffering can be avoided with even a little bit of endurance training added into the mix.

High intensity training (HIT) can get a racer to a very high fitness level. Doing specific HIT work will improve power at threshold and can condition the aerobic energy system quite well. However, there are aspects of conditioning that HIT will not bring up to par for longer endurance races. Longer training sessions will help train support muscle groups and allow the rider to gain a good sense of pacing, as well as the ability to process nutrition while riding. Core (lower back and abdominals), arms, shoulders and hands all adapt to the stress of longer sessions. Preparing the entire body to perform to its potential for a long event is difficult to do if only including very short training sessions in the program. Last but certainly not least, the ability to actually sit on the saddle for a long time should not be taken for granted!

The idea is not to overload on volume, but to place endurance rides in the schedule when you can to allow these important adaptations to take place before important long events. One long ride a week most weeks could be adequate to accomplish these goals.  Even the most time crunched athlete can usually find one day a week or even every other week to get out on a long ride. Add this volume in when you can and the time spent will pay dividends with more confidence and better performance on event day.

Andy Applegate

 

If you have a question you would like Andy or any of our amazing coaches to answer just send it to mtbracenews@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

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