• How to substitute mountain biking into the cycling base training plan

    Q:  Hi Gale, I am primarily a road racer. This past year I dabbled in mountain bike racing. I did enjoy mountain biking, but I have a long way to go to hone my skills. I used your Level II Cyclist Base Training Plan from your book, Training Plans for Cyclists last winter and it worked great.

    A couple of questions. First, is the plan I used last winter similar to the online plan titled "Cycling: Level II Cyclist, Base, (Winter, Off-Season) Training Plan, 4.25-10.5 hrs/wk?"  

    Secondly, I want to use the online version of that plan if workouts can be delivered to my phone and if I can edit the plan – is this possible?

    Finally, can you suggest modifications to the plan for my new mountain biking addiction – with my focus remaining on road racing?

    Thanks for the help!



    A:  Hey S.A. ~ First, thanks for using my plans and letting me know about your success.

    You are the second roadie that has written me in two weeks asking about mountain biking additions to base training. To get right to your questions:

    Yes, the online plan you reference is essentially the same as the one shown in the book.

    Yes, the online system I use to deliver training plans – TrainingPeaks – allows workouts to be delivered to your phone. Of course you can access them via your desktop computer as well. You can edit the plans, making modifications to workout times and all the other details. You can also move the workouts around within weeks.

    As for adding mountain biking to the training and which workouts can be a mountain bike ride depend somewhat on where you live. If you have access to easy, rolling trails then you can make any of the E2 or E3 rides on the mountain bike. If most of the terrain you will ride on the mountain bike is pretty challenging, substitute the more difficult rides with the mountain bike (E3, E4, A1a-d).

    Keep me posted how it goes ~


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