Ideal Target Race
Your ideal target race goal should be approximately 6 to 8 hours to finish with the focus of the training being on endurance, climbing and dialing in your ideal race pace. I have provided a Program And Workout Modifications section with recommended adjustments to this training plan for target races that could take you 8+ hours to complete or races with faster paces and minimal climbing.
Who Is This For
Existing mid pack age group endurance racer looking to take things to the next level or someone who has been been riding for a couple years and wanting some serious structured training for a good finish in their first endurance race.
Racing During The Program
Race simulation rides are included in the schedule every weekend throughout the back half of the program so you can dial in your race pace on terrain similar to your target race or do some actual racing.
Test sessions, either off-road time trials or threshold tests are scheduled at the ends of recovery weeks and are ideal sessions to swap for weekend races throughout the training program.
This program is 19 weeks long and broken down into 3 periods and 1 race week. The first 8 week period is for building base endurance and force before moving into the next 8 weeks that builds up your race specific fitness. These periods are followed by 2 taper weeks and your final race week. The max individual workout/ride length is 5 hours and 40 minutes and I have provided a recommended modifications section to account for some varying endurance race lengths.
Training Period Description
The program assumes the existing intermediate mid pack racer has an existing level of base fitness going into the program.
Weeks 1 through 4 – Base Period
Spend a lot of time building endurance in zone 3 which is most likely the zone you will spend a majority of your time during long distance races. You’ll also go into some long hill repeat work during one of the weekend endurance rides.
Weeks 5 through 8 – Base Period
Dive deeper into hill repeat work during the week to build climbing strength and add time to the weekend rides.
Weeks 9 through 12 – Build Period
Add some power work to support short climbs, fast starts and bridging gaps on race day while continuing to build force with hill repeat work. You will also start race day simulation rides on the weekend to start dialing in race day nutrition, get comfortable riding race pace on race type terrain and prepare yourself for higher intensity.
Weeks 13 through 16 – Build Period
Increase length of power output, build endurance at higher intensities while getting comfortable going above threshold for short periods and increase time at race pace.
Weeks 17 through 18 – Taper Period
Tapering down to race week with limited endurance riding and the focus being on maintaining performance of race intensity built up in the previous 8 weeks.
Week 19 – Race Week
Ride time will be short this week, but will still include 1 race intensity ride early in the week. By the end of the week, you should feel very dialed in and ready to race.