We are reviving this content from last year written by the Leadville Trail 100 MTB champion Dave Wiens, because it’s just applicable today as it was then. And we are now less than 7-months away from the LT100 MTB. So get on it!
Dispatches from Columbine
By Dave Wiens
The Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Trail 100 MTB is seven months away. What should I be doing right now to get a good jump on my training and race prep?
This is a great question, but like so many, the answer is that it depends. It depends on where you live and what you like to do this time of year. If you live in snow country like I do, I suggest cross training and not worrying about riding at all if you don’t want to or can’t. Just stay fit and have fun doing a variety of activities. I’m actually riding more than I usually do this time of year because I have a Canyon Dude fat bike, but I’m also doing all kinds of skiing and playing hockey. I will continue to ride the fat bike and then, depending on weather, will probably start riding the road in March.
If you have taken some time off of the bike (which I think is really good), I recommend you slowly and consistently increase your riding duration and intensity. What you don’t want to do is start hammering and riding lots and hard too early in the season. This is an age-old story: riding too much, too early and burning out long before the Leadville Trail 100 rolls around.
Also, be certain to take an easy week every four to six weeks to help prevent overtraining. Each successive block of training can be a little harder than the last one. I suggest only hinting at higher intensity training early on, saving this all-important training phase for June and July.
If you live in a temperate climate and are already able to ride as much as you want, I suggest being careful not to get to ambitious or enthusiastic and doing too much too soon. This can be a big challenge if you live in a place where there never really is an off-season for cycling. Again, I would focus on establishing a solid base, focusing on solid but not over-the-top riding.
I’m a firm believer that the best fitness gains can be made by focusing your most intense training on the few months prior to the race in August. I suggest arriving in mid-June with a solid base and lots of enthusiasm for some hard training. This can be difficult if you’ve been riding hard and getting after it since January, February or even March. August 12th is still a long way off, and consistency, patience and curbing your desire to hammer right now are what I suggest.