Mountain bikers, adventurous road riders, and ultra-endurance enthusiasts everywhere – you’ve spoken and we’ve listened.

There’s been a lot of exciting changes and improvements lately, including iOS and our new homepage, but it hasn’t stopped there. We’ve also began completely revamping our training plans and building several new ones to better help you specify your training to the big events on your calendar. You’ve already seen some of the changes with the new Sweet Spot Base plans which have been a huge hit since launching them in October. Now, we’ve got something that I, as a mountain biker, am pretty pumped on and I think you will be too: The Leadville Plan. While we’ve had a mountain bike plan since early 2014, it really didn’t provide the right structure for a rider targeting a grueling event like Leadville. Now, if your entire season is focused on battling the skinny air and long climbs in Colorado next August, we’ve got the next 10 months of your training laid out for you. Check it out:

Traditional Base 1 (4 weeks)

Traditional Base 2 (4 weeks)

Traditional Base 3 (4 weeks)

Many are racing cross right now or taking a break before getting back into things for next season. We understand that 12 weeks of base isn’t feasible for everyone, but ideally, you want to have a solid foundation built by March 1st, 2015 in order to begin the next phase of the plan.

When preparing for ultra-endurance events, having a solid base is paramount. We understand those big FTP gains that come from the higher intensity workouts are appealing, but taking the time to really charge up your aerobic engine will pay dividends as the season progresses. Putting in the time now will make every pedal stroke of the hard work yet to come more valuable. Stay with it!

Sustained Power Build (8 weeks)

*Starting from here, you’ll be working with brand new plans that we will be releasing late winter/early spring, just in time for the conclusion of your base work. These build plans will focus on increasing FTP, plain and simple. Workouts will have you spending a lot of time at threshold and above, improving your sustained power and physiological efficiency.

Century Plan (8 weeks)

We’ve factored in the time of year that most of the qualifiers are for a “mini peak” before August. This plan will provide the extra volume and TSS necessary to take you close to peak form without digging a hole before the big goal in August.

Sustained Power Build (8 weeks)

Now that you’ve qualified, lets re-balance all of the systems, re-focus, and get back on track to getting stronger. While the gains will be more challenging in this second Build, they will also be much more valuable as you challenge yourself and take your fitness to new levels.

XC Marathon Plan (8 weeks)

Okay, the general work is done. Now it’s time to specify. This plan gets right down to the task at hand – riding your mountain bike for a very long distance. While you will see workouts similar to the current Mountain Bike Plan so that those unique fitness adaptations that make you fast on the trail are trained and strong, this plan will also be focusing on improving your power at threshold and endurance for a long day in the saddle.

A couple notes:

When selecting the volume of the plan to ride, choose the one that you can manage. Starting in the high volume version but then having to cut down as you go will negatively effect the overall progression of the plans that Coach Chad designed them to have.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind the amount of time you spend riding outdoors. Simply put, if you want to be successful at Leadville you need to ride outside so that you can keep your technical skills high. However, the amount of time spent outdoors is up to you and is sure to change throughout the season. Keep this in mind as you select the version of the plan to follow.

Substituting workouts for a plan this long is certainly something you will encounter. When planning to ride outdoors, or if you are unable to do your workout for one reason or another, make sure that you substitute your prescribed workout with one that is as similar to your workout as possible. If the ride you are planning is longer than what your training plan dictates for that day, try to make at least a portion of your ride as similar to your prescribed workout as possible, but keep an eye on your training load to make sure you don’t accrue excessive TSS.

Along these lines, be sure to record TSS from all outdoor workouts so that you can still follow the plan as it is laid out. This 9-month plan has been designed to slowly build and increase TSS as you go, while also including rest/recovery periods which are paramount to reap the maximum benefits from your hard work. By keeping track of your outdoor TSS, you can still maintain the structure of your training while also following the structure that has been laid out in the plan.


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Trevor DeRuise

Trevor DeRuise is a professional mountain bike racer, Level III USA certified coach, lead contributor to cycling forum conversations, and the main person behind all TrainerRoad’s tweets. Follow the latest TrainerRoad news and updates he’s sharing online.

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