Dear Joe and Dirk,
I’m a mountain-bike racer and have just started my off season. I’dlike to do some running and maybe do a couple running races. I know thatif I do race these I will probably push it to the max. Is it counterproductive for me to be doingrun races in what is normally my off season?I know that working to maximum during these events will do little forme in June, but I’d like to stay active and keep things interesting.
Feeling competitive in JanuaryDear January,
We actually encourage cyclists to do cross training activitiessuch as running, snow shoeing, hikes, etc. As long as a large percentageof your total training time is not devoted to the top heart rate zones4 and 5, you should be fine. Feel free to mix it up and go all out a coupletimes per month. This will stimulate all of your energy delivery systems,yet won’t maximize your potential. ‘The issue to be careful of is if you regularly hit heart rate zones4 and 5 all year around which may have the affect of causing a fitnessplateau well before your important events.
DirkDear Joe and Dirk;
I have a question about weight work. It seems that the latest thinkingis that “anatomic adaptation,” (AA) “max strength” (MS) and “strength maintenance”(SM) should, when combined with a little on-bike strength work, sufficefor road race training.I’m now however starting to hear about something called a “max strengthtransition” (MT) phase. How would a transition period be beneficial? Ifso, how long? Or should I just go straight from AA to MS?
Pumping Iron in IndianapolisDear Athlete,
Between anatomic adaptation and max strength phases I’d suggest gettingin 3-5 weight sessions with 10-15 reps of the same exercises you’ll doin MS. Increase the weight to the level which will only allow for10-15 reps. The MS phase calls for six rep’s per set and should end when,for example, the amount of weight you lift during the leg press (sled)equals 2.5-2.9 times your body weight.
Best of luck,
Joe Friel is the author of “TheCyclist’s Training bible.” Dirk Friel is a co-founder of TrainingBible.comand coaches along with Joe at Ultrafit Associates. For more informationon coaching and training software please visit www.Ultrafit.comand www.TrainingBible.com.
If you have questions for this column, please send them to TrainingBible Studies. Each week Joe and Dirk Friel will answer a selectionof questions submitted.