6+ Hr MTB Race - 4 Training Days/Wk - Strong Competitor

Average Weekly Training Hours 07:38
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 07:38
Training Load By Week

[ 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 -> Please do… - 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. [ Timeline Overview -> 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 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.

Sample Day 2
0:40:00
10.7TSS
Skills - Max rpm

Purpose
Make spinning up to 120 rpm more comfortable.
Smooth out pedal stroke.
Prepare legs for cadence bursts that happen during hill approaches, bridging gaps or attacks.

Terrain
Indoor trainer, but can also be done on flat gravel road or rail trail.

Warm Up
5 to 10 minutes in zone 1 or low zone 2.

Main Workout
Intervals — 6 to 10 intervals with 1:00 min work and 4:00 min recovery.
-- Work — :45 sec slow and smooth ramp up to max cadence and hold max cadence for remaining :15 sec with very low pedal resistance.
-- Recovery — 4:00 min recovery at 90 rpm in zone 1.

Cool Down
Last recovery interval should be sufficient, but you can add additional 5 minutes of recovery in zone 1 after the last recovery interval if needed.

Additional Notes:
Pedal resistance should be very low for work interval with concentration on smooth pedal strokes without bouncing or rocking on seat.

Sample Day 2
0:30:00
Full Body Circuit (Basic)

Workout Variables:Sets: 1 to 3 circuits Repetitions: 12 to 20 Rest between exercises: 0 to 120 seconds Rest between circuits: 3 to 5 minutes Exercises: 1) Push Up 2) Body Squat 3) Crunch 4) Lunge 5) Superman (cross)

Sample Day 4
0:55:00
61.2TSS
Test - Threshold

Purpose
Find your estimated FTP (Functional Threshold Power) and estimated FTHR (Functional Threshold Heart Rate) to establish training zones.

Terrain
Try using an indoor trainer for your first threshold test to establish a solid baseline. It can be done outside, but you need to be able to go all out without stopping and hold a consistent pace for the 20 min time trial portion for the most accurate results.

Warm Up
Get in a solid warm up that includes a few spin ups and a short effort at or near your threshold to prime your system. Include a short recovery period before going into the 20 minute threshold effort.

Main Workout
20 min time trial effort - Put out as consistent and steady of an effort as possible from start to finish. You should be completely spent at the finish.

Cool Down
5 to 10 minutes in zone 1

Other Threshold Testing Protocol Options
- Establish your own repeatable warm up protocol following the guidelines above
- See the warm-up workout included in this training plan
- Coggan’s testing protocol found in the book Training And Racing With A Power Meter by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan, PhD
- Sufferfest’s testing protocol found in The Sufferfest video Rubberglove
- Friel’s testing protocol found in the book The Mountain Biker’s Training Bible by Joe Friel or the book The Cyclist’s Training Bible by Joe Friel

Additional Notes:
- FTP (Functional Threshold Power) estimation = .95 X (20 min TT avg power)
- FTHR (Functional Threshold Heart Rate) estimation = 20 min TT avg HR

- If doing heart rate only - record average speed and distance for 20 mm TT. This is how you gauge improvement in place of measuring power gains.
- See Training Zone Worksheet for calculation of training zones.

Sample Day 6
2:10:00
128.6TSS
Tempo Intervals

Purpose
Build muscular endurance.

Terrain
Mostly flat or low grade rolling hills on a rail trail or gravel road.

Warm Up
Use your typical race day warm up.

Main Workout
Intervals — 4 to 6 intervals with 20:00 min work and 5:00 min recovery.
-- Work — ride near the top of zone 3 with cadence between 84 and 96 rpm.
-- Recovery — ride in zone 1.

Cool Down
10 min in zone 1.

Additional Notes:
The upper end of zone 3 is likely to be your average race effort for the 100 mile target race, but it is very difficult to ride much more than an hour to and hour and half continuously in zone 3, especially early in your training. Doing the 20 minute intervals will allow you to get more time in zone 3 and build comfort riding here. Just focus on the 20 minute blocks and don’t go out too hard on the first one, which is easy to do if you are not using a power meter. It will take time for our heart rate to catch up to your actual effort.

Sample Day 7
2:00:00
111TSS
Endurance Hills

Purpose
Build both steady state endurance and hill climbing endurance.

Terrain
Ride mostly flat terrain with access to a long hill climb. If no hill is available, then ride into a headwind for the work portion of intervals.

Warm Up
Use your typical 20 minute race warm-up.

Main Workout
Repeat — intervals with 10 min work and 20 min recovery
-- Work — 10:00 min at the top of zone 3 or bottom of zone 4 with cadence between 60 to 75 rpm (increase cadence if you feel knee pain and stop workout if knee pain continues).
-- Recovery — 20:00 in zone 2 at cadence of 84 to 96 rpm.
If you burn your climbing legs out prior to finishing the planned interval quantity, continue riding in zone 2 for endurance.

Cool Down
10 minute cool down in zone 1 after last recovery interval.

Additional Notes:
Be very careful of this workout if you have had any knee issues. The low cadence and high pedal force puts extreme amounts of stress on your knee joint. A replacement is to still do the hills, but at a normal higher cadence.

Sample Day 9
0:40:00
10.7TSS
Skills - Max rpm

Purpose
Make spinning up to 120 rpm more comfortable.
Smooth out pedal stroke.
Prepare legs for cadence bursts that happen during hill approaches, bridging gaps or attacks.

Terrain
Indoor trainer, but can also be done on flat gravel road or rail trail.

Warm Up
5 to 10 minutes in zone 1 or low zone 2.

Main Workout
Intervals — 6 to 10 intervals with 1:00 min work and 4:00 min recovery.
-- Work — :45 sec slow and smooth ramp up to max cadence and hold max cadence for remaining :15 sec with very low pedal resistance.
-- Recovery — 4:00 min recovery at 90 rpm in zone 1.

Cool Down
Last recovery interval should be sufficient, but you can add additional 5 minutes of recovery in zone 1 after the last recovery interval if needed.

Additional Notes:
Pedal resistance should be very low for work interval with concentration on smooth pedal strokes without bouncing or rocking on seat.

Sample Day 9
0:30:00
Full Body Circuit (Basic)

Workout Variables:Sets: 1 to 3 circuits Repetitions: 12 to 20 Rest between exercises: 0 to 120 seconds Rest between circuits: 3 to 5 minutes Exercises: 1) Push Up 2) Body Squat 3) Crunch 4) Lunge 5) Superman (cross)