2.5 to 4 Hr MTB Race - 3 Training Days/Wk - Competitor

Average Weekly Training Hours 04:55
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 04:55
Training Load By Week

[ Ideal Target Race -> 2.5 to 4 hour target event. [ Who Is This For -> - Strong race finisher or current mid pack racer. - This plan assumes you have been doing some recent riding and have some level of base cycling endurance. [ Racing During The Program -> Please do… - Race simulation rides are included in the later weeks 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 trail time trials or threshold tests are scheduled at the end 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 has enough time to focus on building a deeper base of endurance and race specific fitness. The first 8 weeks are focused on endurance and strength before moving into the next 8 weeks that build more race specific fitness. These periods are followed by 2 taper weeks and then your final race week. I have provided recommendations on how to adjust the schedule for various timeline situations in the Program And Workout Modifications section. Max individual workout ride time - 3 hours Max weekly ride time - 6 hours and 13 minutes

Sample Day 2
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 4
0:55:00
52.9TSS
Tempo

Purpose
Build muscular endurance.

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

Warm Up
15 min in zone 2.

Main Workout
Ride in zone 3 at a comfortable cadence.

Cool Down
10 in min zone 1.

Additional Notes:
Think of zone 3 as the diesel engine zone. It won’t make you the fastest sprinter or strongest climber, but you can build large amounts of endurance that will ensure a strong finish on race day. It may seem easy at first maintaining this zone, but the fatigue can stack up fast if you are lacking a strong endurance base.

Sample Day 4
0:30:00
Upper Body & Core 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) Pull Up 3) Plank - 60 sec 4) Side Plank - 30 sec per side 5) Superman (Cross) - hold 2 sec on each rep

Sample Day 6
2:00:00
117.1TSS
Endurance Hills - S

Purpose
Combination of building endurance and strength

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

Warm Up
20 min in zone 2.

Main Workout
Repeat — intervals with 3 min work and 12 min recovery.
-- Work — 3:00 min hill climb in zone 4, at or just above threshold with cadence between 60 to 75 rpm (increase cadence if you feel knee pain and stop workout if knee pain continues). Beginners should start with higher cadences.
-- Recovery — 12:00 min in zone 2 at comfortable cadence.

If you burn your climbing legs out prior to finishing the planned interval quantity, continue riding in zone 2 for the rest of the workout.

Cool Down
10 min in zone 1.

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. Replacement is to still do the hills, but at a normal higher cadence.

Sample Day 9
1:05:00
65.2TSS
Tempo

Purpose
Build muscular endurance.

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

Warm Up
15 min in zone 2.

Main Workout
Ride in zone 3 at a comfortable cadence.

Cool Down
10 in min zone 1.

Additional Notes:
Think of zone 3 as the diesel engine zone. It won’t make you the fastest sprinter or strongest climber, but you can build large amounts of endurance that will ensure a strong finish on race day. It may seem easy at first maintaining this zone, but the fatigue can stack up fast if you are lacking a strong endurance base.

Sample Day 9
0:30:00
Upper Body & Core 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) Pull Up 3) Plank - 60 sec 4) Side Plank - 30 sec per side 5) Superman (Cross) - hold 2 sec on each rep

Sample Day 11
0:30:00
Upper Body & Core 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) Pull Up 3) Plank - 60 sec 4) Side Plank - 30 sec per side 5) Superman (Cross) - hold 2 sec on each rep

Steve Hamlin
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Endurance Path

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