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

Average Weekly Training Hours 04:09
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 04:09
Training Load By Week

[ Ideal Target Race -> 2.5 to 4 hour target event. [ Who Is This For -> - Beginner or current back of the pack racers. - This plan assumes you have not been doing a lot of recent riding and are lacking a solid base of 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 15 weeks long with a large focus on building a solid base of endurance. The first 10 weeks are focused on building up your endurance base and then adds strength work before moving into the next 3 weeks that build more race specific fitness. These periods are followed by 1 taper week 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 - 2.5 hours Max weekly ride time - 4 hours and 44 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
1:20:00
59.1TSS
Endurance

Purpose
Build or maintain steady state aerobic endurance.

Terrain
Best done on mostly flat terrain such as rail trail or gravel roads.

Warm Up
10 min in zone 1.

Main Workout
Ride in zone 2 at comfortable cadence.

Cool Down
10 min in zone 1.

Additional Notes:
These are good rides to pay attention to pedal stroke, seat height, seat angle, handle bar position, cleat position on pedals, etc… All those things can really add up and make a big difference in your efficiency and general fatigue. Don’t be afraid to stop and make adjustments as needed to get your bike fit dialed in.

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
1:20:00
59.1TSS
Endurance

Purpose
Build or maintain steady state aerobic endurance.

Terrain
Best done on mostly flat terrain such as rail trail or gravel roads.

Warm Up
10 min in zone 1.

Main Workout
Ride in zone 2 at comfortable cadence.

Cool Down
10 min in zone 1.

Additional Notes:
These are good rides to pay attention to pedal stroke, seat height, seat angle, handle bar position, cleat position on pedals, etc… All those things can really add up and make a big difference in your efficiency and general fatigue. Don’t be afraid to stop and make adjustments as needed to get your bike fit dialed in.

Sample Day 9
0:40:00
24TSS
Skills - 120+ rpm

Purpose
Make spinning at 90 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
10 min in zone 1.

Main Workout
Repeat — 6 to 10 intervals with :30 sec work and 4:30 min recovery.
-- Work — :10 second ramp up to 120+ rpm cadence and then hold for remaining :20 with low pedal resistance.
-- Recovery — 4:30 min at the bottom of zone 2.

Cool Down
Last recovery interval should be sufficient, but you can add additional 5 min in zone 1 if needed.

Additional Notes:
Concentrate on smooth pedal strokes without bouncing or rocking on seat.

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