Save Your Season: 8 Weeks to High Perf Mountain Bike Racing (structured workouts, Power, HR, RPE)

Average Weekly Training Hours 09:45
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 09:45
Training Load By Week

Velocious


Save Your Season: 8 Weeks to High Performance Mountain Bike Racing


written by Tim Cusick, TrainingPeaks WKO4 Product Leader and master coach with Velocious Cycling Adventures

WKO4 structured training plan

Train with the coach of champion Amber Neben and pro Emma Grant!


If you're fast approaching your goal event(s) and realizing your fitness is not where you'd hoped it would be by now, this is the plan for you. It's not too late to save your season! This 8-week training plan is designed for both masters racers and recreational racers, and it includes targets for heart rate, power (Coggan Classic Training Levels), and perceived exertion.

The workouts can be used in the traditional format or as structured workouts, which load automatically to select devices (Garmin, Zwift, TrainerRoad, Racermate, and more) so you can see your workout and interval numbers right on your device.

Included with your plan:
- Instruction booklet (attached to the first day of the plan)
- Testing protocol
- Coaching comments and tips

Need help loading your structured works to your device or smart trainer?
Click here to read instructions.

More plans
Tim Cusick has written dozens of training plans for many different areas of cycling: road, gravel, time trial, mountain bike, cyclocross, indoor training, and more. Click here for a full list of his current plans by sport type.

Questions?
Click here to view a list of frequently asked questions about our training plans. If you don't find your answer there, please email Coach Kathy Watts.

Sample Day 2
1:30:00
80TSS
FTP TESTING CCTEST

WU:
10-15 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: PW: Z2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
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MS1: 5-Minute Hard Effort. This 5-minute effort should be done at maximum. Start the effort at a high pace, but not so hard that you cannot finish strong. Really hammer out the last 45 seconds. The goal is to generate a max 5-minute Vo2 Max test. The rest for 15 minutes easy pedal before MS2.
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MS2: 20-Minute Time Trial
Try to do this on a road that is fairly flat and allows you to put out strong, steady power for the entire 20-minute effort. Don’t start too hard! You can do this on a steady climb or into a headwind to help produce steady power throughout the 20-minute effort. Once complete, spin easy for 10 minutes in Z2 Endurance Zone. Your FTP is the power average for the 20-minute effort minus 5%.
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CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: PW: Z1/HR: Zone 1/PE: 2-3
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day 3
1:45:00
95TSS
ENDURANCE W/TEMPO & CADENCE STANDS CCZ2

WU:
10-15 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: PW: Level Z2 / HR Zone 2 / RPE 2-4
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
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MS1:
1 x 30-minute Tempo Interval
During this time, complete the drills below.
DRILLS: On flats in headwind or gentle climbs, execute 1 x 10 minute standing efforts alternating between 1 minute standing "HIGH CADENCE (90+ rpm)" and 1 minute standing "LOW CADENCE (65-70 RPM big gear)" (alternate for 10 minutes).
TARGET: Tempo (PW Level Z3 / HR Zone 3 / RPE 5-6)
CADENCE: 1 gear harder/slower rpm than normal self selection; target 75 rpm.
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MS2:
Ride remaining prescribed time in Endurance Zone.
TARGET: Endurance (PW Level Z2/ HR Zone 2 / RPE 2-4)
CADENCE: 85-105 rpm. Vary cadence throughout ride and work on pedaling form.
TERRAIN: Flat to rolling
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CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: PW: Level Z1 / HR Zone 1 / RPE 2-3
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day 4
1:30:00
85TSS
FTP MICROBURST INTERVALS (4 x 10) CCZ4

WU:
15-20 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: PW: Z2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
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MS1:
4 x 10-Minute Microburst Intervals - 10-minute intervals in which you vary your effort from 15 seconds at 180% of FTP (HARD) to 15 seconds at 40% of FTP (EASY) for the duration of the interval
TARGET: 180% of FTP / 40% of FTP
REST: 5 minutes easy riding between intervals
CADENCE: Keep cadence above 85 rpm at all times
TERRAIN: Trainer or long stretch of flat road
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CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: PW: Z1/HR: Zone 1/PE: 2-3
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day 5
1:00:00
35TSS
ACTIVE RECOVERY

WU:
10-15 Minutes Warm Up
TARGET: (PW: Z1 / HR: Zone 1 / PE: 2-3 )
CADENCE: Self Selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
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MS:
Ride easy (PW: Z1 / HR: Zone 1 / PE: 2-3 )
Cadence: SPIN
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Cool Down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: (PW: Z1/HR: Zone 1/PE: 2-3)
Cadence: small chain ring

Sample Day 6
2:30:00
125TSS
VO2MAX INTERVALS 6 x 3 CCZ5

WU:
15-20 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: PW: Z2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1 minute fast pedals to wake up legs
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MS:
6 x 3-Minute VO2Max Intervals
TARGET: VO2Max (PW Z5/HR Z5/REP 6-7)
REST: 3 minutes easy riding between
CADENCE: self selected
Ride all remaining time in endurance zone
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CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: PW: Z1/HR: Zone 1/PE: 2-3
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day 7
2:45:00
155TSS
ENDURANCE RIDE W/TEMPO CCZ2

WU:
10-15 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: PW: Z2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1-minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
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MS1:
1 x 20-Minute Tempo Interval
TARGET: Tempo (PW Z3/HR Z3/RPE 4-5)
CADENCE: 1 gear harder/slower RPM than normal self selection, target 75 RPM.
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MS2:
Ride remaining prescribed time in Endurance zone
TARGET: End (PW: Z2 / HR: Zone 2 / PE: 4-5)
CADENCE: 85-105 RPM. Vary cadence throughout ride and work on pedaling form.
TERRAIN: Flat to rolling
------
CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: PW: Z1/HR: Zone 1/PE: 2-3
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day 9
1:30:00
85TSS
SI MAX AEROBIC INTERVALS CCZ5

WU:
10-15 Minutes Warm Up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: PW Z2 / HR Z2 / PE 4-5
CADENCE: Self Selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
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MS:
7 x 30 Sec Max Sprint Interval
TARGET: MAX! Hard as you can go!
REST: 4:30 active recovery between intervals, pedaling as much as you can around 80-100 watts
CADENCE: self selected
**Ride all remaining time in endurance zone
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CD:
Cool Down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: PW Z1 / HR Z1 / PE 2-3
CADENCE: small chain ring

Tim Cusick
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Velocious Endurance Coaching

As the TrainingPeaks WKO4 product leader and a co-owner of Velocious Endurance Coaching, Tim brings a wealth of experience to his coaching clients. With his expertise in training, racing, and data analytics, he offers a unique, data-driven approach as he guides clients to performance success. Tim currently coaches former ITT world champion Amber Neben, road pro Emma Grant, and numerous other professional and select age group racers.