Save Your Season iLevels: 8 Weeks to High Perf Mountain Bike Racing (WKO Power Duration Curve) MTB

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

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


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

WKO iLevels 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 mountain bike racing training plan uses WKO and the Power Duration Curve, which means that your workout prescription will be individualized based on your data following the PD Curve as you gain fitness.

iLevel plans are for the serious, competitive, power-training cyclist. Whether you’re racing or getting ready for a big event, these plans will give you all the tools you need to kick start your season. To use this plan, you will need to have a power meter and the TrainingPeaks WKO software (if you don't have WKO or if you don't train with power, you can still get these cutting-edge workouts and plans; just search for the Classic versions). This plan uses the advanced iLevels training protocol developed by Dr. Andy Coggan and the new training metrics available in WKO, like FTP/FRC, FRC, and PMAX. Learn more about WKO or watch Coach Cusick’s free educational WKO webinars.

When performing workouts at higher intensities, we recommend that you refer to the Optimized Intervals report within WKO to find the exact intensity you should do the workout out. The Optimized Intervals report displays the optimal interval intensity for you as an individual, based on your actual training history and abilities.

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.

Join the WKO Power Users group!
Click here to request to join our private Facebook group for WKO users. It's a great place to ask questions, make suggestions, share charts, and see how others are using the software.

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 1
1:30:00
80TSS
PD CURVE UNSTRUCTURED TEST

WU:
15-25 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: iLevel 2
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1-minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
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MS1:
2 x Short Duration Test
TARGET: Max power for identified SHORT duration from PD Curve review
REST: 5 minutes easy riding between
CADENCE: Self selected
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Ride easy for 5-10 minutes till recovered
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MS2:
1 x Medium Duration Test
TARGET: Max power for identified MEDIUM duration from PD Curve review
CADENCE: Self selected
-----
Ride easy for 5-10 minutes till recovered
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MS3:
1 x Long Duration Test
TARGET: Max power for identified LONG duration from PD Curve review
CADENCE: Self selected
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Ride any remaining time in your Endurance zone.
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CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: iLevel 1
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day 2
1:45:00
95TSS
ENDURANCE W/TEMPO & CADENCE STANDS CiZ2

WU:
10-15 minutes warm up, progressing to iLevel 2
TARGET: iLevel 2
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
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MS:
1 x 30 Minute Tempo Interval
During this time, complete the drills below.
CADENCE: 1 gear harder/slower rpm than normal self selection; target 75 rpm.
DRILLS: On flats in headwind or gentle climbs, execute 1 x 10 minute standing efforts where you alternate between 1 minute "HIGH CADENCE (90+ rpm)" and 1 minute standing "LOW CADENCE (65-70 RPM, big gear) spins (alternate for 10 minutes).
TARGET: Tempo (iLevel 3)
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Ride remaining prescribed time in Endurance Zone.
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CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: iLevel 1
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day 3
1:30:00
85TSS
FTP MICROBURST INTERVALS CiZ4

WU:
10-15 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: iLevel 2
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, which are 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
Ride any remaining time in your Endurance level.
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CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: iLevel 1
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
35TSS
Active Recovery CiZ1

You get faster when you're resting and recovering, not when you're working hard! Rest days are about going easy enough to really allow your legs to recover, so no efforts over iLevel 1 today. Take it easy and look at the scenery.

Sample Day 5
2:30:00
125TSS
EXTENSIVE FTP/FRC INTERVALS 6 x 3 CiZ5

WU:
10-15 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: iLevel 2
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
-----
MS:
6 x 3 Minute FTP/FRC Intervals
TARGET: 85-90% of PDC 3min
REST: 3 minutes between, easy riding
CADENCE: self selected
*Ride all remaining time in endurance zone
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CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: iLevel 1
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day 6
2:45:00
155TSS
ENDURANCE RIDE W/TEMPO CiZ2

WU:
10-15 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: iLevel 2
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
------
MS1:
1 x 20 Minute Tempo Interval
TARGET: Tempo (iLevel 3)
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 (iLevel 2)
CADENCE: 85-105 rpm. Vary cadence throughout ride and work on pedaling form.
TERRAIN: Flat to rolling
------
CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: iLevel 1
CADENCE: small chain ring

Sample Day 8
1:30:00
85TSS
SI MAX AEROBIC INTERVALS CiZ5

WU:
10-15 minutes warm up, progressing to Zone 2
TARGET: iLevel 2
CADENCE: Self selected with 2 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
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MS:
7 x 30-Second Max Sprint Interval
TARGET: MAX! Hard as you can go!
REST: 4:30 active recovery (iLevel 1) between intervals, pedaling as much as you can around 80-100
CADENCE: self selected
**Ride all remaining time in endurance zone
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CD:
Cool down 5-15 minutes
TARGET: iLevel 1
CADENCE: small chain ring

Tim Cusick
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Velocious Endurance Coaching

Tim Cusick is the TrainingPeaks WKO4 product leader and the owner of Velocious Endurance Coaching. His expertise in training, racing, and data analytics offers a unique approach to training that guides his clients to amazing success. He currently coaches world champion Amber Neben, road pro Emma Grant, and numerous other pros and age group racers. Tim has 100 plans in all cycling disciplines! Need help picking a plan? Fill out our survey here: https://goo.gl/forms/bkGSAYA9VzV9tsq22.