Intermediate Cross-Country MTB Plan by The Sufferfest.


The Sufferfest


10 Weeks

Typical Week

6 X-Train, 4 Bike, 1 MTB, 1 Other

Longest Workout

1:57 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling mountain biking intermediate

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Over the next 10 weeks you will do much more than improve your engine. In addition to your on the bike efforts you will run through a progressive yoga program that will increase your exibility and core strength. Due
to the rough and tumble nature of Mountain Biking chances are you will come off the bike a few times, so ensuring that you’re exible and have good core strength can reduce the risk of injury from these crashes. To avoid those crashes in the rst place you will have weekly trail sessions to sharpen up your handling skills. Afterall, it doesn’t matter that you get to the top of a climb 30 seconds faster if you lose 2 minutes on the downhill!


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 07:05
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 07:05
Average Weekly Breakdown

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

Yoga: Guided Meditation

This a short guided meditation that focuses on your breath and the sensations in your body. Fantastic for clearing the mind and regaining focus.

Sample Day 2

The Chores

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✩✩✩✩
AC: ✭✭✭✩✩
MAP: ✭✭✭✭✭
FTP: ✭✭✭✭✩

Chores. They're rarely glamorous, almost never fun, and more often than not you need a hot shower and a long nap afterwards. Sort of like this workout. If you want a 'do-it-all' session, that will maintain and improve nearly every aspect of your fitness, then you're in the right place. Each set combines a series of 40 second efforts and 20 second recoveries with a sustained effort just below Threshold. The benefits are substantial. First: with such short recoveries between hard efforts, you'll pretty much empty your anaerobic fuel tank by the end of each set. This obviously develops your AC, but as your body is forced to rely more and more on your ability to produce power aerobically as your AC empties it gives your maximal aerobic (MAP) a real shove. As your body shifts from AC to MAP and begins producing almost all power from oxygen, the workout puts you into a sustained effort just below threshold. These same sustained threshold efforts when fresh would be a piece of cake, but by starting them deep in the red you will find them to be much more difficult than you might think. These efforts will push you right to the edge, but never over, so dig in deep and get your chores done!

Sample Day 2

Breathing To CRUSH THEM

Perhaps the only people more Badass than Sufferlandrians are Navy Seals. And this is the breathing exercise that Navy Seals do to calm down and focus themselves before major operations. Learn and use this technique before heading into your own major events and races.

Sample Day 3

Getting Away With It

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✭✩✩✩
AC: ✭✩✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✩✩✩✩
FTP: ✭✭✭✭✩

Wouldn't it be great if you could just leave work to go for a ride? Even for an hour? Well, now's your chance. Getting Away With It gets you out of the office and onto the roads of the French Pyrenees with your guide Michael Cotty of The Col Collective.

This is a great session to add toward the end of a training block. The shorter duration, sub-threshold efforts are fantastic for getting some extra FTP building while you are in a fatigued state. Extra emphasis on cadence stresses your nervous system, making your body more efficient at both higher and lower RPMs while improving your form. The neuromuscular training you get from this session is fantastic, so while your power never exceeds threshold, your body will learn to bring more energy to the pedals at all intensities.

Sample Day 3

Breathing More DEEPLY

Diaphragmatic Breathing is a calming exercise that encourages you to breathe deeply into your abdomen.

Sample Day 4

Yoga: Shake off the Day

This gentle sequence is designed to loosen up tight muscles and encourage good postural habits. You can practice it in the morning to relieve stiffness or in the evening to wind down before bed. We finish with a short body scan meditation to calm your mind and release tension throughout the body. Modification: If you’re unable to sit back on your heels in Child’s pose, you can put a couple of cushions or a pillow between your calves and the backs of your thighs.

Sample Day 5

Standing Starts

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✭✭✭✭
AC: ✭✭✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✩✩✩✩
FTP: ✭✩✩✩✩

Standing starts closely simulate a lifting session on the bike because it requires the engagement of your core, upper and lower body. Standing starts will train your ability to generate force through the pedals by forcing you to recruit all of your musculature. No matter your prefered discipline, these efforts are key to teaching your body to recruit all of the muscle fibers in your legs. The saying “Use it or Lose it” actually does apply here.
All of the benefit in this session comes from hitting these 20 seconds effort as hard as you possibly can. To do that, you need full recovery between each sprint, and you need to respect that recovery!
These efforts should see you start at super low RPMs with very high torque, as the effort continues your cadence will naturally increase. Your goal is to get your cadence as high as possible by the end of each 20 second effort. To maximize your muscle recruitment you want to both push down and pull up on the pedals at the start. Proper core engagement is a must, your legs need a good strong backboard to push against.
We understand that not everyone's trainer has the necessary resistance, or the required stability, to perform this workout as described. For stability issues you can get much of the same benefit by doing these efforts seated. If your trainer can’t handle the rapid change in speed, or does not have high enough resistance at a super low cadence then you can start the efforts are a higher cadence and simply treat them as “normal” all out sprints.

Intermediate Cross-Country MTB Plan by The Sufferfest.

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