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MTB XC/MARATHON In-Season Program (Heart Rate-Based): 12 Weeks - 8-12 Hrs/Week

Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.


Learn More about Structured Workouts.

Author

Tom Bell

All plans by this Coach
No Ratings

Length

12 Weeks

Refund Policy

This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.


Learn More about Structured Workouts.

Plan Description

A STRUCTURED PROGRAM FOR PEAK MTB RACE PERFORMANCE


This plan has been built specifically for INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED mountain bike cross-country/marathon racers seeking optimal performance and results via a science-based yet practical training plan.

KEY FEATURES:



  • Built using TrainingPeaks’ Workout Builder

  • All workouts exportable to .FIT, .ZWO, .ERG formats

  • Polarised Intensity Distribution

  • Large variety of interval workouts

  • All workouts designed for heart rate users

  • Progressive TSS load for sustained improvement

  • Each workout’s purpose clearly communicated


PLAN GOALS:



  • Continually develop foundational aerobic endurance

  • Improve FTP by 3-5% or more over the course of the plan

  • Increase maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) towards target events

  • Train the MTB-specific ability to produce high power surges repeatability

  • Create "cramp immunity" through targeted workouts

  • Build greater muscular endurance as applied to MTB (e.g. standing on pedals, manoeuvring bike on technical terrain)

  • Provide varied workouts for greater adaptive signalling and burnout avoidance


ADDITIONALLY INCLUDES:



  • Email support from Tom throughout the plan

  • Resource files such as checklists and support documentation

  • Optional core strength routine workout library



Stats

Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
6:43 hrs 2:30 hrs
3:17 hrs 4:00 hrs
—— ——
0:27 hrs 0:30 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
6:43 hrs 2:30 hrs
3:17 hrs 4:00 hrs
—— ——
0:27 hrs 0:30 hrs

Training Load By Week


This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor

All supported devices

Tom Bell

High North Performance

High North Performance is a cycling training and metabolic testing consultancy based in Harrogate, UK. We provide customised training programs and performance diagnostic services to professional and amateur athletes using both established and novel training methods, leading testing and analysis technology, as well as a scientific and strategic approach to planning and preparation.

Sample Day 1

1:30:00
85TSS
Threshold: Under-Overs

15M warm up building up to 65-75% Max HR.

3x 15M blocks of 2M @ 7-8/10 effort level and 1M @ 5/10 effort level with 3M of easy spinning as active recovery between each 15M block. These intervals are hard to pace using heart rate, as it is slow to respond to the changing intensity. However, you should see your heart rate reaching around 80-90% Max HR.

Remaining time up to 1.5H @ 60-70% Max HR.

PURPOSE: Increases your threshold power by helping to increasing the level at which blood lactate begins to accumulate exponentially in the blood. This training aims to shift the threshold “to the right” by training body to process and clear lactate more efficiently and at higher intensities.

Sample Day 3

1:30:00
85.5TSS
Threshold: Hard Starts + Finishes

20M building up to ~65-75% Max HR.

3x 12M intervals, each starting and ending with 15S @ hard (9/10 effort) and with 11M30S @ 82-89% Max HR (7/10 effort) between these with 3M of easy spinning as active recovery between each interval.

Remaining time up to 1H30M @ 60-70% Max HR to cool down.

PURPOSE: Develop lactate threshold and to shift lactate curve to the right. Hard starts initially spike HR to improve accrued time at higher heart rates for strong adaptive signal to body, and to recruit fast twitch muscles from beginning.

Sample Day 4

1:00:00
40TSS
Recovery: Easy Ride (Road or MTB)

1H recovery ride @ 55-70% Max HR. This should feel like more than a 3/10 effort level.

PURPOSE: Allow for adaptations from previous hard workout, whilst keeping rhythm of training and muscles working without adding any further stress to the body.

Sample Day 6

3:00:00
138.7TSS
Endurance: Steady MTB Ride

3H @ 60-75% Max HR. This should feel like a 4-5/10 effort level.

Feel free to stray into HR Zone 1 on descents and Zone 3 on steeper climbs, but try to choose as flat or rolling course as possible to maximise time in target zone.

PURPOSE: Enhances aerobic fitness by stimulating greater mitochondrial biogenesis (production of mitochondria - the power house of the cell), enhanced capillarization in the muscles, development of slow-twitch muscles fibres and trains body to more efficiently use fat as primary fuel source. Also develops technical skills and muscles associated with handling MTB both up and down hill.

Sample Day 7

2:00:00
82.2TSS
Endurance: Steady Ride + Sprints

2H @ 65-75% Max HR, including 2x 4x 10S max sprints (10/10 effort) with 1M50S easy spinning between each sprint.

Remaining time after sprints up to 2H @ 60-75% Max HR to cool down. This should feel like a 4-5/10 effort level.

PURPOSE: Develops endurance whilst working on speed of muscle contraction, strength of muscle contraction and how long the muscles can remain contracted by training ability of body to recruit more muscle fibres.

Sample Day 9

1:30:00
81.3TSS
Supra-Threshold: Steady-State Intervals

20M warm up building up to @ 65-75% Max HR or 3-5/10 effort.

4x 8M @ 82-89% Max HR (or 7-8/10 effort) with 3M of easy spinning as active recovery between intervals. These intervals are just above the lactate threshold, so you should feel lactate building throughout each effort.

Remaining time up to 1H30M @ 60-70% FTP or a 4-5/10 effort.

PURPOSE: Increases your threshold power by helping to increasing the level at which blood lactate begins to accumulate exponentially in the blood. This training aims to shift the threshold “to the right” by training body to process and clear lactate more efficiently and at higher intensities.

Sample Day 10

1:30:00
69.4TSS
Endurance: Steady Ride (Road or MTB)

1.5H @ 60-75% Max HR or a 4-5/10 effort.

Feel free to change up cadence and switch between the lower and higher end of HR Zone 2.

PURPOSE: Enhances aerobic fitness by stimulating greater mitochondrial biogenesis (production of mitochondria - the power house of the cell), enhanced capillarization in the muscles, development of slow-twitch muscles fibres and trains body to more efficiently use fat as primary fuel source.

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