MTB XC/MARATHON Polarised In-Season Program (Heart Rate-Based): 12-Weeks - 12-15+ Hrs/Week

Author

Tom Bell

All plans by this Coach

Length

12 Weeks

Typical Week

1 MTB, 5 Bike, 1 Strength, 1 Day Off

Longest Workout

2:45 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling mountain biking hr based

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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Summary

Includes Structured Workouts

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


Learn More about Structured Workouts.

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

Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 12:31
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 12:31
Average Weekly Breakdown

Tom Bell

tombell.co

Individualised, data-driven performance coaching and training programs for MTB XCO, MTB Marathon and Cyclocross athletes. We combine our real-world, elite-level experience at national team, UCI MTB World Cup and World Championship-level with leading science and expert data analysis skills to provide effective and actionable programs for our athletes, all whilst offering the educational and motivational support needed for true potential to be reached.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

2:00:00
110TSS
Threshold: Under-Overs

30M warm up building up to 65-75% Max HR.

3x 18M blocks of 2M @ 82-89% Max HR/1M @ 75-80%% FTP with 3M of easy spinning as active recovery between each 15M block.

Remaining time up to 2H @ 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 2

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

1H recovery ride @ 55-70% Max HR.

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 3

1:45:00
95.5TSS
Threshold: Hard Starts + Finishes

30M building up to ~65-75% Max HR.

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

Remaining time up to 1H45M @ 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

1:45:00
80.9TSS
Endurance: Steady Ride (Road or MTB)

1H45M @ 60-75% Max HR. 

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.

Sample Day 6

3:15:00
150.3TSS
Endurance: Steady MTB Ride

3H15M @ 60-75% Max HR.

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

2:15:00
92.2TSS
Endurance: Steady Ride + Sprints

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

Remaining time after sprints up to 2H @ 60-75% Max HR to cool down.

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

1:50:00
94.7TSS
Supra-Threshold: Steady-State Intervals

30M warm up building up to @ 65-75% Max HR.

4x 8M @ 82-89% Max HR with 3M of easy spinning as active recovery between intervals.

Remaining time up to 1H50M @ 60-70% FTP.

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.

MTB XC/MARATHON Polarised In-Season Program (Heart Rate-Based): 12-Weeks - 12-15+ Hrs/Week

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