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

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

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

Sample Day -4
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
1:45:00
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 1
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 4
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.

Sample Day 7
2:00:00
91.1TSS
Force: Seated Accelerations

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

10x 40S slow-speed, seated force accelerations, with 1M20S of easy spinning for active recovery between each acceleration.

Remaining time steady riding up to 2H @ 65-75% Max HR.

PURPOSE: Develop muscular ability to overcome force and generate power in a high torque, low cadence manner.

Sample Day 9
3:30:00
146.7TSS
Endurance: Steady MTB Ride + Fatigue Resistance Intervals

Ride 3H30M @ 65-75% Max HR, keeping intensity in check on any hills. Include 3-4x 2.5M intervals @ 82-90% Max HR with 2M easy spinning between in final 30M of workout.

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. This workout specifically also develops muscular endurance and ability to produce high sustainable power in the presence of fatigue.

Sample Day 11
2:00:00
105TSS
Supra-Threshold: 5M Intervals

30M warm up @ 60-75% FTP.

5x 5M @ 89-94% of Max HR with 2M30S of easy spinning for active recovery between each interval.

Remaining time up to 2H @ 60-70% FTP.

PURPOSE: Increases Threshold Power by helping to improving the lactate threshold, i.e. where 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.

Tom Bell
|
tombell.co

I help Road, MTB and CX athletes achieve peak cycling performances through an attentive working relationship and a scientific, individualised approach to training strategy.