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8-week Preseason Plan - MTB XC and XCM

Includes Structured Workouts

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


Learn More about Structured Workouts.

Author

Coach Jeff Winkler

All plans by this Coach
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Length

8 Weeks

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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

This plan is designed for the competitor who is focusing primarily on the MTB Season: March - September. This a plan to transition you from the off-season to the early competition period. Use this plan to prepare for XC and XCM events. XC events are typically in the 1.5-2.0 hr duration and XCM events 3-4hr.

Ideally, you would begin this plan in January and complete it in March. Many locales start racing in March/April and important summer events will begin to appear on the calendar.

ORDER OF TRAINING SESSIONS:
You can adjust the order of the workouts to fit your schedule, but I don't recommend changing the order of workouts too much. I have placed them with purpose and certain workouts may be harder to complete if done in a different order.

TRAINER WORKOUTS:
Many of us are forced indoors for early season training. Not all these workouts translate well to the trainer, e.g., sprints. It is usually necessary to adjust the workout for the trainer, while still achieving the basic goal of the workout. For example, a SPRINT workout could be done as a seated maximal effort of similar duration. This will avoid most of the limitations of an indoor trainer: insufficient resistance, wheel slippage, etc.

GROUP RIDES:
If you have weekend group rides during this period, feel free to substitute. "Spirited" group rides are good substitutes for the Saturday workouts. Riding with a group on Sunday long rides can make the time go by too. The 2 major concerns are: 1) group rides are too HARD compared to the planned workout OR 2) group rides are too EASY. You will not be peaking at the end of this block, but you will be ready to race. After this block you should employ an "in-season" block that balances volume and intensity with your weekend racing schedule.

TRAINING ZONES & FIELD TESTS:
There is a lively debate on the internet about how to properly determine FTP and set training zones. A major part of this debate centers on the relative merits of 8-min, 20-min and 60-min field tests to determine FTP. In a nutshell, it is not uncommon for these different tests to result in a different FTP value and, therefore, different training zone boundaries.



Training Plan Sample Week

Stats

Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
MTB x6
11:24 hrs 5:00 hrs
Brick x1
—— ——
Day Off x1
—— ——
Strength x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
MTB
11:24 hrs 5:00 hrs
Brick
—— ——
Day Off
—— ——
Strength
—— ——

Training Load By Week


This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Power Meter
  • Heart Rate Monitor

All supported devices

Jeff Winkler

Winkler Cycling

Over the past 30 years, I have coached athletes to multiple State and National Championship titles in the disciplines of Road, MTB and Cyclocross. I have worked with all levels of individual racers from novice to professional and have coached collegiate, club and amateur teams.

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