12 Week Base Training Block for XC or Enduro Racers. Heart Rate + Trail Optimized

Author

MTB PhD

All plans by this Coach

Length

12 Weeks

Typical Week

3 Bike, 2 MTB, 1 Day Off

Longest Workout

3:00 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling mountain biking beginner intermediate advanced masters hr based base period

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Summary

For many mountain bikers, training is a bit of a mystery. And a lot of us have the same kinds of questions for training.

What weaknesses should I be addressing in my fitness training? How should a typical week look? How many weeks in a row should I do this? When should I rest? Should I be training different for Enduro than for XC?

This plan is one 12-week block that addresses all of these questions, no matter what level you are at. These are the same kinds of workouts that I use with professional and beginner athletes. The main goal of this 12-week base plan is to make your engine more efficient and prepare you for more intense and regular MTB riding and racing.

First, you will test your fitness. The plan then goes on through 3 full weeks of training and finish the fourth week with a structured recovery week and a post-training fitness test. This process repeats every 4 weeks, while gradually increasing in intensity and volume.

This particular plan is optimized for training with heart rate. You can also use your power meter. Each and every ride can be done on the indoor trainer if the weather or timing force you indoors. Since the intensity for each ride is specified you can recreate each ride inside. If you have a smart trainer, check out the same plan with downloadable files to link directly to your smart trainer for following the workout indoors or on Zwift.

This plan also allows for FUN MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDES -- because training should be fun!

The workouts are well-suited for both XC and Enduro racers.

Ideally you would start this plan 5-6 months before your biggest goal race, though if your aerobic fitness is your limiter, you can start this at any time.

Stats

Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 07:20
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 07:20
Average Weekly Breakdown

Dr Matt Miller

MTB PhD

I specialize in MTB performance and support rad athletes globally. I have a PhD in Sport Science and have raced in every discipline including the EWS and UCI Elite XC since 2003. In early 2019 I left my university role to focus on coaching full time.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

1:00:00
TEST TIME TRIAL [Pre-training]

Welcome to the first day of your training plan! The first day is a test day to determine what your fitness is now and to offer you a benchmark for your future training cycles.

We will try to control this as much as we can so that we know we are comparing apples to apples. We'll make sure the lead in to test day is pretty similar, control the warmup, and it will be up to you to eat similar foods.
(PRO-HACK: write down what you ate in the post-ride comments after you upload your file)


In addition to helping you track your progress, testing will also help you to determine training zones as you start your program.

IF YOU HAVE A SMART TRAINER
Click on the option to do an FTP test and follow the protocol. the time trial portion is VERY hard, and the program will tell you your FTP so that you can set your zones and intensities for the following weeks of workouts.

IF YOU HAVE A POWER METER OR OTHER:
Choose a road nearby that is easily repeatable on a safe section of road with no stops. Do this on the same bike every time. Using a MTB is OK. If this is uphill you will be able to pedal more steadily (less coasting) but flat or rolling terrain are fine if there are no stops or changes of road.
Get in a 15-minute warmup as follows: 5min easy seated pedaling- 10s acceleration with high cadence RPE~7 - 2min easy pedaling- 15s acceleration with slightly higher RPE, high cadence - standing pedaling for 2 minutes with heavy gear @50rpm ~RPE 5 – 5s acceleration just below max – 5min easy seated pedaling.

Record start location and begin the test, shooting for a steady power at a maximal rate for 12-20 minutes. Record stop location, elapsed time, weather, perceived exertion, heart rate, bike and tires used.

IF TRAINING WITH HEART RATE
Follow time trial protocol as above. Take average heart rate from test portion only. This is a good estimation of your lactate threshold heart rate. Zone will be as follows (derived from Andrew Coggan, PhD):
Zone 1: <68%
Zone 2: 69-83%
Zone 3: 84-94%
Zone 4: 95-105%

(PRO HACK 2: you can enter these zones on your Training Peaks profile and the metrics from your rides will be appropriately calculated.)

Sample Day 2

1:30:00
Easy MTB

Take it easy, no big spikes in power, just try to stay in your endurance zone. Try to keep heart rate no higher than Zone 2

Sample Day 4

1:10:00
43.3TSS
Easy Endurance Road Ride (with diet stress)

Endurance power and heart rate zones (Zone 2). Keep pedalling and do not have big spikes in power. This can be done on the trainer if preferred.

Sample Day 5

0:30:00
Skills sesh

Easy cruise on the bike just practicing easy skills like manuals, wheelies, jumps, bunny hops and the like. No structure really, but a good chance to mess around since your body does not need hard pedaling today. Note skills you worked on, and speculate how it went.

Sample Day 6

1:30:00
56.7TSS
Easy Endurance Road Ride (with diet stress)

Endurance power and heart rate zones (Zone 2). Keep pedalling and do not have big spikes in power. This can be done on the trainer if preferred.

Sample Day 7

1:30:00
MTB group ride

Choose any pace, have fun!

Sample Day 9

1:30:00
Easy MTB

Take it easy, no big spikes in power, just try to stay in your endurance zone. Try to keep heart rate no higher than Zone 2

12 Week Base Training Block for XC or Enduro Racers. Heart Rate + Trail Optimized

$129.99 - Buy Now