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SINGLE SPEED Cross Country Mountain Bike Build, Peak and Race Training Plan


Lynda Wallenfels

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12 Weeks

Plan Specs

cycling mountain biking advanced time goal power based hr based pace based

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Plan Description

LW Coaching SINGLE SPEED Cross Country Mountain Bike Build, Peak and Race Training Plan

This plan designed to put the top end power onto aerobic and strength base training and bring the SINGLE SPEED specific cross country racer into peak race season form. To follow this plan you require a single speed mountain bike and a heart rate monitor. Other training tools that are useful are a selection of gears for your SS, a geared road or mountain bike and a power meter. A power meter can be used and is a great advantage but is not required. Power training guidelines are included in specific workouts.

Visit the LW Coaching website to ask training plan questions on our forum, read mountain bike specific training articles, learn new workouts and see what events our coaches and athletes have been racing.


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
0:26 hrs 0:19 hrs
6:42 hrs 3:00 hrs
1:57 hrs 0:45 hrs
2:20 hrs 2:00 hrs
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
0:26 hrs 0:19 hrs
6:42 hrs 3:00 hrs
1:57 hrs 0:45 hrs
2:20 hrs 2:00 hrs
—— ——

Training Load By Week

Lynda Wallenfels

LW Coaching

Mountain Bike Coaching, Consulting and Mountain Bike Training Plans. We are mountain bikers and specialize in mountain biking.

Browse our website and give our LW Coaching mountain bike training plan finder App a try to see which mountain bike training plan stack fits your goals.

Personal coaching, pre-built mountain bike training plans, telephone consultations. See or contact

Sample Day 1

DAY #1, session #1: SS Specific Heart rate, Power and Performance Field Test

DAY #1, session #1: Heart Rate, Power and Performance Field Test. This test is to set your power (watts) training levels and heart rate training zones. It is also used to establish a performance benchmark to compare and track your progress.

You must use a heart rate monitor for this test. A power meter is optional. This test is best done on a paved road with gears, a heart rate monitor and a power meter. If you only have a SS bike, choose a gear ratio and course for this test where you can stay on the gas without cadence dropping below 40 rpm or increasing up to spun out cadences for the entire 20 minutes. The test goal is to record maximal 20 min average power and heart rate. These values will be used to pace your training plan.

Test Protocol: Warm up well then time trial 20 minutes on a flat out-back course or up a continuous gradual climb. Pace the 20 minutes evenly with a maximal effort. Record average power (optional), average heart rate and distance covered in the 20 minutes. Finish the ride time with an easy cool down spin. Stretch gently for 10 minutes after the ride.

Use the LW Coaching Heart Rate Zone and Power Training level Calculator at this link to calculate your training zones/levels:

Prior to conducting this test review the Testing Guidelines doc found at this link:

Sample Day 2

DAY #2: Core Performance/Upperbody

DAY #2: Core and upper body workout. Do the following Core Performance exercises twice through (one time start to finish then repeat over). Shoulder YWTL with light weight 10 reps each, 10 x Ball pikes description here, 10 x split dumbbell curl-to-press moderate weight, pillar bridge front 30 secs, physioball push up x 10 reps body weight, 1 arm/1leg dumbbell row moderate weight, physioball lateral roll, knee tuck, plate crunch, reverse hyper, Russian twist 10 reps each, cable 1-arm rot row. Look in the Core Performance book or here for exercise descriptions.

Sample Day 3

DAY #3: SS Drill it and Chill it

DAY #3: Ride SS today on a course with many small climbs. Warm up with steady heart rate zone 1-3 or power L1-3 pedaling for 30 minutes. Then for the next 45 minutes ride easy on the flats and downhills in heart rate zone 1 or power L1-2 and fast on the uphills. Drill it and ride powerfully up the climbs spiking power and heart rate. Challenge yourself to ride the steep stuff SS today. Put in some big L6 power efforts and work your legs today. Be sure to take plenty recovery time in between the hard efforts today. Heart rate should drop to zone 1 on the flats and downhills. Finish the ride time at an easy pace.

Sample Day 4

DAY #4, session #1: L3 2 x15' uphill w/MI

DAY #4, session #1: Ride geared bike today. Warm up well then ride a smoothly surfaced moderate grade 15 minute climb. Paved surface is best. Ride heart rate zone 3 or hold a steady power level at mid L3. At the top of every minute, shift to a gear that puts cadence under 40. Then, stand and hammer at near* maximum effort. Get in the saddle as cadence rises and continue at max effort until cadence is 95 RPM or the effort has lasted 10 seconds - whichever comes first. If cadence hits 95 in under 5 seconds you'll need to shift up a gear. Continue this for 15 minutes for a total of 15 all out efforts. Do 2 of these 15 minute climbs with 10 + minutes recovery between. Finish the ride time at an easy pace.

Sample Day 4

DAY #4, session #2: Yoga, Pilates or Core

DAY #4, session #2: Yoga, Pilates or Core. Combine stretching, stability work and functional strengthening. Do a class, follow a video or your own program today.

Sample Day 5

DAY #5: Optional Recovery spin

DAY #5: Optional ride. Go for an easy recovery spin in heart rate zone 1 or take the day off the bike in favor of passive rest if you prefer today. Passive rest may be the better choice.

Sample Day 6

DAY #6, session #1: SS Rap 'N Coast Zone 3

DAY #6, session #1: Ride SS today geared to spend most of the ride on the high end to spun out range of cadences when you are riding in heart rate zone 3 (power guidelines are not applicable to pace this workout). Warm up then ride a 60 minute interval with heart rate in zone 3. During this 60 min interval repeatedly rap cadence up until you are spun out, coast for a few seconds then rap again. Rap 'n coast continuously in heart rate zone 3 for 60 minutes without a break. Finish the ride time at an easy pace. It is ok to cut the ride duration down to 90 mins today but keep the Rap 'n Coast interval at 60 mins.

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