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12 Week Base Training Block for XC or Enduro Racers. Smart Trainer + Trail Optimized

Author

MTB PhD

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Length

12 Weeks

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Plan Description

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. With this 12-week base foundation of fitness, you can hit the ground running for regular rides and races.

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.

These workouts will not crush you or break you every session; the plan is designed so that you can train consistently and regularly, without getting overly tired or burnt out. Consistency is paramount for a strong season!

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 a power meter or smart trainer. Each and every ride can be done on the indoor trainer if the weather or timing force you indoors, or done outside on the trails. If you have a smart trainer, each specific session has 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.



Training Plan Sample Week

Stats

Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Bike x3
4:17 hrs 3:00 hrs
MTB x2
3:05 hrs 2:30 hrs
Day Off x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
Bike
4:17 hrs 3:00 hrs
MTB
3:05 hrs 2:30 hrs
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week


This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Power Meter

All supported devices

Dr Matt Miller - World-leading MTB Scientist

MTB PhD

Dr Matt Miller is a specialist MTB coach working with professional and amateur athletes in Enduro, XC, DH and road cycling. He has over 20 international publications and presentations focused on MTB performance, including pioneering scientific research into FTP & Critical Power in MTB, and the very first MTB braking research (BrakeAce). Dr Miller has over 20 years of personal race experience, including at elite UCI XC and EWS races.

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