General/Base MTB XCO/MARATHON Plan (Power-Based): 16 Weeks; 7-12 Hrs/Week (Adjustable)

Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:38

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 power meter 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


ALSO INCLUDES:



  • Fully featured user guide document to help you customise, manage and succeed with your plan

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
54.3TSS
Tempo: Blocks w/ Threshold Finishes

1H ~55-70% FTP with 10M tempo blocks consisting of 6M @ 78-85% FTP and a finish of 2M @ 95-98% FTP.

Feel free to alter cadence throughout workout, as well as pedalling style (seated and standing).

PURPOSE: Enhances aerobic fitness by stimulating greater mitochondrial biogenesis (production of mitochondria - the power house of the cell that turn fuel into energy), greater capillarization in the muscles, development of slow-twitch muscles fibres primarily. This workout in particular develops muscular endurance effectively with addition of threshold finishes to prepare you for the demands of upcoming threshold-focused training.

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
25TSS
Recovery: Easy Ride (Road or MTB)

1H recovery ride @ 40-60% FTP.

If riding MTB, try to include some technical skills practice, such as cornering practice, line choice, off-camber sections, roots etc.

PURPOSE: Allow for adaptations from previous hard workout, whilst keeping rhythm of training and muscles working without adding any further stress to the body.

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
58.2TSS
Tempo: Steady Ride w/ 12M Blocks

10M warm up between 50-60% FTP.

Then 3x sets of blocks alternating between 12M @ 82-88% FTP in the work interval and 40-50% FTP in the recovery interval.

Cool down with 5M @ 45-55% FTP, but feel free to elongate this if possible.

Feel free to alter cadence throughout workout, as well as pedalling style (seated and standing).

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. Develops muscular endurance effectively.

Sample Day 5
2:15:00
89.3TSS
Endurance: Steady MTB Ride

2H15M @ 55-70% FTP.

Feel free to stray into 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.

Can be done on road or indoors on turbo trainer if off-road riding is impractical. If you can ride first thing in the morning, try to perform this training with low carbohydrate ability to enhance the adaptations of greater fat oxidisation (sparing of limited glycogen stores)

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.

Sample Day 6
1:00:00
25TSS
Recovery: Easy Ride (Road or MTB)

1H recovery ride @ 40-60% FTP.

If riding MTB, try to include some technical skills practice, such as cornering practice, line choice, off-camber sections, roots etc.

PURPOSE: Allow for adaptations from previous hard workout, whilst keeping rhythm of training and muscles working without adding any further stress to the body.

Sample Day 8
1:10:00
59.8TSS
Tempo: High Frequency Efforts

Start with ~10M warm up in the range of 45-65% FTP.

Then, as closely as is practical, ride for 45M consisting of alternating 5M @ 80-90% FTP and 2.5M @ 50-60% FTP. If intervals have to be shortened because of the terrain or obstacles, just make the proceeding recovery interval 50% of the duration of the work interval.

After this set of tempo intervals, cool down for ~15M @ 40-50% FTP.

PURPOSE: Develop muscular endurance and resistance to fatigue, as well as ability to repeatedly increase and decrease power, mimicking a rolling course. This workout will also help progress your more basic aerobic efficiency and endurance too.

Sample Day 9
1:30:00
62.99TSS
Endurance: Short Steady Ride

1.5H @ 60-70% FTP. 

Feel free to change up cadence and switch between the lower and higher end of Zone 2.

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.

Tom Bell
|
tombell.co

I help Mountain Bike and Cyclocross athletes achieve peak cycling fitness through free proven training advice, as well as one-to-one coaching, structured training plans and private consultations.