8 Week Intermediate Endurance Plan for XC or Enduro. Smart + Home Strength Optimized

Author

Matt Miller

All plans by this Coach

Length

8 Weeks

Typical Week

4 Bike, 2 Other, 1 Day Off, 1 X-Train

Longest Workout

3:35 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling mountain biking intermediate masters

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Summary

Includes Structured Workouts

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


Learn More about Structured Workouts.

This is a fantastic plan to help you build up your endurance. This plan works great pre-season or even in-season while preparing for an endurance event.

This plan will not crush you or drive you in to the ground. You will instead be challenged with regular endurance riding and appropriate interval sessions. The at-home strength workouts include video guidance and then we finish up with some very short plyometric sessions to help with muscle recruitment. All bike workouts have downloadable smart trainer files, which work even if you don't have a smart trainer as these offer a good workout description or can be used with your power meter.

Once you finish this plan, you will be in a very good position to pick up with the 4-week MTB block and 2 week taper in to your event.

This plan is recommended for intermediate enduro, XC and endurance racers.

To learn more or gain access to all plans, check out smartmtbtraining.com

Stats

Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 07:42
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 07:42
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 1

0:20:00
Stretch

See attached for MTB PhD Stretching routine or follow this video as a guide:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95Vnq7T2V0I&t

Do this routine after easy aerobic exercise such as after your planned ride or after a 5 minute walk. Hold each stretch for 20-30s each side, pushing to mild discomfort.

Repeat the circuit twice if possible
You can add this on any other day as well

Sample Day 3

1:35:00
54.61TSS
Easy Endurance Ride

Endurance (Zone 1-2) power and heart rate zones. Keep pedalling and avoid big spikes in power. Aim for 90-100rpm.

Sample Day 5

0:30:00
MTB PhD Home Full-Body Circuit

See attached for MTB PhD Full-Body Circuit or link here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWG61e-5h30&t

These are dynamic movements that can be done with only body weight. These are designed to get your muscles working in different directions.

These are 20 reps total for each movement, so 10 reps each side. Complete these in order for one set before recovering for a few minutes ahead of the next set. Aim for 3 sets.

Best done after 5 minutes easy aerobic activity (e.g. walking). Ensure a 5 minute+ easy cooldown.

Sample Day 5

0:20:00
Stretch

See attached for MTB PhD Stretching routine or follow this video as a guide:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95Vnq7T2V0I&t

Do this routine after easy aerobic exercise such as after your planned ride or after a 5 minute walk. Hold each stretch for 20-30s each side, pushing to mild discomfort.

Repeat the circuit twice if possible
You can add this on any other day as well

Sample Day 6

1:35:00
54.61TSS
Easy Endurance Ride

Endurance (Zone 1-2) power and heart rate zones. Keep pedalling and avoid big spikes in power. Aim for 90-100rpm.

Sample Day 8

1:00:00
39.01TSS
Endurance Ride, Alternating High/Low Cadence

Warm up for 5 minutes at an easy pace. Then, ride for 50 minutes in zone 1-2, alternating with a high cadence for 5 minutes followed by a low cadence for 5 minutes. Try to stay mostly seated. Cool down by riding easy for 5 minutes.

8 Week Intermediate Endurance Plan for XC or Enduro. Smart + Home Strength Optimized

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