v2.0 - XC/MARATHON MOUNTAIN BIKE: 12-Week Base Plan (Phase 2 of 4) - Reusable


Cody Waite, Sessions:6 Sport Performance

All plans by this Coach


12 Weeks

Typical Week

2 Strength, 6 Bike

Longest Workout

5:00 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling mountain biking intermediate advanced base period

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12-Week Base Plan for XC/Marathon MTB - Re-Usable


Written by Cody Waite, Endurance Coach, Professional Endurance Athlete and co-owner of Sessions:6 Sport Performance

The Base phase focuses heavily on aerobic-strength development along with gradually increasing intensity within adaptable quantities to prepare you for your Race Prep phase of training that follows.

My 12-week XC/Marathon Base Plan is designed for cross country and marathon racers looking to improve their cycling fitness over the "pre-season". Although this is PART 2 of my 4-part program (Base Prep, Base, Race Prep, Race), you can begin with this phase if you have at least a few weeks of riding in your legs. This plan can be done on its own before you do your own build program or can be followed up with my specific Race Prep plans for either XC or Marathon racing.


BASE PHASE:My 12-week Base plan includes my highly successful 12-week Stationary Trainer Series set of training sessions. The workouts are designed to improve your complete cycling ability for off-road racing of all distances, XC, marathon and ultra-distance. The series begins with leg-speed and cycling-specific strength development, then progresses to build aerobic endurance before adding in intervals at and above your lactate threshold.

Included is a very detailed desciption of the equipment you'll need, target training zones, intervals and session layout. There are twelve 75-minute progressive workouts, intended to be performed 1-2 times per week. A progressive aerobic strength ride is included on the weekends as well as 1-2 additional endurance rides are included for maximum training gains.

REUSABLE: You can easily reuse this plan each year in the off-season or for additional "A" races within the same season as break between larger cycles of training.

Plan Details:

  • Ability Level: Intermediate to Advanced (adjustable by overall volume)

  • Number of Weeks: 12

  • Training Days per Week: 4-7 (written for 7 days, but can be consolidated to as few as 4)

  • Training Hours per Week: 7-15+ (depending on your preference of riding/aerobic volume) (depending on your preference of riding/aerobic volume)

  • Equipment Needed: gym membership or strength equipment at home, HRM, power meter preferred

  • INCLUDES: detailed strength training program; and bike technique drills.

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Sample Day 1


If continuing from our 9-week Base Prep Program, today do Strength: 1x10 @ 50% 1RM + 2x5 @ 85% 1RM. If you are just starting strength program, start with Adaptation: 2x12-15 @ 40% 1RM.
Download attachment (upper right corner) for strength description.
Email us for complete exercises list and examples: cody@epcmultisport.com

Sample Day 2


Week 1.
Download attachment (upper right corner) for trainer workout descriptions.

Sample Day 3


Easy to moderate paced ride over flat to rolling terrain. Road, MTB or Trainer. 1-2 hours.

Sample Day 4


Week 1

Sample Day 5


If continuing from our 9-week Base Prep Program, today do Endurance/Power: 1x20 @ 50% 1RM + 2x6 @ 60% 1RM w/ resistance movement performed as quickly as possible, recovery movement slowly. 
If you are just starting strength program, today do Adaptation: 2x12-15 @ 40% 1RM.
See previous attachment for full details.

Sample Day 6


Spirited group ride and/or medium length ride at moderate effort. The more climbing you can get in the better.
Road, MTB, or trainer. 2-4 hours.

Sample Day 7


4-6x5:00 strength intervals (4-8% grade hills).
Road, trainer or MTB on smooth dirt road. 1.5-3 hours.

v2.0 - XC/MARATHON MOUNTAIN BIKE: 12-Week Base Plan (Phase 2 of 4) - Reusable

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