Cross Country Build and Peak Program (Beginner / Cat 3)

Average Weekly Training Hours 08:40
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 08:40
Training Load By Week

This mountain bike training plan is geared toward a Beginner or Cat 3 Mountain Bike Racer.

This is a great training plan to start 4-8 weeks before your first race of the season.

Over the 4 months of training, this mountain bike training program will build your "racing fitness" so you come into the season strong. The first month is a "Build" month with key emphasis on VO2max, nueromuscular, and Threshold increases. The two months after that are "In Season" race months. The training program will set up your HR zones and then guide you through the weekly workouts with clear and precise workout instructions every day. The mountain bike program is focused on a state and/or regional XC mountain bike championship series, such as your local State, Regional, or National Mountain Bike Series of races. A key part of getting to your peak and being ready to race, is racing likewise this program incorporates racing into it. Starting on the third weekend, you will have the option to race or do an important ride every weekend.

The program will set up your HR zones and then guide you through the weekly workouts with clear and precise workout instructions every day.

With this program you will also receive nutritional information, a detailed description of heart rate zones, and a start-up guide that introduces you to interval training.

Expect the following from this plan:

*6-10 hours of riding per week
*5 days of riding per week(Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday)
*2 off days per week(Monday and Friday)
*All rides that are longer than 2 hours will be scheduled on weekends
*Rides during the week range from 60-90 minutes
*Clear and precise instructions on how to execute each workout


Sample Day 2
1:00:00
Ride 50% Zone 2 Endurance Ride

Ride Zones 1-2 today. Get 50% or more of the time in Zone 2. This is an easy ride. You will establish your training zones tomorrow and know what Zone 2 means.

Sample Day 3
1:30:00
30 minute LT bike test

Warm up well by spinning for 20-30 minutes easy to moderate. Then ride a 30 minute time trial on flat course or up hill course. Punch HR monitor 'lap' button 10 minutes into Time Trial. This course needs to have no interruptions allowing for a ocnsistant hard effort with no stops.

Average heart rate for last 20 minutes predicts Lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR). You lactate threshold heart rate can now be used to calculate your training zones by going to your My Settings in Training Peaks, clicking on the Zones button, and putting your LTHR in the threshold box(clicking the down arrow and picking Friels Cycling Zones). You now have your HR zones to use for the entire training program. Please refer to the startup document for training zone details and info.

Finish the workout spinning easy on your way home.

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
Easy mtn bike "flowing"

Ride Zones 1-3 off road. During this ride focus on "flowing" through the trails. Look ahead and into the trail, brake before/after and not into the turns, and think/plan ahead.

Sample Day 6
2:30:00
Ride 50% Zone 2 Endurance Ride

Ride Zones 1-2 today. Get 50% or more of the time in Zone 2.

Sample Day 7
2:00:00
Easy mtn bike "flowing"

Ride Zones 1-3 off road. During this ride focus on "flowing" through the trails. Look ahead and into the trail, brake before/after and not into the turns, and think/plan ahead. A good drill is to pick 20-30 minute section of the course and repeat it for 4-5 times trying to make it loop faster by "flowing" better(but not putting out a lot more effort!).

Sample Day 9
1:30:00
Cruise Intervals

Ride 15 minutes Zones 1-2 as a warm up. Follow this with 4 x 4 min. Zone 4 intervals. Take 2 minutes rest between each. Rest of time ride in mainly Zones 1-2.

Sample Day 10
1:00:00
Easy mtn bike "flowing"

Ride Zones 1-3 off road. During this ride focus on "flowing" through the trails. Look ahead and into the trail, brake before/after and not into the turns, and think/plan ahead.

Drew Edsall
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Coachdrewedsall.com Llc / Mtbfitness.com

My name is Drew Edsall, I am a mountain bike coach and former professional mountain biker. I have had the pleasure of coaching many of the top riders in the World in all age categories including a Pan Am Games Gold Medal Champion in 2016, U23 Silver Medalist both in 2016 and 2017, and multiple National / State Champions / Collegiate Champions. My specialty is mountain bike coaching. You can find more information at either one of my websites: coachdrewedsall.com or mtbfitness.com