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Category 3 Beginner Cross Country Mountain Bike Training Plan


Lynda Wallenfels

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12 Weeks

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Plan Description

This twelve week training plan is designed for the rider competing in Category 3 Beginner cross country mountain bike events. Prior to starting this plan you should have been riding 1-2 times per week recently and be comfortable riding your bike on dirt roads.

The plan guides you through pedaling drills and mountain bike skills and progressively increases your fitness, peaking with a race in week 12. During this plan, you will be riding three times per week, with an optional extra fourth ride in weeks 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11. Tuesdays focus on pedaling and mountain bike skills, Thursdays focus on endurance and hills, Saturday is a recovery or optional ride day and Sunday is the endurance and threshold day.

The weekend ride is your longest weekly ride which peaks at 1:30 in week ten. Weekly training hours range from 3:15 to a maximum of 5:10 in week ten of the plan.

Training intensity is monitored using a Perceived Exertion (PE) scale you are given. There is no need for a heart rate monitor or power meter to follow this plan correctly. Read through the Training Intensity Guidelines document to learn how to monitor your riding effort, intensity and pace using PE.

Visit the LW Coaching website to ask training plan questions on our forum, read mountain bike specific training articles, learn new workouts and see what events our coaches and athletes have been racing.

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Other x2
0:30 hrs 0:15 hrs
MTB x2
1:16 hrs 1:00 hrs
Strength x2
0:57 hrs 0:30 hrs
Bike x2
1:14 hrs 1:30 hrs
Custom x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
0:30 hrs 0:15 hrs
1:16 hrs 1:00 hrs
0:57 hrs 0:30 hrs
1:14 hrs 1:30 hrs
—— ——

Training Load By Week

Lynda Wallenfels

LW Coaching

Mountain Bike Coaching, Consulting and Mountain Bike Training Plans. We are mountain bikers and specialize in mountain biking.

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