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Mountain Bike Race XC level 2


Nick de Meyer British Triathlon Federation level 3 Coach, Training Bible Master endurance coach

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6 Weeks

Plan Specs

cycling mountain biking beginner intermediate masters

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Plan Description

This Mtb race xc plan is a progression from the Mtb race level 1 plan. It is designed to take you up to the next level of fitness, and does this with more race specific and higher intensity sessions, including a weekly series of full gas intervals.

In this plan you'll be doing 5 mtb race specific sessions a week with 2-3 core sessions a week. How many of the core sessions you do is optional.

This is a progressive mountain bike training plan aimed at 90-120 mins of cross country racing. It has 2 sessions a week of core strength, progressing through the weeks into more muscular strength workouts.
The bike sessions are designed to get you race ready in 6 weeks.Training 4-5 times a week, being interval and hiit training based they progressively increase the amount of time you're working at race pace over the 6 week plan

There is some high intensity interval training included to increase your anaerobic capacity, as well as some skills based sessions and endurance training to maintain your base fitness

If you have any questions about the plan please email Nick at Sound Coaching at


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
5:40 hrs 2:30 hrs
1:25 hrs 1:00 hrs
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
5:40 hrs 2:30 hrs
1:25 hrs 1:00 hrs
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Training Load By Week

Nick de Meyer

Speedy Swimming

Nick has been a Level 3 British Triathlon Coach for 14 years, and has been a master endurance coach with Training Bible Coaching UK in that time. He is also a Training Peaks Level 2 Accredited Coach, and has worked as a Regional Development Coach for the South East region for British Triathlon.

Alongside his online coaching business, Nick also runs Speedy Swimming which specialise in 1-2-1 front crawl technique lessons, endless pool swim video analysis, swim clinics and group swim sessions

Sample Day 1

Mtb Spin Ups

In a very easy gear with light resistance, over 30 seconds, slowly increase your cadence (or spin-up) to the maximum rpm you can pedal smoothly. Focus on a quiet relaxed upper body and a fast smooth pedal stroke. If you lose form and bounce, lower the cadence, regain form then hold it. Keep the gearing easy, resistance light and your heart rate low to focus on leg speed.

8 x 30 second spin-ups to maximum rpm with good form with 3 minutes easy pedaling between each drill is a great cadence workout. Spin-ups drills can be added to any warm-up and cool-down

Sample Day 1

Core Cycling

after a warm up do 2 sets of 15

Sample Day 2

Anaerobic Capacity Intervals

Good warm up working up through the zones with less time in each zone as you draw towards zone 5-5
Main session
Zone 6 Intervals
2 sets of 4 x 1 min On 1 min OFF, Full Gas > zone 5 watts; 5 min in b/w sets

Sample Day 3

Core Stability Pilates

after warming up on a rowing machine for 1km do 2x20 reps of each exercise

Sample Day 4

High Force Accelerations

On a gentle uphill, slow to 3 mph and pedal at 30 to 40 rpm. Then, without shifting, accelerate as fast as you can with as much power as you have until you reach maximum cadence. You should reach maximum cadence in about 6 seconds, hold it for 2 more seconds and slow down to an easy pace as you fade at about 9 to 10 seconds. Adjust your selected gearing and hill grade if needed to hit those targets. Perform 10 x 8 to 10 seconds with 3 minutes recovery after each repeat.

Use these cadence drills in your mountain bike training to expand your efficient cadence range and maximize your performance.

Sample Day 6

Big Gear Tempo Climb

Climb a 30 minute long hill at 50 to 70 rpm cadence and tempo pace (heart rate zone 3 or power level 3, about 84 to 94 percent Functional Threshold Power). Do most of the climb seated and vary cadence up and down through the 50 to 70 rpm range. Every five minutes drop cadence to 30 to 40 rpm then stand up and pedal for about 20 to 30 seconds out of the saddle. Maintain tempo pace during the standing segments. The goal of these standing segments is to freshen up while staying on pace. You will use different muscle groups, feel relief in your butt and low back and stretch your calves and hip flexors. These standing segments should feel refreshing and are not power sprints.

Single-speed specific option: Dedicated single-speed racers will benefit greatly from this session if they flip it over. Pedal standing for 30 mins at 50 to 70 rpm and tempo pace and sit down every 5 minutes for 20 to 30 seconds.

Add this session to your late base training period. If your race has very long steep climbs such as Leadville 100 and Breck Epic, include this workout in your race specific training period prior to your race.

Sample Day 7

30-30 mtb micro bursts

warm up
20 mins easy riding 56-75% ftp
main set
3-5 x 10 mins ( min recovery) micro bursts
30 secs "on" @150% ftp
30 secs "off" coasting 0% ftp
cool down
15 mins easy riding 56-75% ftp

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