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8-12hr/week Winter Training Plan - Marathon/XC MTB Athlete -W/Cross Training


Mike Schultz, CSCS

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12 Weeks

Plan Description

This plan is a 12 week plan

This plan is ideal for the athlete who can commit 8-12 hours a week to training. This plan is focused with a touch more intensity packed into a shorter time frame each week, with longer workouts focused for the weekends. This plan will help time limited athletes prepare well through the winter training months.

This winter training plan is designed for the marathon/XC endurance focused athlete who is looking to improve muscle endurance and muscle strength through the winter season. This program also focuses on preparing your system to handle more endurance training and volume in the spring.

It is important for endurance athletes, especially those in colder climates, to focus on cycling specific strength and endurance through the winter months to prepare their systems for more volume and intensity in the spring and through the racing season.

This program includes one day a week to focus on cross training with other activities like XC skiing, hiking and running. Cross training activities in this program are scheduled on the weekends, along with an optional cycling workout for each cross training day. A cross training day is a good option for those who spend a lot of time indoors through the winter.

This plan is intended to be followed using heart rate and perceived exertion mainly. A Power meter can be used to view trends in power through each week and month but all of the workouts will revolve around the use of heart rate and bio feedback from feel, breathing, etc. Details on daily intensities are available daily to help guide you through this program.

Have questions about which program to choose or need support? Feel free to email me at -

If you are looking for a more individualized coaching and training plan option, please visit the Highland Training website at - for more program options.

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Bike x5
7:20 hrs 4:00 hrs
Day Off x2
—— ——
Strength x1
0:45 hrs 1:00 hrs
X-Train x1
2:12 hrs 3:00 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
7:20 hrs 4:00 hrs
Day Off
—— ——
0:45 hrs 1:00 hrs
2:12 hrs 3:00 hrs

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor

All supported devices

Mike Schultz, CSCS

Highland Training

Highland Training, founded in 2008, provides coaching and consulting for endurance and ultra endurance athletes. We provide programs are for all athletes, from novice to elite, who are interested in improving their athletic performance, strength and fitness for endurance and ultra-endurance events.

For more information about custom coaching programs please visit - - for full details of all services.

  • This plan includes a Free Basic TrainingPeaks Account.
  • Access your training plan anywhere on the TrainingPeaks mobile and desktop apps.
  • Track your performance with robust data tracking and detailed graphs.
  • Plan for your event in the TrainingPeaks calendar.
  • Track your weight, sleep, hours, fatigue and stress while you train.
  • Syncs daily with other popular apps like Garmin and MyFitnessPal.

Refund Policy

This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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