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BUILD - MTB XCO - Mountain Bike Races Under 3 hours


Peter Glassford

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13 Weeks

Plan Specs

cycling mountain biking beginner intermediate advanced masters power based hr based pace based

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Plan Description

This plan is best applied 8-12 weeks ahead of your goal of XCO-cross-country mountain bike race under 3 hours. Ideally, you will have completed a general preparation or 'base' phase to establish fitness and cycling skills before this more specific block of training.

I have an 'offroad base' plan in the training peaks library as well (see all my plans -> )

The plan can be adjusted from ~6-15 hours per week, more restrictive or larger volume plans are best done as 100% made for you 3 month plans (see below)

Strength/Core/Mobility is addressed and progressed to help you arrive healthy for your race.

Workouts provide options for outdoors or indoors depending on your location and weather.

Note that if you have an irregular schedule or specific needs for scheduling/workouts I offer a 3 month 100% made for you plan for ->

Thank you for checking out my plans!



Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
8:55 hrs 4:00 hrs
0:06 hrs 0:30 hrs
0:36 hrs 0:30 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
8:55 hrs 4:00 hrs
0:06 hrs 0:30 hrs
0:36 hrs 0:30 hrs

Peter Glassford

Smart Athlete Coaching

Smart Athlete coaches busy, adult clients who want to do big crazy adventures!

Coaching and Training Plan Types

  • Trainingpeaks - Pre Made Training Plans (price and duration varies)
  • 3 Month 100% CUSTOM Plans are only $99 CAD - no calls, emails or adjustments
  • Weekly Coaching (Bronze) - email communication, some adjustments
  • Daily Coaching (Gold) - emails, calls, adjustments

Other Services: Strength, Kinesiology, Bike Skills, Phone Consult

Sample Day 1

easy rec spin + prep bike

easy spin today. Include a 1-5 x 30sec spinups to max RPM to get activated. These are done by spinning 10sec fast / 10sec faster / 10sec max RPM (by feel). Gearing should be easier. The last couple spinups can be a bit harder but keep focus on very high and smooth RPM. The Overall RPE of ride very low Additionally, use today to make sure bike is 100% ready to go for upcoming training and/or races

Sample Day 2

Test/Race Prep Day ( RST PRD )

*Today is to get your body and mind ready for upcoming test or race. - * Triple check that bike works, bolts tight, tires are in good shape, devices working/calibrated. - -Overall RPE Of this ride should be LOW (5 / 10 ) but the few efforts should be 9.5-10/10RPE - WU: 15min building hr to 70-75%mhr *including some <5sec efforts and HIGH rpm work is great . - Main WO: = 4 x 45sec max efforts, each should be slightly harder and should be done mostly seated. - - at least 5min recovery bw easy pace to ensure no fatigue tomorrow - CD: spin down and remember to clean up, eat/drink promptly after your workout.

Sample Day 3

*Test - CP3 AND CP20

DO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT A PERFORMANCE METRIC (IE. NEED MORE THEN JUST HR or JUST TIME -- * if don't understand test/performance metric See this FAQ video or email - * CP3 done on Big Hill . Start on flat if not 3min (preride hill to guage) * Cp20 can be flat on a block or out and back (minimize wind influence) OR a long 20+min climb - WU: Like a race. Be sweating and activated before the workout. If you don't have a personal WU try 20-30min w. 3-4 x 45sec hard efforts with slightly higher cadence - Main WO: - Complete a 3min TT holding the best Power output you can for 3min - - 10min very easy spinning - - 20min TT holding best power output for 20min - CD: Spin easy to finish time - POST: TELL ME EVERYTHING ABOUT THE DAY AND INTERVALS AS BELOW: Cp3 - 330w, 145/155bpm, 90rpm, 2km, 2km/hr Cp20- 240w, 145/155bpm, 90rpm, 2k, 2km/hr

Sample Day 5

Road Endurance - Flat to Rolling

Flat to Rolling Terrain - Aim to be pedaling all ride. - Avoid coasting and big drops/spikes in HR - Limit efforts to 8/10 (ie. not sprinting) and try to match this with <80% MHR. Starting to notice your breath deepening or quickening is a good indicator you are leaving desired range. - overall RPE of ride should be 6-7/10 and average HR in 65-75% Max HR - limit muscular fatigue due to pushing at top of endurance zone the whole time or from hills or from hard efforts or from low rpm.

Sample Day 6

Your Choice !

FOCUS: Having fun and doing what seems right to you today. Some freedom from structure is rejuvenating. MainWO: Take today as you feel can be ride , hard-easy , long-short ... or crosstrain or off ! CD: Make sure to tell me about your day in detail .

Sample Day 8

2x10 and 2x2 - on MTB

wu: 10-30min as time allows

2x10min max sustainable, 
Rest 5min Between intervals
2x2min, Rest 1min Between intervals
Hold distances/speeds or watts as consistent as possible on efforts
CD: skills / easy

Sample Day 9

Road Endurance - PEDAL

flat to rolling
try to be pedaling most of duration and keep rpm generally high
a few sprints or 'jamming' ok but mostly 60-80%MHR and pedaling

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