40+ Masters Cross Country Mountain Bike Build, Peak and Race Training Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 10:32
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 10:32
Training Load By Week

Our tried and tested LW Coaching 40+ Masters Cross Country Mountain Bike Base Training Plan has been updated with TrainingPeaks structured workouts including daily power (watts), TSS and IF guidelines.

Consistency – Strength – Skills – Intensity - Recovery

This plan is designed specifically for the Masters athlete. A 20 year old athlete has different natural abilities and training requirements than a 40 year old athlete and will thrive on a different training plan. The most obvious change with age is a slowdown in recovery. With age there is less time and room to absorb training mistakes. A Masters athlete excels on a targeted and specific plan. This LW Coaching Masters XC Build, Peak and Race training plan works on a three week training cycle, two training weeks then one recovery week, to match fitness development and recovery cycle of the Master athlete. Athletes “age” at different rates. This Masters 40+ plan might be appropriate for a 30 year old with natural slow recovery.

This plan is designed to progress to after completing the 12 week LW Coaching Masters 40+ Cross Country Mountain Bike Base Training Plan.

Consistency: This the most important factor for a Masters athlete. “Use it or lose it” is a big element in continued performance with age. The more frequent recovery weeks in this plan promote increased consistency by keeping the athlete below the overtraining, injury and burnout threshold.

12 week strength maintenance program: This Masters build, peak and race training plan contains a 12 week strength maintenance program to maintain muscular strength and bone density established during base training. Muscular strength increases resilience to injury, contributes to consistency and keeps you in the game as you age.

Weekly technical ride skills practice: Weekly skills practice is in this plan. Use it or lose it definitely applies to technical mountain bike ride skills for Masters racing at cross country speeds. This build, peak and race plan focuses on technical riding skills at XC race pace. Stay smooth and fast when heart rate is pegged.

Weekly intensity sessions: This build, peak and race plan contains weekly on the bike intensity sessions to build speed and power on top of base training fitness. XC race pace and XC race start practice, VO2max intervals and threshold sessions prepare the Masters athlete to peak their XC race performance in plan week #12.

This plan is paced by Power (watts), heart rate and perceived exertion. A heart rate monitor is recommended to follow this training plan. A power meter is an optional (and highly advantageous) extra. A power meter is not required to successfully follow this training plan. Most cycling workouts in this plan contain both power and heart rate pacing instructions. In week one you will set heart rate zones, power training levels (if you have power available) and a performance benchmark with a field test. This test is repeated in weeks 6 to track performance improvements, power increases and check your heart rate zones are accurate.

Visit our 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.

LW Coaching mountain bike training plan

Sample Day 1
0:45:00
Strength Maintenance A

Focus: Maintenance of strength established in Base training plan.

Warm up with 5 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. Then do 2 sets of maintenance weight lifting. First set is light (12 reps with 15RM load). Second set is heavy (3-6 reps with 6RM load). 1-2 min rest between sets. Lift with good technique and at a comfortable speed.

- Squats
- Core work; 20 x crunches, 20 x oblique crunches
- Power cleans
- Core work; 20 x back extensions
- Bench press
- Cable row
- 10 mins core work or strengthen a personal weakness or complete personal rehab exercises
- Finish with 5 minutes of stretching

Do the exercises in this order: 2 sets of squats, 20 x crunches, 20 x oblique crunches, 2 sets of power clean, 20 x back extensions, 2 sets of bench press, 2 sets of cable row. Then for 10 mins do core work or strengthen a personal weakness or complete personal rehab exercises.

NOTES: Power clean demo video here http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/movements/power-clean.html

All core work is with body weight only.

Sample Day 2
1:30:00
86TSS
Option 1: Power and HR Performance 20 min Field Test (structured)

Heart rate, Power and Performance Field Test.

If you are continuing on from the LW Coaching Masters Base Training Plan, you did this test last week. There is no need to repeat it this week. Instead do the 3 x 12 interval session - do not do the test and the intervals today, choose one!

If you are new to LWCoaching training plans, do the test today to set your heart rate training zones, power levels and performance benchmark.

Do a long deep warm up prior to the test. Then time trial 20 minutes on a flat out-back course or up a continuous gradual climb. Pace the 20 minutes evenly with a maximal effort. Record average power, average heart rate and distance covered in the 20 minutes.

Finish ride time with a long easy cool down.

CALCULATING YOUR HEART RATE ZONES: Use the TrainingPeaks training zones calculator found in the SETTINGS > ZONES tab as follows:

1. In TrainingPeaks open your athlete account setting page and select Zones (click on your name > settings > zones).

2. Enter the average power from your 20-minute test x 0.95 into the Threshold Power box. For example if your average 20 min power is 200w, enter 190w into the threshold power box (200w x 0.95 = 190w).

3. Choose type “Lactate Threshold” from the drop-down menu in the auto calculation box.

4. Choose method “Joe Friel for Cycling” in the drop-down menu in the auto calculation box.

5. Click Calculate > Apply > Save.

CALCULATING YOUR POWER LEVELS: Use the TrainingPeaks training zones calculator found in the SETTINGS > ZONES tab as follows:

1. In TrainingPeaks open your athlete account setting page and select Zones (click on your name > settings > zones).

2. Enter the average power from your 20-minute test into the Threshold Power box.

3. Choose type “Threshold Power” from the drop-down menu in the auto calculation box.

4. Choose method “Andy Coggan” in the drop-down menu in the auto calculation box.

5. Click Calculate > Apply > Save.

Sample Day 2
1:30:00
103.1TSS
Option 2: 3 x 12 L4 (structured)

Miss out this session if you do the 20 min test today.

Warm-Up:
- Gradually build power up to L3 or HRZ3 over the first 20 minutes
- 3 min easy spin
- 1 min in power L4 or building to HRZ4 by the end of the minute
- 3 min easy spin
- 1 min in power L5 or building to HRZ5 by the end of the minute
- 3 min easy spin

Main Set:
- 3 x 12 minutes at power Level 4 or in HRZ4 with 6 minute recoveries in heart rate Z1 or power L1 after each interval.

Cool Down:
Finish the ride in heart rate Z1 or Power L1.

Immediately on ending this ride replenish your muscle glycogen stores with a recovery drink containing both carbohydrate and protein such as Carborocket Rehab, Ultragen or Recoverite or eat real food. Fast recovery after today's session is crucial to be able to put out a quality session tomorrow.

Read this Recovery Strategies Doc: https://lwcoaching.com/tools-to-speed-recovery/today and use every recovery method available to you.

Sample Day 3
0:45:00
Strength Maintenance B

Focus: Maintenance of strength established in Base training plan.

Warm up with 5 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. Then do 2 sets of maintenance weight lifting. First set is light (12 reps with 15RM load). Second set is heavy (3-6 reps with 6RM load). 1-2 min rest between sets. Lift with good technique and at a comfortable speed.

- Deadlifts
- Core work; 60 second plank
- Push press barbell
- Box blasts (10 each leg, body weight only)
- Dumbbell 1-arm snatches
- Glute bridges (10 each leg, body weight only)
- 10 mins core work or strengthen a personal weakness or complete personal rehab exercises
- Finish with 5 minutes of stretching

Do the exercises in this order: 2 sets deadlift, 60 second plank, 2 sets push press barbell, 10 x each leg box blast, 2 sets each side dumbbell 1-arm snatch, 10 x each side 1-leg glute bridge. Then for 10 mins do core work or strengthen a personal weakness or complete personal rehab exercises. Finish with 5 minutes of stretching.

NOTES: Plank, box blasts and glute bridge are body weight only.

Pushpress barbell (demo video here) http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/movements/push-press-barbell.html

Glute bridge 1-leg http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/movements/glute-bridge-one-leg.html

Box blast http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/movements/box-blast-continuous.html

Dumbbell 1 arm snatch http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/movements/snatch-1-arm-dumbbell.html

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
30.3TSS
Recovery spin

Easy recovery spin on a mostly flat course or indoors in heart rate zone 1. If you are sleepy, tired or time crunched, miss this ride out and choose passive rest instead. You can bike commute, do errands on your bike, warm up for strength work on a stationary bike, spin on rollers etc. Any pedaling time counts towards this session. The strength session today is higher priority than this ride. This is a low priority ride.

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
76.6TSS
L5 4 x 4 (structured)

Warm Up:
- Gradually bring intensity up to power L3 or HRZ3 over the first 20 mins
- Recover for 3 mins easy spinning in power L1 or HRZ1
- 1 min in power L4 or building to HRZ4 by the end of the minute
- 3 mins power L1 or HRZ1
- 1 min power L5 or building to HRZ5 by the end of the minute
- 3 min power L1 or HRZ1

MS:
- 4 x 4 minutes in power L5 or HRZ5 with 3 minutes easy spin recoveries between intervals. Keep cadence high during the 4 mins on.

CD:
Finish ride time at an easy pace.

Sample Day 4
0:19:59
Restorative yoga

Short yoga session with a focus on restorative, stretching and relaxing poses.

Lynda Wallenfels
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LW Coaching

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

Browse our LWCoaching.com website and give our LW Coaching mountain bike training plan finder App a try https://lwcoaching.com/mtb-training-plans/planfinder/ to see which mountain bike training plan stack fits your goals.

Personal coaching, pre-built mountain bike training plans, telephone consultations. See www.lwcoaching.com or contact lynda@lwcoaching.com