4.4 - MTB: Stage Race 11 week plan by Hunter Allen

Average Weekly Training Hours 09:33
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 09:33
Training Load By Week

This training plan is made for mountain bikers who train with power, heart rate, or perceived exertion. We have provided an additional week at the beginning of this plan that contains testing protocol and explains how to set your training zones within TrainingPeaks. That will allow you to know exactly where you are starting with the plan and provide the correct information for testing in the future. This Mountain Bike Training plan is for the mountain biker preparing for a MTB stage race. This 8 week plan requires you to be able to ride from 8-13 hours a week, get in some great hard training rides and fun times on your MTB. This plan will prepare you for the demands of a MTB stage race, so that you'll be able to recover quickly after each stage and also have you fitter than ever. This plan is built progressively so that it prepares you for harder and tougher workouts throughout the plan. You will begin 'block' training after the first few weeks of training in order to better simulate the upcoming stage race. Give it your best, this plan will take you to the finish line of your MTB stage race!

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
Pre-Test Short

WU: 15 Minutes in the Endurance zone (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3). Get in 2 or 3 fast pedals of about 1 minute each.
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MS: Your Pre-Test workout is about opening up the legs and keeping the lactate-processing plant sharp. As part of the Main Set do 3 x 90 seconds “Hard Efforts” (80% of MAX), rest for 5 minutes at Active Recovery (Power Z1, HR Z1, RPE <2) between efforts. Focus on tomorrow’s FTP test during the efforts, breath deep and pedal smooth.
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CD: 15 minutes easy pedaling in Active Recovery (Power Z1, HR Z1, RPE <2)

Sample Day 3
1:30:00
Threshold Plan – FTP 20 minute/ VO2 Max Test

WU: 10-20 minutes working into Endurance Zone (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3) with 3 x 1-minute fast pedals to wake up legs.
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MS1: 5-Minute Hard Effort. This 5-minute effort should be done at maximum. Start the effort at a high pace, but not so hard that you cannot finish strong. Really hammer out the last 45 seconds. The goal is to generate a max 5-minute VO2 Max test while really opening up the legs for the test and really dispense the initial freshness to help produce more accurate power in the 20-minute test. Once complete, spin easily for 15 minutes of recovery, working back into Endurance Zone (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3), and then go on to MS2.
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MS2: 20-Minute Time Trial. Try to do this on a road that is fairly flat and allows you to put out strong, steady power for the entire 20-minute effort. Don’t start too hard! You can do this on a steady climb or into a headwind to help produce steady power throughout the 20-minute effort. Once complete, spin easy for 10 minutes in Endurance Zone (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3). Your FTP is the power average for the 20-minute effort minus 3-5%.
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CD: 10-15 minutes of easy spinning.

Sample Day 4
1:30:00
ACTIVE RECOVERY - Easy Spin

MS: Today is an Active Recovery day targeting ONLY Active Recovery (Power Z1, Heart Rate Z1, RPE <2). Focus on relaxing on the bike and enjoying the ride. If you have to climb some hills try to use easier gear and spin easy. Today is about recovery, so go for an easy spin!

Sample Day 5
1:30:00
AC and NP Testing

WU: 10-20 minutes working into Endurance Zone (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3) with 3 x 1-minute fast pedals to wake up legs.
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MS1: 5-Minute Effort at FTP. To better warm up and open up the legs, let’s put in a 5-minute effort at the tested FTP number from the test two days ago. This should be hard, but not too hard! Once complete, ride for 10 minutes at Endurance Zone (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3) and then go on to MS2.
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MS2: 1-Minute Test. Find a quiet road, flat or with a slight uphill grade. Start from about 20 mph out of the saddle HAMMERING (self-selected cadence); go as hard as you can go in the beginning! Sit as you need to and try to push out the entire minute. This is hard! Once complete, spin for 5 minutes and then repeat the test. When your second effort is completed, spin easy for 15 minutes and then go on to MS3.
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MS3: 3 x NP 10-Second Sprint Max. Find a clear stretch of road, start from a slow speed of around 15 mph, and sprint as hard as you can for 10-15 seconds. Really focus on your JUMP from the line! Rest for 2-4 minutes between sprints. Try changing up your gearing a little to hit higher max numbers in each effort.
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CD: 10-15 minutes of easy spinning.

Sample Day 6
1:30:00
ACTIVE RECOVERY - Easy Spin

MS: Today is an Active Recovery day targeting ONLY Active Recovery (Power Z1, Heart Rate Z1, RPE <2). Focus on relaxing on the bike and enjoying the ride. If you have to climb some hills try to use easier gear and spin easy. Today is about recovery, so go for easy spin!

Sample Day 7
2:00:00
ENDURANCE Ride

WU: 10-15 minutes working from Active Recovery (Power Z1, HR Z1, RPE <2) training zone into Endurance (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3) with 2-3 x 1 minute fast pedals to wake up your legs.
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MS1: Endurance ride. Set a pace at Endurance (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3) and hold this pace for the prescribed workout time. Focus on riding smooth and staying relaxed. Vary your cadence. Vary terrain.
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CD: 5-15 minutes of easy pedaling in Active Recovery (Power Z1, HR Z1, RPE <2).

Sample Day 9
1:00:00
MTB Endurance Ride

WU: 15-minute solid warm-up with 2-3 accelerations to open up the legs.
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MS: Let’s hit the singletrack!! Today is about riding in the woods and mountains to get in some good, solid endurance training in your Endurance Training Level (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3). Keep the effort steady and avoid taking too many “mini-breaks”. Think about your technique over obstacles and rock gardens; smooth riders win races because they conserve energy over the tough stuff while others are “muscling” it out. The effort should be hard, but not so hard that you can't talk to a friend while riding. Enjoy the day!!
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CD: 15 – 20 minutes with effort at Active Recovery (Power Z1, HR Z1, RPE <2).

Hunter Allen
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Peaks Coaching Group, Inc.

Our coaches are the experts in training with a power meter and data analysis. If you are looking for the best, then Peaks Coaching Group will exceed your expectations and help maximize your training time. We also can help you with race tactics, nutrition, power training, skill development and we also have 4-6 cycling camps each year.

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