12 Week MTB Winter Plan (Part 1: Early off season)

Average Weekly Training Hours 10:02
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 10:02
Training Load By Week

This plan is aimed at experienced Mountain bikers aged 18 to 45 who typically have a minimum of 2 years racing experience and wish to follow a structured plan during the off season winter months in preparation for a season of XC racing and one day Marathon events.

You will be guided through the 12 week period via two five week blocks of training, each seperated by a recovery week and fitness assesment (self conducted hill effort) to monitor performance. Following the completion of this plan it is advised that at least 4 weeks of high intensity training be completedbefore commencing the race season or alternatively see additional plan "Part 2: progressing from winter training to early season racing".

Prior to starting the plan you will have had a rest period of approximately one month following your previous season of racing and then completed two weeks of very easy riding (4 to 8 hours approximately) to get back into a training routine.

Weekly training volumes vary from 6 to 14 hours over a range of 5 to 6 training days per week. A variety of structured sessions are provided and aim to improve endurance and strength whilst including some pedalling drills to improve technique.

Training sessions are prescribed using heart rate zones and therefore a heart rate monitor is essential when following this plan. A spreadsheet is attached for the calculation of heart rate zones.

Heart Rate Zones (based on % maximum heart rate) Level 1 = 0 to 64% Lower Level 2 = 65% to 78% Upper Level 2 = 79% to 88% Level 3 = 89% to 94% Level 4 = 95% to 100%

If you have any questions relating to this plan please email georgerose@cyclecoachingwales.com

Sample Day 2
2:00:00
31.07mi
2 hours LL2 Road

Ride at Lower Level 2 pace and try to stay in zone so take it easy on the hills today.

Sample Day 3
0:40:00
Strength Conditioning Circuit (2 reps)

See Exercises & Intevals Tab for details. Or complete similar exercises using TRX bands

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
15.53mi
Turbo - 1 hour L1 (6 x 1 Spinning, 6 mins UL2)

10 min warm-up Level 1 pace, 5 mins at Upper Level 2, then 5 mins Level 1. Now complete 6 x 1 min spinning at approx 120 rpm with 3 mins recovery. Next complete a 6 minute effort at Upper Level 2 and finish with 10 mins Level 1.

Concentrate on trying not to bounce around in the saddle whilst doing the intervals. Use a very easy gear - you should not be trying as hard as possible when doing the intervals, just concentrating on smooth pedaling.

Sample Day 5
0:40:00
Strength Conditioning Circuit (2 reps)

See Exercises & Intevals Tab for details. Or complete similar exercises using TRX bands

Sample Day 6
2:00:00
32.31mi
Hill Test

This should be a steady ride with average heart rate in Lower Level 2 zone. During the 2nd hour find a local climb that is sheltered from the wind and takes approx 6 to 10 minutes to complete. Ride it as fast as you can and try to pace yourself. Record your time then have 30 minutes at Level 1 to cool down and finish.

Sample Day 7
1:30:00
12.43mi
1.5 hours MTB LL2 (with UL2 climbs)

15 mins Level 1 warm-up then complete rest of ride at lower and upper level 2 with 15 min slow cool-down to finish.

Sample Day 9
1:00:00
15.53mi
Turbo - 1 hour L1 (6 x 1 Spinning, 6 mins UL2)

10 min warm-up Level 1 pace, 5 mins at Upper Level 2, then 5 mins Level 1. Now complete 6 x 1 min spinning at approx 120 rpm with 3 mins recovery. Next complete a 6 minute effort at Upper Level 2 and finish with 10 mins Level 1.

Concentrate on trying not to bounce around in the saddle whilst doing the intervals. Use a very easy gear - you should not be trying as hard as possible when doing the intervals, just concentrating on smooth pedaling.