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


George Rose

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12 Weeks

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.

Plan Description

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

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Bike x3
6:49 hrs 4:30 hrs
Strength x2
1:03 hrs 0:40 hrs
Day Off x1
—— ——
MTB x1
2:10 hrs 3:00 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
6:49 hrs 4:30 hrs
1:03 hrs 0:40 hrs
Day Off
—— ——
2:10 hrs 3:00 hrs

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • GPS

All supported devices

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