Bikepacking Mountain Bike Race Training Plan 5-10 days

Average Weekly Training Hours 16:15
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 16:15
Training Load By Week

This training plan is for the athlete peaking for a bikepacking race they will finish in 5 - 10 days. It is for athletes with the goal to finish, and to stretch out their personal limits to learn just how fast they can go. The plan has big hours and hard training.

This is an aggressive training program to prepare a bikepacking athlete to excel physically, mentally and technically. Along with the physical training, the plan includes bikepacking specific details on fueling, pacing, equipment choices and race strategy.

This plan was developed using the Performance Manager: This provides a systematic way to apply solid training principals in just the right amount.

The plan has 4 primary training blocks:

Weeks 1-3: Neuromuscular power, aerobic development and speed work. Core training, bike fit, course specific pointers.

Weeks 4-6: Threshold and VO2max power development. Race nutrition practice. Race planning. Riding loaded. Endurance development and an overnight bikepacking training mission.

Weeks 7-9: Tempo power development. Optimize recovery techniques. Build the ability to stay on the gas for long periods of time. Dial in bikepacking system to minimize stops and maximize efficiency. Two course specific focused bikepack training missions. Practice and optimize race fueling.

Weeks 10-12: Rest, taper and final race specific key workouts to bring you to peak fitness. Mental race strategy, final body, mind and bike specific preparations. Race start is end of week #12.

Visit the 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.

Sample Day 1
Recovery ride

Mellow, easy relaxed ride at heart rate zone 1 or power L1 recovery pace. Light relaxed
pressure on the pedals. Cut this ride short or miss it out if you are tired or busy. Passive
rest may be a better choice today.

Sample Day 2
Performance field test

Heart rate, Power and Performance Field Test. Do a long deep warm up prior to the test.
Then time trial 20 minutes on a flat out and 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 long easy cool down.

Use our LW Coaching Heart Rate Zone and Power Training level Calculator at this link to calculate your training zones/levels.

Prior to conducting this test review our Testing Guidelines doc at this link

Sample Day 2
Foam Roll and Stretch

Use a combination of rolling on the foam roller and stretching to work out your hot spots.

Sample Day 3
Moderate effort single track smooth flowy ride

Ride mostly single track at a comfortable fun pace. Power doesn't play a large role in this ride. Keep HR zone 1-3 and your effort level moderate and relaxed the entire ride. Focus on riding smooth and flowy along the trail today. Ride as-one with your bike. Pay attention to your tech skills. If your legs are tired back off the effort a little today but stay smooth and flowy.

If your goal race contains significant hike-a-biking (HAB), now is the time to start training for that and adapting your body. During this ride dismount and mount your bike five times from each side and tally up 5-10 minutes hike-a-biking (HAB).

Sample Day 3
Core workout

Core training. Do a variety of exercises for your hip, abdominal and lower back muscles.
Examples are bridging, pillar exercises, crunches, back extensions and Pilates. Read our
Core Strength for Mountain Bikers Doc for exercise suggestions and descriptions

Work hard and get a sweat going. A strong core means being more comfortable at the end of long days on the bike.

Sample Day 4
L6: 4 x 5 x 1 min (2/5 min)

Warm up well. Then ride four sets of 5 X 1 minutes at power L6 or 90% effort level with
2 minutes very easy spin recovery between intervals and 5 minutes between sets.
Choose a moderate to steep hill for the 1 minute intervals and recover coasting downhill
and spinning easy on a flat road. The goal today is to have even average power on each
and across all intervals. Spin easy after to cool down.

NOTE: One minute intervals are too short to pace by heart rate. If you do not have a
power meter pace by perceived exertion (PE) following the Training Intensity Guidelines
table here

Sample Day 4
Foam Roll and Stretch

Use a combination of rolling on the foam roller and stretching to work out your hot spots.

Lynda Wallenfels
LW Coaching

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

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