Bikepacking Mountain Bike Race Training Plan 5-10 days


Lynda Wallenfels

All plans by this Coach


12 Weeks

Typical Week

6 Other, 6 Bike, 2 Strength

Longest Workout

10:00 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling mountain biking intermediate advanced masters time goal multi day power based hr based pace based tss based

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Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.

Learn More about Structured Workouts.

Our tried and tested LW Coaching 5-10 day Bikepacking Mountain Bike Race Training Plan has been updated with TrainingPeaks structured workouts to make the most of both indoor and outdoor riding opportunities. For outdoor training, power (watts), TSS and IF targets can be downloaded to your Garmin. For indoor training, download your plan to your favorite Smart Trainer app such as Zwift, Rouvy or Trainer Road.

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.

This plan is paced by power (watts), heart rate and perceived exertion. At a minimum, a heart rate monitor is recommended to follow this training plan. A power meter and smart trainer are optional (and highly advantageous) extras. A power meter or smart trainer is not required to successfully follow this training plan.

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 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.


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 16:38
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 16:38
Average Weekly Breakdown

Lynda Wallenfels

LW Coaching

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

Browse our website and give our LW Coaching mountain bike training plan finder App a try to see which mountain bike training plan stack fits your goals.

Personal coaching, pre-built mountain bike training plans, telephone consultations. See or contact

Back to Plan Details

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.

Sample Day 2

DAY #2 Foam Roller and Stretch

DAY #2: After the bike field test today use a combination of rolling on the foam roller and stretching to work out your hot spots.

Sample Day 2

Power and HR Performance 20 min Field Test (structured)

DAY #2: 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-back course or up a continuous gradual climb. Pace the 20 minutes evenly with a maximal effort. i.e. go as fast as you can for 20 minutes without blowing up and stopping or slowing down significantly before the end of the 20 min test. Record average heart rate, average power and distance covered in the 20 minutes. Finish ride time with 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 heart rate from your 20-minute test into the Threshold Heart Rate box.

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 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 “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.

Prior to conducting this test review the Testing Guidelines doc found at this link:

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. All power levels will be seen on the trail but the majority of time will be in power L1-3. 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, Pilates.

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

Core training tips and exercise options at this link

Option: Do a core strength or Pilates workout in the SWORKIT app

Sample Day 4

1 min hill climbs (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

Main Set:
- Four sets of 5 X 1 minutes at low power L6, 125% FTP* or 90% effort level** with
2 minutes very easy spin recovery after each interval 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 and speed on each and across all intervals.

Cool Down:
- Spin easy after to cool down.


* The abbreviation FTP is Functional threshold power. See our power training glossary here

** If you do not have a power meter, pace with perceived exertion today. The interval duration is too short to use heart rate as a pacing tool.

Review this intensity chart to dial in your pacing by perceived exertion.

Sample Day 5

DAY #5 Strength Training

DAY #5:

- 5 minutes of aerobic exercise or calisthenics.

Main-set: Repeat 2-3 times
- 10 bench or chest press with a weight approaching but not reaching failure
- 10 lat pull or pull up with a weight approaching but not reaching failure
- 60 second front pillar
- 30 second side pillar to each side
- 10 ball pikes
- 10 bicep curls with a weight approaching but not reaching failure
- tricep dips to failure.

- 5 min stretching

Bikepacking Mountain Bike Race Training Plan 5-10 days

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