Mountain Bike Enduro Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 05:35
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 05:35
Training Load By Week

Most Enduro riders find that they have great skills and base endurance but struggle to maintain the high race intensity for the timed stages and then struggle to back this up for multiple stages. With this in mind Sport Scientist and Performance Coach Matty Graham has designed a training plan that focuses on building strength-endurance on top of their already established endurance base. Second to this the 'sharpening' the riders anaerobic threshold through interval training means they are able to rider harder for longer on race day. ‘What I have found working with a number of athletes wanting to start racing enduro's, is that most of them are die hard riders that have great base fitness and skills but lack the ability to hold their top end speed and lack strength endurance to get up the hills. This leaves them fatigued and unable to hold race hard for the entire enduro.’ Using interval training and scientific training principles this training plan aims to take a rider with good base fitness and get them race ready in just 6 weeks. ‘Most riders will find that the addition of some well planned interval sessions will see their on the bike performance rapidly increase getting them ‘race ready’ in a short space of time.’

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
General hill ride

This session is a semi-structured ride working on your strength endurance, technical skills and threshold. Get out and let the terrain dictate your work effort.

Plan this ride to take in a mixture of gravel roads, single track and sealed road over hilly terrain.

On the up hills, climb at a hard Zone 4 intensity focusing on staying seated as much as possible to develop your strength endurance and efficiency. Use the down hills as a time to recover and work on your technical descending skills.

Plan this ride to take in the similar type of terrain that you will encounter in your planned goal race.

Sample Day 2
1:15:00
3 phase hill climbs - 4x6 min

Warm up for 10-15 min then perform 4x6 min 3 phase hill climbs on a long moderate grade climb as outlined below.

-2 min seated climbing relaxed in Zone 3
-2 min, change up 1 or 2 gears (i.e. into a bigger gear, making it harder) dropping your cadence but stay seated building in to Zone 4
-2 min, change up again (i.e. into a bigger gear), jump out of your saddle and climb as hard as you can for the next 2 min
-Between intervals ride easy downhill or uphill (if it is a long climb) for 3 min before repeating
Following intervals ride steady up to prescribed session time.

*This session can be performed on a MTB or road bike on a sealed or gravel road.

*If your knees begin to hurt during this session STOP the intervals immediately, warm down and seek advice from a physiotherapist.

Sample Day 4
1:15:00
Power intervals - 6x90 sec

Warm up for 15 min then perform 6 x 90 sec maximal (Zone 5+) power intervals.

Perform 3 of these intervals on a steep hill, out of the saddle at a maximal intensity. Then perform 3 of these intervals on a flat section of road or trail.

During these intervals work as hard as you can out of your saddle in a slightly bigger gear than is comfortable, working on producing as much power as possible for the full 90 sec.

Following each power intervals ride down hill for recovery and around on the flat for 3.5 min of total recovery time.

Following the intervals ride steady up to the prescribed time on single track working on your technical skills.

Sample Day 6
2:30:00
Endurance hill ride

Long MTB taking in long sustained climbs of 10 – 20 min in length over a mixture of gravel roads and single track.

During these climbs focus on climbing at a steady pace both in and out of the saddle. Then use the downhill sections of your ride to work on your technical skills.

Plan this ride to take in the similar type of terrain that you will encounter in your planned goal race.

Sample Day 8
1:15:00
3 phase hill climbs - 5x6 min

Warm up for 10-15 min then perform 5x6 min 3 phase hill climbs on a long moderate grade climb as outlined below.

-2 min seated climbing relaxed in Zone 3
-2 min, change up 1 or 2 gears (i.e. into a bigger gear, making it harder) dropping your cadence but stay seated building in to Zone 4
-2 min, change up again (i.e. into a bigger gear), jump out of your saddle and climb as hard as you can for the next 2 min
-Between intervals ride easy downhill or uphill (if it is a long climb) for 3 min before repeating
Following intervals ride steady up to prescribed session time.

*This session can be performed on a MTB or road bike on a sealed or gravel road.

*If your knees begin to hurt during this session STOP the intervals immediately, warm down and seek advice from a physiotherapist.

Sample Day 9
1:00:00
Technical recovery ride

Technical MTB ride working on technical riding skills on single track + active recovery.

Keep this session at an easy intensity (Zone 1-2) working on those skills that you struggle with the most.

Aim to finish this ride feeling fresh and energised. If your legs feel overly tired cut this session short, head home and rest up.

Sample Day 11
1:15:00
Power intervals - 6x90 sec

Warm up for 15 min then perform 6 x 90 sec maximal (Zone 5+) power intervals.

Perform 3 of these intervals on a steep hill, out of the saddle at a maximal intensity. Then perform 3 of these intervals on a flat section of road or trail.

During these intervals work as hard as you can out of your saddle in a slightly bigger gear than is comfortable, working on producing as much power as possible for the full 90 sec.

Following each power intervals ride down hill for recovery and around on the flat for 3.5 min of total recovery time.

Following the intervals ride steady up to the prescribed time on single track working on your technical skills.

Matty Graham
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Exponential Performance Coaching

My name is Matty Graham, I live in Wanaka New Zealand.

My coaching aim is to provide effective sport science base training programmes and support to help athletes of all levels to perform at their peak and achieve their goals.