Winter Off-Season Base Training for Mountain Bike Racing - Expert

Average Weekly Training Hours 09:33
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 09:33
Training Load By Week

3 months of fall/winter training to get you fit and ready to race mountain bikes

plan builds your strength, endurance, coordination (cadence) and muscular endurance .

workouts help you pass trainer time and combine cross-training and strength with key bike workouts

any questions please email

(Last Update Dec 2015)

Sample Day 5
easy rec spin + prep bike and gadgets!

easy spin today. - Include a 1-5 x 30sec spinups to max RPM to get activated. These are done by spinning 10sec fast / 10sec faster / 10sec max RPM (by feel). Gearing should be easier. - The Overall RPE of ride very low - Additionally, use today to make sure bike is 100% ready to go for upcoming training and/or races

Sample Day 6
Test - CP3 AND CP20 (DL)

* if don't understand test/performance metric See this FAQ video or email
* CP3 done on Big Hill . Start on flat if not 3min (preride hill to guage)
* Cp20 can be flat on a block or out and back (minimize wind influence) OR a long 20+min climb
WU: Like a race. Be sweating and activated before the workout.
If you don't have a personal WU try 20-30min w. 3-4 x 45sec hard efforts with slightly higher cadence
Main WO:
- Complete a 3min TT holding the best Power output you can for 3min
- 10min very easy spinning
- 20min TT holding best power output for 20min
CD: Spin easy to finish time
Cp3 - 330w, 145/155bpm, 90rpm, 2km, 2km/hr
Cp20- 240w, 145/155bpm, 90rpm, 2k, 2km/hr

Sample Day 7
Your Choice !

FOCUS: Having fun and doing what seems right to you today. Some freedom from structure is rejuvenating. MainWO: Take today as you feel can be ride , hard-easy , long-short ... or crosstrain or off ! CD: Make sure to tell me about your day in detail .

Sample Day 9
Strength Adaptation Phase AA

*Anatomical Adaptation is meant to get you ready for heavy strength training. Avoid pushing too hard in this phase, keep a few reps/sets in reserve always/Form focus. WU 2-5min cardio to get blood moving/temperature up *Skip , row, bike, run, elliptical all great Main WO: =2 sets 10-15 reps of done in sets of 3 (see letters) A- 1 Leg Squat to Box or Stepup (each side) A- Push Up (elevate hands to reach reps) A- V-SIT w. rotation -> (finish all A before going to B or C * Spend 2-3 min on mobility b/w sets) B- DB Curl to Press (alternate each rep) B- Dead Lift DUMBELL (stable torso/back) B- DB ROw from pushup position or cable row C- Pullup or Lat Pull C- Back Extension C- Prone Plank 30sec-60sec * start at 10 reps, add weight when can do 15 CD: 5-10min on personal mobility limiter

Sample Day 9
Coord 10 x 1 - Moderate FP high rpm

GOAL: To build capacity to pedal in different ways and at different speeds. Best on trainer or flat-ish road. This improves the range of cadence you can use efficiently. *This can be done as below or worked into your wu/cd or as convenient on a longer (outdoor ride) WU: Build to endurance pace over 5-20min include 2-3 x 30sec fast/faster/fastest spinups (last 10sec max cadence/effort) MAINWO => 10 x 1 min @ tempo-threshold AND 110-120rpm - focus on being steady and in that cadence range. ** recover easy for 5min b/w efforts just easy spinning CD: finish time bottom of endurance range (65-75%) and comfortably high rpm. Including skills or extra drills always great use of time.

Sample Day 10
Xtrain - some bike and/or trainer fine

Your choice of mode of exercise (bike is ok if weather ok, ) . Easy breathing and low intensity . focus on moving steady HR may be different then main sport, key is that RPE is normal endurance range ( 5-8/10 ) Skiing, snowshoe, xc ski, pole run, ruck hike, swimming, running count generally confirm if not sure. * golf, yoga, flat walking, strength, crossfit, DH ski , intense spin classes do not count.

Sample Day 11
* Muscular Endurance 6 x 5

* Moderate load and RPM challenges your Muscular Endurance which improves average speed in races and key factor in Endurance. races. Some might call this 'sweet spot' training.
15-30min total time
WITH 5 x 30sec spinups to max cadence and 1-2 max 10-20sec sprints seated indoors/mostly standing outdoors.
5min at FTP watts or RPE
(SEE TITLE FOR REPS) min ON 80-90 %MHR 70-80RPM
*THose w. Power use 90% FTP (85%CP20)
- OFF 2min Easy 95/105 rpm EASY
Then finish ride easy endurance @ 95+RPM

Peter Glassford
Smart Athlete Coaching

Cycling - MTB, Road, Time-Trial, Xterra and Triathlon

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