Cross Country MTB race - Advanced

Average Weekly Training Hours 10:57
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 10:57
Training Load By Week

This is a 10 week, advanced level mountain bike training plan for a cross country mountain bike race of about 2.5 hours in duration. The training plan is RPE and HR based, but will work with a power meter as well. The workouts are all time based, with an emphasis on quality of workouts over quantity. The longest endurance ride is three and half hours, building up from two and a half hours. You will be riding five days per week, with two interval workouts per week, one skills based ride, a group or endurance ride and the long ride on Sunday.

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
Cross training

Cross training - some other aerobic activity besides riding. Trail running, swimming or hiking are all good options.

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
Endurance Ride - skills

Skills are as important for successful mountain bike racing as the workouts. For this ride, the total riding time isn't as important as working on skills and sessioning technical sections of trails. Best done with others - the goal is to challenge yourself and learn while riding. If possible, find a section of trail you can make a short loop out of and practice different lines through the obstacles.

Sample Day 2
0:30:00
Core Strengthing

your choice of core activities or flexibility exercises.

Sample Day 3
1:30:00
Threshold - 3x8(3)

Warm up for 20-30 minutes on rolling terrain. Make sure to include 2-3 accelerations to prep legs.

Main Workout
3x8 minutes at threshold HR with an RPE of 7. This should feel hard, but sustainable. If using a power meter, the watts should be between 10 watts below to at FTP.
- Try to keep a nice high cadence, above 90 RPM if possible
- recovery between intervals is three minutes, easy pedaling.
- intervals should be done either on a gradual hill or level area with little traffic. Either road or mountain bike is fine.

Cool down as need for remainder of ride. If on mountain bike, try to find some fun singletrack.

Sample Day 4
1:30:00
Endurance ride

If possible, do this ride in a group. Work on riding in close quarters with others, passing and being passed and communication with other riders in the group. The ride should be fun but still challenging.

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
Cross training

Cross training - some other aerobic activity besides riding. Trail running, swimming or hiking are all good options.

Sample Day 6
1:30:00
Threshold - 2x12(4)

Warm up for 20-30 minutes on rolling terrain. Make sure to include 2-3 accelerations to prep legs.

Main Workout
2 x 12 minutes at threshold HR with an RPE of 7. This should feel hard, but sustainable. If using a power meter, the watts should be between 10 watts below to at FTP.
- Try to keep a nice high cadence, above 90 RPM if possible
- recovery between intervals is 4 minutes, easy pedaling.
- intervals should be done either on a gradual hill or level area with little traffic. Either road or mountain bike is fine.

Cool down as need for remainder of ride. If on mountain bike, try to find some fun singletrack.

Tracy Thelen
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Thelen Coaching

Thelen Coaching offers personalized and individualized coaching for athletes of all levels in cycling, mountain biking, running and triathlons, specializing in trail running, ultras, ultra endurance cycling and 24 hour races.