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Cross Country MTB - Category 3 Plan


Taylor Thomas

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12 Weeks

Plan Specs

cycling mountain biking beginner

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Plan Description

This plan is designed for those that are looking to begin racing XC mountain bike events, or have just begun racing. This 12 week plan is designed to help you gain the fitness necessary to be competitive within your category and help you develop the skills to progress in the sport. It helps if you have some experience riding off road, and are comfortable riding in moderately technical terrain.

Most weeks will consist of 4 days of riding, 1 strength day, and 1 day for light cross training. All of the long rides are on the weekends, with shorter interval and tempo rides being performed during the week. It's necessary to have access to a heart rate monitor or power meter to take full advantage of this training plan.

For more information please visit Thomas Endurance Coaching


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
3:20 hrs 1:30 hrs
5:10 hrs 4:00 hrs
—— ——
0:33 hrs 0:45 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
3:20 hrs 1:30 hrs
5:10 hrs 4:00 hrs
—— ——
0:33 hrs 0:45 hrs

Training Load By Week

Taylor Thomas

Thomas Endurance Coaching

Thomas Endurance Coaching offers one-on-one online coaching that includes athlete assessment, goal setting, individualized training blocks, and full workout analysis. By blending both the science and art of coaching, athletes receive not only the latest in data analysis but a genuine relationship with their coach. You can also choose from pre-built and custom training plans if you're looking for a more self-guided approach to your training.

Sample Day 1

Threshold Test - HR

Perform either the heart rate test or the power test based on how you'll be training.

Threshold test to establish training zones.
10 minutes easy warm up.
30 minute time trial at sustained max effort
20 minute cool down

Sample Day 1

Threshold Test - Power

This test is to be performed on a stationary trainer or relatively flat (no more than 2%-3%) course with no stops. For best results, focus on consistent maximal effort, not spikes in effort. We will use this number to establish your training Zones for power. 1.) 20 minute warm-up, which is just riding along at a moderate pace, about 65% of your max HR. 2.) Then do (3) fast pedaling efforts for 100rpm for one minute each with one minute between each. 3.) Then 3 minutes easy. 4.) Then Go for it - (1) 20 minute all out. Punch it and hold it! Make sure that you start at a high pace, but not so high that you die at the end. You should have a little in reserve to kick it to the finish line in the last minute. 5.) Then 10 minutes easy.

Sample Day 2

1 hr. Z2 Ride

Perform a low intensity (Zone 2) 1 hour ride. This ride can be completed on either a road or mountain bike, and should be ridden on a relatively flat course.

Sample Day 3

Strength-Upper Body

Pushup: 3x10 Burpee: 3x8 Plank: 3x45 seconds  Jump Ups: 3x8 Crunches: 3x15 Russian Twist: 8 each side

Sample Day 4

30 Min. Z3

WU: 15 minutes in Z2
Main Effort: 20 minutes in Z3
CD: Remainder in Z2

Sample Day 5

2 Hour Ride

Ride rolling terrain at a moderate pace for 2 hours. Focus on keeping the intensity steady and manageable.

Sample Day 6

1:30 Hour Ride

Ride in Zones 1 and 2 for 1:30.

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