Firecracker 50 12 Week Plan MTB

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Firecracker 50 12 Week Plan MTB


Nate Wilson

All plans by this Coach


13 Weeks

Typical Week

1 Other, 1 Strength, 6 Bike, 1 X-Train

Longest Workout

5:00 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling mountain biking

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12 Week Plan to get ready for the Firecracker 50 MTB Race. Plan includes not just on the bike training but off the bike core and strength work, very important to keep you from breaking down in the long race.

The plan progresses from aerobic foundation, to threshold with over/under work, and then into more specific race intensity. That said, the plan will yield the best results for someone that has at least 4-6 weeks of base miles coming into it.

Field test in the second week to establish power and heart rate zones, both devices help but not a necessity!

Good luck, enjoy!


Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 10:58

Nate Wilson

Catalyst Coaching

I love bikes, in any and all forms. For me it is as simple as that. I've built my life around cycling, and to have it be my livelihood is a privilege. At this point I've worked with a wide range of athletes from people chasing a PR in their local century, to MTB racers, to WTS triathletes and World Tour Road Racers. I love it all.

Sample Day 1

Foundation Work and Foam Rolling

This routine doesn't take a lot of time, but is challenging and works. The focus is all on the posterior chain (read back, glutes, hamstrings). This will make you a better handler on the bike, better climber, and help cut out lower back pain. These are the muscle groups that cyclists often ignore, and pay the penalty for.

Follow the link to the video:

Do some foam rolling and stretching after the foundation routine.

Sample Day 2

Zone 2

Steady zone 2 effort, working on establishing that aerobic base!

Don't be lazy today and focus on smooth power production, using core to stabilize yourself on the bike.

Zone 2 = RPE of 2-3.5

I will put in RPE (rate of perceived effort, on a scale of 1 to 10) for the first week, until the field test. Then your zones should be established!

Sample Day 3

Stomps (6x20sec)

Progressive warmup, starting easy and building into z2 before the efforts.

For efforts today do 6x20 sec stomps w/ ~2min rest between each stomp.

The stomps should be performed in the saddle the whole time. Start in a big gear from a low speed and then accelerate as hard as you can. It should take you awhile to get on top of the gear. Focus on using your core to keep your upper body smooth and transfer all the power into the pedals.

Fill out the rest of the time in zone 2, 60-90min total ride time.

Sample Day 4

Zone 2

Steady zone 2 effort, working on establishing that aerobic base!

Don't be lazy today and focus on smooth power production, using core to stabilize yourself on the bike.

Zone 2 = RPE of 2-3.5

5x30 sec one leg pedaling drills

Sample Day 5

Core workout

2x10-15 pushups

1min straight plank, 30sec side plank each side

50-100 bicycle kicks

1x20-25 situps/crunches

1x30sec, laying flat on back hold legs straight 6inches off the ground

1x15 leg lifts, on back legs straight raised up and down

1x10 reps each leg, standing on one foot bend at the waist and touch the ground with opposite hand 10inches in front of foot

1x60sec wall sit

Sample Day 6

Tempo (3x10)

Progressive warmup, start light and build into zone 2 before the efforts.

3x10min tempo efforts at zone 3 HR and/or power.

Space these to fit the terrain with a minimum of 6min recovery between.

If the terrain allows, do 2 of these on a road or fire road so the effort is steady, and do 1 on trail so the effort is a bit more variable.

Sample Day 7

2.5h: Trail Endurance

The goal of today's ride is to log some steady endurance miles on the trails. Focus on keeping steady pressure on the pedals where possible, and riding smoothly through technical sections.

Majority of the day should be zone 2 pace. Ideally use HR as a guide, riding on trails power will be highly variable.

If you don't have terrain/weather available to ride trails, do the same workout on road.

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