50 Mile Mountain Bike Race Training Plan: 10-15 hr a week 6.5 month

Average Weekly Training Hours 12:09
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 12:09
Training Load By Week

This 26 week training plan will incrementally build your fitness so you are at your peak fitness for a 50 Mile Mountain Bike Race at the end of the training plan. This training plan can be used with power and/or heart rate training.

This training plan is 6 days a week with off days on Monday. Workouts on Tues-Friday are shorter and can be done indoors or outdoors. Workouts on the weekends are longer and are preferably done outdoors. Each week is 10-15 hours total.

You will be working on a combination of building your fitness with a variety of types of rides (long, short and intense, mountain bike specific, etc.), and will also work on your pacing and nutrition for a 50 mile race.

This training plan has three phases to it:

Phase 1: Weeks 1-8
Rides during the week are shorter and more intense. You can do these indoors or outdoors. Rides on the weekend are meant to be outdoors and are focused on fun, moderate-hard rides

Phase 2: Weeks 9-16
Rides get longer. During the week they can be done indoors or outdoors, but on the weekend the rides begin to increase rapidly to start prepping you early on with Base miles for the 50 mile race

Phase 3: Weeks 17-Race day
Rides get more and more specific to what you will encounter at a 50 mile race. You will be given race specific long rides every Saturday that work on combination of fitness, pacing, and nutrition strategy for your race day.

The plan focuses on the athlete looking to start training specifically for a 50 mile race. You can add races throughout the plan as needed.

Sample Day 2
1:19:59
Easy ride

Today is an easy ride. Do not over do it! Tomorrow will be tough, and this ride will make sure you are prepared for the hard ride tomorrow. RPE for this ride should be a 3-4 out of 10(see attachment with start up for basics on RPE).

Sample Day 3
1:50:00
30 minute LT bike test

BT: Warm up with 20 minutes of easy to moderate spinning. Then ride a 30 minute time trial on flat course. Punch HR monitor 'lap' button 10 minutes into Time Trial. Average heart rate for last 20 minutes predicts Lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR). Follow the instructions in the attachment that came with your program purchase for details on what to do with this number.

Sample Day 4
1:30:00
Easy ride with 90% one legged drills

Ride Zones 1-2 only today. Within the ride include 20 minutes of one legged work, where one leg does 90% of the work while the other leg "loafs". While perfoming this drill, attempt to push your toes to the front of your shoe at the top of the pedal stroke, and scrape dirt off your shoes at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Attempt to eliminate all dead spots and become more efficient!

Sample Day 5
1:00:00
30 second accelerations

Ride Zones 1-2 inlcuding 3-5 x 30 second accelerations to Zones 3-4.

Sample Day 6
3:00:00
Hard mtb ride

Ride all zones today. Push the climbs, relax and recover on the downhills. Aim to progressively get faster as the ride goes on. Finish off with 10-15 minute cool down easy in Zones 1-2 only.

Sample Day 7
2:00:00
Easy mtn bike "flowing"

Ride Zones 1-3 off road. During this ride focus on "flowing" through the trails. Look ahead and into the trail, brake before/after and not into the turns, and think/plan ahead.

Sample Day 9
1:45:00
LT Intervals 2 x 20 criss cross

Warm up well with 20-30 minutes of spinning and 3-4 x 60-90 second accelerations to Zones 4-5. Follow this with 2 x 20 minute intervals building up to Zones 3-4. Within each 20 min interval criss cross from Zone 3 to Zone 4 every 2 minutes. Take 15 minute rest between intervals. Finish off with easy spinning in Zone 1 only.

Drew Edsall
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Coachdrewedsall.com Llc / Mtbfitness.com

My name is Drew Edsall, I am a mountain bike coach and former professional mountain biker. I have had the pleasure of coaching many of the top riders in the World in all age categories including a Pan Am Games Gold Medal Champion in 2016, U23 Silver Medalist both in 2016 and 2017, and multiple National / State Champions / Collegiate Champions. My specialty is mountain bike coaching. You can find more information at either one of my websites: coachdrewedsall.com or mtbfitness.com