HomeMTB XC Race Plans

MTB XC Race Plans


This plan has been assembled specifically for the more experienced mountain bike cross-country (XC) rider seeking to prepare for their target race in a progressive and structured fashion, that takes advantage of block periodisation, a polarised intensity distribution and both on and off-the-bike workouts.

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The plan houses a large variety of workouts that will constantly challenge the body and signal it to adapt in the most optimal way. All important zones, abilities and physiological systems where XC MTB riders need to be strong are targeted and the plan aims to deliver the rider right on the day of their target MTB race with a peak of fitness.

*Every workout takes advantage of the TrainingPeaks’ Workout Builder for clearly structured workouts*

With the main abilities needed for mountain bike XC riders to be successful being VO2Max and ability to surge and recover repeatedly (often under high torque), this training plan focuses on building a large aerobic engine and ability to repeatedly generate high power output, well above functional threshold power.

Before beginning this plan and to take full advantage of the workouts therein, ensure you have a solid base of riding fitness and can ride for ~3-4hours at a Zone 2 level of intensity relatively comfortably. 

The programme works best for those riders who train using a power meter or heart rate monitor, but does use RPE or Rating of Perceived Exertion for every workout for those without. In each workout, simply switch the workout graph to the metric you use.