2.5 to 4 Hr MTB Race – 3 Training Days/Wk – Finisher – PDF



Ideal Target Race

2.5 to 4 hour target event.

Who Is This For

Beginner or current back of the pack racers.

This plan assumes you have not been doing a lot of recent riding and are lacking a solid base of cycling endurance.

Racing During The Program

Please do…

Race simulation rides are included in the later weeks of the program so you can dial in your race pace on terrain similar to your target race or do some actual racing.

Test sessions, either trail time trials or threshold tests are scheduled at the end of recovery weeks and are ideal sessions to swap for weekend races throughout the training program.

Timeline Overview

This program is 15 weeks long with a large focus on building a solid base of endurance. The first 10 weeks are focused on building up your endurance base and then adds strength work before moving into the next 3 weeks that build more race specific fitness. These periods are followed by 1 taper week and then your final race week. I have provided recommendations on how to adjust the schedule for various timeline situations in the Program And Workout Modifications section.

Max individual workout ride time – 2.5 hours

Max weekly ride time – 4 hours and 44 minutes

Training Period Description

Each period set of weeks ends with a recovery week to allow your body to heal from the previous training weeks and realize the gains from your efforts before moving into the next training period.

Weeks 1 through 4 – Base Period

Establish some base endurance as you increase ride time each week.

Weeks 5 through 7 – Base Period

Continue building base endurance, but with more intensity.

Weeks 9 through 10 – Base Period

Build strength while continuing to build base endurance.

Weeks 11 through 13 – Build Period

Transform your strength gains into usable power, get comfortable at threshold and dial in your race pace on the trail.

Week 14 – Taper Period

Tapering down to race week with some minor endurance maintenance, but the focus being on dialing in race pace and bringing yourself into good form for race week.

Week 15 – Race Week

Rides are short while doing just enough to maintain fitness and getting into peak form for race day.

Additional information

Athlete Level

# of Training Days Per Week

Race Length

Training Plan Format


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