7 day MTB Stage Race Training

What Training plan would TR suggest for a 7 day MTB Stage Race (BC), with 15 hours a week to train (including strength work) and 7 months to do it in?
How would the plan change, if at all, for a female athlete in her 50s?
Whilst this question obviously helps me, I think it will answer alot of questions related to the possible flexibility of the TR approach.

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BC Bike Race? You’re going to love it.

I did it in 2015. I was about 3.65 W/kg when I did it training 6-7hrs/wk, although I had a big setback in May with a concussion. Finished ~180th out of 600.

When I do it again, I’ll be doing SSB 1&2, General Build, XCM Specialty. All Mid Volume - I don’t have more time than that. I also do maybe 1hr per week strength training (or at least I should). When the weather permits I’ll sub in a long Sunday MTB ride in place of the 90-120min sweet spot workout. The race for me was days that were 3-4hrs long, so sweet spot is a good intensity level.

One good question to ask yourself is - am I going to be able to handle the trails there? I ride out on the coast a fair bit, so am fairly comfortable on the trails. But for a lot of people from elsewhere, it doesn’t matter how many watts you have or how much you can deadlift when you walk down all of the features. If you’re not from around there I’d highly recommend going out before the race for a week or at least weekend to preview some things (eg. the Spakwus 50 race in Squamish) - Squamish and North Van is enough - you don’t need to go to the Sunshine Coast or island if it’s not in the budget.

Also look at the “bikes of the bcbr” article on pink bike: https://www.pinkbike.com/news/28-bikes-of-bc-bike-race.html
Some good advice in there (but don’t listen to Francois Bailly-Maitre). Don’t show up on 2.1 Thunder Burts and a hardtail unless you know you can manage their trails on it.


Spot on :raised_hands:

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@trevorrr is bang on with his reply. The one thing I’d add is that if you have the opportunity to do a training camp to get yourself used to riding 3-4 hrs a day for 7 days then do it. Even if you can only get- 3, 4 or 5 days in it will help. It’s also a good chance to sort your kit and equipment setup as well.

The BCBR is amazing, I’ve done it and it still sits on my bucket list as I have to do it again.

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Thanks for some great answers!
I am planning to take my Cannondale Lefty Habit SE 2016, with 130 mm fork and 120 rear suspension. I’m currently 3.4 k-w ratio and am training hard​:muscle::grinning:
Having been done the Single Track 6 the same year as the TR boys, I totally agree to the need for skills. I managed 4/6 days of ST6, but it destroyed my confidence. I became constantly terrified that round the next corner would be a cliff that I was expected to ride my bike off. That’s what the timed descents felt like. I think it was a particularly challenging year. Interestingly I can’t find any ST6 you tube videos for 2017, other than the official ones.
My partner did all 6 stages of ST6 and did BC BR a few years before that. He reckons I’ll be able to complete BCBR. I’m aiming to finish all the stages within the allocated time in one piece and being able reminisce with a big grin on my face.
Being realistic financially, it will be 2020 when we get there. So next season I’m planning to do some (UK) enduro and xc marathons and race local xcs without a practice lap, so I can manage that feeling of not knowing what to expect. I also ride as much as I can at the N Downs, which has challenging trails, plus trips to Wales. I try to ride hard a few days in succession, but I sometimes get burnt out doing that, so need to learn how to pace better.
I have also invested in a RipRow, which is very awesome and has really helped dial in my balance and riding position. I have a manual machine due to arrive soon, so I can work on those front/rear balance points.
And even throwing all this into the mix, I expect to get off and walk in places…
One of my main fitness aims is to build in fatigue resistance. The less fatigued I get the more skills I will have available (from my still limited resource).
I really wanted to hear a TR response to the amount of hours I have to train - 14-15 a week. How would TR suggest I manage the intensity level, as a female in my early 50’s?

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Hey Trevor
Well done on your recovery from concussion and your BCBR result. Awesome :grinning:
And no I won’t be looking for places to jump so I can get some rest in the air hahahaha!!

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Thanks. I’ll be going back to BCBR in 2020 with a stretch goal of being on the podium in Veterans 80+ team. I would “only” need to be 16% faster based on the other finish times in 2015. My W/kg is almost there, but I need to get better at descending.

Awesome Trevor!
Take care and I will see you there😀

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Have you also taken a skills class with Lee?
the Ryan Leech on line skills program is also great. It gets you thinking about the how of riding. Adding targeted practice to your training program will pay dividends at BC. Good luck

I can’t get to a class with Lee as I live in the UK. Yes, Ryan Leech is great isn’t he. :grinning:

I’m not going to be able to get to the BC race. I was hoping i could negotiate to get time off work, but it hasn’t happened.:roll_eyes: So short of winning the lottery, it’s not a possibility for me. We are planning a guided mtb Sea to Sky trip instead; do still lucky :wink:

Guess I found my training plan for the winter :wink:
I am not going to race, but was thinking about taking a MTB vacation that has stages for 5 or 6 days straight.

I am new to mountain biking so I will also have to go out on the trails to work on my technique.

Does anybody have any experience with travel agency that specialize in these type of holidays?