Choosing the right training plan and intensity for MTB stage race

I started training in January 2020 for a 3 days MTB stage race in Junie’20 and I was sitting on a 57 fitness level on Strava. The 2nd week of January, I hurt my back and was not allowed to cycle or run for 6 weeks. This has greatly affected my fitness level that is currently sitting on 29 on Strava after two weeks of Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume 1.

On Wednesday I had to do an easy 34 TSS indoor ride, but I decided to go for my 1st outdoor ride in 8 weeks. My TSS was 96 for a 1-hour ride of 25km.

So, my question is two-fold: No 1 is it a problem if I do a 96 TSS ride outside instead of the 34TSS indoor ride? 2ndly is the Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume 1 the right plan followed by Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume 2 and then Sustained Power Build Mid Vol to get me in shape for a 3 x 80km MTB stage race if a simple 25km road ride measured 96 TSS and my heart rate shot up to 181bpm on the hills?

It’s not a problem if you adjust your plan to accommodate for the extra unplanned TSS.

I tack on unplanned rides because I like riding bikes outside. While my training is important to me, continuing to enjoy the process is crucial, but I know that those unstructured rides don’t move my fitness forward. Two things, fitness isn’t the only thing in MTB, riding outdoors is key for maintaining and developing the needed skills. What I’ve learned (surprise surprise) is that even those “easy” rides stack up for me and they absolutely affect my workouts later in the week.

I know this now and make my plans based on that. Sometimes I bail on group rides because I need to stay focused on the plan. Sometimes I accept them because riding bikes outside in the woods with other humans is typically more fun than drilling out VO2 Max intervals.

Use the plan builder and pick XCM.

Yes. Wednesday is supposed to be a recovery ride, so it should be easy and you almost tripled the TSS.

Looks like you are new to structured training so I would do the low-volume plans instead. I recommend sweet spot base 1 & 2 followed by general build. You can use Sunday as an opportunity to get out to the trails.

THIS. :trophy:

Hi guys, thanks for all the responses. Yes I am new to structured training for MTB’ing but I absolutely love it.

I started with the low volume plans, but there is only 3 rides per week, which feels way to little.

The only thing that worries me a bit, is that I will have to complete 3x80km out on the trails and not on a trainer. So that is the reason for just checking in that I am on the right plan. So I think the best thing would be to swop one of the weekend rides for a ride out on the trails.