Finishing Low Volume Sustained Power Build, what next?

I did a quick search of the forums, but I didn’t come across anything I found relevant.

I am primarily a mountain biker but do ride road with a local club. Starting in May, I compete in the expert category of a local weekly MTB series (~1 hour races with 300m of climbing). I do well in this series, but could certainly improve placings by improving on a 3 minute hill climb.

But I think my focus for the coming year would be to improve my performance in longer events such as 100-160km or multi-day events - like gravel grinders or MTB races.

From past performance I know (I think?) that my biggest weakness comes when the trail stops and the road starts. Riders who I’ve spent an hour putting distance on in the technical parts will ride past me within a few km when we hit the road.

I just completed Sustained Power Build LV at 280 FTP - up from 263. I’m looking for some help deciding where to go next. Anything that would combine a short hill climb improvement with a sustained effort would be great, but to me the focus looks very different.

I have no long events planned yet for the coming year. That might be the place to start :slight_smile:

I am no expert here on training, which is why i am here at trainerroad. I am a long distance mtb’er and i use to suck at the fire road climbs, which there is never a shortage of. A couple years ago i dove head first into Vo2 max intervals that were 5 minutes in length. started off at 108% and now i have moved that needle to 115%. My fire road climbs improved dramatically!!! There may be a better way but this worked for me. hope this helps


Hey there!

The issue that you’re running into here is that the things you want to improve on are on separate sides of the spectrum.

You basically want to improve your:

  • 3 Minute Power
  • 3 Hour Power

That being said, there are some plans with a bit of both.

From my current understanding, your main objective for 2019 is to increase your endurance so that you can race long MTB races and other long endurance races.

Your secondary objective is to improve your 3 minute power so that you can improve in your local MTB series.

If I understand your priorities correctly, I would recommend the following training track:

SSB I and II
Sustained Power Build
Climbing Road Race

Climbing Road Race places a primary focus on your sustained power, but will mix in a bit of 3 minute VO2 max work once per week, which should help you in your local MTB race series :+1:

I hope this helps! Let me know if there is anything I can clarify.


@Bryce If only I could have put it as succinctly as you did :smile:

That makes sense to me. Thanks for the direction.

@mike091979 I could only wish for a climb longer that 5 minutes around here. :stuck_out_tongue: Thanks for your insight.

1 Like

Bryce has shown me the way with my plans. :joy::joy: Once again why I am here.