Is XC marathon really the best plan when a race is 25% anaerobic.?

My goal event is 3hrs of mtb with 90% singletrack and lots of pinches. XC Marathon seems like the most appropriate title, but i’m wondering if one of the other road / crit plans might make more sense?

My anaerobic PL is 1 and never gets trained. Any opinions?

Here’s data for a dry run for half of the course:

And here’s data for a previous race 1.5x the length

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I do and recommend XCO Specialty. That works for my XC and MTB 100 race schedule.

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I have been wondering this as well. I do Marathon MTB races on a Single Speed and have struggled with selecting the Marathon plan due to the lack of anaerobic…

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I’d be doing TR HIT (Sweetspot, Threshold, Vo2) in the week then long rides at the weekend for endurance personally.

No idea if thats in a plan…

I was going to raise very much this exact thread after I totally fell apart during a half marathon on a tough course.

I was going to add another level to this though.
I was thinking with the repeated short sharp pinches that the slower you are the further it would be away from the XCM plan. I was actually thinking this probably applies to plenty of other disciplines also.

I.e. to clean a short pinch section you’re looking at say 300 watts for 10 to 20 seconds - repeat that by 50 times or many more times over a day?. kind of the minimum power required to get through sometimes. I’d guess that faster riders probably wouldn’t need to put out anymore power on these kinds of short pinches either - ie they’d be putting out more power overall but have more of a flat power curve everywhere.

But the point I was thinking here - if your FTP is 200 you don’t really ever train at 300… hardly ever? If however your FTP is 250, then that minimum required wattage to get over things is a number you are hitting regularly in training.

Perhaps you need to look at governing those anaerobic spikes and keep them more even for those longer races. If you look at the last quarter of your race, you clearly were able to ride the course with a much more even power distribution. If you can avoid the high high spikes, perhaps you can ride it more at threshold than 50% above threshold. I know it can be tough when you are climbing on a mountain bike to ease off the gas a little, but smooth is fast.


Very high IF and very high variability index (NP/AP) in both cases.

Based on that, especially the latter, I don’t think anaerobic capacity is one of your weaknesses.

When’s the last time you tested your FTP?

You managed to couch that in very gently :slight_smile: yes there is heaps of room to improve pacing. Point taken! And is being worked on in parallel to the indoor training.

I accept that pacing could provide much more improvement than switching plans, but I’m also interested in the plan aspect, where anaerobic isn’t trained at all.

Is it a dirty little secret that this energy system is too hard to train on a rigid, stationary bike? That training anaerobic drains you disproportionately to the benefits that it provides? That it’s more effective to “lift the floor”of FTP instead, moving efforts down into a lower, more sustainable energy system per comment by @dhaines83?

I didn’t want to answer my own question but I am interested. Most people’s progression levels seem to be stuck at 1.0 for anaerobic and sprint. Effectively these can be disregarded for the 10k people on the AT beta especially as outdoors rides aren’t being counted in PL.

Tuesday, it went down 2w. Like most, my indoor FTP is ~5% less than my outdoor values. Or said another way, eFTP via is consistently 5% higher than indoor.

Might just because they’re not doing those workouts.

Here’s mine:

Anaerobic is trained in the Specialty plans, e.g. Criterium. I don’t know of any plans that contain sprint workouts.

I’m not following a plan at the moment. My Anaerobic 8.6 came from Striped +7 and Sprint 9.6 came from Stangate. I do both of those somewhat regularly, indoors on a Tacx Neo.