[Journey] From couch to completing my first MTB Marathon

Hi, I am a 26 year old male from Germany who is a typical couch potato. My weight is around 83 kg at a height of 190 cm. As I haven’t done much sports in the last 7 years, and my diet isn’t as good as it should be, those 83 kg are at a higher body fat percentage than it should be.
I am riding a Hardtail MTB, which I bought in 2018, for maybe 20 times/30km a year with some exception of some very low intensity 90 - 130 km rides, at the Rhine river, additional this summer.

My goal, complete a MTB Marathon end of April 2020. At the bottom of this post, you will find a altitude profile of this particular race, but here are some general information.

  • Distance: 100 km
  • Altitude range: 380m
  • Total climb: 3100 m
  • Total descent: 3000 m

I am totally not aware of the challenge I have signed myself up for, but nevertheless I will tackle this challenge and try my best. For archiving this goal, I decided to get into indoor training as well as functional training at the gym.

I want this topic to become my personal diary/journal and update it at least once a week once I get my indoor training setup.

Thanks, and stay tuned!


Good luck and you have plenty of time to prepare and train for that event. Schedule a Base - Build - Specialty (28 weeks) leading into your event. If you follow that consistently the marathon will be no problem.

So, how is it coming? April is not far away, hopefully you made good progress.


Holy thanks for the reminder!

I started with FTP of 175 W and currently I am sitting at 241 W. I lowered my body fat percentage and worked on my core strength which turned out to be too weak even for the lower intensity workouts I encountered in SSB.

I didn’t had many chances to do a true test to my new abilities as it is winter and I was in my final phase of my Master degree which I just recently finished. Nevertheless, the rides I have done felt amazing. I can’t remember that I ever made it from the parking lot to the start of the trail without stopping and actually laying down and trying not to die. In December I completed the whole round without a taking a stop even though (or because?) I raced a friend of mine which is much stronger and a competitive Enduro rider.

What I noticed is that the time my body needs to recover from a climb or riding on rough terrain dropped dramatically and he isn’t screaming for brakes anymore.

Besides the physical changes I want to honor my me psychology adaptions a lot more. Quitting doesn’t feel to be a thing anymore unless I hit my max heart rate at which I immediately fail (all my ramp tests stopped at the same value, even though I hide them during test).

I very happy with my current situation and I am looking forward to continue with my training :+1:

Edit: I am currently sitting on my bike why texting so don’t blame me for errors


That’s great progress. The challenge you picked for yourself looks very tough so keep up the good work