MTBer wanting to do Xterras but still gain bike fitness

Hey Guys,
Seeking some advice here. I’m an improving B Grade mountain biker here who wants to get back into running and swimming to do Xterras.

I’ve been doing low volume plans for 18months and am now into SSB2 mid volume and have seen great results. My FTP is 295 now and I keep on improving (I do want to get to a grade one day, they have 7 minutes on me over a 2 hour race) …however I have always wanted to do Xterras and am really wanting to start training.

A Races
100km MTB race in May
Off road tri in Sept

By including swim / run training am I going to lose fitness on the bike?
Should I start an Olympic Tri Plan after May (off course subbing the road bike workouts for MTB ones)

I hope this all makes sense!
Thank you in advance for even reading…

As was suggested in the other xterra thread, you should do a mtb focused bike plan, pick low volume along with the swim and run workouts from an olympic distance tri plan. It’s probably best to add the tri plan, then swap the bike workouts for the mtb focused ones. From experience you may need to adjust your weekend ride since you’ll also be fitting in a long run too but that will be up to you.

You shouldn’t have to worry about your bike fitness dropping, but any more gains on the bike may be really hard to come by. Many people racing xterras are mountain bikers who can still run and swim within their own abilities. If you are a pretty good mountain biker you will do pretty good against the field as long as you pace your swim right. Since joining trainer road I’ve gone from about 3.5 w/kg to > 4 but there will be times that there was no bike gains because of other work.


Thanks so much for the advice man.

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I transitioned to Xterras 2 years ago. You will find the mtb not progressing as much as you do more with the run and swim. Part of it is time. Part of it is simply overall stress on your body. As I mentioned in another thread, I use swim as recovery from the bike and run.

Focus on the MTB for the 100 miler (Mohican?) and then transition over. You don’t mention your background, but consider starting the swim and run earlier than May. Even doing a little bit. Slowly build the run so you don’t get hurt.

What you will find is your overall endurance can / should improve as you add the other sports.


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Same boat here. What I did was start the Oly Tri plan Mid Volume, swap out the weekday rides in the Oly plan for the weekday rides in the other plans (either the Sweet Spot Base 2, Gen Build, XCO specialty) depending on the point I’m at in the season. I’ll leave the weekend ride or go ride the trails on the Saturday ride.

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Thank you!

Depending on close you are to your fitness ceiling you will probably be fine. Running fitness translates well to cycling. Swimming has less direct impact, but it’s neither taking away too much recovery time and supplements well as cross training.

Depending on your running baseline I suggest to start running a little right away and slowly build a base. You’re bringing a solid aerobic engine that your running body will not be able to cope with if you’re going from zero running to an xterra plan. It is a great recipe to get injured.

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