Setting up my training plan to maximize performance over a series of races

Hi All,

I’ve got a question relating to planning my training cycle for the year.

43 years old, been using TR for around 3 years, very happy with the mid volume plan. As a rule I am very consistent and do all the prescribed workouts, but will substitute the Sunday workout for a 3-5 hour Z2 ride if time allows. My end-of season ride is usually a 397km race in December (result not important, aim is always just to finish) after which I take a week off the bike followed by about 2 weeks of unstructured riding, just having fun basically. I also take a week-long mid-season break off the bike in July.

My primary focus is a series of cross-country MTB races, with races held monthly from February through to September. These races are all-out efforts between 2 and 3 hours each. I will do a couple of TT’s and road races throughout the year, but to me these are just glorified, hard training sessions.

I realize it’s impossible to treat all cross-country MTB races as A races, but what would be the best strategy to maximize my performance in the cross-country series? Can I realistically treat two of these events as A races?

Any and all tips and advice would be appreciated!


Since training blocks are normally either 4 or 6 weeks, how about just planning your blocks so that your monthly races always sit at the end of a recovery week? So you’ll always be fairly fresh for them. I think it would mean scheduling one plan at a time and then moving weeks around manually to align with race weeks instead of using Plan Builder. E.g. if you were doing SS Base 1 and 2 then instead of doing 2 x 6 week blocks you’d want to do 3 x 4-5 week blocks to align with races, so something like weeks 1,2,3 of SSB1, then a recovery week and race, then weeks 4,5 of SSB1 and week 1,2 of SSB2 then another recovery week and race, then weeks 3,4,5,6 of SSB2.

For a 2-3 hour MTB race you should be able to go pretty well off SS base training anyway since it’s long steady aerobic efforts. If you aim to go through full Base-Build-Speciality that’s going to work out at 7 blocks of training so aligns pretty well with your race series.

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