Using TR plan for Off Season XCO Training

I’m about 4 weeks away from finishing my first plan with TR - which truthfully is my first time following a structured plan.

I’m 39 race expert XCO in my age category. I did very well racing elite in my mid 20s and then had kids and the racing stopped- till last year. Now my boys are racing, so it’s game on.

Even though I’m competitive and not dying out there, I’m not at the level I want to be at and know there’s lots of room to improve- and recognize that getting to peak is not a one season thing.

Here’s the question and then I’ll give some more info if you’re still reading this…

What training Plan should I follow or have TrainerRoad build for me during the fall and winter? I won’t be racing cross, and because of my job I will have a Flexible schedule which would allow me to train a lot, even “high volume”. My last event for this year is the end of September, and plan to immediately switch gears and focus on next season, and begin building a greater level of fitness for that.

Should I just select “XCO” and “high volume” and go from there? Or should I actually reach out to TR and see what they suggest?

Have been loving TR and fully intently to stick with it. I’m very motivated.

39 yo male. 6’0”. 185lbs. Current FTP 354. 4.22w/kg

Definitely wanna shed a few lbs. I’m sure there a big gains there.

Have been doing mid volume plan. Been I would say, quite consistent. When I discovered TR I wasn’t off the couch but hadn’t really been focusing on training. Started with TR ftp of 323. Next test is 2 weeks away. I think I’m around 365 now.

Thanks for any feedback or help.

My opinion:

Put in your September Event, put in your next year event where you want to be peaking. Classify them as XCO or whatever event type you’re training for. Then, back date your training plan start date to when you started training this year (Last month? Before that? No back date if not training yet?)

Blocks will be shorter / specialty prep for your September event and may need a little tweaking, or maybe you don’t do this until after that event, but then should switch to longer Base / Build / Specialty blocks leading up to next year.

Volume is personal. High Volume is only for people who’ve been doing a LOT of Volume. Even mid Volume is currently too much for me, I do Low Volume and add in unstructured Endurance / Z2 rides plus lifting, you might consider whether High or Mid is right for you based on what else you’re doing.


If you do high volume sweetspot base you’re really signing up for the “I’m time-crunched and don’t have time to do the volume of Z2 required to build a big aerobic base so please give me a huge amount of sweetspot in an effort to make up for that” plan.

If you’re not time-crunched, LV sweetspot base plus Z2 as you see fit is great. I’d also point you at Polarized Mid Volume as well (1 VO2 Max, 1 Threshold, 2 Z2) but those rely on an ability to cope with boredom / lack of variety.