XCO or XCM which is it?

I have a MTB stage race coming up, it will be my A race. It’s still 16 weeks away. My question is, is the race a XCO race or an XCM race.
The stages are 48km (30 miles), 46km (29 miles), 60km (37 miles) and 40km (25 miles).
Not loops like a normal XCO course, more point to point. A mixture of single track and dirt roads. A few sustained climbs.
Initially, I had it down as an XCO race in my plan builder, then I changed it to XCM, but those distances seem to sit in the middle, time-wise.
What are your collective thoughts?

That’s tricky, all distances are right in the cusp of what I would consider XCO, but back to back to back days, hm.

For me, my weakness falls more on muscular endurance so I would use the XCM plan, I think. But make sure to have plenty of anaerobic work, hard starts etc as well. I think a blend of both is the best bet.

Lots of strategy on the recovery and nutrition side as well to consider.

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Think less about the distance and more about the demands of the course and how you plan to race it. If it’s a punchy course and/or you plan to be aggressive then XCO. If the course has sustained climbs/fats and/or you plan to pace it moderately then XCM.


Regardless of which plan, the consistency of how you hit the workouts as planned and max your recovery to drive adaptions will be the biggest factor in your prep. Next of course is handling the demands of the stage races. Check out the podcasts for suggestions. So pick a plan, relax and accept your decision as the right one and then execute it. Good luck and have a great time!


Or… Rolling Road Race

Has a bit of everything…

XCM and clump the ride days together to somewhat simulate the event. I recall Chad talking about that around the time they were all doing the Trans BC or Bike BC a few years back. The idea was to get used to the accumulated fatigue you’ll have and suss out some recovery plans. They were also going on about if you can stand, sit down. If you can sit, lie down. All about the recovery.

This was the event where Nate broke his bike, Chad decided only to ride every other day, and Johnathan bumped his head falling off a skinny. Needless to say, none of them finished the ride…

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Thanks all for your responses. XCM it shall remain