Having a good structure to your mountain bike training week can be the difference between making great progress with your training, or being constantly tired and sore. In this article I will show you how to plan and structure your MTB fitness training to get amazing results, for months to come.
How Much Time Do You Have?
Step 1 is to figure out how many training opportunities you have each week (or fortnight), and for how long. This is going to help you to plan your MTB training schedule. Write out a list of times and days that you could do some training, for instance: Monday 1600-1730.
What MTB Training Sessions Do You Want To Get Done?
Nice and simple. Write another list. For example…..
- 2 x Strength sessions – gym.
- 1 x Turbo trainer session (intervals or aerobic)- home.
- 1 x Long MTB ride.
- 1 x Extra night MTB ride or aerobic spin if possible.
- 2 x Mobility sessions – home.
Everyone will have a different list depending on goals and current level of fitness. A full time pro might have double the list above, and an over weight person, new to riding and training may have less, and more focus on simply getting enough movement and steps each week.
Now Put Them Together……..
At this point, you try to fill in the training opportunities in your calendar with the sessions you are planning do do each week. Whilst this is pretty simple, here are a few guidelines to help you make good decisions, ensuring that your training is effective. Remember…. these are guidelines, not concrete rules.
- Have one or two days between strength sessions to allow recovery.
- You need an easy day before interval training so you can do the intervals at 100% intensity.
- You don’t want sore legs on your big weekend bike ride.
- You need at least one full day off per week. Still active and moving, just no training.
- Intervals are unlikely to leave you sore, so you can do strength training soon after an interval session.
- Aerobic training does not take much out of you, and can be done any time of week.
- Mobility sessions can be done little and often, and will improve recovery from training.
Example MTB Training Week
This is actually the basic weekly layout that I use for my online MTB programmes, like The Complete MTB Programme (Click here to find out how to start your free trial). I find it works well for a variety of mountain bike riders and can fit nicely around a job and other responsibilities. Of course, the structure can be shifted to different days to suit your schedule, but on the whole it is a great place to start.
Here are a few notes about how and why it works so well:
- Training on a Monday really sets the tone for the week ahead, even if you are a little tired from weekend riding.
- 2 Full days between strength sessions.
- Rest day before mid-week intervals.
- Still time and scope for a big weekend MTB ride. Not every session is training – you need to just ride as well.
- Extra space to add aerobic training when time and energy allows.
- It is better to write a plan with space to do more, and then add to it, rather than be disappointed when you don’t get 100% of an overly ambitious plan done.
However you decide to plan out your training week, try to make it sustainable, so that over the coming weeks and months you are consistent. That is the key to success. Also remember that every week does not have to be the same: You can write yourself a fortnightly MTB fitness plan that fits in around your work/family/social commitments. Just make a plan that works for you.
If you have any questions, then please just fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page and I’ll get back to you within a couple of days. If this article was useful, then you should definitely check out my YouTube channel where I post videos packed full of MTB training advice for real riders, like you.