Thoughts about outside MTB training (XCO)

Spring will probably arrive very early in my neck of the woods and I am starting to think about outside MTB training for my race season. I will mostly do shorter races (cross country 1 h) and a few marathons (2h +) Common denominator is technical terrain, speed is slower but much more going on in the trail and more use of muscle force, upper body, explosive strenght (i should really do some more heavy core strenght like kettlebells etc) and balance. I am going to get me a crank power meter to see whats going on watt wise when I ride, but I think riding with watt as an constant indicator will just be a distraction. I think the indoor training with focus on developing top end is very relevant to MTB, because there are never long TT like efforts but lots of up and down, and you sort of “rest” downhill (even though HR is high from excitment and adrenalin!)

I have a circuit I do for intervals. Its about 12-15 min long and has some technical challenges and both up and down. Its very hard to determine what kind of interval out from HR or watts, so I think perceived effort is the best; either flat out or 80-90% percent, its more of a subjective feeling I use to pace the effort. I would love to get more input on how I should transform to outside in a month- 6 weeks time, and thought maybe it would be interesting to have a discussion in the forum (and not just in my plan) because this could also be relevant to others or to CX-races :slight_smile:

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Hi @Silje-
As a fellow mountain biker, I think you are on the right track.
Core, strength and balance training is very important for mountain biking. This year I am doing more training on a Bosu, balance board. I do medicine ball squats on bosu ball as well as push up, triceps work, mountain climbers. I also use weights doing step-ups, full body leg lifts and planks on a medicine ball.
I have noticed a huge improvement in my mountain biking since starting my regimen. I do not use a ton of weight, instead, I focus of full range of motion.
I use Zwift to work on power and cadence training but outside, I concentrate on mountain bike skills and perceived effort. I do not have a power meter on my mountain bike.
I make sure I ride in the woods at least once a week and will increase that as I get closer to race season. It’s so important to keep the timing skills and obstacle work.
It will be fun to see how our seasons go.

Linda Brocato