Offroad Intervals

Recently added Power to my mountain bike, and listening to the podcast, it’s mentioned to do intervals on the single-track. The nature of my local trails are such that there are no sustained climbing beyond 2 minutes and nothing smooth enough to do something like an 8 min tempo/threshold crisscross interval on.

Is shooting for average tempo and threshold power’s what you should do if on the mountain bike and trails, or find stretches you can do the intervals properly on where average and nominal power will be the same (roads), and leave the trails for the long blocks where average power is important over a longer ride?

If these were race specific intervals, like in the cross plan where you target power levels, but you’re not going to meet them due to conering and a like I understand doing them on a trail, but for the build phase SS ones, I’m just looking to maximize benefit, without always sitting on my road bike.

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Great questions @scott.theede - thanks for asking. Long long ago when powertap came out with their mtb hub powermeter I compared road bike power to mtb power here:
https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/mountain-bike-power/

Long story short, MTB power winds up being LESS than what we are used to from road bike power. That makes performing structured interval workouts on singletrack and technical terrain difficult…

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do ‘efforts’ on tech terrain, by all means, you absolutely should. I have all my mtb’ers do their full gas intervals on the road where they can #FtFP but then afterwards do the mtb technical skills ride. There are also days where we ride (also in our XC MTB Plan) where the workout prescribed intensity not in watts but in % of race pace, like 90% for example. This way you ride fast on the terrain like a race and aren’t staring at your powermeter.

Short answer - mix it up between your road and mtb - variety is the spice of life!

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