What Plan Should I Do?

from a customer:


I would like to buy a set of trainingplans from base to race

I’m 42 years old and I do 6 mtb marathons a year

22/04 La Hallonienne (Grand-Halleux) - 75 km
19/05 La Rockalienne (Baraque de Fraiture) - 90 km
30/05 Cimes de Waimes (Waimes) - 85 km
10/06 Ardennes Trophy (La Reid) - 95 km
23/06 Raid des Hautes-Fagnes (Malmedy) - 90 km
18/08 Chouffe Marathon (Achouffe) - 95 km
08/09 Grand Raid Godefroy (Bouillon) - 90 km

These marathons are typically 90 km met +/- 2500 vertical meters.

I race them using my power meter and I would like to ride as much sweetspot as possible. Sometimes going into zone 5 for the steeper / technical sections.

Below you can find a typical race from last season. You can see that I ride more zone 3 then zone 4 and would like to change that. In essence, I want to get faster :-). I try to avoid zone 6 and 7 not to burn myself. Maybe this is not a good strategy, but this is what I do for the moment.

My FTP is now around 345 and I do mostly

  • sweetspot (with accent on endurance - up to 70 min without pauzes)

  • Longer Tan Tempo on MTB trails (2.5 to 3 hours)

  • max Aerobic intervals - VO2max (based on WKO optimized intervals)

  • occasional zone 2 rides but not that often

I ride around 10 to 12 hours during training weeks and around 6 hours during my restweeks.

Can you suggest plans from base to race and what to do in summer as there are almost 2 months without marathons.


Kristof Rysman

Hi Kristof -

To sweet spot as much as possible on the mountain bike take a look at our marathon mtb plan:

That is six weeks and I bet your CTL will be quite good so you will benefit from some XC intervals.

Combine these two plans and that is a true base to race game plan. Good luck!

A couple of questions

  • do you think it’s ok to take the 8-12 hours plan being 42 years old (this is more or less the amount I’m doing now)
  • Can I also start with the sweetspot marathon plan next year after the winterstop? Or should I add an additional plan in front of it. I normally do a 12 week base period, but I can be wrong.


1 Like

8-12 hours is PERFECT for masters athletes (40+ years old) , in my own experience and as a coach.

You can start your plan at any time and you may re-use it forever and ever.

A good plan to do before the sweet spot marathon mtb would be our sweet spot part 3: https://fascatcoaching.com/training-plans/sweet-spot-part-3/

but don’t forget to do your interval workout that I mentioned above with the xc plan.

1 Like


Just finished all three SS plans, and now i have a mix of MTB races(3 - 4hour marathons, and 1:30h XCO races) with XCO nationals on 21.July so about 12 weeks of time.
My current CTL is 91.
I saw that xc SS marathon plans first two weeks have lower TSS then SS part 3 ?
i have purchased both XC intervals and SS marathon and now questioning how to proceed :slight_smile: , should i get some intervals now or keep doing SS ?
Racing in masters category(36y)

Hi Marko - thanks for you Q, this is a classic ‘need to switch from base to race

and to actually stop sweet spot training (base training) and switch over to interval training. This is exactly what our XC Intervals Plan is for:

There focus on your raw power output and not CTL (that’s why total weekly TSS’s are lower)

Short answer to your Q: do your sweet spot marathon plan for 4 weeks then your xc intervals plan for 6 weeks, and then work in a rest week leading into the July 21st race! Good luck -

Just finished the first workout of the marathon plan. It was great fun!
Just wondering why you use a mesocycle of 6 weeks instead of 4? (Even heard that 3 weeks is advised for masters)

We want you to get your money’s worth :wink: Seriously, tho - our six week plans are not six week mesocycles. If you want to design in our your own 2-3 week mesocycles with rest weeks, here’s how to edit your plan:


In a few weeks, this will be a subscription feature: training plan revisions from the FasCat Coaches, stay tuned.



I’m skipping the first weeks as these workouts seem a litte light. I hope that’s ok.

I’m recovering good and I can complete the workouts very well.

Maybe I need another FTP test but for the moment my sFTP in wko4 = 345 watt en my mFTP is 335, so I think I’m not that far off.

Have you experience with the new ramp test from trainerroad and zwift?




I’m gonna give you the 1st #FtFP of this forum - Follow the ____ Plan :slight_smile:

For reals, and only perform the test from your plan, the one and only 20 minute field test :slight_smile:

If you follow the plan and test when the plan tells you to test, I guarantee you the best results.

@frank you mentioned at one time (podcast or email?) that you would be putting together a training plan for the Masters National RR at the AFA. The 11 mile circuit course has a 12-minute climb in it, and I think we do it 5 times? Would the Hill Climbing intervals be appropriate to prep for this? If you do create a special plan for this event, will it be reusable in TP?

I will do so!


It looks like a 12 minute climb but it is really not - I have raced at Air Force many times myself and coaching the CU Buffs cycling team - VO2 climbing power is the key for this race course and we are recommending our straight up road intervals plan for Masters Nationals:


Begin this plan 7 weeks prior to your race and then use the final week beforehand as a rest week. As part of our new coaching subscriptions becoming available in a week or two we can design in that week for you if you want.

@FRANK thanks for the reply. I’ve already got that plan, so I’m good to go.

“It looks like a 12 minute climb but it is really not”. So it feels shorter?

1 Like


Just wondering, if I do the full 6 weeks of XC intervals, wont I loose to much fatigue resistance when I stop those extensive sweetspot workouts? Or how does that work?

I’m just a bit afraid I will get stronger and better for shorter events (1 to 2 hours) but not in 5 hours events.


did you see my last question?

I’m just asking because I saw your podcast on CTL for masters.

And there you drew a performance management curve that tapered only 2 weeks after Sweespot training. At first you said this is also for mtb marathons, but you corrected that you wanted to leave marathons out of it because of needed AC power (if I remember well)

So that’s where my last question came from. Should I concentrate on power above FTP and maybe loose some FTP and Fatigue resistance. Maybe I’m totally wrong and I can have both, but this is more less what I understood from a webinar of Tim Cusick. If one goes up, the other goes down. This is a questions that has been bothering me for a while :frowning:

Kind regards

I really can’t answer unless I were to do a coaching consultation with you, sorry. What you are training for, your CTL, when your goal events are, so many many factors.

You have a great plan, I’d encourage you to follow the plan and trust the process. Don’t overthink it. Training really is simply, especially if you just follow the plan.

If you would like to hire a coach and have that conversation and get a custom plan designed specifically for you, please fill out our new athlete questionnaire here and from there we can set up a coaching consultation on the phone:




I will stick to the plan :blush:


1 Like

Looking for the best plan to prepare for a flat 5k TT and and flat 10k TT, each a day apart, and about 6 weeks from now. Do I go with the short Strava KOM plan or something else?

Ed Norton

Hi Ed!

We have a specific time trial intervals plan that is going to be the best for your events.

Good luck & Gooooo FAST! :leopard: