Old fatty training for 100km MTB race - suggestions

I’m looking to up my fitness, lose some weight, gain strength and improve flexibility to help me complete a 100km race in October this year.

Strava doesn’t offer the breadth that SYSTM does but I’m struggling with which combination of plans to use. I’d really like suggestions on how to go about planning my training plan or plans.

Ive done the full test - sprinter, ftp of 220.
My weight of 100kg is an issue (ideal weight is probably at or around 86-90kg) I don’t think I’ve ever been that low as an adult.

60 years old, resting heart rate has been around 38-42 bpm for the last few years, max I can hit is just over 200.

Suggestions/advice welcomed

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How much training/riding have you done over the past 3 months? Do you currently do any strength training, weight lifting, gym work or yoga?

Hey @wilm ,
Welcome to the forum and SYSTM. Suggestions for which plan to choose depends on what your training experience is, how much time you have to train, whether you have events planned in leading up to your October event. Without knowing these answers, you could start with:
1.General fitness plan with strength and yoga
2. Season Prep Mountain Bike plan with strength and yoga
3. Schedule a chat with a coach to develop a plan to lead up to your October event.
We’re here to help.


10 kg is a lot to lose. I find it difficult to lose weight and train at the same time. I find it best to first concentrate on weight loss keeping training load very light, then as weight loss is well established (say 1/2 the goal) gradually ramp up work load. The main difficulty is properly fueling workouts and workouts making you hungrier. You have to fuel before and not make up calories afterward. It’s tricky. You have until Oct, so plenty of time to lose that weight and then ramp up training.

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I am exactly the opposite. I find it much easier to lose weight by training. When I started back riding I was 232 pounds. In six months I was down to 197. I also find it easier to maintain the weight I want while training.

To each his own I guess.


Not a lot of training over the past three months I’m afraid due to a back injury which my physio and I have agreed is due to quite likely due to not enough strength/flexibility work.

Prior to that injury I was doing about 10 hours of riding a week, 4 hours indoors and then a couple of rides in the weekend.

I’m enjoying the yoga so far , just fruatrated with my lack of flexibility and strength - I’d thought I was strong, no way, quite humbling.

This sounds perfect, then look into winding up the distance.

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I’m like you, I struggle with weight loss, combining it with exercise is the only thing that seems to work for me.

I’m going the full nine yards here and doing the mental training as well. I know this will help.

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Totally, lot of individual differences in physiology, psychology and external factors packed into weight loss. Congrats on your success. 15 years ago I lost 94 lb in just under a year.

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Hey and welcome to this forum.
The first thing I saw from the info there was a very fit person based on the numbers provided !! :muscle::muscle:
Looks to me like a person who’s going out to win a race !!

Coach spencer has already provided some options, and option 3 there is a great short cut to getting an answer that fits you best. The season prep plan you’re looking at will be fab as that’ll keep the intensity in there as well

If you have the time, simply extra volume might help. It already sounds like your cardio systems are top notify with that resting HR and ftp (to me) so the plan will keep that going.

The biggest thing (I might use the same title if I was starting a thread here by the way) might be following up on the functional strength stuff. It can make other things hurt less as a result on the bike, which in turn ultimately results in going quicker for longer (in my view)

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Have you ever done a 100k MTB before?

In addition to the bike training plan, you also want to practice eating. Might sound silly but it’s not as straightforward to eat on the MTB especially on a technical course. And if you fall behind, prepare to be very uncomfortable!

Also consider strength. Absorbing eccentric hits and pumping rollers for hours on end can really grind you down (but of course, in a fun way :))


Best I’ve done is 57km race, done some half road/half hills/gravel rides of just over 100km.

This is great advice on the eating, I’ve bonked once, learnt my lesson there, never again. I’d add it’s also good training to train on the foods you’re going to race on. Some of those sugars can have unfortunate consequences later on :face_vomiting: etc.

Doing a big combined plan so far, strength, yoga, mental, and cycling. Loving it.

Gains soon I reckon.


Fit, yes, but carrying too much weight (I’m just edging into “obese” at present at 31%).

Improving watts/kg is the goal , If I can shed 10kg - actually let’s reword that to be more positive, when I shed that 10kg not only will my back improve, but my climbing etc will as well.

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Yup. Do it do it do it :+1::+1:

I hope it goes really well over the next ‘n’ months and you achieve everything you set out to.
And happy calorie measuring (if you choose to MyFitnessPal it (or similar apps)

(Ps - same sentiment here. 10kg off, and climbing might be manageable in my lowest gear instead of walking, which would mean less stress on back and joints. Maybe I need to be positive about ‘doing it’ as well)