Training plan for MTB 24 solo

Looking for training plan suggestions and/or modifications to training plans for a 24 Hour MTB race I have planned for July 1st.

@grvlsrfr Hello, I would suggest you take a look at our plans under Event Prep- Mountain Biking-100 mi + Plan. There are a few options. Option 1- 12 weeks from event. 2- more than 13 weeks from event. There are also options for shorter race distances. I recommend trialing your nutrition strategies 6-8 weeks and again 2 weeks before your goal event. Fuel early and often.

Happy Training!

In my experience 24hr MTB is a monster of an undertaking.
I’ve entered two 24hr events so far.
The first I abandoned after 15hrs because i could no longer squeeze the brakes. (going super long will highlight bike fit issues that you don’t see on 6-10 hour rides).
The second I did as a pair (hour on hour off) which went great.

Personally i don’t think any of the ‘canned’ training plans are ideal for a 24hr race, they dont feature any long rides.
The 100mi+ plan mentioned by Coach Simon above would be a solid plan for an 8-12hr race. You could absolutely start that plan now and use it to build a foundation.

After that plan ends you would want to increase volume at the weekends and get in some LONG training rides on the MTB.
The first training plan is for a 100+mi ride → actually do that ride mid April
Get in a few long weekends (for example 6hrs road saturday, 6hrs MTB sunday).
Your end goal is a 10-12hr training ride (off road on the MTB) where you get home and still feel relatively strong/fresh.

P.S. Don’t forget to listen to your body and rest/recover when required.
The worst thing you can do is arrive on the start line already overtrained.


Largely along @AndyP note above - I abandoned my last one too - body gave up (SI on one side - which ultimately is just a fit/imbalance that’s always existed probably). Another year I did as a pair went well (a long time ago though when perhaps i didn’t have as many imbalances). But i then had no feeling in the ends of 7 of my 10 fingers for 6 months, then eventually got the last 3 fingers back after 9 months. So again - physically lacking yet again
It’s certainly a tough gig.

Plan thing - I’m with Andy on getting some big long rides in (if that’s possible of course - everyone has diff time commitments). Which I think can be done alongside intensity, but you do need to also recover from any of those long rides you do as in my experience they introduce a different ‘kind’ of fatigue than HIIT efforts do

Thanks all. I am finishing up the 100 mile plan for events 13 weeks+ now and will shortly begin the 100 mile MTB event prep for Cohutta 100 on April 22nd. I will have a 2nd 100 mile race on May 20th. I feel pretty confident in my endurance up to around 12 hours. It sounds like staying on these 100 mile MTB plans and maybe doing the longer weekend rides a bit longer and on back to back days may be best.


Other than the plans, start riding at night, riding when it (the body, the mind, the circumstance) is uncomfortable. Use the night time riding to test gear, lights, nutrition, glasses, noises in the head, shadows lurking on bends, GPS headunits, tracking devices etc.
Do things like an early morning ride for 3 hours, work a full day, sit and watch TV after dinner with the family, then go out at 10pm for 4 hours.

If possible, also go ride/train in expected weather conditions if possible, ie, if it is possible to be raining during the event, go a training ride when it does rain to test gear, set-up etc.

Not sure of your event distance or environment (rural, urban), but try mimic the riding terrain on the long rides.
Is it self supported or aid stations are provided?

There are the simple things that can be fairly annoying after a while that only come up when you are past focusing on fatigue/eating/drinking/looking ahead. The clothing tag inside the bibs, some or other tether not tucked away properly flapping in the wind, the inside seam on your gloves at the wrist etc.

Riding long and within yourself is par for the course. Focusing on muscular and aerobic endurance is ideal over micro AC/NM type intervals IMO.

@Dan Thanks, you made several good points. This a typical 24 hour MTB race - laps around a trail that take about an hour to complete. I’m racing solo with a crew of 1 in the pits. I will plan for some more night riding, especially this time of year when dark comes early.

I “like” the idea you presented:
“Do things like an early morning ride for 3 hours, work a full day, sit and watch TV after dinner with the family, then go out at 10pm for 4 hours.”


Yeah, the most important time to ride is that time when you don’t feel like riding. You can have done all the training, but to get over that mental hurdle is a huge bonus when physically your body just follows what the mind allows you to do.