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Sweet Spot Marathon Mountain Bike Training Plan

Designed By Coach FasCat Coaching

This plan is built for epic races with a foundation of Sweet Spot and Threshold work to make sure you’re ready for 10-30 minute climbs during a 50-100-mile event. We structure this plan with structured training during the week, and “freestyle” workouts on the weekends to keep your mind fresh and having fun.

This plan was featured in Outside Magazine, hit this link to read all about it!

With the purchase of a FasCat Training Plan, you’ll get:

  • Coaching Support in the FasCat Athlete’s Private Forum
  • FREE TrainingPeaks Account (30 Days Premium) with your first plan, 20% off thereafter
  • Discount at ExcelSports.com
  • FREE YogaGlo Membership (60 Days) with the purchase of your first plan
  • Discount at ExcelSports.com
  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed or Money Back
  • Mobile App for the Forum and TrainingPeaks (iOS and Droid)
  • Daily Email Workout Reminders
  • GPS, Heart Rate, and Power Data Uploads

As a Training Plan athlete, you may want to add our Coaching Subscription to your Training Plan purchase. Our Coaching Subscription offers additional coaching services including monthly training plan adjustments, and power-file analysis. Click here to learn more

Sample Workout Gallery:


Six Week Sweet Spot Marathon Mountain Bike Training Plan to get you ready for your race!

You’ll ride tons of Sweet Spot and threshold so you’ll be ready for those 10-30 minute climbs in your 50 0r 100 mile event. There are structure rides during the week with more “freestyle” workouts on the weekends to keep your mind fresh an still loving the ride! Read about the plan’s effectiveness and flexibility in Outside Magazine!

Choose between a basic, intermediate or advanced plan based on how much time you have to train each week.  If your A race is more than 6 weeks away consider starting with our Sweet Spot Plan (to build your base) if you are 12-18 weeks away or the Sweet Spot Part 2 Plan if your A race is closer, 6-12 weeks away.

For recovery this plan has got you covered with all the “marginal gains” details to get even faster: Recovery Techniques, Rest Days, a FREE YogaGlo account, Foundations, and best of all, Strength and Conditioning – all you need is a physical therapy style rubber band and MOTIVATION! There are instructional videos in the plan for you to follow along at home. The weekends are chock full of Block Training where you’ll ride back-to-back days of Sweet Spot on climbs and trails. You’ll use the terrain instead of the timer to achieve 45 > 60 > 90 minutes of Sweet Spot training on epic rides as you prepare your legs & lungs

Questions about our Marathon Mountain Bike Training Plan? See our FAQ below or email/call: help@fascatcoaching.com or 720.406.7444

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed: if you are unsatisfied with the plan, your performance, anything, we will refund your plan at any time.

14 reviews for Sweet Spot Marathon Mountain Bike Training Plan

  1. Matt Ogle

    Just finished a great mountain bike racing season thanks to Fascat! I managed to finish 15th in the 12 hours of Erock, 8th in the Firecracker 50 (DNF last year) and 1st in the 12 Hours of WinterPark! I used MTB sweet-spot at the beginning and end of the season with 6 week MTB interval in between. First ever podium in 27 years. Thanks Frank/Fascat!

  2. Matt Ogle

    Just finished MTB sweet spot training and it was great! The fourth use of TrainingPeaks program and most compliant. Loved the long weekend rides and freestyle. Found the interval work on trails challenging due to terrain. Definitely stronger. Starting MTB interval this week! 12 hour race 2 weeks away, helps I’ve lost 30 lbs (20 lbs from last year’s race weight.) 10 lbs to go!

  3. Greg Reser

    I just turned 50 and have never formally “trained” for a race…I just rode more. With this more focused training plan, now I’m training better and smarter. My FTP went up 18% in 4 weeks and I can definitely feel my endurance and power are better when I hit the trails. I would highly recommend this training plan.

  4. doubledadster

    I did this plan in prep for the 2018 Lumberjack. I must admit to being skeptical: the race is typically “midwest” with short, punchy climbs vs long sustained efforts. Long story short, the plan worked great. One of the learnings from the training is to manage my efforts on the punchy stuff – not attack every climb as if it were a 3 hour race. My goal was sub 9 hours – actual was 8:53:43.

    The training itself was hard, but manageable – I may do a 1-time consult next time to tune it a little more to the terrain and my life constraints.

  5. marko.plevnjak

    great plan, always felt productive, instead of tired zone2… but tough at sometimes

  6. JP

    Just finished the advanced plan in a build up to my first ever mountain bike race (marathon distance). Increased my FTP from 4.3 to 4.81 w/kg over the course of this plan. The only thing that held me back in the race was my bike handling, but the legs were there, that was never in question. Great training plan that I’d use again in the build-up to a race this distance…maybe even in a build-up to a gravel race.

  7. Max Oden

    This was my first plan, and really my first go at structured, power-based training. I followed everything as best I could, and in the end, placed 16th out of a field of 54 in my first marathon xc race. I’m continuing to feel the effects of this plan nearly a month later. I recently did another FTP test and was over 15% higher than the beginning of the plan nearly two months ago. I feel awesome, and have FasCat to thank for that!

  8. ghamer1

    This plan was a good introduction to the sweet spot methodology. It has helped me understand the principles of cumulative training load and balance. Helped me to understand when to begin to rest etc. before my recent B race in the mid-point of my build up to a Leadville Qualifying event in June. I am using it twice over a 12 week period with the B race in the middle. Pleased with my CTL ramp and being able to plan my peaks. Not able to hit all of the planned MTB workouts because of a lack of open non-technical single track and have moved some around but stuck with the duration, intensity and intervals for the most part. Great framework to build around.

  9. malcolm.isaacs

    Initially this program was recommended to me as a top up to my XCO Intervals plan as the season was still 3-4 months long. The Sweet Spot Marathon ended on Saturday with a “Race”. Problem is I did not have a XCO or XCM race in my area on that day so I decided to enter a Grand Fondo (ended being 173km’s long). It was a combination of Gravel & Tar, lining up with my Dual Suspension Mountain Bike with knobblies I quickly regretted my choice as the start chute was flooded with gravel and cycloscross bikes as they obviously had the advantage. At the first climb 25km in I got dropped from the leading bunch only to reel in about 20 riders all on gravel or cycloscross bikes with about 50kms to go & a massive 28km climb with 1000m elevation. I have no idea how but riders were getting dropped like flies & I can only attribute it to this Sweet Spot Marathon MTB Program especially since I did not train for this distance. Overall position was a respectable 14th, 3rd MTB.

  10. shano

    my 2nd training plan from FasCat. Workouts are varied enough to keep things from becoming monotonous and mundane. The outdoor training really encourages creative approaches to your training. All the endurance work is really making a difference in my ability to hang on to the first group during extended climbs where previously I was 2nd or 3rd group – great success!!

  11. Jon Livengood

    I’m in the fifth week of this plan and am really happy with the results. I feel like my fitness is pretty resilient and solid, that is, on longer rides, I’m still able to lay down the power in hour number 4. The intervals vary enough to keep them interesting and the weekend rides are flexible enough that you can do solid rides with your friends. My only tiny little nit-picky complaint is that the heading of the workouts and the description of the workouts don’t always match ( heading will say 2×20, but the the description will talk about 3×15 or some other time period for similar effort intervals). Not really a big deal as long as you just stick to the workout in the heading, but was a little confusing in the beginning….just needs to be tidied up a bit. Anyway, Using this plan, I feel like my fitness is better than in years past when I’ve had a personal coach. Totally worth getting and I plan on getting other plans in the future. Thanks!

  12. Ben Reidy

    Following any specific training plan is tough, both mentally and physically. But if you stick with it, you will benifit from your persistance thats for sure!
    My work pattern differs from the normal 5-6 day working week in that i work shifts of 4 on 4 off, some nights and some days and i found i was able to move sessions around a bit to easily fit in with work and family life. This plan has you riding for durations that are not too long and encorporate the high intensity needed for XC, just enough but not too much that you fatigue quickly and cant complete the following days session.
    I gained a 6% rise in FTP over the 6 weeks which is a good gain in my books and still left me rested enough to race at the end of it.

  13. Alex

    Bought this plan to get ready for my summer XC race season. It is definitely tough, but so worth it! Really helped me to bring structure to my MTB training and improve my fitness. I’ve already improved by 5min max power by 20watts, which I am very happy with.

    I also ended up doing a couple ‘B’ races during this period, and I do wish the plan gave a bit of guidance in how to incorporate low-priority races into the schedule.

    Highly recommend!

    • Clint Campbell

      At first glance these workouts looked easier than what I was doing. After doing them I tale that back. They are demanding and require a drive to get better in order to complete. Great plan.

  14. Clint

    I have been spelling with a coach (not with fascat). I have intervals that I can complete almost weekly. Unfortunately there was little build up to the race type intervals. Looking at the plans from Fascat. There is a progression within each plan as well as from plan to plan. This makes accomplishing and our finishing workouts more attainable, which leads to more consistency which finally leads to more confidence on race day.

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Plan Type

Basic (4-8 hours/week), Intermediate (8-12 hours/week), Advanced (12-16+ hours/week)

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