mountain bike training

Mountain Bike Training – How To Improve Mountain Bike Climbing Endurance

Mountain biking is a great way to see nature and increase your skills but getting faster is about being more specific with your mountain bike training.

Naturally, the more time you spend on the trails, the better your skills, fitness, and speed becomes. But if you are testing your limits with the thought of racing, you need to start adding specific mountain bike workouts and training into your weekly riding.

Mountain Bike Training – Build Your Endurance

Many riders think to excel in mountain biking you need to invest heavily in both a mountain bike and road bike. While this is the case for more elite riders, for the average mountain biker this won’t prevent you from getting structured training done, or stopping you from hitting the trails.

If you want to get faster on the mountain bike, you will need to add some structured training to your plan. The sport of mountain biking requires the right amount of strength and cardiovascular fitness, topped with a high level of endurance. If you want to look at taking your mountain bike training more seriously here are a few things to consider.

Building your endurance out on the trails is an essential asset to increase your fitness on the bike, whether you are riding for leisure or focusing on competitions. Most trails can include significant climbs, technical trails, and long distances. So spending adequate time across varied terrain and distance a few times a week will help build your endurance.

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Mountain Bike Climbing Endurance – How To Improve?

To finish well in a race, you need a combination of strength, high power, and endurance. Since mountain bike races are held over mountainous or hilly terrain, working on your climbing is a must.

Implementing long endurance climbs into your mountain bike training can help both improve your climbing but also your threshold power and technical skills.

Find a long steady climb and focus on riding at tempo pace or around power zone 3 and focus on keeping the power stable. The first workout should last for 30 minutes of climbing and over the coming weeks build up to 60 minutes.

Focus on holding the intensity during the first half of the climb and during the second half of the hill increase your heart rate or power into higher zone 3.

During the early stages of your mountain bike training, 1-2 times per week is sufficient. During this workout, it will also help to develop your descending skills.

How To Increase Your Mountain Bike Climbing Power

Since most races include steep gradients, roots, and ruts, sheer power is needed to excel on shorter climbs.

Focus on a 3-4 minute moderately technical climb, this hill should be able to be ridden 100% and shouldn’t be so technical that you need to dismount.
After your warm-up, focus on holding heart rate zone 5 or power zone 5. Then ride 4-6 intervals with 3 minutes of recovery.

Do this once per week during the second phase of your mountain bike training and together with the endurance climbs will see your climbing fitness increase dramatically.

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During the start of a mountain bike race, a fast and aggressive start will set your self up for a clear run into the technical sections. Often the beginning of a race is a crucial separation point and shouldn’t be forgotten in your mountain bike training.

Start by running through your typical warmup routine, then from a standing start clip into your pedals and accelerate at maximum effort for 1 minute. Then settle into threshold pace and continue to hold this for another 5-6 minutes. Then once you have completed to the effort, turn around and ride comfortably back to the start. Repeat this two times and over the next weeks start increasing this up to 4-5 efforts.

If you want to be more specific with this session, you can replicate the start of your next race and how the entry into the single track looks.

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