Endurance mountain bike races can seem very daunting. Most of us will have a friend or partner twist our arm into signing up and then we are left with the “now what?” feeling. You might be thinking “Can I even get into shape?” “Have I lost my friggin mind?!” The answer is YES to all of those. Yes, you CAN get into shape and YES, you have indeed lost your mind like the rest of us. Welcome to the club!
Set a goal to help you stay motivated.
Hire a coach. A coach’s job is to figure out the best ‘recipe’ for you to help you reach your goal and also keep you on track when you have a busy personal life and if you run into any road-blocks along the way.
Or purchase a training plan. It’s an inexpensive way to have a general idea of what you need to do to get ready for your event.
Study the Course Profile and schedule pre-rides of the course.
Right when you decide to do an endurance mountain bike race, start to study the course profile and map, watch any videos of people who have ridden on the course, and look at past results.
Is it hilly, does it have long climbs?
Is it technical, dirt roads, or singletrack?
What will the weather be like?
How long will it take to complete?
What gear will you need?
All of this information is important in helping plan out your training as well as making sure you have the right equipment for the job.
Plan Your Training
How much time do you have until your event?
Which days are best to use as recovery days?
Endurance Days? Leading up to your big endurance event, you will need to spend more time on the bike. Weekends are usually the best for most people. Make sure to plan around work and your family’s schedule to get in the appropriate training. Mimic the climbing and time on the bike. Practice your on-the-bike nutrition.
Be sure to be realistic about how much training you can accommodate with your work/family schedule. Keeping a balance in your life is important. Training is about quality, not quantity so if you are busy – don’t sweat it, you can get the most bang for your buck with interval training and a good plan!
Visualize the Finish Line
An endurance mountain bike race is TOUGH!
It takes grit, determination, and battling inner demons. Just keep that finish line in your thoughts, stay positive, push through those tough moments and remember…
Pain is Temporary…Glory is Forever.