Top five fitness tips for mountain biking

By BikeRadar UK | Monday, July 16, 2012 12.01pm

Push your riding to the next level with this new training plan, designed exclusively for BikeRadar Training by Flat Out Fit cycle coach Joe Rafferty, of Pro Ride Guides.

A fully qualified mountain bike tutor, former Loughborough sports academic and GB athlete, Joe has been a mountain bike coach and personal trainer for eight years. He currently specialises in enduro training and looks after Kona’s Alex Stock, one of the UK’s top enduro riders. Joe’s also a self-confessed all-mountain addict and gear geek.

Joe explained to us why mountain bikers should train to help improve their general riding:

“The main reason we ride is for fun, and in all honesty we’re almost always happier when either gravity is on our side or the trail flows well enough not to get us huffing and puffing. So what’s with all this training malarkey, then? We’re mountain bikers, aren’t we? Well, what if I told you that with a little bit of training you could make even the roughest trails flow, and you could have enough energy to make the ups as playful as downs. Would that tempt you? What about the confidence to tear up that last climb just to bomb back down?

“We know all too well that time on the bike is key, but with the way we all work and give ourselves so little time to play, our fitness becomes one step forward and two back. This training plan is designed to help you get a grip of your potential again. It’s designed to help you get progressively fitter with no gym membership, no expensive equipment and no wasted time. In fact, don’t think of it as a training plan, think of it as guidance.”

Tame the trails with added mountain bike fitness:

Joe demonstrating how taming the trails is easier with greater mountain bike fitness

Joe Rafferty’s top five fitness tips

Getting fit isn’t about eating an organic banana 34 minutes before your session, then gulping a protein shake three breaths after your last rep. For the average person it’s actually pretty simple. Following these five tips should set you on the right track:

Eat the right things: Cut your sugar intake, avoid overly processed foods, wean yourself off copious amounts of caffeine and you might just be able to hear what your body is asking for.

Avoid the weekend warrior trap: When it comes to improving, consistency is key. Four quality sessions per week will give you much better improvements than one long slog that leaves you needing the week to recover.

Rest properly: To improve, you need periods of stress (physical exertion) and recovery. They are of equal importance – sleep well and have at least one full rest day per week.

Commit: If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it properly. Find out what motivates you, plan, set goals and go for it. When things get tough, remember where you want to be and why.

Progression: Doing the same ‘grey ride’ week in, week out means you’ll eventually plateau. Progressing your training intensity and volume will keep you improving.

Get Flat Out Fit with BikeRadar Training

Joe has designed an eight-week, Flat Out Fit training plan exclusively for BikeRadar. It’s meant for intermediate and novice trail riders who want to improve their fitness levels, and is based around three rides per week and one or two home workout sessions that require no equipment. 

Whether you're targeting weight loss, all-round endurance or full-on race fitness, this training plan is for you. Flat Out Fit training is designed around minimal equipment, effective use of time and a proven training philosophy that will change the way you ride forever.

Intrigued by the Flat Out Fit plan? Head over to BikeRadar Training and check out some of the free sample sessions. You can purchase the full training plan for just £9.99.

Joe rafferty of pro ride guides:

Related links

Joe Rafferty of Pro Ride Guides

BikeRadar Training is a free online resource for you to record and analyse all aspects of your training, log your training routes, get yourself tailored training plans, see how you're doing on our leaderboards, set goals and plan your season with a comprehensive events guide.

You can follow BikeRadar on Twitter at twitter.com/bikeradar and on Facebook at facebook.com/BikeRadar.
You can also improve your fitness and train with us on training.bikeradar.com.

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