If you’re looking to get fit for a summer filled with riding you may find yourself facing the rather gloomy prospect of spending hours down the gym each week. However, there are ways to make training more fun and avoid sacrificing any time in the saddle, and the guys from Mountain Biking UK magazine have been putting some of these to the test.
MBUK Wrecking Crew members Rob Weaver, Ric McLaughlin and James Blackwell are currently undertaking a rigorous training programme in preparation for their first stab at the Megavalanche enduro downhill in Alpe D’Huez, France in mid-July.
If they’re to survive they’ll have to strike the right balance of endurance, strength and recovery to tackle 8,500ft of descending over a 20-mile route. But the theory behind the techniques they're using could be applied to anybody wanting to push themselves harder and increase their fitness on their bike.
With the help of professional fitness coaches Flat Out Fit, the MBUK crew have been hitting trail centres for a combination of race planning and fitness work. They've been trying to work out which sections of trail they should be putting in maximum effort on for optimum reward, and where they can ease off and enjoy their ride.
They've also been throwing in a competitive element – seeing who can blast to the top of a climb first, who’s quickest out of the blocks and who can complete a 100m sprint the fastest. Plus they've been receiving loads of useful core strength exercises and tips to help improve fitness and ride better than ever this summer.
Check out the full feature in the new-look Mountain Biking UK, out now priced £4.25 (issue 266, July). It's packed full of mountain bike insight, inspiration and entertainment; loads of gear reviews with bigger bike tests and expert buying advice on new kit; practical advice for all mountain bikers; and new route features with four free pull-out maps. Plus there's a free cable lock this month.