The wait is over. All those days of roadside biking are over for you. Your friends are taking to the mountains for twice the adrenaline rush and you need to up your game. You’ve always known that you’re destined for greatness. And everything great in life comes at a price. Here’s a glimpse of the know-how you’ll need for your debut at the mountain range.
Quite like any life skill you know of, you should start with the basics and practice in order to perfect it. One of the most overlooked aspects of mountain biking is the strength training that it requires. Contrary to roadside biking, which requires minimal effort, mountain biking requires a lot more pedaling force than you normally would work for. With that being said, you need to work on your hamstrings, quads, and abdominals to increase your strength. This will help with the slopes on the mountain and account for immediate braking when you’re pacing yourself.
Keeping all of that in mind, you should also avoid overworking yourself. It goes without saying that you’ll have to have some form of endurance training because you cannot in good conscience have tired legs too soon. Likewise, with any discipline regarding endurance, consistency is critical. With longer rides, you need your carbs to fuel them, and it is recommended that you take on one liter of water for every hour’s action and a caffeinated drink in case you’re riding for over two hours.
There are situations where low carb rides can be valuable for improving fat-consuming productivity. And it depends on the rider’s body type as well. With a few trial and error applications, when it’s done right it can be extremely helpful.
The more you train, the better your chances in the mountains. For comparison, if you fall on the side of the road, you risk a few scratches but when you fall from the mountain then it’s really not that easy to come back from those injuries.
The good news is, there are actually a few exercises that actually work to help aid your daredevil spirit. Starting with The Nerve Glide exercise, which prevents numbness in your hands when you’ve been gripping your handlebars too long. Compile that with lunges and lateral ski-jumps to really loosen up all the muscles that will be used when you’re going for mountain biking.
You should know that through these rough terrains, you will be subjected to a lot of explosive bursts so it’s best to go through a plyometric jump training exercise to condition yourself. Even if it’s overwhelming to even think about a minute of planking on your yoga-mat, it greatly improves your neck stability and strengthens your core.
Lastly, for your back training, you should work on your back extension which will require you to have an exercise ball and this will help stabilize and support your body as you spend hours hunched back on your new mountain bike.