Health and Fitness How To Lifestyle

Part 2: Training and Recovery for the Elite Rider/Racer

Part 2: Training and Recovery for the Elite Rider/Racer

Welcome to the second part of Training and Recovery from the team over at MTB Enduro Training.

We want to give you a bit of insight into training and recovery for the elite rider. In this case, I’m going to define an “elite rider” as one who is a sponsored mountain bike racer so I can give you a glimpse of that world that many don’t get to peak into.

First things first. I want you to remember this section from part one in the last post…

“There are definitely a few crucial fitness considerations you should be mindful of when seeking to be better prepared for the next season, and I want to share with you the top five foundational principles to having, creating or seeking a mountain biking training program.

  1. Mobility
  2. Flexibility
  3. Stability
  4. Posture
  5. Breathing mechanics”
Training and Recovery for the Elite rider/racer
Henderson, Rebecca, Trek Factory, AUS. Pic: MTBA

Look, we all need to be concerned about these five considerations, but, It’s particularly vital for elite athletes to take care of these areas of the body this time of year leading into off-season training.

Here are a few reasons why.

As the Yeti National Team trainer and a successful enduro racer myself, I’ve seen the training and race stress up close while training these riders, and personally while racing. Unlike amateur riders, elite riders are responsible for many aspects of their careers, including:

Their body is their avenue to success

It’s the athletes’ body that brings glory to a bike manufacturers brand. No matter the sport, this is the case. Elite athletes are paid to be the best they can be to bring attention and exceptionalism to the brands they are paid to represent, and because of this, training and recuperation is one of the most important combinations for max performance at competition and overall longevity in their sport.

In fact, did you know that elite level athletes typically have clauses in their contracts that essentially demand that they will do all they can do to be as fit as they can? This is one reason why the most competitive in each sport have not just a trainer/coach, but an entire team surrounding them.

Training and Recovery for the Elite rider/racer
Troy Brosnan, DH, Australia, Pic:©Jason Stevens

The mountain bike athlete season is long, especially enduro racers

I’ve already starting training riders and racers for the 2017 season, which makes the training and riding/racing season eleven months long! This is a looooong season to expect the body to perform. Forty-four weeks takes a smart approach to training and resting.

We create a “Periodization” schedule for all our clients that has periods of stress, adaptation, and rest. It’s this approach that helps keep athletes able to be fresh, recover quickly, stave off injury and excel over the competition.

Training and Recovery for the Elite rider/racer
Nico Lau, Enduro World Series. Pic:©Ben Winder

Time off the bike

Between race seasons I ask my clients, and I encourage you, to take at least 30 days off your bike.

WHAT? Yup, 30 days. Why?

Because of #2. It’s a long season, period. Your body and mind are tired and they need time away from the stress of the bike. Remember, cycling is a HUGELY cyclical and repetitive sport. It has detrimental effects on your body that can only be diminished by stepping away from the source of those effects for a period of time.

Now, it doesn’t mean not to train during this time! In fact, I encourage all of you to do all the other activities and sports that you love to do during these 30 days. The fresher physically and mentally you can be prior to riding and racing season, the better you’ll feel through the entire season!

Training and Recovery for the Elite rider/racer
Time off the bike can be hugely beneficial for your body to repair and recover, but be sure to keep active and do other sports or hit the gym.

Go see your medical team

You’ve probably seen my youtube videos where I teach you about the importance of having a highly skilled and well respected Physical Therapist, Orthopedist, Chiropractor, Nutritionist and Massage Therapist (and anyone else you deem valuable).

The beginning of the off season is a superb time to get your body back to a baseline of function and to speed up recovery from any lingering injuries and negative affects of the season. I, for example, am still working through repetitive elbow and hand injuries from the season and I’m actively in the mode of using my medical team to help accelerate the process.

Again, this advice isn’t just valuable for elite athletes, but ANY of you who’ve spent hours on hours on your bike this summer.

Training and Recovery for the Elite rider/racer
Go see your medical team. Pic:Flagstaff Sports Massage

Begin the training season for 2017

During this time we focus on what I’ve already taught you with the ideas in these two articles. But another crucial aspect of early off-season training is muscle ‘hypertrophy” or growth. You see this time of year, most mountain bikers haven’t been in a gym in a while and their bodies are “weak” because of muscle deterioration due to high volumes of riding and little stimulation from “external weight sources” like weights in a gym. Due to this fact as well as muscles being used as fuel because of the large volumes of riding and racing, elite athletes particularly are the lightest weight they’ve been all season long.

Unfortunately, like I mentioned, much of the weight loss comes from muscle atrophy and fat loss. This is the time of year that I start to work on helping these elite riders (well, really all riders) gain back the lost muscle mass.

Why you ask?

Because muscles are attached to bone via tendons and tendons are the second to last resort of protecting a joint. When muscles get weak, so do the tendons, and if we want to build strength and power going into the season come springtime, we need to have a strong base of muscle growth and development, which simultaneously strengthen the tendons. Without this hypertrophy, strength development will be subpar!

Training and Recovery for the Elite rider/racer
Tracey Moseley wins her 3rd consecutive World Enduro Series title. Pi: Enduro World Series
Training and Recovery for the Elite rider/racer
Richie Rude, Yeti Cycles. World number 1 Enduro Rider. Pic: Enduro World Series

So it goes, if you want to be the “best” mountain biker that your DNA holds, then train regularly off the bike to be a better athlete.

Just be sure to take time off the bike, set some goals, and get a plan together that will keep you accountable which inevitably will help you have your best riding and racing season yet!

Ride fast, have fun and enjoy!

 

More videos at the Enduro MTB Training website. They’re AWESOME and we LOVE them!

http://enduromtbtraining.com/

http://enduromtbtraining.com

Jason Lorch

Chief Editor at Tyres and Soles
Born and grew up in Wales but now a fully fledged Aussie. A passionate mountain biker, hiker and general nature addict. I'm also a bit of a muso and enjoy a good craft beer every now and again (probably too often).

I hope what we do here at Tyres and Soles will inspire people to get out there and experience first hand, the natural wonders that surround them. So, pump up those tyres, don your favourite boots. Grab a mate, a partner, a pet… and head out into nature. But tell us all about it when you get back.
Jason Lorch
Follow @tyresandsoles
  • We love this shot from @dharcoclothing . The golden hour has to be one of the most magical times to ride. What do you think? 
R: @connorahoyhoy P: @kaneophoto @revolutionmtbmag @konabikes #mtblife #ridemoremtb #weekendvibes #mtbclothing #noordinarylife
  • They’re baccccckkkkk... The Loam Grips are back and fully stocked (just like questionable 90s fashion, but better!)
  • Whether you're going for a day trip or a week of adventures, The North Face Base Camp duffles are roomy enough inside for all your gear. Just keep on cramming kit in there and you'll be surprised how much you can get into this is the iconic, super tough expedition duffel. 📸 @richardmcgibbon
  • How do you carry your junk? @allmountainstyle seem to have it all wrapped up with their OS Strap. 👍🏼 | 📸 @richardmcgibbon
  • Threading our way through to the weekend with the @monsroyale MTB gear.🤘🏼 📸 @richardmcgibbon
  • The Leatt DBX 3.0 is one of the safest mountain bike helmets in the market. What’s protecting your noggin today? 🧠 | 📸 @seanmurr123 / @seaninthedirt
  • The weekend is one more sleep away. What are your plans? 😛 | 📸 @richardmcgibbon
  • The @granite_design ROCKnROLL is a perfect companion to take on those longer rides where a trailside fix is crucial to getting you home. The whole package weighs only 136g, so adding it to your pack or hip belt is low-cost in terms of weight, considering the ROCKnROLL has all the bits that you'll need to do your trailside fix. Now you can live the ROCKnROLL lifestyle you've always dreamed about!
  • Wow! Pretty much sums up what we thought of the @hentydesigns Enduro Backpack. If you're intrigued by these new age bum bags then have a read of our review on our website. | Photo credit: @richardmcgibbon
  • The new Salomon Speed Cross 5 W.  Whether you are putting in the training miles or kicking off your next race this lightweight, form fitting shoe is a great option to tackle long runs on a variety of demanding terrain. | 📸 @richardmcgibbon | @salomonrunning @salomon
  • WHISTLER PERFORMANCE LUBES

There is a concern that eco-friendly products are not as effective as non-eco products. We have to call bullshit on this. The WPL range of lubricants is as good, if not better, than any non-eco friendly product on the market. best of all it doesn't harm the environment or you! | 📸@richardmcgibbon | #lube #lubedup #silkysmooth
  • With so many hydration gels, tabs and powders out there, it can be a little bewildering which ones to choose. We all have our favourites and over the years we tend to stick with what we know, so when we discover a new brand, we’re a little reluctant at first to go and spend our hard earned money on something that we don’t know will work for us, but after reading about @hdxmix story and the founder behind it, we must admit, we got very interested, indeed. 📸 @richardmcgibbon