Mountain Bike Recovery

In a previous article, Adam talks about the importance of rest, recovery, and the difference between the two.

Training In Training Races

As February comes to an end, many of you in North America racers will begin racing in the next few weeks, if you haven't already. Unless you spent the winter somewhere warm where the early season races actually mean something, most of you will start the year with a month or so of smaller training races to get your feet wet (often literally).


You Gotta Have A Plan

In the 30 years or so I've spent racing bikes, the month of January has always stood out as the most dynamic, and perhaps most important of the season. In normal winters I would have two weeks off at the holidays to recover from cyclo-cross season and head somewhere warm for road racing in February or March. Some years I went to Europe after 'cross nationals and raced another six weeks without a break.

Intervals For Cyclocross

Cyclocross is hard, plain and simple. There are very few sports that require the same level of intensity from start to finish over the course of an hour as a cyclocross event, where you're trying to perfom at maximum output for the entire duration, combined with technique that requries a high level of skill and responding to unpredictiable scenarios, while still also thinking critically and making tactical decisions, too.


Sick and Tired

It's going to happen to all of us at some point in year. Things are going well, you're on top of your form and riding strongly, and then it starts: scratchy throat, stuffy nose, itchy eyes-- that's it, you're sick! Many riders make the mistake of overtraining (or underresting), depressing their immune system, and making themselves vulnerable in the first place, but also don't give themselves enough time to fully recover from fear of losing fitness. It's a recipe for an early end to your season.


Vacation Time

It never fails. After a winter of logging long miles and a spring of racing into top shape, summer rolls around and the bottom drops out of your form. With the first half of the season done and many target races come and gone, July is notorious for being many road and MTB riders' worst month of the year. A summer stage race or criterium series is a great incentive in the early season, but can turn into concrete shoes once it's over. It can feel like you haven't trained in ages, the heat's making you lethargic, and there's just no motivation to get out the door and ride anymore.

Sprinting For Success

Sprint training is an aspect that can and should be part of your training year-round, and is an aspect that many riders neglect, or often do incorrectly if they do include them. Making a well-designed sprint workout part of your weekly routine is crucial for any cyclist who not only wants to improve not just their final sprint, but also their ability to make speed changes in almost any kind of mass-start bike race.


Swapping The Cycles

These days, there's an abundance of training information available that didn't exist even 10 years ago. Books written by Eddie B. and Greg LeMond were bibles in the 80s, and while they're still relevant today in some ways, they've been supplemented by more modern, scientific training literature. But despite all the good information that's out there, or maybe as a result of it, many racers still have the same question: what should I do for training today?

Opening Up For The Big Day

A common choice riders are faced with is whether to train through a week when there are races on the weekend, or pull up on training early to be better rested for the weekend's events. How to make those choices, and how to structure your training based on your choice, is based on a lot of variables. How important are the races? How important is the long-term fitness you're trying to build? What kind of training are you doing, or what kind of period are you in? And if you do rest, how do you make sure you feel your best on race day?