Road riders need long-term stable power output. However, due to the diverse and constantly changing road conditions in our mountain bike races, mountain bikers often need a period of continuous high power output, and they often stop pedaling before and after this period of strong output. Or step on lightly to slow down, or pass obstacles.
Therefore, the ability of a rider to repeat the high power output time and time again in mountain bike competitions is very important. Although aerobic exercise capacity is also very important here, if you can have both aerobic and anaerobic exercise capacity, you will have an absolute advantage.
In the FasCat training camp, we asked mountain bikers to repeat short sprint training (anaerobic training). The content is to let the riders ride at their normal cadence for two to four minutes, and then use their maximum strength to stand and rock the bike for thirty seconds. After that, the cyclist returns to their normal cadence and enter the next cycle. Below we give an example of sprint training.
Ride at normal speed for 9 minutes (if you have a power meter, it should be at 224-266 watts). At 3, 6, and 9 minutes, stand up and do a 10-second full sprint (357 watts). Repeat twice. Then return to the original state and continue riding for 9 minutes without sprinting.
When the athlete's anaerobic tolerance increases, we can appropriately shorten the sprint gap, which is a higher intensity training. The following example:
Slightly faster than normal, riding for 10 minutes (245-286 watts), standing up at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 minutes for a 15-second sprint. repeat three times. Then return to the original state and continue riding for 10 minutes without sprinting.
The most advanced training is to do sprint training during high-intensity riding. That means sprinting when you are already riding hard. In FasCat, such training is not done until two to three weeks before the competition. Below is an example:
Ride vigorously for 20 minutes (268-310 watts), stand up at 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and 20 minutes for a 15-second full sprint (357 watts), then return to the original state and continue riding for 20 minutes Don't do sprints.
This sprint training is more enough to stimulate our body to make corresponding adjustments to adapt to the intermittent vigorous output required in high-intensity cross-country.
If you just want to improve your anaerobic tolerance, here is a tried and tested old method:
Sprint at a high intensity (357 watts) for one minute, then return to your normal cadence and ride for one minute. Repeat this three times, and after sprinting for another minute, ride at normal cadence for 5 minutes. This training is done in two groups.
This training has a total of 8 minutes (4 minutes per group, two groups) of anaerobic tolerance training. We can adjust the duration of each group according to individual differences, which can be between 5 minutes and 25 minutes. But do not repeat the sprint more than 7 times in each group. One minute per sprint is a good choice, but you can also adjust it to 30 seconds or 90 seconds.
If you want to go to the next level this season, then these sprint training for mountain bike competitions are your secret weapon.
The main reason that mountain biking requires such a strong sprint is the terrain. Rocks, tree roots, ruts, short and steep slopes, U-turns, and other obstacles will all require this powerful sprint to coordinate acceleration. So to overcome obstacles and maintain speed in mountain competitions, this sprint ability is necessary.
The main difference in power required for mountain bike racing and road bike racing lies in these peak outputs. These short-term peaks will gradually accumulate into a huge physical demand. One or two times may not be a problem at all, but like in a game, 88 times in two hours will exhaust you.
If you reach the limit of your body during the competition, you can only slow down. However, if you improve your body's tolerance to anaerobic exercise through training, you will be much faster in the game.