Joe blogs guide to mountain bike fitness

Posted by Paul​ Walton on November 23, 2008 0 comments

Mountain biking and fitness is not as clear cut as people think for the average Joe Blog. The term used by what mountain bike UK "Just get out and ride" is true, but questions need to be addressed.

How much is too much?
Riding through illness? Is it a good thing?

I for one have been riding for 4 years and my fitness varies from season to season and year to year. This time last year I was out riding, not to my best but I was riding.

So far I have not been out for 4 weeks due to illness/cold viruses. Come spring, when the air clears, (and my nostrils!), will my fitness drop? Well I think for some people the answer would be yes. But for me it's not really a problem because although I don't get out riding, I do commute to and from work on my bike, and it's only a mile or so there and the same back.

They say activity is the road to recovery, but training can make things worse, or last longer. So taking this into account I should be OK then? lets hope!

When I started feeling a little better I slowly started using the commute to and from work as a training program, nothing to heavy though! I began working on my leg muscles. Getting to work I would select middle range gears to work on my lactic threshold in my legs. On the way home I would work on increasing my leg strength. Simply by selecting high gear ratio's to pedal all the way home. If I felt a little run down, I would have a steady ride in a gear that suited me. It's not just about gear ratio's though, I also think about the weather/wind resistance.

When I feel up to it and the roads dry up, I'll get out either at the weekend or midweek for a road ride and keep it in the 1 hour time frame, nice and steady. I will not start pushing myself until spring comes and the weather improves. By this time I will know what effect it had on me, if any!

Basically riding at high levels for too long...or on the other end of the scale not riding at all, is counter-productive to fitness levels!

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