How to Train for a 12 Hour Mountain Bike Race

How to Train for a 12 Hour Mountain Bike Race
Mountain biking can be a grueling sport that requires considerable muscle endurance and staying power. Cyclists in search of a 12-hour mountain bike race can look forward to weeks on the roads and trails training followed by a short period of recovery. Training is a necessary part of the process and may not be as taxing as you may immediately think. Barring a few sprains or some soreness, training helps you to condition your body so it can perform at its peak level for the race.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bike gear
  • Heart rate monitor
Step 1
Undergo eight to 10 weeks of aerobic training. Allow your body to guide the distance and duration of each training session. Build up to a conversational heart rate level. Your heart rate is at a conversational level when you can cycle comfortably and still engage in a conversation.
Step 2
Incorporate strength training exercises at week one and continue until your training period ends. Strengthen your quadriceps, glutes and hips by using a combination of cycling and lower body strength training exercises. Squats, lunges, leg extensions and leg curls are effective lower body exercises. Elevate your heart rate to 75 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Step 3
Include two days of anaerobic activities. Start your three-week training session with a combination of running and cycling. Sprint for one to two minutes at a normal pace and then accelerate your speed for a final minute. Increase the number of sets you can complete each week. Complete your training session with a long cycle ride. Increase your heart rate to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Step 4
Ease into recovery. As you approach your final week of training, reduce the number of training days that generally make up a training week. For example, if you typically train six days per week, drop your training sessions to two or three in the final week.

Tips & Warnings

As you prepare for the mountain bike race, ice any overextended muscles to prevent future injuries.
Calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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