Ace Your First Mountain Bike Race
Posted: 04/13/17 | By Hannah K
Mountain bike race tips. Assess your current fitness level and time available for training, define your personal reasons for racing, then set your goal.
Tips from a seasoned pro
By Sarah Jordan
So you’ve signed up for your first mountain bike race. Now what? Follow these tips to help ensure that your upcoming enduro, gravel grinder, or cross-country mountain bike race is the first of many.
#1 – Set your goals
Assess your current fitness level and time available for training, define your personal reasons for racing, then set your goal. Is fun your priority? Or are you aiming to beat a certain time? Setting an achievable goal will motivate you through tough times, while setting you up for the blissful afterglow of race day.
#2 – Get to know the course
Prepare yourself mentally and physically by first taking the time to learn all you can about the race course. You’ll want to find out details on the mileage, elevation gain, and nature of the terrain.
If the race demands more than what you’re capable of at the moment, train by gradually increasing your mileage and climbing until you can complete 80% of what the race requires, but with energy to spare. If the terrain is different from what you’re used to, consider a weekend getaway before the race to ride trails similar to what the event will serve up.
#3 – Choose your equipment
Following from #2, knowledge of the terrain you’ll be racing on is key. Cross-country races vary greatly from venue to venue, so you can choose from any dirt-capable bike in your stable depending on the terrain. For enduro racing, a dual suspension bike with a dropper post is usually a must. Cyclocross and hardtail mountain bikes will help you sail through the long miles of a gravel grinder.