Inside The Mysterious World Of Training To Be One Of The Fastest Mtb Racers On The Planet
Revolution MTB|Issue 58
Inside The Mysterious World Of Training To Be One Of The Fastest Mtb Racers On The Planet
With mountain bike technology across the board having reached such heights by now, bike manufacturers have to look beyond simply putting nice parts on a bike in order for their riders to win races. For the most part nowadays in the elite ranks of mtb racing it really is all about the ‘rider’ versus being all about the bike that the rider is on. The level of training in the elite field has increased over the years, also bringing in speciality coaches dedicated to the demands of mtb. Even looking back 5 years, the understanding of training, both physically and mentally, was much less than it is today. Like technology, this training and race mentality has trickled down into the masses, even the weekend warriors are now training hard for the local series trophy.

Training as hard as a pro is near impossible as it involves a lot of time to go to the gym, rest adequately, and also ride your bike. Training, however, will not only improve your riding, it is a crucial ingredient for preventing injury, maintaining mental health, and also breaking up riding to avoid burnout. You will be able to brace harder and hit rough sections of trail with more confidence because your body will be able to hold and your eyes and brain will be able to process things much easier at speed. There is no loss to training smart, but, if you train too hard, things can make a hard U-turn. So how do we manage that balance while working a 9-5 job and everyday life?

I have always been curious wondering if a ‘regular Joe’ like myself took on a similar training schedule as a top-level pro racer, given enough time to build up could I effectively train myself to become a World Cup level rider? In this article, I finally set o on the quest to theoretically find an answer to that question. To begin putting the pieces of the puzzle together, TROY BROSNAN agreed to open up, and he provided a stack of valuable insight into his training regime, both physical and mental. Now, it goes without saying that Troy’s day job is literally being a professional mountain biker. He wakes up in the morning and spends all day dedicated to working his ass o to perfect his craft and build his body to the peak of physical and mental conditioning. What if I applied myself in the same way, might it be possible for someone like me that works a ‘regular 9-5’ job? Could I find a way to cram in on top a similar training load as Troy, and still have a chance to build my skills, strength and speed all the way up to World Cup level? In addition to all of the information that Troy shared with me, I then reached out to one of the MTB’s most elite strength and conditioning coaches, Ben Plenge, from Strength Factory over in the UK.

Okay, so let’s get going and start by having a look at Troy’s training routines, with some input from Ben as a coach. Athletes like Troy train at different intensity levels, called ‘blocks’, dependant on the time of year and individual ‘key’ races that they aim to ‘peak’ for. Let’s begin by taking a look at Troy’s schedule for one of those ‘peak’ training weeks. “A week for me will consist of 3 gym sessions, two trail rides, one to two Downhill days and a possible Moto or BMX track ride in there also. Doesn’t sound like much but it gets busy!” Imagine trying to fit that in while you hold down a nine to five throughout the week.

When asked about the variety of training and what he focuses on Troy says, “To be honest, I do try really hard to over eat and get bigger, I have always been light and have found it hard to ‘put on weight’.

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Issue 58