We’re rapidly approaching one of the biggest summer events in Vail: the Triple Bypass Ride. This year, organizers predict that nearly 5,000 cyclists will complete the grueling 110-mile ride across three mountain passes.
Maybe you’re one of the brave participants in training for this legendary race. Or maybe you’re trying to build your endurance and strength for shorter races closer to home.
Either way, you have to know how to train for a mountain bike race (the right way). Read on for our four best tips to prepare you — including where to get a great massage after the race!
1. Focus on Endurance
Professional racers may train as many as 25-30 hours a week. If you’re a weekend warrior, you might be lucky to squeeze in 12-15 hours a week.
Whatever your circumstances, it’s time to train smarter (not harder). Focus on riding 5-6 days a week for 1.5-2.5 hours per day. Once a week, push yourself with a solid four-hour ride, followed by a day off to recuperate.
In addition to your time on the road, factor in at least two hours of strength training with weights each week.
2. “Break” Your Legs
Exactly seven days before the race, do as the pros do and “break” your legs with an intense training ride. Go out and ride as long as hard as possible to guarantee you’ll be sore for a few days.
Why should you do this? By purposely forcing your body into DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), you’ll create larger, more resilient muscle fibers.
Then, in the days leading up to the race, stick with shorter, less intensive workouts. This will ensure you’re fully recovered by race day.
3. Practice Self-Care
Nourishing your body and giving it time to recover is just as important as those hard workouts. While you’re in training, be sure to adopt a good routine of self-care that includes:
- 8+ hours of sleep each night
- A balanced diet with plenty of protein and carbs
- Staying hydrated
- Warming up, cooling down, and stretching
- Therapeutic sports massages (once a week is ideal)
- Activities that help you relax, such as yoga, journaling, or meditation
No matter how focused you are on the race, be sure to include some downtime in your training schedule. Make time for other hobbies and spend quality time with family and friends to avoid exercise burnout.
4. Acclimate Before the Race
If you don’t live in the mountains, this last tip is very important! If at all possible, plan to arrive at the race location a few days ahead of time.
Altitude sickness can affect anyone, even athletes who are in excellent physical condition. Give your body a few days to adjust to the thinner air before you attempt to race in it.
How to Train for a Mountain Bike Race: Now You Know
Whether you’re tackling the Triple Bypass or another mountain bike race, we applaud your efforts! Use the tips outlined above to ensure you’re physically and mentally prepared for race day.
Speaking of race day, you no doubt know that the Triple Bypass concludes in the beautiful town of Vail, Colorado. If you’re a competitor (or a spectator), there’s no better way to unwind after the race than with a therapeutic massage.
Apres Massage is a new boutique day spa conveniently located in West Vail. Click here to book a massage or give us a call at 970-445-2114 to learn more.