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The Podcast for the MTB Strength Training System, the world’s original and best strength and conditioning system designed exclusively for mountain bikers.

October 8, 2018

Enduro Race Training

In this new episode of the BikeJames Podcast I share my thoughts on Enduro Racing and how approach training riders for it. A lot of riders are making some common mistakes with their training and my goal is to help you avoid them while knowing what you did need to focus on to be successful at Enduro Racing.

Click the link at the bottom of this post to stream or download the MP3 file for this episode.

Remember that you can download the BikeJames Podcast through Itunes and Podbean as well.

If you are a seasoned vet looking for an edge or a new racer looking for a place to start your training journey, then this podcast will have a lot of great info for you. Enduro Racing can be a fun and rewarding part of your mountain biking experience and with the right training plan it can be even better.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

MTB Strength Training Systems

Show Notes:

  • Goal with this podcast is to inspire you to take your results into your own hands. With the right approach you can make dramatic changes in your performance.
  • Enduro Racing gets scored on the DH sections, which makes them the most important.
  • There is no bonus for transfer times so they don’t matter.
  • Top Enduro racers come more from a DH background than an XC background.
  • For them Enduro Racing is slower than their normal pace and for XC it is faster.
  • It is easier to train slower for longer than to increase your speed.
  • Big mistake riders make is training like it is an endurance event and not emphasizing where the points are really scored, which are the shorter DH style sections.
  • In DH your strength-to-weight ratio and your technical skills are the biggest factors.
  • This means they should be emphasized in your training.
  • Enduro specific fitness includes having the anaerobic engine to ride as fast as possible on the timed stages while being aerobically fit enough to ride the transfer with minimal impact on the anaerobic energy system.
  • In the gym this includes getting stronger and more mobile to improve strength to weight ratio and movement efficiency. This includes 2-3 days of strength training and 5-7 days of mobility work (can be as little as 10 minutes a day).
  • Right now I like to get strong with Ramping Isometrics (great for Strength to Weight Ratio) and use tools like Indian Clubs and the Steel Mace to work on movement efficiency. I’ll mix in some “traditional” movements for variety but I’ve found that using them to get “stronger” usually led to getting hurt or having my training take away from my riding.
  • Cardio Training = Breathing/ Make sure you are training your breathing.
  • Domino Theory - Last domino is “cardio” but first one is breathing.
  • The best cardio training you can do is trail riding…but only if you do it right.
  • You won’t become a better Enduro Racer in the gym or on a trainer - it will only happen on the trail.
  • Most Enduro racers waste their most precious training time by just going for a ride and calling it training.
  • To be training it must reflect what you are training for, which isn’t a normal trail ride.
  • Enduro training trail rides should include 2 types:
  • Moderate Skills Focused Rides: These rides have you focusing on riding as smoothly as possible instead of trying to go hard and fast. They are a great time to pick a specific skill and focus on it. Avoid redlining for sustained periods of time and focus instead on using as few pedal strokes as possible. Get 2-3 of these a week.
  • Hard Race Simulation Rides: These should reflect how you race, which includes transfers with climbs followed by timed sections. On the trail you should try to mimic the length of time you would ride a transfer stage while focusing on keeping your breathing under control and not redlining, which includes walking if you need to. You should also have some sections that reflect a stage and can vary in length. Rest if you need to but focus on putting down your hardest effort for those runs. In other words, instead of just riding “hard”, have some easy and hard sections. This may include lapping the same section if that is all you have access to to train on. Do 1 of these every 7-10 days.
  • Some easy rides or days that you work on skills drills can round out your riding.
  • If you can’t ride and have to do some “cardio training” I would encourage you to include some “cardio strength training” like combo drills or mace flows (Upper Body Cardio/ Grip Endurance).
  • Watch out for programs that treat you like a roadie or XC rider with lots of long, sustained effort rides. If it doesn’t seem to reflect the realities of Enduro Racing and they can’t give you a really good reason why not then odds are they are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
  • Enduro Training doesn’t have to be rocket science but you do need to apply some critical thinking to it. You have what it takes to be successful already and with the right training program you can unleash that.


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