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In this article, Alexis Kuperfis gives us some tips that have proven their worth at the highest level so that your mountain bike training will help you progress more quickly.

Repeat the same race loop

Do you want to feel more confident on race day? Here is a tip….
Repeat the same running loop in a place you know that contains a concentrate of what you will find on race day. Ideally, this loop should contain a few turns, a steep climb and a root or rocky downhill.
You can then pursue the tours in order to train and to familiarize yourself with the difficulties.

Lower effort, longer training time

Increasing the volume of training rather than the volume of effort is a sustainable way to improve your long-term physical fitness.
What is the best way to increase the duration of your training? The answer is simple: the moments when you force should be shorter and less intense.
Reducing effort allows you to drive longer and is relatively less stressful mentally and physically, which promotes a long-lasting and constant training.

Running during the off-season

Running, like the training mentioned above, can help develop the strength of your muscles during rapid contractions.
But that’s not all, because it brings some other advantages…
The main advantage is that running can help to fill the “force leaks” of your muscles that are neglected by the practice of mountain bike only, such as buttocks and hamstrings.
Try to add running to your training program in order to benefit from a complete workout.

Practice making a good start

Have you ever had a bad start in a mountain bike race because of a foot slipping off your pedal?
Even the professionals on the front row of the World Cup can slide on their pedals and that can make a big difference at the start.
Practice starting well throughout the preparation period until the season, by starting with the stationary position, the hooking and the sprinting.
All these preparations will develop your muscle memory and reaction times, so you will instinctively know where to put your foot when the race approaches.

Work on your jumps

Mountain biking races are becoming more and more technical every year and jumping is a technique that becomes more and more common.
In order to ensure that you can negotiate jumps safely and with a good speed, it is important to practice this technique in a safe environment.
Start small if you are not too familiar with jumping and develop the right technique before moving on to larger jumps.
Try to ride with someone else when you do this kind of training, for safety but also to get some encouragements.