Whether you are racing casually or competitively, there is one thing that can mean the difference between taking the winner’s crown or being part of the rest of the crowd: endurance. Mountain bike races require the use of force, explosiveness, and other riding skills that can burn you out in minutes and guarantee that you lose the race. This is what makes having endurance so important.

Before a race, you have to build up your stamina so that your capacity to keep going does not run out before the race is over. Here are some exercises that can help you when building endurance for mountain bike races.


Do Cardio Training

Generally, cardiovascular fitness is what determines how much physical output your body can provide before it can call it quits. The same goes for mountain bike racing. You should do exercises that improve your cardiovascular strength, which will in turn improve your endurance and better your winning odds during races. While at it, make sure the exercises last a decent interval of time, preferably 45 minutes or more.

Try Cross-Training

Engaging in a broad variety of workouts over a short span of time, otherwise called cross-training, is also a surefire way of boosting your endurance before a race. Essentially, you should keep the notion that cardiovascular exercises is where its at when it comes to building endurance in mind all along. So, the cross-training exercises in your endurance workout regimen should focus on building aerobic capabilities.

Do Workouts That Focus On The Legs

In mountain bike races, legs take most of the punishment. An explosive cycling session can easily wear them out in seconds and put them out of commission for quite a while, which is the last thing you want to experience in the middle of a heated race. Consequently, you should perform workouts that make your legs stronger and more enduring.

Such exercises include leg extensions, leg curls, squats, and so forth. These workouts are a bit sensitive and you can easily overstretch your leg muscles and tendons, which is why it is best to have a personal trainer guide you all the way. In the least, you should consider attending a personal training sessions at the gym just to be safe.


Use Lighter Weights For Lifting Exercises

You will need to improve your strength before you can race, and this typically involves lifting some weights. During these workouts, it is better to use lighter weights that you can lift several times rather than use heavier weights that you will have to put down after a few repetitions. The key is to keep lifting for longer, as this will help build stamina as well.


Endurance is one of the greatest concerns mountain bike riders have, and nowhere is this athletic attribute more important than during races. All the strength, riding technique, and experience will count for little when competing against other racers if you lack the endurance to go the distance. Fortunately, with the above exercises, you can boost your endurance substantially and increase the odds of finishing your race a winner.

About the Author

Jacon Stranj is a certified personal trainer and mountain biking enthusiast. He’s trained hundreds of state and national level competitors at his gym in the Woodlands Texas. Jacon believes that at the core of every successful rider there is an emphasis on sport specific strength and conditioning. You can learn more about his training and Woodlands Strength & Conditioning on their website.