Looking to improve your off road skills? We asked Jurgens Uys of Kargo Pro MTB team for his tips on the best way to quickly develop the techniques you are going to need to light up the trails.
Technical single track riding
- Ride with people or friends that are faster and more technical than you, this will help you to explore your limits and ride outside your own comfort zone. Push your boundaries.
- A good technique is to stick on the wheel of someone you know to be faster than you and try to hold on for as long as you possibly can. This technique will really help to make you fast on the single tracks and will increase your skill level quickly. This will also teach you how to take better lines and when to break and when to just let go and ride fast.
- For those times when you don’t have friends to ride with regularly, use Strava and go ride down a technical single track. Create your own single track segment and repeat it a few times over, each time pushing yourself to beat your previous time. This is one of the best ways to test yourself. Remember to save and record all your data to see if you are improving or not.
Endurance Tips and strength
- If it is not base training season don’t waste time doing very long rides, you will find that doing this just tires you out and makes you a bit slower on the explosive side of racing.
- Make sure you do your intervals properly and give them your all. It’s important to ensure you recover fully after these tough sessions. Drink HIGH5 Protein Recovery as soon as possible after your workout and take a rest day afterwards. You can’t build on your fitness if your body has not recovered completely.
- Get on your mountain bike every now and then and simulate your race pace. Try doing some time trails, go as fast as possible but sustain effort as you would in a race to make sure you reach the finish line. Your body needs to get use to riding the fast pace for longer durations, while really pushing your limits.
- Work on your weaknesses! If you are not good up hills then spend more hours on the hills. If your downhill skills need more attention, then you need to head out and ride the downhills and push yourself further each time. Remember to vary your downhill training to include fast cornering, technical sections and smooth fast sections. Speed is your friend and momentum is key.
- To be a great mountain biker you need to be an all-rounder. Aim to excel in every aspect of mountain biking: up hills, downhills, flats and technical riding are all important facets in the sport and each facet should be trained individually as well as together.
Write down your dreams and goals. Stick them up and remind yourself of them daily.
Always stick to your training program, don’t skip due to bad weather. Go out in the cold and wet because it will make your appreciate the good days.
Remember it is important to look after your own health and body, but make sure you look after your equipment as well. If you look after your bike it will look after you.