Mountain biking endurance, strength and speed

Building up your cycling health and fitness

Throughout your cycling career you will need to develop three key areas to improve your day-to-day mountain biking. Endurance, speed and strength are all vital aspects if you want to cycle your way to a fitter, healthier, injury-free lifestyle. The level of importance of each will depend on the type of cycling you want to do but here’s’s quick guide to these cycling essentials.

Throughout your cycling career you will need to develop three key areas: endurance, speed and strength. Whether you are focusing on mountain biking, road biking, or cycling in the gym, you will need to work on these three areas. However, the level of importance attached to each will differ depending on the type of event you do.

Let’s look at each in turn ...

Mountain biking endurance


We’d all like to be able to keep cycling for longer without getting tired, and by training well it’s amazing how you can change over time. By starting slowly and gradually building up the amount of time you spend on the bike you will be surprised at how much longer you can keep cycling whilst tired.

Endurance is the key training ability that you should work on before anything else. Whilst speed and strength are important to differing degrees, nothing is as important as endurance. Without it you won’t get very far!

Mountain bike speed

Going faster is important if you really get into road biking but it isn’t really that important if your priority is getting fit and losing weight. There is a degree of technique when trying to build up speed. It’s all about increasing the ‘cadence’ or speed that the pedals turn.

Ask one of the experts in your local cycle retailer to show you how it’s done. In addition to this technique there is the fact that some people are just born with an ability to go faster than others.

Whilst you can train faster you might never be as fast as a training partner, as they may have a different muscle composition that they’ve inherited. This will in itself help them go faster.

Mountain biking strength

Using your local gym to develop your leg muscles, such as your quads, is essential if you are to build up strength. How many times have you cycled into the wind or had trouble going up hill and wished you could find a bit extra from somewhere?

By building up strength using weight machines you will find these aspects of your cycling improve significantly. Ask one of the gym instructors to develop a program for you with your specific goals in mind.

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