Mountain bike fitness is having the overall fitness, strength and speed on the bike to tackle anything the trail throws at you.It’s the ability to be able to ride and ride and ride. To be able to clean any hill. To have the strength to nail any downhill without getting fatigued.
Your fitness on the bike benefits the rest of your life in so many ways though. When you focus on improving your mountain bike fitness, you will find benefits in many other areas of your life - even more so when you are training toward your British Heart Foundation event.
So, what are these benefits I'm talking about? To name but a few:
The discipline you gain from sticking to a training plan crosses over into the rest of your life. If you have the discipline to get up at 5am to go and do intervals when you really don't want to, then you will have the discipline to stick at that project at work when you are getting bored or want a break. Discipline is important for getting anything done in life. You need sticking power. And learning discipline from training will cross over into the rest of your life.
If you are fit on the bike, you will have better stamina in the rest of your life. You can play with the kids without getting tired. You will have a better sex drive. You’ll be able to carry the shopping bags with no effort. You can work long hours without getting tired. Stamina on the bike passes over into any other aspect of your life that requires stamina.
If you are a mountain biker then you know this is true. If you’ve ever hit a drop that terrified you and landed it. Or if you’ve cleaned a hill you thought was impossible. Or learned to jump, track stand or bunny hop then I bet it’s taught you one thing - that you can do whatever you set your mind to. When you focus on really improving your fitness on the bike for your event, you will find that the self belief bleeds into every other aspect of your life. It will give you the self belief that you can raise amazing children, start that business or get that promotion.
Mental strength needs training, just like your muscles. The more pain and suffering you expose yourself to, the stronger you will become mentally. If you can keep going on a ride when it sucks and you really want to stop. If you can keep going when it hurts, then you will build mental strength. This gives you the strength to push through what life throws at you. Deaths in the family, redundancy, illnesses, stress, worry…they all require mental strength to get through. You can build that on the bike.
Mountain biking is great for weight loss (if you eat right too). I don’t need to tell you the benefits of this outside of riding. You look better and feel better. You’ll have more confidence. Be healthier. You’ll live longer. Have more energy. Better heart health. Injury and illness rates will decrease. Sure, losing weight will benefit your riding but it will have a huge effect on your life too.
I find this is a big one. Riding gives you mental space to chill and think. It clears your head. It lets you get emotions out. It’s a fantastic time for thinking, planning and making decisions. Life is so busy and noisy. When you are out riding in the countryside…on your own…you can think much more clearly. Riding gives you mental space and this makes you a calmer and clearer thinking person on a whole.
There are so many benefits to building your mountain bike fitness over and above the better fitness on the bike. The best way to build MTB fitness? Sign up for a British Heart Foundation Mountain Biking Event! It gives you a focus and a deadline to train towards. It gives you a reason to build your MTB fitness!
Author : Matt Mooney - MTB Fitness
Matt Mooney is a Personal Trainer and owner of MTB Fitness, a company that helps mountain bikers all over the world get fitter, faster and stronger on the bike.
Website : www.mtb.fitness
Facebook : facebook.com/mtbfitnessuk
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