How to train for mountain biking- the 5 step guide
Table of contents

This post is written by Aled Nelmes on behalf of trade bike parts provider Mackadams Factors for The Sporting Blog.Mountain biking is very physically demanding. In fact, it is one of the most muscle intensive sports around, requiring use of both upper and lower body muscle areas.This means that if you want to get serious and ride at the highest level, preparation and training is absolutely essential.

That’s why we’ve put together a simple and easy-to-follow 5 step guide for mountain bike training. This guide is designed for the busy working individual who needs to fit training into a normal 7 day week plan.

Improve your strength

We’ve said it before; mountain biking is tough. But once you have the strength to handle your bike at will, the feeling is immense. The more your strength increases, the more your ambition and determination will grow on the bike.

Eat right

A mountain biker’s diet balances the priorities of muscle growth, muscle repair and energy. With this in mind, timing is essential- and eating consistently throughout the day is important.If you’re a busy person with friends, work and family responsibilities- we’ve put together some foods that are easier to integrate into a normal day.

Whole Grain Breads

A hearty, nutrient-dense carbohydrate. Whole grain bread tastes great and is incredibly versatile. Like other carbohydrates, whole grain bread offers slow release energy throughout the day to compliment your calorie-rich snacks.

It’s not so much the bread itself, but the whole grains which offer the best nutrients. These nutrients include:

  • Protein - great for muscle recovery, particularly after an intense ride.
  • Fibre - essential for smooth bowel movement, making sure you feel light and comfortable.
  • B vitamins - great for energy levels and brain function, helping you think sharp.

Lean Meats

Or alternatively eggs, for vegetarians. Lean meats include beef, lamb, veal, chicken and most sea foods. They offer the best post-ride recovery nutrients.Chicken and fish in particular offer a low-fat/high protein mix which aids muscle recovery and encourages easy digestion.The western diet has moved towards stocking up on lean meats in the evening. However, a regular serving of lean meat throughout the day is highly commended- particularly if you train daily either on the bike or in the gym.

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For the best combination of fats and oils (while also keeping the environment in mind), eggs for breakfast, fish or nuts and seeds during lunch and chicken in the evening is a great combination.


With any luck, you have slept a solid 8 hours prior to competition day with plenty of deep REM sleep. Even if you haven’t slept, don’t worry. A porridge breakfast will put things straight! Or even better - porridge with banana provides the ultimate slow release energy throughout the day.

If it’s a competition day, make sure you’re eating no less than 2 hours before you start riding.

Finally, to aid digestion, make sure you drink at least a pint of water with breakfast. This combination will keep you feeling light and agile whilst providing slow-release energy throughout the day.

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