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robertc3 07-21-21 04:27 PM

Son Getting into MTB Racing
 
My 13 year old son is looking to get into youth mountain bike racing. I spoke with the coach of the local team and they start practicing in late winter with racing starting in April. He has been riding recreationally for years, but never with the intention of racing. I was wondering if there are any tips on what he should do in the next six months to start getting prepared. The coach says the races are 1 to 1.5 hours long, so obviously great fitness is needed. That will just have to come naturally as a result of riding a lot as he won't be interested in doing hill repeats. Is there any special techniques or anything that would apply to racing that he wouldn't encounter just riding at a recreation pace?

Eric F 07-21-21 04:39 PM

Learning how to go fast takes practice. With apps like Strava, tracking progress is pretty easy. I would recommend planning out a local route to use as kind of a test track. Once a week (or more, if so motivated), have him ride that route with the intent to do it faster than he did before. Obviously, having the endurance for the duration of the race is also important. 2-3 hour rides at a easy-moderate effort level would be good to work into the routine, as well. If you're already in contact with the local coach, maybe he/she can offer some more guidance, especially things that are specific to your area. The coach might also be able to help connect your son with riders of a similar age to ride/train with.

robertc3 07-21-21 05:34 PM


Originally Posted by Eric F (Post 22152125)
Learning how to go fast takes practice. With apps like Strava, tracking progress is pretty easy. I would recommend planning out a local route to use as kind of a test track. Once a week (or more, if so motivated), have him ride that route with the intent to do it faster than he did before. Obviously, having the endurance for the duration of the race is also important. 2-3 hour rides at a easy-moderate effort level would be good to work into the routine, as well. If you're already in contact with the local coach, maybe he/she can offer some more guidance, especially things that are specific to your area. The coach might also be able to help connect your son with riders of a similar age to ride/train with.

Thank you Eric. We will pick out a route or two at our local park and get the timing dialed. Strava will be great for that. I use it, but he hasn't before. He is really competitive, so the segments should be motivating to him. I will also get in touch with the coach and see what he can give me in terms of guidance. He gave me a run down on where they practice, so we can hit those spots.
Are you the Eric F from DFP? I spent more time lurking than posting on DFP and enjoyed your posts. I just finished up taking my daughter's team from 10u to 18u and will take a few years off before I think about starting that journey again. Mountain biking with my son will fill that time well.

robertc3 09-02-21 01:56 PM

Well, the first training ride was last Sunday. It went great. My son was keeping up with the fastest kids, riding cleanly, and hitting the biggest jumps and drops. Jumps and drops are not really part of kids racing, but they are important to my son. Then he went to a friends house and broke his arm on their trampoline. So, the season is over for him after one practice. They will start back up in the late winter and he will be healed up and ready to go.
We did have good success riding the training loop for speed. Beyond that we just tried to ride everything faster and faster. We did a decent mountain climbing ride and he was catching and passing almost all of the adults on the trail that day.

Eric F 09-02-21 02:01 PM


Originally Posted by robertc3 (Post 22212303)
Well, the first training ride was last Sunday. It went great. My son was keeping up with the fastest kids, riding cleanly, and hitting the biggest jumps and drops. Jumps and drops are not really part of kids racing, but they are important to my son. Then he went to a friends house and broke his arm on their trampoline. So, the season is over for him after one practice. They will start back up in the late winter and he will be healed up and ready to go.
We did have good success riding the training loop for speed. Beyond that we just tried to ride everything faster and faster. We did a decent mountain climbing ride and he was catching and passing almost all of the adults on the trail that day.

Bummer about the broken arm. If the motivation is there, maybe get him set up with a stationary trainer so he can continue to work on his aerobic fitness.

robertc3 09-03-21 05:21 PM

We have a trainer and he may want to hook up his bike. Right now it is also soccer season and while he can't play games yet, he can practice, so that is helping with the cardio. I know it won't be much longer before he asks if he can ride one handed against the doctor's orders.


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