BASE TRAINING FOR THE MODERN MOUNTAIN BIKER—DO YOU NEED IT?
ALL ABOUT THAT BASE
As the off-season approaches you’ll hear a lot of your friends talking about ‘Base Training’.
As the winter gets deeper and darker, many will head out on silly long rides in the dark, all in the name of the base.
But what the heck is base training?
Do mountain bikers actually need it?
A nice steady base ride from one of my athletes!
MY HISTORY WITH THE BASE
Base training was always my favourite. I’d head out with my friends on long rides all winter long. We’d do 3 hour rides and they went by in a flash. I’d finish and not even be hungry.
Then we’d do 6 hour rides on Saturday AND Sunday. Those made me tired, but I got faster. And all we did was ride easy.
I’d be thinking to myself, ‘wow, I am going to be SO FAST once I start doing intervals!’
The first few pre-season races of the year would go really well. And I’d still be thinking how fast I’d be once I started doing intervals. But once I started adding intervals in, I could never make it count on the day. It was my own misunderstanding that led to my own demise.
It was the base that was making me faster!
WHAT IS BASE TRAINING
Bigger base means higher peak!
training means heading out on long easy rides all winter long. There are many names, like LSD (long, slow distance) or Endurance or Zone 2. The thought is that the bigger you base is, the higher your peak will be (kind of like a triangle). So everyone aims for more miles chasing that bigger base. In practice, base training is very good training. All you have to do is look at the real pros and you’ll notice that it seems like base training is all they do! Well, that and racing.