Marathon and Endurance
Ever wondered how the same riders who win traditional XCO (Cross Country) races at a National level being 1.5hrs in length can also win XCM’s (Marathon races) which are 4 to 5 hours in length? Well the training for XCO and XCM is not that much different. Put these same athletes in an Ultra Endurance event such as a SOLO 24 hour race and they are most likely going to excel in that event as well. Why and how, I hear you ask? The principles of specificity, progression and recovery remain the same.
PCS has a strong understanding of how these principles should be developed for endurance events incorporating them into our Endurance specific MTB training programs to improve your overall performance in these gruelling events.
Marathon (XCM), Ultra-Endurance events including Multi-day Stage racing, 24 hour Teams and 24 hour Solo Racing are perhaps the toughest form of mountain biking because riders often have to cover more than 80 km in one race on mountainous terrain. The distances usually vary from 60 km to 100 km. Races often exceed 100 km, but are then termed Ultra-Marathons. Recently UCI has inaugurated the Marathon World Cup. Basically it equals point-to-point (PP) discipline and that means that riders have a mass start from point "A" and they finish at point "B"..
Stage Races consist of several races - 'stages' - ridden consecutively, usually over a period of several days. A stage is usually similar in length and structure to a Marathon mountain bike race. The competitor with the lowest cumulative time to complete all the stages is declared the overall, or General Classification (GC), winner. Stage races may also have other classifications and awards, such as individual stage winners.
Endurance Mountain Bike Training with PCS
Regardless of the specialist discipline you choose, the training year will typically consist of a general preparation, specific preparation and a competition phase and off-season, with the length of each phase dependent on the competitive schedule of individual athletes. Endurance riders typically do a combination of training on the trails and the roads. Regardless of the discipline, all riders need to develop the technical skills to be able to control and stabilise their bikes on the various off-road terrains they encounter and a large percentage of the training time will be specifically on skill development.