Q: How long is the training system for someone who want to take it serious and start racing pro in Downhill?  I race expert now and know I am fast enough for pro but need to be in peak physical condition.  I recently tore my acl at a race but I am guessing that by around mid to end September I will be ready to start intense training for next season.  I will probably get a road bike in the fall to cover a cardio workout just b/c cardio in a gym gets quite boring.  I definitely have enough time to train a good bit every day.  My biggest problems the past seasons are my quad muscles near my knee’s always tighten up really bad near the end of a 3+ min intense DH race.

A:Hmmm…tough question to answer. Training is never over as long as you are trying to improve. Herein lies the problem with providing a simple answer to your question – do you just want to just “race”, do you want to win some local races, do you want to be US champ, etc.? Each goal will take a different degree of dedication and time to achieve.Also, strength training is not something that you can just do for 12 weeks, get some results, stop and then hope to keep the results. You will need to make it a part of your training program. BTW, do NOT get a road bike. It is a piss poor training tool for you. The position you are in is non-specific to your sport (meaning that the recruitment pattern used to power a road bike is different than your bike) and the last thing you need is to engage in long, drawn out cardio. Make sure that you listen in to my upcoming seminar to get the lowdown on the best, most efficient way to train for DH specific “stamina”.

I hope that you understand the need for the vagueness of my answer. Strength training is a vital component to your overall program and should be a part of it year round (including now while your knee rehabs). If you are interested in getting going and working around your current injury shoot me another e-mail and we’ll figure out your best option.

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

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