This week I’ve been going over the 3 parts of your training program and how you should adjust each to best compliment your in-season riding. Like I’ve explained with your cardio and strength training, if you don’t make the right adjustments during the season you can set yourself up for a late season slump and make it hard to progress your riding even further next season.
While you need to limit what you do in those areas, the third area of your training program actually needs to see a large increase. Mobility training is at the heart of how you perform as an athlete and is the first thing to go when you start to spend a lot of time on the trail.
Like I mentioned in the last video, the more efficiently you move the stronger you can be so taking the time to retain your ability to move freely off the bike is your #1 training priority during the riding season. Plus, mobility levels directly affect things like low back pain, neck stiffness and knee issues which means you can ride with less pain as well.
The problem is that while most riders know that they are “tight” and need to improve their mobility they don’t realize how easy it can be. Most rider’s experience with mobility training is usually limited to some stretches or a yoga class or two but they often find these things don’t produce the results they hoped for.
This leaves them thinking that mobility training either takes too much time or just doesn’t work for them. The reason for this is that an effective mobility program will address 3 main areas.
If you miss one of more of these things in your mobility program and you can make things a lot harder than they need to be.
1) Muscle Tension – This is effectively how much tension you carry around in your muscles. If you have muscles that literally can not turn off all the way because of trigger points and adhesions in the muscle itself you may make things worse with stretching.
2) Muscle Length – Once you have the tension under control you need to develop length in specific muscles that tend to get short and tight from riding. What’s more, not all stretching is created equal and you need a blend of static and dynamic stretching that uses your breathing to maximize your range of motion gains.
3) Neuromuscular Control – Few riders realize how their brain’s plays a big role in their mobility. If they can’t control a range of motion the brain won’t let them access it even if they have the length to do so. The bad movement habits you have can also be holding back your mobility, meaning you have to break those habits if you want to make your mobility gains “stick”.
Once you know how to blend these 3 things together you can see noticeable results in just a few weeks. The body doesn’t want to be locked up and it will respond quickly once you give it the right stimulus to un-lock itself.
In this video I explain a bit more about the importance of mobility, how mountain biking can negatively affect your mobility levels and some practical suggestions on how to combat that during the riding season:
Like I reveal in the video, improving your mobility requires much more than doing some stretches or taking a yoga class. There are 3 things you must do in order to mobilize your joints in a way that will help you train and ride more efficiently.
BTW, more efficient movement creates more power, requires less energy and results in less pain…if you’re interested in those sorts of things.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this look at how to approach in-season training. The most important thing is to stay fit enough to have fun on the trails and keep it rubber side down!
Until next time…