Somewhere in Bromont in 2004, with my single suspension bike, I was going to take the chairs for the first time, it was my debut in mountain biking. I kept my full face all the way to the top, I was stressed, intimidated by big bikes, adults and all the others who had been doing this sport for a long time. It was way too much of a stranger for the 13 year old I was, with no support, just with my desire and dream to ride down a “downhill” trail.
I didn’t know what I was getting into, I had no idea that my first run would take me more than an hour and that I was going to do about ten falls. But I knew one thing, I had to step up my game.
There was and still is very little information about this sport, no matter what the needs and level. Even today, few links are made between downhill mountain biking and the associated preparation.
In the days, weeks, months and years that followed my first downhill, I learned a lot about the sport. I competed intensively from 2006 to 2012 without missing a single race. I trained, got a lot of mentoring and then I left the sport with the sole purpose of developing what he lacked: coaching.
So here are a few tips to prepare you for a great day of cycling.
The goal is to give you simple tools to create small changes in your routine for better results.
Before you leave home
Yeah, do it, don’t procrastinate, you’ll be binn happy bud.
First of all
Increase your mobility.
To have a greater range of motion, to be relaxed and to allow the body to move and control the bike better.
1A-Le Side Lying Windmill
Active stretching helps improve your rotation and chest extension.
Stretch the pec and allow the shoulder to move in all its axes before being stirred.
For those who lack mobility, a foam roller or pillow under the front leg is recommended to maximize execution.
1B-Dynamic Couch stretch variation
Cyclists lack a great deal of mobility in the pelvic region. Indeed, the psoas is shortened because of the volume of pedaling. This active stretch allows the hips to “lousser”, stretches the quad to avoid too much tension in the knees, lengthens the large backbone and allows the lower back to feel more relaxed and less tense.
Afterward, the body is ready to be lit.
To be able to react quickly in the event of an unforeseen shock, a wrong turn, etc. The speed component goes beyond your control if the body is already ready for this kind of stimulus, bingo baby.
2A-Elbow/Regular Scap Push Up
This activation exercise will allow you to have better control of your shoulder blades so that they are more mobile and awake. It allows the upper back to relax and allows better mobility of the whole shoulder, in all its axes. In addition, it easily teaches the body to stabilize the shoulder. Since the shoulders are put under a lot of stress when descending, they must be strong, stable and mobile. Take the time to push by activating upward, a pressure to round his back as much as possible and really feel the shoulder blades pressing against resistance.
2B-The Deficit Deadbug
A 100% complete exercise to solicit abdominal stabilization while activating and stretching the hip flexors during movement. It also coordinates the spine to remain stable.
2C-Single Leg Deadlift Bodyweight
It is very important to activate your rear chain so that you don’t just use your quads, especially in a downhill context. The weight is distributed on the front of the legs and therefore recruits less well the hamstring. If you want to be optimal when you pedal, take the time to activate your hamstring. As a bonus, this exercise will also help you work on your balance and stabilize your ankles and hips.
Now you’re ready to roll, buddy, gradually increase the speed and difficulty level of the tracks during your day. Listen to your body before it gets too burned and take a break just before. Try to ride at 70-80%, you’re no more advanced if you ride beyond your ability and be finished in the morning…it rhymes…you wrestling?
Ah yes, eat a good dinner, bring yourself some snacks, since your sport, even if it is downhill, makes you spend a lot of energy and you need fuel.
Next SmithCoaching article: What to eat before, during, after a day in Bromont.