How to train for considerably different MTB A 'races' next year

So, as mentioned on the recent A Race for 2019 thread, my two A events are only 3 weeks apart - mid July and early August but are significantly different.

My first event is a 100 miles / 4,000 metres of climbing epic where survival will be my only aim. I think my natural Diesel engine will be okay with this if I follow the recommended sustained build / century plan.

However, my ‘A Race’ 3 weeks later is the Ard Rock Enduro. Whilst this will require some pedalling and maybe 2,000 metres of climbing, I’m only timed in the 7 * 4 minute timed stages. If I hadn’t signed up for the above epic, I would have been committed to Short Power build and a gravity speciality with lots of power work in the gym.

Obviously there’s no time in between these events to ‘switch’ speciality. As the second event is a race, I’d like to optimise for performance in this whilst not hurting my chance of completed the earlier event. Thoughts?..

With such varying demands between the two races, there’s no way you can perform at the optimal level for both, which means you’ll need to compromise. Since the 100mi epic sounds the most physically demanding, I’d focus on training for that event. You don’t want to be completely destroyed afterward and unable to race the enduro.

Now, as an avid enduro racer, my advice would be to simultaneously train your descending skills. While training with TR for your epic, you can still ride outside (especially chairlift/shuttle days) and practice in the dirt. Ultimately, if you’re in enough shape to complete the earlier epic, you should have no problem riding the transfers/liaisons between stages - but the race is won and lost on the race stages. From what I’ve seen regarding the Ard Rock, you’ll have to deal with plenty of loose rocks, dry and dusty conditions, and high speed sections. There’s also some tight switchbacks, but I think traction will be your greatest enemy.

The best way to get comfortable with riding the edge of traction is to ride more, so I’d recommend making all your outdoor rides focus on descending more aggressively and faster, while using your trainer sessions to get you ready for the longer race. Hope this helps!


I’m also doing Ardrock 2019 :sunglasses:

1 Like

Cheers @larry you’ve kinda suggested the perfect 1/2 year of biking! Earn your turns on the turbo, but still get to enjoy the downs at the weekends… I bought a YT Tues a couple of years ago and have badly neglected it; but with your advise, 2019 will be a year of shuttle runs :+1:

1 Like

@Crownan which event? I’m in full Saturday enduro on my 29" Stanton Sherpa. Have you ridden Ard Rock before? This is my third although first full one…

If you’re just looking to survive the 100 miler then it is more of a B race. Get fit for the enduro, include some longer in the saddle days leading up to the first race and make sure to recover between.

edit: I originally read 4000 meters as feet. Slightly different…

1 Like

Saturday full Enduro, did the Sunday full (Sport?) last year and bloody loved it, just got held up a few times and wanted to try the Saturday as its more competitive. I’m on a Mondraker Dune :sunglasses:

1 Like