MTB - Taking Short Breaks vs Riding Through

Question: When riding Mountain Bikes, would it be better from a purely workout perspective to ride continuously or take a short break before a climb to ride it faster? For example, we have some punchy singletrack, were there is not much time to recover between climbs, so one can either ride through and get struggle up, or catch a breath and hit it harder.

Context, primary goal is working on my MTB skills and usually just look at these as endurance rides, not Endurance Zone, just long continuous rides. For example, say I plan on doing two laps, typically I just ride through maintaining whatever pace I can, inevitably the second lap will be slower and I am pretty gassed. Option is either stopping, or just riding slow.

If you want it as an endurance ride, don’t stop, and ride the climb slower (don’t struggle up it, just shift down and ride it at endurance pace)

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Key word ‘continuous’! Don’t stop if you’re just looking for heart beats and minutes on the bike

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It’s good to work on pacing sometimes, too. When that lightbulb comes on because you lowered your effort for the 1st lap/hour by 5ish%, thus allowing you to match (or close to it) the 2nd lap/hour effort to that 1st lap/hour… mind blown.

Are you training for a MTB race? If not mountain bikes are supposed to be fun so do whatever makes the ride enjoyable. :+1:t2:


Stop. Have a chat with mates. Let others in your group catch up. MTB isn’t road cycling.

Enjoy the ride.

You don’t need to be in the hurt locker just because you’re out training.

If you’re working on skills, shuttle up to the top if this is available.

Alternatively do small flatter loops on technical trails. Flat land skills are just as important as descending skills.

if it techy i’d stop to try and nail the tech and/or get a better time but what others have said, if you’re training to race don’t stop, hammer

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