MTB World Champion Kate Courtney – Ask a Cycling Coach 272

MTB World Champion Kate Courtney joins the podcast to give you the insights to what it takes to be a World Champion including how she builds resilience through mental training, how she is able to quickly recover from crashes, why she uses strength training to get faster and more in Episode 272 of The Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast.

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That’s a big get for the pod! Very cool.

I have a few questions regarding set up. Does she have much to do with set up choices, and if so, does she change suspension settings for different courses, and tyre choice/pressure? Or is there an ideal she’s found works and can count on it being set up the same?

Also, what’s under the scribbles on the Instagram?? A new XC rig or something bigger?

Looking forward to some training tips/questions too.


She ain’t gonna tell you if it’s hidden, it’s for a reason :see_no_evil:

I’d love to know some insight into her taper process for a race, such as what types of rides/resting she does in the 3 days leading up to a race.

Also raceday nutrition, before the race and during the race.

Also any xco tactics/strategy that could be helpful


Sounds like you might already be covering this, but I’m curious on her estimate of her break down of bike fitness training, skills work, and strength training. I’m sure to some degree these all overlap, but this ratio would be interesting because it would be somewhat scaleable.


What are her go to strength exercises? How much time does she spend on this aspect of training?


I know, but it’s fun to ask.

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Being somewhat shutdown in America, is she concerned about some of the main competition racing in Europe right now? Jolanda, PFP, Annika and others have been keeping the level of competition high lately.

How is she keeping up with them? Is there more structure than she is showing on insta?

Big fan of Kate, SO excited for this one!


I feel like they have to ask her if she’s ever going to race Cape Epic.


She won in 2018


Ah you’re right. I forgot she raced it with Annika that year. My bad. I guess the question has to be if she’ll ever do it again then, just to talk about Cape Epic of course. :wink:


Hah, yea that was before she went truly beast mode in the XCO world. I’d definitely like to hear her give the team some Cape Epic tips.


Yeah, I was joking around, but I would like to actually hear what advice she has to give them, etc. Personally I’m loving the MTB content and Cape Epic discussions, so I’m all for it.

I also legitimately would love to see her give it a go now too. Specialized and Scott both go pretty all in on the men’s race, and Annika often goes with someone for Specialized, so I’d love to see Kate and maybe Erin Huck have a go at it together on the Scott side of things. Would likely make for an exciting race.


How much of her weight training is related to the requirements of mountain biking compared to what she might consider is needed for road cycling? How does she quantify the stress from her weight training to minimize overworking the body from the totality of the weight training and the on-the-bike training? How does she quantify all of the (training) stress of riding a mountain bike that includes things outside of just pedaling? How does her on-the-bike training evolve throughout a season in regards to using a road (and gravel?) bike versus a mountain bike to do base miles, intervals, skills work, etc.?

Can Courtney explain how much tactics are involved in winning an XC MTB race? It looks like that most of the times the strongest riders wins in XC MTB. When you compare it to road cycling where tactics and many external factors determine the results.

I do not really see this in XC MTB, excepts for flats and mechanicals.

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I think it’s a new Scale hardtail. It’s due for a refresh, and there was reference to another ultralight hardtail to be released this week in the CyclingTips article about the new Canyon Exceed.


The new scales are already in some stores. They are the same frame as last year. The bike she was riding had huge tires, like a trail or Enduro bike.


Ah yes good catch, those are some beefy tires. The bars look a little wide too.

Not sure what it would be then. I think the Genius and the trail version of the Spark both have pretty modern revisions, right?

Here it is. Genius?

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How is her strength training periodized? For Build, base and race season? When it’s race season what Does her “maintenance” strength session usually consist of?
Rooting for her to crush the Olympics next year and all races for that matter :muscle:

She was running tire inserts for some of the events last year. Be curious on her thoughts regarding these and whether she runs them day to day on her training bikes.