Sore Legs while Descending on Mountain bike

I completed my 2nd Mtb marathon at the weekend. It was 8 hours, complete as many laps as you could in the 8 hours.

By about lap 4/5 my legs were screaming on the descents, I was actually looking forward to the climbs to give my legs a break from the pain. I took a skills course a few months ago which covered position on the bike so thought I was positioned correctly, as I was new to mountain biking at the start of the year. I was on my trek hard tail, with a dropper fitted. I didn’t have a dropper in my first event so was obviously using the saddle to support me while descending.

Is there something I can do to train for this? Or am I positioned wrong? Just not strong enough? Or will it just come with time?

8 hours of riding on a HT is hard work!

Downhill is work too! Anyone who think otherwise should do a full day in bike park with chair lift and see if that change their mind :wink:

Was it only your legs? No fatigue in shoulders, no arm pump etc?


I think it is pretty normal to get a lot of leg burn while descending, especially 4 hours in. I definitely feel it more when I haven’t been mountain biking as much. Something else, just as an fyi in case you are the same as me - I have a bad habit of squatting when I should be hinging more. If I get sloppy about that, I end up putting more work on the quads when it should be better distributed to the posterior chain a bit.

Yeah only my legs that were the problem. Shoulders, arms and back were all fine.

Thanks. Good to know.

Yep, totally normal but i guess you could work on calf raises to help in that standing position?
IDK what do others think on strength training to combat this