Before you can compete in a race, you need to get in shape first by knowing the three energy systems of your body. You use these energy systems in any activity, particularly in bike racing downhill or cross country. By doing the exercises that boost them, you do yourself a favor – you allow yourself to reach its maximum potential.
The ATP or adenosine triphosphate system is a sudden surge of energy that gives you the necessary combustion to start a certain activity. All of us contain this kind of energy. It pumps you up and gets you going. You experience this during the first few seconds and it gradually slows down until such time when you needed to replenish it. Because it is highly intense, you need to perform the exercises associated with it at long intervals.
Another energy system that you use in a bike race is the glycolytic system, which has a longer sustaining power than the ATP. Although it has lesser intensity, it can keep you going for the first few minutes. What happens when this energy system is used is that the body uses the lactic acid in muscles with minimal oxygen. A good way to boost your glycolytic system is to do weight-lifting or fast climbing on steep elevations.
The aerobic system is your source of energy for long hours of downhill or cross country biking. Mountain biking is usually a prolonged activity so you need to sustain your body with the right amount of energy to keep it going. In this system, the oxygen breaks the glycogen components of your muscles and transforms them into carbon dioxide. Your goal when training to increase your aerobic system is to achieve endurance and stamina.
There are two ways to develop these energy systems: stationary and trail training. With stationary training, you simply sit on a fixed, indoor bike and spend hours pedaling. The trick here is to pedal at different acceleration so that you achieve both power and sustainable energy.
Trail training is a little more exciting and customizable. This works best if you live near a long terrain with different features and difficulty. But it won’t help much in your fitness goals if you allow your body to be accustomed to the quirks and nuances of the trail. You need to treat it as more of a workout, giving emphasis on the difficult spots and steep elevations.
Sorting through a selection of mountain bikes for sale is essential in achieving your goals. There are different types of mountain bikes that work in different bike cycling scenarios. If the trail has many technical obstacles, you can make use of full suspension mountain bikes because of its suspension front and rear. Hardtail racing mountain bikes do not have rear suspension are more suited on easy trails with minimal bumps or rough spots. If you have the luxury of having downhill trails or steep terrains, you can make use of downhill mountain bikes which contain a more intense suspension system than the other types. This will help greatly when you’re on a downward course at full speed.