How to Grow your Endurance & Race Readiness
Race Prep

How to Grow your Endurance & Race Readiness

Participating in a mountain bike or gravel bike race is not just about speed; it's about endurance and stamina. To conquer the challenging terrains and elevate your performance, building endurance is essential. In this blog post, we'll explore effective strategies to increase your endurance and ensure you're race-ready for that upcoming event. From training techniques to recovery practices, let's dive into the world of endurance cycling.

Setting the Foundation: A Holistic Approach

  1. Training Plan: A structured training plan is key to gradually building your endurance. Incorporate a mix of long rides, interval training, hill repeats, and recovery days. Gradually increase your mileage and intensity to prevent overtraining.
  2. Consistency: Consistency is key. Stick to your training plan, ensuring a balance between challenging workouts and rest days.
  3. Strength Training: A strong body can handle the demands of a race better. Include strength training exercises targeting your core, legs, and upper body to enhance overall stability and power.

Nutrition for Endurance

  1. Balanced Diet: Fuel your body with a well-rounded diet rich in complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, healthy fats, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  2. Carbohydrate Loading: As the race approaches, increase your carbohydrate intake to maximize glycogen stores and sustain energy levels.
  3. Hydration: Proper hydration is crucial for endurance performance. Drink water consistently throughout the day and replenish electrolytes lost during training.

Long Rides and Climbing Practice

  1. Progressive Long Rides: Gradually increase the duration of your long rides to simulate race conditions. These rides build mental and physical endurance.
  2. Hill Training: Mountainous races demand climbing ability. Include hill repeats in your training to improve leg strength and cardiovascular fitness.

Interval Training

  1. High-Intensity Intervals: Incorporate intervals of high intensity followed by recovery periods. This trains your body to tolerate higher levels of exertion and recover faster.
  2. Fartlek Training: During a ride, alternate between periods of intense effort and easy pedaling to simulate race dynamics and improve cardiovascular fitness.

Mindset and Mental Endurance

  1. Visualization: Visualize yourself riding the race course successfully. This mental preparation boosts confidence and reduces anxiety.
  2. Positive Self-Talk: Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations during challenging moments. A strong mental game enhances endurance.

Recovery and Rest

  1. Sleep: Quality sleep is essential for recovery and muscle repair. Aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night.
  2. Active Recovery: Incorporate easy rides or light cross-training sessions on recovery days to aid muscle repair and prevent burnout.


  1. Tapering Phase: In the week leading up to the race, gradually reduce training volume and intensity to allow your body to recover and store energy.
  2. Race-Ready Preparation: During the taper, focus on maintaining mobility and mental preparedness.


Endurance is the backbone of a successful mountain bike or gravel bike race. By following a comprehensive training plan, fueling your body with proper nutrition, mastering challenging terrains, and nurturing a strong mental mindset, you can be confident in your ability to conquer the race. Remember that increasing endurance is a gradual process; consistency and patience are your allies. As you put in the hard work and prepare your body and mind, you'll find yourself ready to embrace the thrill of the race and cross that finish line with pride.

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