Holiday Fitness

'Am I fit enough?'

Our guests sometimes ask this question, usually over a glass of wine at the farmhouse, the evening before the first day's riding.

Pure Mountains is based the high mountains of the the Sierra Nevada. It's a huge mountain range, which can challenge even the strongest of riders.

But, we are a mountain bike holiday (vacation) company and the idea is that you ride as hard as you want to. We adjust each day's rides to suit your needs and the ever-present 4 x 4 back-up is there to encourage confidence and peace of mind.

If you would like to put some preparation for your mountain bike adventure, here are some pointers.

  1. There is no real substitute for riding your bike. All forms of exercise can help and provide variety, but if you want to ride your bike quickly over a long distance, then you need to ride your bike quickly over a long distance.
  2. Ride on the road too. Simply put, an hour spent on tarmac will involve more pedalling than an hour off-road and the muscles benefit from the repetition. Most committed mountain bikers ride a road bike, too.
  3. Core excercises help protect you from fatigue and injuries. Sit ups, press ups etc stabilise and strengthen the areas around which the biking specific muscle groups work. Most serious cyclists will spend the off season concentrating on these areas.
  4. It's a brutal truth, but in cycling the lighter you are, the faster you will ride. Obviously there are limits, but most of are nowhere near them.
  5. Don't forget to stretch. Warm up slowly, exercise and then stretch at the end. A few minutes spent on the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps (thighs) and glutes (bottom) will really help with recovery and injury prevention.
  6. Setting a goal is incredibly useful for motivation and success, but it must be realistic. Being fit and fast all year is not a realistic or measurable goal. However, to ride your local circuit in your best time or to lose a kilo or so before a set date is.
  7. Lots of people use a heart rate monitor and / or power meter and they are extremely beneficial. Fundamentally, they tell you how hard you are working and what you need to be doing to achieve specific goals.
  8. Buy lots of shiny bike kit. There is nothing like a bit of new bling to encourage you out on the trail.

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