Are you determined to make this the year you get fitter, improve your skills and finally push your riding on?

Strength Factory’s Ben Plenge, has some advice for making those new year’s resolutions really work.

Good luck and – as always – tell us what you think down in the comments!

You can use the code Wideopen2019 for 50% off the first month of Ben’s MTB Strength training programme. Available here

If you’d prefer to watch, here’s a proper, in-depth chat about making your new year’s resolutions stick:

Or you can listen to the audio here (great for the car)

Take it away Ben …

Like me, did you spend your Christmas getting excited about entering the Megavalanche, the race season ahead or maybe looking at Alpine Holidays?

Mayne you want to climb up the results sheet and hit the top step of your local race or just get your best results ever? Maybe you just want to feel stronger for your summer holiday in Morzine.

The good news is that it doesn’t need to be complicated. I’m a big believer in keeping things simple, so I wanted to give you some advice to help you map out your training over the next few months…

“it doesn’t need to be complicated.

I’m a big believer in keeping things simple”

1. Work out how much time you actually have.

Be realistic. Think long term, not just about January.

It must be sustainable for your work/life balance and be sustainable in terms of your personal relationships.

Ask yourself how much time you have to ride, to train your fitness and still live a normal healthy life. Don’t just think about now when it’s quiet in the winter, think about your busiest time of the year also.

Try to be specific and set aside times in your diary that you can dedicate to training. This might be a time you’re otherwise sat on the sofa watching Netflix or it might be that you change one of your regular rides to be more focussed on improving skills or fitness.

2. Be honest – what do you need to work on the most?

Take some time to evaluate yourself. Work out what you need to do to improve the most.

Is it strength, core, climbing, body composition (are you carrying too much fat from Christmas?), grip, or skills that hold you back and restrict your riding?

Write a list of these things. We want to work on these between now and the spring before it all kicks off.

If you’re unsure maybe chat to your mates who you ride with and use them for a bit of advice.

3. Break your time down into 4 week blocks.

Get a calendar.

Each block will be 3 weeks of training then 1 easier recovery week where you rest more and train less.

Also account for things like family holidays and don’t stress if a couple of these training blocks are 3 or 5 weeks long to fit around other things.

Keep it simple.

Google Calendar is an easy to use free online calendar.

Trello is a great and free piece of software for making lists.

(LEARN MORE: We’ve got some really good advice on making training plans here, also by Ben)

4. Give priority to 2 things in each training block

Look at your list of things you’d like to improve.

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Pick 2 priorities and focus your training on those. You can’t do everything so work on the things that will have the most benefit.

For example:

Block 1: Mobility and endurance.

Block 2: Strength and skills coaching.

Block 3: Uplift days and sprint training.

Remember: even though you have these things to concentrate on you’ll still do your normal rides with your mates and get plenty of your usual riding in.

5. Plan for the time you have.

Now plan your time out for the first block of training to achieve the goals you have set, and using the time you have available.

Keep it simple. Be realistic. Leave time for your normal rides.

6. How did it go?

At the end of block 1, ask yourself “How did it go?”.

Are you exhausted all the time and need to back off next month?

Was it too much of a stretch with work, the family and real life stuff?

Could you do a little bit more as you feel like you are fitter and stronger.

Adjust for the 2nd block and continue as above.

7. Remember to ride your bike as much as you can.

Just remember – you’re doing this to have more fun and be better on your bike.

Keep riding. Don’t take it too seriously. Enjoy yourself.

8. Pick a goal to work towards and feel strong and confident when you get there

Why are you doing this?

Pick an event, a trip, a race or a ride to aim for and build towards that.

Build your training up to that and have a wicked time, feeling confident in your skills and fitness. Enjoy the fruits of your hard work and feel the benefits!

Last but not least, here’s some extra reading to help you get started.

Ben’s Strength Factory Complete MTB Programme is online here for riders of all levels. You can get 50% off the first month of Ben’s programme using the discount code Wideopen2019.

Read Wideopenmag’s guide to UK mountain bike fitness coaches.

… or our once-a-day stretch for mountain bikers to make you move better.

… or some advice on interval training for mountain bikers to make you fitter and faster.

… or some advice on how to make your own mountain bike fitness training plan.

… or some advice on riding your road bike through the winter to get fitter and faster.

If you’re looking for someone to help you get stronger on your mountain bike, you can give Ben a shout at MTB Strength Factory.


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