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    5 Training Secrets for Mountain Bike Racers

    Get into tip-top shape by following these 5 training secrets from Swedish Marathon MTB XCO rider, Jennie Stenerhag.

    Mountain biking requires a balance of strength as well as cardiovascular health to support you through a competitive race.

    When a mountain bike rider wants to improve their performance, there are many important factors they should take into consideration.

    We have asked Elite Pro Rider, Jennie Stenerhag, to help you create a new level of confidence by following her 5 training secrets that helped her to master the craft.

    Jennie Stenerhag posing with her gold medal

    If you want to start training, here are five tips you need to consider. 


    Take skills lessons

    You can save a lot of time and energy by being more technically skilled. If you feel confident and safe on technical terrain, you will use energy and can recover on these parts instead of tensing up and wasting energy. 

    Strengthen your upper body

    Many cyclists are weak in the upper body since we mostly use our legs when we ride but for mountain biking, especially on the downhill single tracks it is good to have strong arms and shoulders to cope with all the vibration of the handlebars.


    Use longer and/or hard training sessions to test the race nutrition so that you don’t come to the race and realize that the nutrition doesn’t sit well with your digestive system.5 Training Secrets for Mountain Bike RacersLuke Moir grabbing water at WC XCO - Silverback bikesFan meets Jennie Stenerhag - Silverback bikes

    Invest in good cycling bibs

    It is worth every penny to be comfortable on the saddle. Saddle sores are probably the worst pain a cyclist can have during a race such as the Absa Cape Epic 2020!

    New equipment

    Before a big race like the Absa cape epic, I wouldn’t suggest a new bike or a new set up. It is too much of a risk of getting small niggles from a change of position etc. Stick to what you know and what you are used to.


    Practice your start

    Ever started an MTB XC Race and your pedal slipped? It is important to practice you’re your start so that your reaction time is fast enough to get ahead.

    Train with a dropper post

    This one is a bit of an equipment tip but relates to skills training too. More and more top racers are using the benefits of dropper seat posts in both training and racing.

    Dropper Post - Silverback Bikes
    Surface Dropper Seat posts

    They’re especially useful when you’re doing track reconnaissance, allowing you to ride steep and technical sections for the first time with greater confidence.

    Correct Posture

    The correct posture is essential for your back. Make sure your mountain bike is the proper size and fit, this will help with fatigue and risk of any injury. Back pain can develop if you don’t exercise proper posture.


    Remember that all points need maximum effort to do any good. It’s important to train both on and off the bike and schedule rest days. Focus on increasing your endurance, building strong legs and engaging your core muscles.