TOP TIPS FOR A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SPORT
BALANCE: there is often pressure to hone in on a single objective without compromise. Be flexible and keep variety in your lives to develop a good foundation. Try different events, keep fun group rides in the plan, and use cross-training to keep things dynamic.
SKILLS: getting *physiologically* faster is pretty cut and dry and tends to be a relatively responsive experience. Skills, on the other hand, are what allow you to capitalize on that fitness and are all-too-often overlooked. Dedicate some time to them and be intentional!
RECOVERY: “train hard, recover harder”. Don’t be afraid to take it easy, spin, or just not ride! Recovery is what enables you to gain from all those days of work you put in. In fact, these are the days where those "lego blocks" get stacked up start to build your fitness.
NUTRITION: fuel your workouts accordingly so that you can maximize the benefits from them. Don’t skimp on food/fuel when it you have a key workout, race, etc. When off the bike, focus on really quality, balanced meals and eating to your needs: ie. don’t fall for stereotypes around what an athlete “should look like”. STRONG IS FAST.
PROCESS: embrace the process of developing in the sport. It is easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing (or say you should be doing) and lose your own “north star”. Highlight your calendar with important “A Events” (MTB Nationals, NICA Season, Championship events, etc.) but don’t be afraid to venture out. Pick races and events that you truly enjoy, plan fun weekend MTB getaways with friends or family, and keep it fun.
Carson Beckett, 22 // UCI MTB Racer // Coach // // Student // Outdoor Enthusiast