Mountain Bike Training
A mountain bike can be ridden on and off road it is a great way to exercise every time you go out the conditions are different. This can be very beneficial for Ironman and Triathlon training as it helps with bike handling and increases your bike handling skills.
This form off cycling takes you away from traffic.
Start off on easy flat paths and as you develop your skills look for more challenging difficult terrain. Even on a cold day riding off road in a wooded protected area could result in you getting hot so remember to have 50% more drink than you think you need.
When it is very windy, heavy rain or icy to cycle on the road off road is a great way to improve fitness and skills. Often cycling for half the time on muddy trails can leave you more tired than twice the time spent road riding.
Equipment. Any fat tyre mountain bike can be ridden off road; there are many types from level entry to specialize down hill bikes.
It is very important that your mountain bike is road worthy and reliable, as off road riding will soon let you down miles from anywhere.
Hydration pack (Camel back) are often the off road riders choice due to drinks bottles getting caked in mud or falling off. They are bladder filled with your favorite drink in a mini rack sack which can also be used for carrying mobile phone water proofs food tools etc. A hydration system also can have greater capacity up to 3.0 liters.
It is hard to take one hand off your handlebars and reach for a bottle while cycling along bumpy tracks. Clip less style pedals are the mountain bikers preferred choice, stopping your feet from slipping off, but you could un-clip any time just by twisting your ankle outwards.
Always take a good multi tool that has a wide selection of Allen keys for repairs like loose bolts and broken chain etc. Good reliable pump and 2 spare inner tubes are also required plus puncture repair kit. You can go months without a flat tyre then get 3 in one day.
Wear several layers allowing you good movement and the ability to be at the right temperature.
Aerodynamics is less important than riding on the road, Good balance is more important.
Gloves for protection are also invaluable to protect you against common minor falls. Wearing cycle mitts can save your hands from thorns, branches and stinging nettles especially along narrow tracks and paths.
Glasses are also part of experienced off road rider’s equipment to keep out dust mud grit and bugs. Helmets are a must from low branches flying up gravel and any crash. A good detailed map will help you discover parts that most riders ignore.
Mountain bike training is popular for Ironman and Triathlon athletes due to the fact that it can break up the routine of road riding. It is a safer option than riding on busy roads and can be very sociable. You often see Ironman and Triathlon athletes putting their road bikes into hibernation for the winter and out come the off road bikes for the colder months.