Winter Training Check-In: Four Steps to Success

This is a guest post by our friend, Coach Mike Durner, who owns Durner Performance Coaching and helped us put together our two-stage training plan that’s included with all Chasing Epic trips.

March is here, and that means that your trip with Chasing Epic is getting closer. When Day 1 of your trip arrives will you be prepared for 100% of the epic fun?  Whether or not you were able to answer yes, we’re here to help you get there with four simple steps to integrate into your Winter (and soon Spring) training:




This is the most important piece of training: as much as you can, be consistent with getting on the bike 3 – 5 days/week. Be consistent with riding hard. Be consistent with sleep and taking time to recover. Be consistent eating, recovering and hydrating.

Besides forming the basis for building your fitness and skills, being consistent with training also helps you communicate to your family about expectations. The easiest way to build consistency- in my professional experience- is to put everything on the calendar (on your phone, at home, or wherever). Then when you block off time, share it and stick to it.




If you happen to be building your own training, simplify. The world’s best, most experienced coaches have maybe 4 or 5 different types of intervals that they use. Additionally they only use those high intensity workouts TWO days per week, max. The remaining days of a week are relatively easy and one or two of them should be longer rides.  They will run this cycle for 3 weeks and then give athletes a week of short easy rides to allow for recovery. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just simple and consistent.



Challenge Yourself


In building your preparation for a Chasing Epic trip, look for opportunities to ride trails for 3 – 4 days consecutively for 3 – 4 hours at a time. Long holiday weekends or taking off a Friday or Monday work best for these. This type of challenge will not only prepare you physically for your trip but also mentally. You will learn how you recover from day to day, and how you feel on your bike when you begin to fatigue. Lastly, this is also excellent time to put my next tip into practice and develop good habits to keep you going on your trip.


Fueling and Hydration


You can’t be your best and get the most out of your trip if you’re under-fueled or under-hydrated. During training, you can do perform workouts up to 60 min without specific fueling. Over that (especially on higher intensity rides) you’ll want to start taking in some fuel (100 – 200 calories of primarily carbohydrates) every 30 min. And on those Challenge weekends, don’t stop taking in calories just because you’re almost done with a ride; you don’t want to fade at the end, and these calories will help towards recovery and the following day’s effort.

For hydration, you’ll want to hydrate well on just about every ride. In moderate temperatures a good starting point is 1 small bike water bottle an hour with some electrolytes. When the temperature or elevation increases, your intake should also increase to 1.5 – 2 bottles an hour (but typically from a hydration pack!).  If you are a bigger rider, you may find that your intake for both calories and fluids trend toward the upper end of the suggestions. Fueling and hydrating well also helps you make good post ride food choices.

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AUTHOR: Steve Mokan

Steve is the owner (and founder) of Chasing Epic Mountain Bike Adventures, and contributes regularly to our blog. He's passionate about providing customers with incredible mountain bike vacations, and he loves photography and travel when he's not working. Truthfully, he loves those things when he is working too.