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Everyone races Enduro, but who knows how to train for it? Enduro MTB Training demystifies how to be strong and fit for Enduro

Let’s face it, Enduro is the most exciting mountain bike race format to come along since downhill racing started many moons ago.

Where else can you get the excitement, treachery, danger and speed from downhill, and the grueling cardio, lung-burning transition stages all thrown together in a multi-stage, multi-day race format… simply awesome!

Like you, mountain biking is a major part of my life. I think about it all the time. I visual lines on the local trails I’ve ridden a million times here in Denver, I dream about new parts, and, of course, I constantly think about how to be faster!

And in wanting to be faster, it’s easier to think, “Oh, I need the next latest and greatest fork, shock, wheel set, etc. Maybe a “one by” set up will help, or a new pair of Maxxis tires?”

Well, as much as we both know that having some of those things CAN help make you faster, the sad reality is that you’re still going to be limited by your physical skills and fitness level!

Ooooo, I know some of you hate to hear that, and are probably saying to your self, “I don’t train, I just ride all the time and I’m the fastest guy I know!”

I get that argument, but it was also the argument that most pro snowboarders were making when I started working with some of the worlds best half pipe riders back in 2003, but now look where they are as a sport… they all train hard, and because of that, snowboarding has forever changed. The same thing was said by most pro Supercross racers back in 2000. Not many of those guys were working out, but now, every single one of them has training and conditioning coaches.

And yet again, in 2004 when I started working with PGA tour players, only 20 percent of the players trained on a regular basis with five of us trainers on tour. Today, 95 percent of players have an entire staff that helps them perform their best.

Well guess what?

Now it’s time for the next revolution to take place in mountain biking, and that’s training for Enduro, which is why I

With the first year of the Enduro World Series accomplished and a “first ever champion” this year, as well a hugely successful Big Mountain Enduro series on the domestic front, Enduro is here to stay and it’s only going to get bigger, better and badder!

Enduro World Series director Chris Ball already has already set the stage for 2014.“The Enduro World Series’ 2014 search for the world’s best all around mountain biker will take us all over the world, into varying terrain and spectacularly diverse environments. We’re excited to be able to branch into two new countries in our second year and create a series of races that will cross oceans and hemispheres, and grow the community of global enduro mountain bike riders and fans.”

That’s awesome!

So… what about you?

Where are you at? What do you want to do in Enduro?

Perhaps you’re an ex-XC racer looking to get into Enduro, where you’ll do just fine in the transitions, but may suffer and have some difficulty in the downhill sections?


Maybe you’re a downhiller, BMX or dirt jumper and you’re looking to get into Enduro racing but may not be strong in the cardio strength and endurance aspect of things, or the overall fatigue that you can experience with back-to-back stages?

Well, here’s what I can tell you… in order to be fast in Enduro racing, you need a combo of stability, mobility, strength and power.

Because unlike the cycling training community, I believe that Enduro is a whole other bag of tricks! Seriously, think about how much goes into a successful Enduro race. It involves a huge amount of strength, stamina, balance, coordination, stability, bike handling skills, fuel management strategies, and recovery techniques that will all be different than most anything we’ve ever done in mountain bike training! Then, on top of it, you must be able to “keep all this together” for multiple stages over multiple days.

So, “how should it be done,” you ask?

Great question!

There is one way to get there, and we call it our “Performance Pyramid,” and it’s the way we’ve built our athletes for over 20 years.

Think of it as building athleticism from the ground, up. After all, we mountain bikers are athletes and we have to train that way. Here’s how we look at it:

We call it our, “Performance Pyramid", and it goes a little something like this…

Performance Pyramid
First, Program #1, the green section of the “Performance Pyramid,” is “Rebuild and Restore,” and it’s where we fix the cracks in the foundation, so to speak. This, is where most athletes don’t spend enough time because it seems “too easy.” Yes, it may seem easy, but the goal is to identify weaknesses, instability, inflexibility’s and immobility’s in your body, and then fix those issues with a properly prescribed program that will help create a really strong foundation to build upon in the coming phases. After all, YOUR performance pyramid is only as strong as the base is wide!

Foam Rolling
Now Program #2, the yellow section of the “Performance Pyramid,” focuses on Stability and Mobility, BUT the difference from the first program is, we begin to move toward more “movement pattern” re-education by utilizing the newfound flexibility freedom and posture platform that was created in Program #1.

Horizontal Wood Chops
In Program #3, the orange section of the “Performance Pyramid,”, we focus on Strength. Now we start to have some more fun in the training by laying down a strong foundation so that in Program #4 you can have access to your power! Here we are challenging not just the muscle system, but also strengthening your balance, coordination, and pushing that nervous system to another level.

Stationary Lunge
Lastly, in Program #4, the red section, we come to the top of the “Performance Pyramid,” and it’s Power. Finally! It’s time to take advantage of your mobility, stability, new posture, new movement patterns, and strength! It’s here we start to add speed to the equation by utilizing plyometrics and speed exercises. We’ve chosen movement patterns and exercises designed to bring your body to its full ability to lay some some serious sprinting horsepower for the downhill sections, and for those uphill transition bursts sometimes necessary during a multi-stage event.

Squat with Dumbell Press
Make sense? Have questions of how this can translate into a program just for you?

Contact us by going to our temporary website, ”LIKE” us on Facebook, or send us an email with any questions!

Till then, get ready, cause we’re going to help Enduro racers and mountain bikers take their riding to a completely new level… will you be one of them?

Ride hard and fast.

Dee Tidwell
WEB //
TWITTER // @endurotraining
FACEBOOK // @enduromtbtraining
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