Forget fartlek*

You don’t have to follow a rigorous training plan to get faster on your bike. Just follow MBR’s alternative training plan to get you speedier by stealth.

Train by stealth climbs

1. Don’t rest at the top of climbs

On your Sunday ride you can get in the habit of stopping to regroup at the top of a trail before heading down it.

That’s great, but riding something when you’re feeling fresh is a whole different experience to riding it when you’re already breathing out of your backside — which is something you’ll need to do in most enduros. Ride a climb fast and head straight into a trail to improve both your fitness, and the skill of riding when tired.

Train by stealth all conditions

2. Ride no matter what the conditions

It’s all well and good to put the hours in on dry summer days, but what happens when it tips down on raceday and you find yourself out of your comfort zone?

You need to be prepared, so ride when the weather is at its worst now and then to get used to that special ‘sodden’ feeling. Apply this logic to anything that makes riding harder — including harsh summer sun!

3. Ride blind

Some races allow practice runs on the course and some don’t. Either way, at some point it’s likely you’ll come across something unexpected, so get used to riding unfamiliar terrain and trails.

We’re not suggesting riding at 110 per cent down a trail you’ve never ridden, but take it a bit easier, and always be prepared to stop if you don’t know what’s on the other side of a drop or jump.

Train by stealth clipless

4. Clipless or flats? Try both!

One minute flat pedals are touted as performance boosting, the next it’s SPDs. The truth is it’s worth experimenting with both. They each have advantages — clipless pedals let you sprint out of turns faster and stop your feet getting bounced on rough sections, while flats are easier to dab with and let you apply more pressure on the outside of the pedal for better cornering.

*Fartlek, according to Wikipedia “means “speed play” in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training”