How are competitive mountain bikers training: an assessment of frequencies, modalities, and durations

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University of Alabama Libraries

The popularity of mountain biking has increased steadily over the past 10 years, and the number of competitive mountain bikers increases on a yearly basis. High physical conditioning is essential in performing well within the sport. As important as the training component is, very little is known as to how competitive mountain biker's train in an effort to enhance performance. Physiological parameters associated with success within the sport of mountain biking have been identified, as well as training suggestions for performance enhancement. However, these training suggestions targeted towards mountain bikers are not data driven. For the purposes of the present study, frequencies, durations, and modalities of exercise training among competitive mountain bikers were assessed, as well as recovery. A clear theoretical model was created to provide insight into how competitive mountain bikers are training. This model guided the present investigation and helped determine whether or not competitive mountain bikers are incorporating training techniques specifically targeted towards improving the physiological characteristics associated with success within the sport of mountain biking. Forty competitive riders completed a one-time in-depth online survey designed for the purposes of this study. The development of the present survey was driven by exercise training modalities known to increase the performance parameters associated with successful mountain bike riding. Participants represented all regions of the United States and were recruited through university sponsored sports club teams and NCAA intercollegiate teams. Competitive riders affiliated with local and national racing chapters were also contacted as potential participants. Results from the present study suggest that riders are participating in training modalities shown to increase physiological markers associated with successful mountain bike riding. Additionally, a majority of riders are adhering to the recommendations of workout frequency, as well as the recommended duration of these workout sessions. Findings from the current study also suggest that riders spend a majority of their exercise training on the trail.

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