Video: Emily Batty Talks Training Environment & Steps to Getting Back to the Podium in Episode 3 of Ambitions

Jul 9, 2021
by Sarah Moore  

Ambitions 3: Environment and People
Words by Molly Hurford

In the third episode of Ambitions this season, Emily Batty and Laurie Arsenault are sharing some behind-the-scenes looks at the importance of the environment you're in and the people you surround yourself with. Racing on the World Cup circuit may only look like several weekends of racing each year, but it takes months of careful preparation to be ready for each race.

"We spend 300 days of the year preparing for nine 90 minute races," Batty says. "The chances of having opportunities for World Cup podiums and World Championship titles are so small... At the end of the day. You can prepare as much as you physically, can but your energy and the group environment is ultimately what is going to reflect in your mental state.

It's been a season of change for the Canyon MTB Team. For Batty, it's meant running an entirely new program with all new gear, and also helping a young teammate navigate her first elite World Cup season. "I truly believe that if you want to make change, you have to make hard changes in your life," she says.

That doesn't just mean narrowly focusing on training: It means prioritizing rest and recovery (in the form of a terrifyingly cold ice bath!). It also means taking time out from training to be part of the MTB community. In this episode, the team is helping with trailbuilding in Victoria, but of course, Batty also helps with youth programs in Ontario and even puts on Batty Cross, a local cyclocross race.

"Cycling is lifestyle. It doesn't have to just be training and racing," she says. "It's so much bigger than that, and it's always been bigger than that for us."


  • 15 1
 Excuse the ignorance if this is a common knowledge thing, but to athletes ACTUALLY drink Redbull (Monster, etc.)? Or do sponsors supply them with labeled cans of something better for you than an energy drink like, I don't know. . .water. . .tea. . .Gatorade. . .motor oil. . .?
  • 5 0
 I think I remember seeing at one point that sometimes they would pour out the redbull and put in water. Their contract says they have to drink out of red bull cans at events, but doesn't say they have to drink redbull.
  • 3 0
 in F1 you can see Max Verstrappen drinking water out of a large "redbull" all the time
  • 4 0
 Sealed cans with water in em. So you actually see them open the can and drink.
  • 4 0
 A friend who is an exercise physiologist was funded by Redbull to study it's performance enhancing... from a scientific perspective, it does not give you wings. Caffeine, on the other hand...
  • 3 1
 Sponsored athletes get cases of red bull with water inside. If you look on amazon/eBay you can usually find extra flats of it for sale. That's what most athletes drink when they're doing photo ops / video in pre / post race interviews etc.
  • 3 0
 Why don't sport drink manufacturers have a big presence in XC?

Makes no sense!
  • 1 0
 Probably with empty labeled cans. Wink
  • 16 2
 "I truly believe that if you want to make change, you have to make hard changes in your life," she says.

So to change, you need to change. Got it.
  • 2 1
 No, you gotta change hard. A valid point that I agree with. If you want effective change you often have to take a radical approach to it.
  • 1 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: a radical approach such as every bike should be spec’d with a dual crown and a gearbox.
  • 2 0
 The point of change she is describing dufus, is one of sacrifice, discipline and fortitude that elevates mind,body and spirit of humans to make easier the arduous task ahead which separates champions from participants. Not simple change like when you change from Doritos to Cheetos !
  • 16 1
 Keto diet and no Olympics.
  • 15 0
 This. I know correlation does not equal causation, but once she started advocating a really low carb diet, she stopped performing well. Kind of pulls the rug from under all the video content about food choice. I might be totally off here. Who knows what happens in her life that puts a damper on performance. Maybe traveling all the time to be in sunny conditions and seeing nobody is a factor too.
  • 9 3
 Keto is the most overhyped, unsustainable diet on the market. The Greek diets are easy better. The fact that Joe Rogan often promotes keto tells you everything you need to know.
  • 11 1
 I like the following her content/vlogs etc, the Iceland trip was really cool, but she's currently ranked 25th when she used to be fighting for podiums/top 5. Not sure what's up but she needs to get back in top 10 with how big a name she is, kind of like Gwin placing in the 30's in DH.
  • 13 2
 I also like the online content she’s putting out. Her vids help show all the work and thought that goes on outside of races. No matter where she places in the season, I think she’s a fantastic brand ambassador and proponent of mountain biking as a sport and lifestyle, and there’s a tremendous amount of value to her sponsors in that.
  • 3 1
 @MB3: 100% agree
  • 4 1
 Online presence is at least as important as results these days. Emily is always a joy to watch and puts out entertaining content. This matters to sponsors.
Also, how come these women are riding XC bikes on trails where I'd be on my coil shocked enduro bike?
  • 3 11
flag Themissinglink83 (Jul 9, 2021 at 13:43) (Below Threshold)
 Lol dude on pinkbike is mad that a female rider is ranked 25th in the world...what are you ranked?
  • 3 0
 @Themissinglink83: not mad, just saying trend of results is not going in the right direction given her exposure/profile. Of course she brings huge value to her sponsors, I was questioning the path forward if results don't improve, same thing with Gwin this year.
  • 3 0
 @gramboh: except for a few years, Gwin absolutely dominated DH…sure he’s on the way down (let’s face it, there’s only one Minnaar) but he had an amazing run.
  • 2 1
 Sponsorships have learned over the past several years it not podium race results that earn you sponsors but the following that you have. Take a look at SethBikeHacks, he doesn't race but has a big following and a number of sponsorships. What does Emilly have.... a big social media following.
  • 4 2
 @femto505: and she's an accomplished racer that has been doing it for 22 years. If she wasn't female, blond, and pretty doing social media posts for her sponsors wouldn't be a big deal.
  • 2 1
 @SunsPSD: because they are better riders than you and can handle bigger features with less suspension because of their talent and training that few of us, men or women, will ever reach.
  • 1 1
 @SunsPSD: Do you mean the type of trails you need wide rims, high volume rubber, and long travel droppers for?
  • 2 1
 Why does she "need" to get back to top 5? She obviously wants to do well but the competition is much higher than in the past. And she's in the top 25 in the world of her athletic discipline... nothing to sneeze at! She's ben pro for how long, 12yrs, maybe more? How many DH racers have been pro that long and consistently on the podium?
  • 3 0
 @pourquois-pas: She doesn't need to do anything...but she seems to like attention.
Catherine Pendrel has been doing it for much longer, has just had a baby and is going to the Olympics and is more competitive with the "much higher competition" (which is debatable at best).
  • 1 0
 @HGAB: It was a rhetorical question. But yes, agreed.
  • 14 4
 When do these ambitions lead to actual race results?
  • 6 0
 no comment.
  • 1 0
 im struggling to see what changes have been made aside from the frame manufacturer? as far as i can tell its still her family training and wrenching for her.
  • 1 2
 Watching Emily stay in that ice bath was pretty impressive. Huge mental toughness. I think I might even be quicker than Laurie out of that thing.
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