No train, no gain
What does it take to be a World Champion? In episode 2 of Rising we follow Kate Courtney behind the race tape to learn what it takes to be the fastest mountain bike racer in the world.Strength training
Competition at the top of elite mountain biking takes more than long days on the bike. It’s about training that makes you ready to endure and perform under any circumstance come race day. This means designing a program that is dynamic putting you in new situation that challenge your mind and your body.Kate's training routine
Typically, Kate rides every day and spend 2-3 days per week in the gym. Her rides often involve a series of intervals and are done on the mountain or road bike while her double days usually involve slightly shorter rides. She rides anywhere from 15-25 hours a week and spends roughly 3-6 hours in the gym. Outside of this, She spends training time doing yoga, stretching and focusing on recovery. You can only train as hard as you can recover!
For those just starting out, Kate's biggest advice is to just spend more time on the bike and to identify specific skills you’d like to the work on during your time out on the trail. While you can get increasingly specific with intervals, time in the gym, etc - the most valuable thing you can do as a beginner or intermediate rider looking to improve is to put in more hours on the bike.
Outside of the added volume, she highly recommends working on functional core (not just planking!) and making sure to have a good stretching/recovery routine. A lot of the work that she does in the gym and for recovery are for injury prevention and to help her stay strong and healthy while pushing her body over a long period of time.
People underestimate recovery! Kate approaches her recovery as seriously as her training and she thinks it makes a huge difference. If you can recover between sessions, you are able to push much harder overall and have a much higher chance of avoiding illness and injury.Mental
Mental strength, while perhaps the most important tool of all, it is undoubtably also the most challenging to master. Yoga and meditation are important piece of the training puzzle that allow Kate to keep her mind clear and focused come race day.Road and trail
Riding on the road with her Contessa Spark RC 900 or SCOTT Foil allows Kate to train consistently using intervals to maximize output and efficiency. This gives her the power she needs to put down the pedals on a technical root section or sprint to the finish line for the win.Race
Race day. This is what it all comes down to. Part of the battle is putting in the work, the second part is trusting that what you’ve done is enough, that you’re ready. While Kate’s hard work, dedication, and determination is no question, it isn’t until race day that the true test is taken. Winning the first two World Cups of 2019 proved that Kate is a force to reckoned with.
Video: Rained Upon Media
Photos: Rained Upon Media