Audio Master Class: The Roller Coaster Ride

This profile is called The Roller Coaster Ride. It is a mountain biking simulation of a very fun, twisty-turny, up and down, adrenaline-filled single track. There’s a long, hard grind uphill on a jeep trail before we even get to the start of that single track, so there is a large mental component as well. This ride is modeled after many of the single track routes around where I live in the Rocky Mountains. Almost all of them require a very long steady climb, in real life sometimes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes or longer before the “fun” part starts!

By its nature, mountain biking is more anaerobic than road riding. The gearing allows you to go up much steeper hills than you could on the road, and you are often faced with sudden very steep climbs after speeding down steep descents. To excel on the more challenging trails, a rider must have excellent fitness. An aerobic base is needed, but also, a well-developed anaerobic capacity is necessary. Therefore, high-intensity interval training is one of the best ways to prepare for these kinds of rides.

Although this ride is advanced, just like any other indoor cycling class, you can coach your students to take it at their own level. But for those who have been training consistently, this is an opportunity to give it their all. If they do happen to ride mountain bikes outside, they will recognize that anaerobic burn, and will be grateful for all the systematic interval training you’ve been giving them in their classes! All types of intervals are helpful for a profile such as this: longer lactate threshold intervals, medium-length very hard VO2 max intervals, and the shorter 1- to 3-minute lactate tolerance intervals.

You will also see that this profile has a huge mental component, with cues to help you inspire your students to stay committed to the climbs. In short—this one has it all!

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