..I wrote this thinking some of you young guys might be able to benefit from it. I know when I was starting racing it took me a long time to learn how to train most effectively. I was always looking to find out what the pros were doing, but most of it seemed pretty secret. Some of my training methods are pretty unconventional, but if you race expert or even sport and start doing these methods to the T, you should have no problem at least winning a semi pro race. If you race pro you should be able to pick up at least one thing from this will make you faster. Also know when I was a kid I used to suck at riding bikes Im pretty sure I was the worst in my group and we all sucked, I just sucked more. So theres no natural talent here. My regiment changed quite a bit over the years through lots of trial and error. Last year I was at the peak of my racing heres what I used to do to train. Starting the training season (2 months before the race) every other day I would do a 9 mile cross country ride with all hills no flat ground. It would take about an hour and half. This was done on a DH bike with the seat down and a 38 tooth chain (a bigger ring is better. One time all I had was a GT test bike with a 42 front ring, I was a fcking steam engine after doing that for a few weeks.) At the end of each climb I would sprint out the last minute. So total for the ride was 1.5 hours, 2 sprints, each about 1 minute maybe more, and one timed run on the downhill, that was about a 5 minute course. (Also note as a semi pro I thought doing longer rides might help more, I got the point where I would do a 3 hour cross country ride on my DH bike, It didnt help, it actually made me slower. I was training my body for more endurance rather than an all out anaerobic burst.) Either immediately after that or after a 1 hour break, I would push up a DH trail and ride sections. Here I would work on cornering, braking and speed over rocks. Time spent was about 2 hours on a good day. (Side note: It was important after hitting a section perfect to never tell myself that was pretty fast believing its never fast enough was the only way I could get faster riding by myself.) On weekends I would do shuttle runs, with most of those runs being timed runs. 3 timed runs at least. I would try to do courses that were very similar to what I was going to be racing on. After doing timed runs, I would do on the bike plyometrics. For these you bunny hop as high as you can and then try to repeat without letting the suspension go through a cycle. So bunny hop, land, compress the suspension, and then do it again before the suspension rebounds. Do it until youre too tired to do any more, - repeat 3 to 5 times. If you do this correctly, you should be very sore the day after. dont do it before a race. Also try to mix it up, do hip bunny hops, switching left and right and then focus on landing smoothly. Bunny hop high, then use your muscle to land as smoothly as you can. Doing this youll be able to pre jump and flat land anything without crashing. As time got closer to the race I stopped the cross country rides and just focused on timed runs. I would do 5 timed runs on a course that was mostly pedaling and took 1. 45 to complete. At the end there was flat section with a double that forced me to sprint very hard or case the double. Mental images would be picturing beating arch nemesis Eric Carter, Rich Houseman, and others who stood above me on the podium. On recovery days (every other day) I would do a 20 to 30 minute spin. For these I go slow enough not to feel any burn in my legs. Also I do wheelies and try to ride them for as long as I can, wheelies help work your balance and thats important. Also on off days I would do an upper body workout. This was pull ups immediately followed by push ups. For pull ups I would try to mix up different holds and do max sets. On a strict schedule with creatine supplements I could max out at 25. For push ups I would do them on my knuckles (This helps toughen your arms to prevent injuries.) Touching my chest on the ground and then going all the way up. If I was doing really really good I could max out at 40, usually it was 30. ...This excersize was done Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, regardless of how I felt. For supplements starting a creatine cycle two or three weeks before the race made a big difference. I used the plain GNC black bottle with red label creatine. Before the race, I give 2 days where I dont do any hard training. Maybe spin Also other guys may have more insight. Varying the days off prior to a race I havent really tested. Im not a top pro, but I know some very successful racers read this board, if they could share training regiments that would be awesome. On the other hand I know some of you guys just show up and race and do nothing more. If youre lucky enough to be able to do that, thats awesome, but dont post it here. Also Im starting this because you guys know as well as I do the level of US competition needs to get higher. I know some young racers are highly driven and willing work their ass off to win. They just need to know what to do. Let me know your comments, and if you race pro and are or were serious some point, post up how you used to train!