How to Recover Faster when Riding

If you are left gasping for air, and having to stop regularly to recover when riding, then you need to read this!

You put a ton of effort into your bike rides. You get up early to load your bike with all your kit. Then meet the lads on route, after which you drive a fair distance to get the best terrain. Once your bike is offloaded, you kit up and off you go……..

For the first hour you feel fine. But then it hits. Exhaustion! Those hill climbs are killers! You feel weak, out of breath and even nauseous. And it sucks!!

You stop and to take a good 10-minute rest, re group with the lads, then off you go again. Only to find yourself in the same shattered position again as soon as the next hill climb says ‘hello’.

Those guys passing you on the hills, who only stopping for a quick 2 minute rest, if at all – are so annoying! But how do they keep riding at that intensity and pace?

If you can relate to the above then you are in the same position as Paul was 3 months ago. He was the typical weekend warrior, didn’t race much, but of course had the dream to finish Roof of Africa. He quickly realized that hitting the weight section of the gym 3 three times a week, with two ad-hock cardio sessions squeezed in (on a good week) was not going to cut it for improved recovery when riding. Not a chance!!

So he changed the way he trained to be more specific to dirt bike riding, (rather than the beach body type strength training most guys typically do) … and wah-lah! Not only did his recovery rate improve while riding but he is now able to ride for longer and he lost 7kg of fat with out even trying! Bonus!!

So what changed? Paul’s new dirt-bike fitness routine that dramatically improved his recovery times is as follows:

Super-set a strength exercise with an explosive exercise:
Combining these two types of exercises as opposed to doing them separately, will rapidly get your heart pounding through your chest – which is what need to happen to be better conditioned for riding.
For example: do 10 push ups then immediately afterwards do 10 squat jumps. Do not rest for more than 20 seconds, then repeat. Keep going for 4 minutes, then change your exercises. Train like this twice a week.

Dedicate one weekly session to core training:
A strong core gives you improved balance, which saves you energy when riding, so it’s super important to dig deep into your core training, not leave it as an afterthought. Include exercises that require you to rotate (russian twists), hold a position isometrically (the plank), extend (roll outs with a wheel or barbell) and contract (sit ups). Combine your core exercises with intervals of cardio for example 2 minutes of skipping.

Include lots of balance work:
Do as many exercises as possible on one leg at a time. This not only strengths your stabilizers but forces your core work harder to hold your position still. Remember, you are not riding a stable object.

Limited rest during sessions:
All gym sessions have very limited rest, from only 20 seconds to a maximum of 1 minute (only if u are really sucking gas). Start the next set of your program before you feel ready to Fast-track your fitness like a hole-shot start on an MX track!

2 rest days in the week:
Yes, that’s right. Because of the change in intensity in the above training tips, rest days are as important as training days so your body can efficiently recover, prevent exhaustion and there by provide you with more energy on riding days.

Why does the above help improve riding recovery times?
1. When your balance is on point, you will save energy by not continuously having to counter correct yourself.

2. When your core is powerful, you will be able to generate energy as opposed to relying on brute muscular strength which will eventually fail you.

3. When you are fitter, you are conditioned to riding though fatigue, thereby rest periods become shorter.

Being physically able to max out on your riding is exactly what you want to justify the cost and the time you put into your sport. You don’t need fancy equipment you just need to train correctly.

If you need help getting your fitness for riding to the next level or you just don’t know where to start, then get hold of us at Base Fit. All coaches are trained to get you the maximal results for your riding fitness.
Please also send your questions to and I will address them. If you found this article helpful please follow us on Instagram #basefitsportfitness and