What kind of workouts should I look out for (or can anyone recommend anything specific) that would help me get stronger for off-road cycling?
I did some google’ing and also found something also called Repack Ridge? Is that still a thing, the articles were old, but sounds like that might be a good place to just ride (not in ERG/workout mode but just for the climbs?). They article was talking about steering though so I was a bit confused how that works and if I had to steer using the companion app or can just ride like normal.
Any advice or guidance would be much appreciated.
maybe some out-of-the-saddle intervals? Zwift workouts: Less than 60 minutes to burn » The Wringer | What's on Zwift? every little helps though, lots of evidence shows that steady state Z2 riding boosts endurance (if u have time to burn).
otherwise lots of mountain biking / off-roading comes down to bike handling skills.
What’s the terrain like on the outdoor rides you are talking about? If those rides have long climbs, then improving threshold power will be important. If it’s a lot of up and down with short steep climbs, you’ll want to focus on improving shorter duration power. And you may need to do some of both. Exactly how you do this depends a lot on the training volume you can do and how much time you have between now and any events you’re targeting.
I guess it depends on what style of mountain biking you’re looking to improve. In general Zwift doesn’t have a much different experience for MTB or road bike (they have some dirt on a few roads but all that does is slow your speed and kick up some dust in the UX, they have a MTB you can ride, but all that does is help you go faster than a road bike on dirt, and slower than a road bike on the road - neither is really going to help you train for MTB better).
They do have ‘dirt destroyer’ and 'singletrack slayer 'training plans, but I have never tried them, and I suspect they probably contains too many days per week of intensity for me personally, but someone else might have tried them and can comment on it.
I would say in general improving your fitness on the trainer is going to help your MTB rides. The thing that characterizes MTB here where I bike is very technical and sustained climbs, where you cannot stick to a certain power output because you’re always surging to get over a set of roots/rocks, getting punished for taking a bad line etc, so I find the main difference between my Zwift riding and my MTB riding is how wide and erratic my power spikes are as I’m ascending hills, going around tight corners, rocks, roots, etc… But, if your local rides are climbing up fire-roads, and then mainly descending single-track, your situation would be different and then the climbs would include much fewer big power spikes. Or, perhaps you have less elevation where you ride, and the rides are more undulating on singletrack etc…
Either way if you work on increasing your aerobic base, and threshold power those will both translate to getting better on the MTB too.
As stated, Zwift doesn’t have a ton focused on MTB, but there are three groups of ERG workouts that I know of:
Anna Lavigard Series (not sure on the name)
Dirt Destroyer Training Plan
Singletrack Slayer Training Plan
Those seem to have decent workouts you can pull from (I don’t want to follow the actual plans, personally, since they try to cram A LOT of stuff into a single week, like 4-5 hard days. There is also zero base/zone2 training in them. Choose good workouts from the plans and train according to your needs). You can find them in the list that looks like this, under the folders of the names above (not the workouts shown, pulled this off the google):
I’m sure whatsonzwift.com probably has good stuff too. Would also recommend this XC-specific plan: https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/xc-mtb-training-plan
I’m not a coach, so my opinion is probably not as valid. But hope that helps.
Repack Ridge is still a thing. It’s actually not a bad course, IMO, but steering indoors is weird so it makes it feel weird. Kickr Climb not recommended…
To ride it, you will need your phone, with Zwift Companion running, secured to your handlebars. Choose one of the Watopia routes that brings you southbound thru Titans Grove (ie Quatch Quest, Muir and the Mountain, Dust in the Wind). Ride for a ways, and right before you get to the KQOM, you will be prompted with an arrow to turn right (have to have Zwift Companion open to see it). Then, it should auto-place you on an MTB (I think), and prompt you to center your bars. When you do that and press confirm, it will count you down and away you go! You can steer and adjust the sensitivity of the steering with the slider.
Repack is about 8-10 mins long, has some pretty pitchy parts, both up and down. Zwift also grades you on your line choice, but it has weird criteria that you wouldn’t want to do IRL.
Unfortunately the course is not loopable, so you have to go back down to the beginning and turn around and make a right again, in order to do it again. It’s not a bad little guy, though, IMO!
Thanks. I live in FL so it’s not much climbing at all, just harder to ride on dirt/gravel vs pavement so want to get stronger there. I realize the rest is more skill vs conditioning.
it does help, thanks so much!
Thank you! I never would have figured that out on my own!!