Early season fitness makes for healthy bike season

Mountain biking can be one of the most exciting and fun new hobbies for many people since provincial health orders recommended people spend their time outside.
Jase Petersen, hitting the trails in seasons past. Photo Sam Egan.

Mountain biking can be one of the most exciting and fun new hobbies for many people since provincial health orders recommended people spend their time outside.

Mountain biking can also be a fast, high flying and high impact outdoor recreation that can leave some bent and bruised.

Not only are impact injuries like broken collarbones, sprained wrists, or concussions common, but preventable overuse injuries are also inherent to the sport.

Jase Petersen, owner and head coach at Sun Peaks Alpine Fitness as well as a former level one mountain bike instructor, spoke with SPIN to provide readers with recommendations on how to prepare themselves with simple fitness and prehab exercises for their first, fifth, or fiftieth season.

A full body strength and conditioning program during the offseason with a focus on your core, arms and legs, is the best way to be prepared for the season according to Petersen.

Petersen advised for the early season, to take things slow and build up to bigger features, get used to the trails and bike park as they could have changed from last season and muscle memory may not have lasted over the winter.

“Maybe you’re on a new bike that you need to get a feel for, or that lip on your favourite jump might kick differently. Having [a conservative] approach on these things can help ensure you start strong and have an awesome season.” Petersen said.

Another common issue which plagues many riders throughout the Sun Peaks Resort Bike Park season is what’s known as “arm pump.”

Arm pump happens when a tight, prolonged grip on handlebars creates a lactic acid build up in the forearms causing tightness, pain, and/or fatigue anywhere from the elbow down to the fingers.

Petersen advised squeezing a stress ball on and off throughout the day can help your forearms and hands get conditioned for bike season.

“A lacrosse, tennis or golf ball can also be used to roll out your forearms. Place the ball on a flat surface and roll out your forearms with light pressure to release the muscle tension.”

Navigating tech trails in the Sun Peaks Resort Bike Park. Photo Sam Egan.

Petersen also added a good stretching routine can not only reduce soreness and fatigue from long days on the trails, but also allows your body to move the way it was meant to.

“Stretching can elevate some injuries and helps you make the bike do what you need it to so you can crush laps all day.”

If riders are interested in getting coached or wondering if it’s right for them, Sun Peaks Alpine Fitness is currently offering up to 40% of all 90 minute initial consultations which includes a program to get started with their professional kinesiologist, personal trainers and sports coaches who specialize in injury recovery, sport specific training, performance athletes, those with chronic conditions, strength and cardio conditioning as well as athletic and agility training. 

Visit www.sunpeaksfitness.com or call 250-578-7707 to learn more.

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