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Mountain Bike Workout – Island Hill Repeats

The importance of workouts specifically designed for a certain courses is a topic we harp on regularly. When creating these workouts it’s best to work with someone who has done that specific course. So when we set out to invent a workout for XTERRA Saipan, we knew exactly who to talk to – Renata Bucher. The Swiss Miss, as she is affectionately known, has won XTERRA Saipan seven times. When it comes to knowing every twist and turn, every rock, root, bump, and climb of that course, she’s an expert.

Mountain Bike Workout - Island Hill Repeats - Renata Bucher - Aloha Racing - XTERRA Saipan

The following mountain bike workout was created by Renata, specifically for The XTERRA Saipan Championship event this coming March. Navy Hill Rd, in Saipan, is the perfect place to perform this workout because it is also the start of the bike course. But if you don’t happen to live in Saipan at the moment, the second best place to do this workout is on a hill that allows you to ride straight up for at least 4 minutes.

To gain a better idea of what type of hills you’ll be tackling at The XTERRA Saipan Championship, here is the Strava Segment.

Mountain Bike Workout - Island Hill Repeats - Strava - XTERRA Saipan

Warm Up

  • 20 to 30 minutes of easy riding. Use this time to ride to the bottom of a steady hill.
  • 2x – 4x building accelerations. Over 30 seconds, build up to a fast pace. Take plenty of rest between the accelerations. Remember, this is just a warm up, don’t go too hard too soon.

Mountain Bike Workout - Island Hill Repeats - XTERRA Saipan

Main Set

  • 3x – 5x uphill for 4 minutes at 100% effort. This effort should be the maximum that you can sustain for the full 4 minutes.  Alternate between standing and seated as necessary. For the last 5 seconds of each interval, explode into an all out SPRINT!
  • 4 min recovery. Ride down the hill and continue moving for the full 4 minutes. Keep this very easy, but don’t come to a full stop.
  • During each repeat, try to get a little bit further up than the previous one. This is a good way to ensure that you are going 100% effort each interval.
  • Before the final repetition, DO NOT take the full 4 minute recovery. Instead, as soon as you are at the bottom of the hill, point your wheels uphill and go. This will make the final interval very painful and difficult, but that is where the biggest gains are made.

Mountain Bike Workout - Island Hill Repeats - Renata Bucher - Aloha Racing - XTERRA Saipan Photo: XTERRA

 Cool Down

  • Minimum of 10 minutes easy riding. Spin those legs out nice and easy.

**Bonus Brick**

To get both mentally and physically ready to run off the bike try this quick 15 minute brick run immediately after your cool down.

  • 5 minutes of quick turnover (fast feet, don’t over stride) at a moderate to fast pace. Start at a moderate to fast pace, do not “ease into it”.  This should feel uncomfortable and difficult. If it’s easy, you’re not doing it right.
  • 10 minutes of easy running. Maintaining good form during these 10 minutes is key. Back off the pace from the first 5 minutes, but don’t back off from having good running technique.

The XTERRA Saipan Championship will be held on March 18, 2017. There is still plenty of time to prepare for the race and join in for some fun in the sun.

Mountain Bike Workout - Island Hill Repeats - XTERRA Saipan

Mountain Bike Workout - Island Hill Repeats - XTERRA Saipan

If you liked Renata’s workout, you can learn more about her Aloha Racing coaching services by clicking the logo below.

Mountain Bike Workout - Island Hill Repeats - Renata Bucher - Aloha Racing - XTERRA Saipan




Will Kelsay

Will Kelsay is one of the top cross triathletes in the world with a 10 year career spanning 5 continents competing in more than 18 countries. He has 20 career wins and more than 70 top 5 finishes. Anyone who has met him knows his passion for the sport is only overshadowed by his huge smile & his appetite for fun.

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