Training For Enduro Ep. 1 | Neil’s Fitness Test

– Right. So I’ve decided I need to do some racing. I haven’t done much for a while. I did one cross-country
race last year in Sireston. That’s what about it. So I’m going to do the final round of the EWS this year in (mumbles). I’ve not done any Enduro
Racing for quite a while. So I think I’m going to need some help so I’ve come to Bristol. Come to BW Cycling and
I’ve got a three-time Olympian, a Silver
medalist, (mumbles) a five time National cross country champion, Oli Beckinsale to give me a hand and try to get me fit. (intense music) (mumbles) by Oli. I don’t know what we’re doing. I have done things like a VO2 max test and threshold tests in the past when I was a pro. And they’re horrible but one needs to wear a mask, I guess. I’m getting my excuses out of the way. I’ve not been training. I definitely don’t have as much time as I used to have. I do a little bit of weights. Go to the gym a little bit. But no where near as much time on the bike as I’d like. So, I’ve got my kit. Check out all the old World Cup number number plates. There are some new ones in there. I recognize some of those myself. Okay, and here’s (mumbles) bike. So, here I am, Oli. I’m in your hands. Okay, so what I’m doing
is getting changed. I’m just gonna talk abut what we can actually do today. – Today we’re doing a VO2 max test. A simple way of looking
at it is like we’re gonna ride an ever-steepening climb until Neil actually gets to his maximum. And what we measuring
is his aerobic capacity. So, it’s his ability to use oxygen as a fuel source for the work
of his muscles. Okay. So it’s the kind of Blue
Ribbon fitness test for him. Okay. How that ties in with his
EWS. EWS, he’s got his short, sharp bursts. He’s gonna be doing
two days of racing, two days of practice before. In his racing, he’s
going to be doing really intense anaerobic downhill
effort at the whole day. That’s only six to eight small sections. The rest of the time it’s all really hard, steady state exercise. He’s gonna need that
aerobic fitness to get him, firstly, through the four days. And secondly, so when
he does the really hard downhill sections he’s
still going to be able to perform at his best. And allow him to use his technical skills, rather than just blagging the sections. So once Neil’s done the test, what we’re gonna have is a VO2 maximum for him. We ought to get some
really good training zones. So, Neil’s gonna be short on time. He’s got a busy job, young family. Like a lot of other guys, he’s probably only got three or four
hours to train for an event that’s actually gonna be really long in endurance. So, if he’s got some
good training zones, some good kick. He can get the best bang
for his buck and then achieve his goal. (heavy bass music) (bass chant) So, I’m warming up for the test now. I’m actually getting a little bit nervous thinking about what I’ve
gotta do for Finale. They’re really big days. I thin`k you probably ride like 200K for four days. So 5,000 meters climbing. So, a lot of riding and I’ll see six or eight time stages where
I’ve got good skill downhill speed. So, there’s work to be done. This fly’s pretty technical. Big hills. Nothing super steep as
far as I can remember. Sort of long technical stages. Really physical. Lots of sprinting. And, of course, big liaisons
back on top of the hill. – Here we’re just starting
the exercise test now. You can see we’ve got
160 watts on the kicker. We’re measuring his heart rate here. So he’s sitting here. 133, 134. That’s what we’d expect for a kind of steady state. And we’re measuring here his VO2. So that’s milligrams of oxygen per kilogram per minute. So that’s how you’re measuring that VO2. And you can see we’ve got oxygen consumption on the bottom here. As we increase, that
yellow line, that VO2, we’ll see that VO2 rise. And then the heartrate as well. Once we go back through the numbers in the background when
the test is done, we’ll have a good indication of Neil’s ability to burn fat as a fuel source. There’s a step change when that happens. And we’ll get a good indication of his threshold power. So that will tell help give us some really good, accurate training zones. Step now, in the power, we’re taking him up to 180. So obviously, after the test today we’ll have a good indication let’s say of Neil’s current level of fitness. What we’re gonna do is
put some good training in place. And then ultimately come
back again and try and get that power up with
the same heart rate and fitness levels. An increase in VO2 we’ll see as well. (hard driving music) We’re gonna take it up a notch. (intense drum beat and chant) Just keep that cadence up. Don’t let it drop too much. I know you’re not a spinner but we don’t want to see it drop. If you let that cadence drop, the trainer will just load on top of you. All right? Focus on that cadence. Don’t let it drop. We’re going up again to 340 watts. Let’s see if we can crack this one. That’s good. Keep that cadence. But don’t let it slide. It won’t make it easier, all right? Let’s get this one done. (intense music) 20 seconds. See if you can clear this block. C’mon, mate. And then that block will all be up. C’mon. C’mon, mate. You can do this. Five, four, three, two one. Okay. You’re done. Keep spinning a sec. We’ll let the resistance wear off. Just keep spinning. Keep spinning. (soft gentle music) Okay, so in brief, Donny’s done his test today and we’ve all kind of calmed down now. And we’ve managed to look through the results. And this is basically the test we’ve done. So, this is the climb going up. And this is his power. So we started off at 160
watts, so super steady. And as we’ve increased, we’ve added 20 watts per minute and he peaked at 340. So that’s the size of his energy, okay. What’s going on further down. There’s a couple of key points. 220 watts. That’s at aerobic base point, so AB, and that’s where he’s going from nice and chill to just starting to put his foot on the gas. We talk about kind of getting up the forest road backpack. That’s the one we need to try to raise up a little bit. Next, when we get to anaerobic threshold. That’s that really hard climb where you start to get the tingling legs and lactate building up. Once you go past that point, you’re blagging it and you can’t do it for too long. So what we need to do is when he’s doing his training or an EWS event, trying to cruise between here, roughly. And then trying to not go exceed, other than the race sections, this point here. So, this is where you’re gonna try and ride between. So you’re going as fast as you can but you can keep that going all day. The key we’re going to try and do with training over the next months is try and get this to rise. So he does another test. He comes back. Smashes it. Maybe 370 watts, for example. What we need to do is not just get these to go up, but trying to get them to go along. So he can do work and still cruise without going into the red. You get a higher power for a longer during the day. That’s what we’re going to try to achieve. – Neil It’s been a couple of days now since I went that day with Oli and I feel really good. Super motivating. I always think I wish I’d done more of that when I was racing as a pro. Getting tested and actually getting some training plans. He’s got a really good setup there. I actually saw Laurie Green in the downstairs working out in the gym. So there’s a lot of
really top pro rides that actually use this type of training to get ready for their seasons. So, looking at the results. So, my VO2 max, which is just a good sort of indicator of my overall fitness, that’s now 54. Compare that to my VO2 max three years ago when I was still racing pro. That was 69. So I’ve dropped quite a lot. I don’t think it’s unexpected. For instance, I know that I’ve not been training anything like I used to. It’s a bit more haphazard
now when I do it. I try and ride at least
a couple of hours a week. It’s definitely harder now. I don’t ride, definitely,
as much as I used to. I know it looks like I still ride a lot, but I’ve got family commitments. Obviously, doing this job takes up a lot of my time. So now I do need to find the time to train for Finale. Going to the other results, my threshold is now. My threshold power, I should say, is now 270 watts. Again, that used to be 310 watts when I was a pro. I last got tested four years ago for that one. So, it’s dropped quite considerably, but Oli’s given me a good idea of the sort of training I need to do. So, a lot of training in the low zones. So, like Oli said, I need to work on that. Burning fat. So I can do that for longer. So I don’t get super tired and burn all my carbs when it comes to the EWS Finale. So I need to do lots of training in the lower zone and training to get my threshold up, as well. So, zones two and zones four. So Oli’s gonna give me a training plan so I can work on that and hopefuly get round Finale. As to what else I need to work on, I think really it’s a case of skills, as well. I don’t ride as much as I used to. So, I need to get on my road bike. Do those lower trainings (mumbles). I need to spend a good amount of time on a mountain bike to make sure I can ride those stages and be as fast as possible. So at the moment my training really, like I said, it’s haphazard. It sort of consists of an hour or two on the turbo trainer on (mumbles) in a week. I try to ride cross-country the weekends. When I work with Oli I’m going to set the bar a little bit higher. I’m going to try to do three hour sessions in a week around work. So I’m going to try to do a fasted ride one morning and then a couple of turbo sessions and then I need a three-hour ride a weekend either on a road bike on on a cross-country bike. (mumbles) and there’s two things. So my aerobic base so I can burn fat for longer and then really work on my threshold power. Like Oli said, at the moment if I tried to ride those stages or even the liaisons, I’m gonna get above that aerobic zone and I’m gonna start burning my carbs too quick and I’m never gonna last a day. So I know I’ve got a couple of big days coming in Finale. I’ve got time to prepare. So, let’s get to it. There’ll be more videos following up on this one soon. I’ve got like a training program coming from Oli. I’ll let you know how I get on. I’ve got some power meters and software, like training peaks. I’ll show you how I’m going to try to achieve those training goals. I’ve also got a really cool bike coming for the race in Finale. So I’ll let you know when I can about that. So keep your eyes peeled on Channel. And if you want to se an old video I did on a bike training for Enduro when I was fit, tick up there. Give thumbs up if you like this style of bloggy video following me trying to race the EWS. Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button.


  1. very interested

  2. Getter done Neil🤘🏻

  3. this content is fantastic!! Go Neil!

  4. This will be interesting to follow! Hopefully it'll help me reaching my goal for Enduro, namely ending up in the top 50%!

  5. Good luck Neil! Doddy going to do you bike tech/prep? 😉

  6. This is going to be a great series! You’ve got me totally interested!

  7. Know you’ll kill it Donny!

  8. Awesome dude. Train hard and best of luck!

  9. Love these training videos! Could we get some videos on nutrition for different disciplines of riding?

  10. Good luck Don.

  11. Good luck on your training

  12. This makes me want to be better. I need to get some longer rides in, but I have such a low threshold.

  13. This is exactly what I needed to see to get me motivated to get out training. And thankfully I didn't have to do a VO2 max test. Cheers Don! Some XC evening sessions, a few fasted 2 hour rides to work and some weekend epics and I'll be owning my ride bros on the weekly ride. Nice!

    Neil! Dude. Baggies. Please. Gains aren't worth it.

  14. #GMBN Neil, have you found that riding a road bike helps prepare for trail riding endurance. I don’t race but want to be on the bike as long as possible. I ride in Vermont and can’t be on the trails when it’s wet. Resorted to road bike on bad weather days. Any advice?

  15. Go Donny!🤘

  16. Great objective, you can be certain that I will follow you and cheer for you all the way!

  17. This will be intresting to see as i am currently training to make sure i am in top condition for my rides in the summer which tend to be around 2-6 days so will be great as i could take some pro pointers

  18. I'll enjoy following this Neil – good luck!

  19. You have the skills , get the fitness up and you will do great!

  20. Neil is like a damn god of mountain biking, from XC to DH and Enduro, my respect for this man

  21. Great video, very inspiring. Really keen to watch your journey!

  22. i'm going to love this series

  23. Good video. I really need to work on my fitness being away for such long periods with work. Looking forward to the next one.


  25. Really looking forward to this. Thank you Don, for the time spent on this project. It is lways inspiring to see the pssion for riding most of us, mountain bikers have. cheers to all.

  26. Stoked for the series!

  27. You CAN do it Neil! So excited for you!

  28. Great video!

  29. Neil, looking forward to your progress, I Know you can do it..

  30. Yeah! This is great! Go Neil!!!

  31. Yeah looking forward to how this is done, go Neil

  32. This is perfect! Because I'm having my first race ever this summer

  33. Good luck Neil!! 👍🏻

  34. Such conflicting training program information compared to what you said about e-bikes a couple days ago. Don't need to ride road bike or XC bike , you said, can do it all on my ebike. Now you have a plan, and that plan is to train with your road bike and your XC bike. Sounds like you're trying to justify ebikes, not be truthful about them…

  35. Would love to see him on the new canyon torque 👍🏼

  36. How about one for Blake at Crankworx Whistler "Fox Air DH, Wip Off'??

  37. This is really interesting stuff. Looking forward to following your progress Neil.

  38. if you get top 25 i will be proud

  39. You're gonna do great man.

  40. Lol as if ur not fit ur a pro 😄

  41. This is the first time I have seen a GMBN presenter wearing lycra! Lol

  42. I love to see whats happening behind the scenes of a real enduro racer. This series is a great idea.


  43. Very interesting to watch. I've always heard of all this testing and training, but I've never done any of it myself. I just ride my bike. I'd like to "get fit" too!

  44. Loving this series. Cannot wait to see the plan and follow the Don through the race. Cheering for ya Don!

  45. just keep trying Neil and no time you will be fit

  46. awesome content

  47. Why that music? is he racing against orcs?

  48. Yes I really like this vlog style Neal. XC & Enduro really interests more than DH and the training & fitness side of it (and tech), is fascinating. Looking forward to following this.

  49. Way to go Neil! I'd like to see a segment devoted to indoor training setup with trainer options, sensors, laptop, and your thoughts on different programs like Zwift, The Sufferfest, TrainerRoad, etc.

  50. Nice! Is cape epic on for next year then?

  51. Cool, nice one, hoping this will give me some inspiration to get back on it myself, went out on the weekend and was surprised how unfit I had got.

  52. Being a father of 2 and working fulltime, I can relate. I just hopped on the fat bike for the first time in a while (during nap time) and it didn't take much for me to realize my cardio is all out of wack. I will be cheering you on Neil and and keep it consistent! 🤘

  53. yeah boiii Donny's back in business!

  54. What is the camouflage sheet you use in the back of the car?

  55. i feel bad for Neil, erg mode on a smart trainer sucks since it can never keep the number perfect, it just bounces up and down in a small range

  56. I got winded watching the VO2 max test 🤢

  57. Was waiting for something like this from Neil. Gonna follow your training as well, racing in june!

  58. Great episode Neil I'm looking forward to seeing the results for you , good lick

  59. This was fantastic. Well done.

  60. So excited to see Neil race at finale!!

  61. Tell me more about the Kiwi open sign on the front door of BW?

  62. 200k and 5000m is no joke, riding at 178bpm making almost 300w is still pretty damn impressive dude!

  63. in order to train for enduro you dont actually ride enduro

  64. I love the videos where gmbn/gcn take on challenges and events. They’re informative for people who have never done them, but want to and don’t know what to expect.

  65. fantastic video looking forward for the follow up videos to this and good look Neil

  66. Really interesting video Donny. Good luck, I will be following this series with interest.

  67. Great video! Looking forward to the next episodes. Good luck!

  68. This is awesome. I have Big Mountain enduro and EWS challenger this year. I'll be watching closely for some tips.

  69. Go get them Don! =D

  70. Yes! More Neil racing enduro!

  71. What is the bike you gonna use?
    And it will be 29er or 27.5?

  72. Love the upcoming series! Can't wait to see the new bike!

  73. Yep, I do like it. All GMBN is great but this is more like it. Riding is what it's all about, and making time to ride. It's inspirational, informative and good to watch. I think you've tapped into something good here. Please keep it coming and good luck with your training.

  74. excellent ! looking forward to following Neil's progress ……. inspiring

  75. Great video! love this kind of content.

  76. Good luck Neil

  77. I spy a cheeky climb of the Batch Valley on the Long Mynd. Good choice my friend 👍

  78. Thanks for sharing and I wish you to enjoy 🙂 ! To do a training with an objective is always very exciting ! I personally train for a couple of trails competitions this year and the MTB is a part of my training 🙂 !

  79. My god Donny is so much more relaxed outside away from a desk! His body language is totoally comfortable and positive. Looking forward to see more!

  80. i drink and smoke pipe.. i was way out of shape and last sunday i went to a steepy mountain that killed me the first time i went there. i climbed 5 miles non stop beating everybody on the trail. i rod the entire 12.6 miles trail and when i finally made down; i had the great idea to hit it again… second round was harder. I stopped for 2 minutes probably in the first 2 miles, then i went for it non stop. what a great feeling it was. then i got home and got wasted =)

  81. this is more like it! much better than the stuff aimed at newer or younger riders.

  82. Is there a dead body in the back of that car? I almost didn't notice it thanks to the camo tarp. 😛

  83. Good luck Neil. Hope you crush it.

  84. This series has a lot of potential. It's super interesting to document a process like this, specially being done by people who REALLY know what they're doing. Looking forward to see how far the Don can get, and how he'll stack with the current pros. I'm sure he'll do an awesome job!

  85. I would love to see the whole training and following Donny as he prepares and races Finale

  86. Inspiring stuff, get it done Donny. I can’t wait for this…

  87. Inspiration

  88. Training for enduro? What's the point? It's not a UCI sport… 🤔

  89. From a non-racer, this was informative and the requisite training isn't that bonkers, assuming I figure out what a turbo is. Thanks for making this vid!

  90. Being a ex moto and enduro rider I’ve turned to mtb enduro for a bit of fun (also cheaper).Starting to really enjoy it the fitter I get.
    At 41 years old I’m well past my prime, I also have a young family.
    Keen to see how Neil progresses.

  91. This is a great idea for a set of videos! I'll definitely be following.

  92. You got this man! Keep pushing!

  93. Less music?

  94. I love your channel, but you guys have the worst musical taste ever…

  95. I don’t know how many of you guys have done Vo2 max intervals and they are excrutiating and just looking at him I started to have flashbacks

  96. PAIN just pure pain

  97. Pinkbike's the privateer? Anyone?

  98. We sometimes forget that GMBN presenters are pros,and I love to see them race,it's super enjoyable to watch,especialy as a series !

  99. 3:34. Isn't it milli*litres* of oxygen per kg/min. Not milli*grams*.

  100. I find this really interesting being a relatively unfit parent of two. Did you modify your diet at all during this period?

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