Training Plans

Last Minute Training Tips for the Megavalanche

From warm-ups to nutrition, here's our last minute training tips for the Megavalanche MTB race.

Last minute training tips for the Megavalanche will make sure you are fully prepared for the race. Image copyright Ben Winder/Dirt

Looking for some last minute training tips for the Megavalanche mountain bike race this weekend? Hundreds of people will be traveling from all over Europe to tackle this challenging MTB event in France, that sees competitors race from mountain top to valley bottom in Alpe D’Huez, France.

With qualifications on Friday, and racing taking place on Saturday and Sunday, how you prepare in these last few days can make all the difference to your performance in the race itself.

Deputy Editor Aoife is taking on the Megavalanche (you can see where her Mediocre to Mega journey started here) and has been getting training and nutrition advice from Andy Wadsworth from BW Cycling, personal trainer to World Cup mountain bikers Katy Curd and Danny Hart. Here’s his advice on how to prepare, what to do, and what to eat, in the final run up to the Megavalanche itself.

These last minute training tips for the Megavalanche will get you ready to race!


Many people will be traveling over the the race, so take this as a rest day. Try to get in a gentle cafe ride no longer than 60 minutes to loosen your legs up after the journey.


Both the race and the qualifications course are open for practice, so count this as a practice day. Ensure you give yourself at least a 15 minute steady warm up before the first practice run, and 10 minutes easy spinning at the end of the practice session.


Another practice day – follow the same pattern as Tuesday above, making sure you warm up and cool down properly.


Do your final practice run early in the morning to allow for plenty fo rest in the afternoon, so you are fresh and ready for qualifications on Friday. This needs to be an easy day, so restrict yourself from doing too much practice. Drink plenty and east well, stay out of the sun and get your feet up.


It’s vital to warm up to get into your second wind before the shock of the start of the qualifications race. Follow this warm up plan;

1. 10 minutes of steady riding.
2. 6 x 10second efforts at 90% of your full exertion level, with 50 seconds between them.
3. 4 x 30 seconds efforts at 90% of your full exertion level with 60 seconds easy between them.

Finish the warm up with 3 – 5 minutes to spare before start time if possible. Once on the start line, take steady deep breaths, and focus on thinking through the lines on the track you’ll have ridden during practice sessions.


The women’s race, and some of the men’s races, take place on the Saturday. Follow the same warm up as the pre-qualification on Friday, above.

What to eat before the Megavalanche

It’s important to eat as normally as possible – myths about carbo-loading and such are no good for this. Be prepared; think out meals on the Monday and Tuesday when you get there.

Throughout the practice days, aim to drink 750ml of fluid for every hour of riding. If it’s hot – above 20 degrees – use electrolytes in with the water throughout the day.

Eat 300 – 400 kcals for every hour of riding when you are out on the course. For all the other meals throughout the day, focus on getting plenty of protein to avoid muscle loss. The best protein will be chicken, turkey or fish. To accompany this, get as many vegetables as possible, and avoid lots of starchy carbs.

Good luck everyone!

Are you doing the 2014 Megavalanche? If so, let us know in the comments section below!


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