Mountain biking and road biking have a lot in common, but the training conducted on one does not always translate into fitness gains on the other.

Generally, road cycling has a lot of long, continuous efforts. On the other hand, mountain biking might reflect more of a roller coaster. High-effort up a hill or through a technical section, then low-effort and recovery on descent or smooth trail.

So how can you train for the mountain bike during winter months when the trails are all muddy?

Find Some Hills

Interval training has been around a long time and has been gaining in popularity.

When training for mountain bike racing on a road bike, hills are your best friend.

My favorite hills course in Kansas City is in Shawnee Mission Park. The road that circles the lake is a 4.5-mile cycling racetrack, with a couple of long hills mixed into some shorter, steeper hills.

Conveniently, some of the city’s best singletrack trails are just north of the lake, making Shawnee Mission Park a one-stop shop for cycling fitness.