QK: Congratulations on your recent win in the Coppermine Epic this year. You seem to be building on the form you had locally in Nelson over the winter series with some podium finishes nationally then the win at Coppermine (not to discount the 5th place at the biggest mountain bike race in the country at Karapoti in the weekend). What do see as the most significant result in your career thus far?
HJ: The Coppermine was a cool race to win being our biggest local XC race and also because there’s been a lot top local riders who have won it in the past. Last year I competed in both that and the Huka XL placing 3rd and 2nd. They are both really tough, long races that are considered as the biggest marathon style races in New Zealand.
From these races I realised my potential as a marathon rider and, with a bit more training specifically for these events, I think I could possibly win one next year. These marathon style races are proving to be my strong point so if I do end up travelling and racing this year I am very keen to do a few longer races.
HJ: Growing up you are always learning different things from older riders whether it be about training, bike set up or race tactics which is awesome especially in Nelson as we have such a strong cycling environment. I was coached for a while by George Bennett who originated from an mountain bike background. He taught me a lot and helped me to come back from injuries with different training programmes. He has also been great to train with over summer on the road. At the moment I coach myself with weekly programmes, but if I wasn’t working full time and had more time to perfect my training then I think a coach would be a good idea.
HJ: Haha it has been a while since I’ve made a video, but it’s something I really enjoy and hope to do more of in the future. The one shot in Richmond is probably a favourite. It’s my local track which I helped build and it’s a track I do a lot of training on, so it’s cool to put it all into a short video.
QK: What are your aims and goals for racing in 2016? What about longer term goals?
HJ: My goals this season are to get overseas and race. It would be great to see what the sport is truly like outside of New Zealand. There are a lot more frequent races during the season and a lot more riders. Ultimately representing New Zealand at a UCI world cup event would be the goal.
QK: As a Mountain biker do you do any specific strength training? If so what?
HJ: There are many different aspects of mountain bike training that make it interesting. For example, base training which requires a week of rides mostly over 3 hours at a steady intensity.
Then there are interval seasons ranging in time and intensity for example, hill repetitions, sprints or long 20 minute medium efforts. Also there are specific technical skills such as learning to ride tight corners, jumping, rock gardens, steep terrain and technical climbs. These skills are as equally important for your fitness level when it comes to top level racing, as the courses become more technical and the chance of crashing becomes higher.
For gaining strength I ride in bigger gears for a long period of time straining the different muscles that are used in a pedal stroke. Also I do a lot of core strength work at home to help strengthen my back and other muscles used in mountain biking. Most of the exercises are high repetition done with body weight.
HJ: I enjoy doing ‘hot lap’ style intervals where I climb for 5 to 10 minutes then descend to the bottom on a mountain bike track to recover, then begin again. These intervals simulate racing and are great for preparing me for races. I will do a couple of these sessions a week. It is also a good way to gauge my form as I can time the same lap and compare it to previous sessions.
QK: What have you learned over the past 12 months that more people should know?
HJ: I’ve learned more about resting after the races I build for. It is always easy to train harder after a race as you became more eager to improve and your motivation to be better becomes greater. So it’s probably been better for my health to take short breaks after my bigger ‘one off’ races and then be well recovered to train for the next one.
HJ: I think preparation is pretty key to having consisted quality training. Things like having enough food, a well running bike and the right equipment are all key to a good ride and a good training session. Being well prepared is something that enhances your training and it’s something I’ve improved on in recent years. Over-training is obviously something that can easily happen when you’re young. In the past it’s crept up on me and then the next thing I’m “going backwards”. The best way to overcome it is to stop and give it some time (take some rest).
– Henry Jaine
Henry is proud to be sponsored by Village Cycles Richmond