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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Fitness regime for new season

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STUART Jenkinson: Ranked amongst the top 30 in the UK, he races in the elite category in UK and international events across Europe and beyond.

I’M STUART Jenkinson, I’m 22 and I race Downhill Mountain Bikes in the UK and in international events across Europe and beyond. I started riding when I was 14 and have not looked back since.

I am now ranked amongst the top 30 in the UK and race in the elite category.

The extreme sport of downhill has become more and more competitive, and with it so has the need to maintain a very high level of fitness to compete at the highest level.

My weekly fitness routine involves a mix of aerobic, weight training and circuits in the gym, along with a mix of road, cross country and downhill bike training. I work with Barry Johnston as my personal trainer, and he certainly pushes me hard towards achieving a high level of fitness. Barry is also responsible for a lot of other local athletes and it is good to train with like-minded people as it adds an extra edge to training – we are all competitive so even a five-minute spell on the treadmill becomes a serious contest!

As the racing season is now approaching, I pay more detailed attention to my diet, with the early part of the week taking in protein followed by carbo-loading later in the week leading up to a competition on Saturday and Sunday.

The whole package of training and diet has taught me a lot about myself, not just physically, but also mentally.

It has also made me realise how much of a buzz you get from training and it is certainly something that I would recommend to anyone no matter what age – whether competing in a sport or not. There is no better feeling than coming out of the gym after a hard workout. You feel like you are walking on air.

My 2008 season starts in April, and I am looking forward to competing in the UK National Points Series, the Scottish series and World Cup events in Slovenia, Andorra, Scotland, Canada and Austria.

My aim is to steadily improve my performances and maintain my Elite status while staying free from injury – sounds easy, but I know it will be a tough year ahead.

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