Increase your anaerobic output.
Credit: Francois Mori / AP

Like many other X Games-era sports, an average run in a BMX tournament may last less than a minute. That may not sound like long, but linking aerial trick to aerial trick is as anaerobically taxing as sprinting up a steep hill. So that's precisely how Nyquist trains for his events.

"It takes about 45 seconds to get to the top of a hill near my house, which is usually the length of one BMX run," Nyquist says. "So I sprint up, walk down – which takes another minute – then immediately sprint up again. I do that five or six times." If you are preparing for a high-intensity event, set your training time to mimic the duration and intensity of your competition output. Nyquist also trains aerobically to maintain a base level of fitness, but the point is that he focuses on developing the energy system that he will be using in his competitive event.