It can be overwhelming when deciding where to begin on the road to becoming stronger, faster, and more fit than you have been before, especially with all the how-to’s out there. What we are going to do is give you a great list of tips and ideas on how you can get yourself to where you want to be when it comes to cycling.
Whether it’s purely for health improvement, you want to compete, or are already competing but want to step up your game- this is for you.
1. Take your strength and endurance training to the hills
Training on hills is going to build out your legs in a big way! If you don’t have access to hills where you are, get a stationary bike or go to a gym that has one and use the incline levels to simulate them. Ride seated up a hill (or whatever incline you have) and set your gear to a higher setting than usual to build your muscles and gain endurance most efficiently.
2. Practice descending quickly
Working on a quick descent is a big skill builder. You need to figure out how to navigate those turns in a specific way and that can take a lot of brain power. It can also take some time to get used to so before you go full force making sure you are comfortable with the pace you are setting.
Work on keeping your eyes forward and breaking before corners instead of breaking while in them. If you use a gear that is too light you may lose balance but if you use a gear that is too heavy you’ll have a harder time sprinting out of the corner. Experiment to find what gives you the best result.
3. Give every ride a purpose
Whether it is a leisurely ride or you’re going into a super intense workout, give every ride a purpose. And, don’t be fooled! Leisurely rides provide huge benefits to the rider when the intention to really enjoy it and clear the mind is set.
4. Eat to support your goals
The quality of food you are eating needs to be in line with the goals you are looking to reach. If you do not eat to fuel your muscles and aid in recovery- you are in for a world of hurt and stunted progress. The most important thing to remember is to keep it nutrient rich and higher calorie since you are doing a lot of cardio.
5. Ride harder and longerThe number one way to improve is to work a little harder each ride and for a longer period of time. Even if the amount is minuscule, over time it will produce big results.
6. Create a schedule
Plan your workouts and stick to the schedule! Planning instils more of a responsibility to get out there and work out. Also, if you block the time out for your rides you are less likely to flake out.
7. Track your progress
Tracking your progress using tools like Strava is going to show you where both your strengths and weaknesses are and they are equally important. Celebrate your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. Tracking will show you how you are progressing, hold you accountable, and inspire you to keep moving forward.
8. Set an end goal AND smaller in between goals
What is your overall goal for your cycling training? This should be considered so you have an end result to work towards. With the end goal set and kept in mind, you can make smaller goals to reach that will keep you on track and give you victories to celebrate while in the middle of it all.
9. Look to others for inspiration
Whether you look to the professionals for inspiration or the biker you see out on the road every day, allow them to motivate you during your rough patches. Maybe even reach out to them or create a support system within your biking community. Sometimes having an extra push from someone else can make the difference between sitting on the couch or doing what you need to do to get better.
As with everything in life, knowledge is half the battle, especially if you’re looking for how to become a stronger cyclist. Take all of these tips into consideration, apply what you need to, and watch yourself become the cyclist you know you can be!