Tips to Make You A Better Cyclist
So you are an avid cyclist and enjoy cycling whenever and wherever you can. But now you want to up your game. You have decided, that you want to become an expert cyclist.
So let's detail what goes into being a better cyclist You should be able to slay the hills without the huffing and puffing. You would love to keep up with the professional cyclists in your buddy group. You would also like to have better endurance and increase the amount of time you can cycle at a stretch without needing a break. Additionally, your technique should be better as well.
So if you want to now move from a beginner or casual cyclist to one who is more like a pro, you will need to work on it by following these routines outlined here.
1) Add Interval Training to Your Cycling Routine
Interval training includes high-intensity training for 1-2 minutes and then slow down to rest for 1-2 minutes. Repeat this pattern multiple times. The best way to do this is by following these steps:
i. Start your cycling session with 10-15 mins of a warm phase where you cycle at a relatively slow speed.
ii. Then push your pedaling intensity for about a minute to your maximum capacity.
iii. Then slow down for about one to two minutes.
iv. Repeat these steps multiple times.
v. Remember to cool down towards the end of your routine for about 10 minutes by cycling at a slow pace.
vi. As you improve, start decreasing the rest or slow pace time till you can bring it as low as 15 seconds.
The benefit that you will gain from interval training is improved endurance and strength.
2) Do More Hill or Slope Cycling
A walker, jogger, or cyclist would prefer to avoid the hill run. But if you were to work on your strength as an athlete, we say take the hill. You don't have to cycle up steep roads every day. You may start with once a week and then gradually up the frequency, and in no time, you get stronger
# 91 Tip - Avoid the impulse to lift your butt off the seat while cycling up the slope. Staying seated will make riding difficult and slow, but it will give you an incredible workout.
3) Take Long-distance Rides
Push yourselves to ride for longer distances than you normally would, starting at least once a week. Make a 50-km ride your target. You can start with a shorter one and gradually increase the distance you cover in a single ride. Don't worry about the time you may take but track your speed and look to improve it each time.
4) Increase Your Cycling Frequency
If you already have a busy lifestyle and only do 1-2 times a week cycling, increasing the frequency of your cycling workouts is a sure shot way to make you a better cyclist.
An excellent way to increase the amount you cycle would be to commute, part of the distance if the whole route is not possible. Use a cycle ride to destress in the evening post-dinner. You can also choose to travel different routes with varied cycling buddies to ensure it does not get boring. Grab every opportunity to add more cycle trips to your schedule.
5) Track your Cycling Progress
Use an app or smartwatch and make sure you set them before each ride. Then look at your state and an average weekly summary. Then plan the following week's cycling routes and time to improve the distance, elevation, and speed.
6) Train off the bike
Core strength is very important in cycling. A strengthened core is for better balance and to transfer energy from your upper body to the lower body. And does a workout to strengthen your leg muscles make a lot of sense when you are looking to become a better cyclist. After all, your legs have the most demanding job as they are directly employed in pedaling.
To strengthen your core, we recommend doing a series of crunches at least three alternate days of the week. Practice planks and yoga as often as you can.
The workouts that are recommended to strengthen your legs are squats and leg presses. Specifically for your hamstrings and quads, you should do leg curls and box jumps For overall strength training, pull-ups, deadlifts, and lunges should be added to your regular routine.
7) Pay Attention to Your Diet
Food plays a vital aspect in your life and more when you are active. It is what gives you the energy to be able to ride. Incorrect eating habits, especially before and during your rides, will make it difficult to cycle with efficiency and power. No need to pick expensive supplements. Looks at simple and easily available options like bananas, cereal bars, and jam sandwiches which will provide you with the needed and easily absorbed carbohydrates. Also, remember to carry plenty of water along with you for the ride and pack extra high protein and carbohydrate snacks.
8) Be Mentally Prepared
You should be wholly prepared mentally for each ride. A good way of doing that is to plan your ride and include milestones in the entire trip. That would help you to be mind-ready when you cycle.
9) Rest Well
No training or riding will feel good and enjoyable unless you are alert and well-rested. Being sleep-deprived and groggy is a definite no-no. It is better to skip the ride for the day when you have not rested well the previous night. Your enjoyable ride will feel more of a punishment than a workout. Good quality sleep is a necessity. Don't forget to recover well. Post a ride, you need to refuel your body. So make sure you get the right amount of time to recuperate well.
10) Make Sure Its the Right Fit
Most importantly, make sure the bike you are using is the right fit and size for you. Get a bicycle fitting if you feel it is needed. Or adjust the seat and handlebars and check if that makes you even more comfortable. An ill-fit bicycle will never allow you to cycle efficiently.
Additionally, gear yourself in clothing and other accessories that add comfort rather than a hindrance when you ride. What you wear, from your helmet, your clothing, and shoes, should support your cycling mission.
Use these tips to progress from a casual cyclist to a good one and a skillful rider. You will also reap the benefits of a fitter person in the process.
So are you ready to undertake the journey to becoming a more efficient and better cyclist? What are your thoughts? Do let us know by adding to the comments box below.
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