Cycling is a great way to get into shape and to stay in shape. You will get the best results, however, by conditioning yourself physically, so that you can go further, push harder, and endure longer on your bicycle.
There is a great deal of opinions and some disagreements among cyclists on the cycling training plans that produce the best results. Assuming that you are a beginner, it is best to adopt a cycling training plan that is basic, straightforward, and easy to execute. With that in mind, the following cycling training tips are presented for your consideration. They are best suited for those who:
- Are doing regular training for the first time
- Are returning to cycling after a long break
- Want a gradual and progressive cycling training program
- Have not set definitive goals
Equipment for Cycle Training
The piece of equipment most obviously needed for cycle training plans is a bike. It is important that you purchase one that is sound, reliable, and able to endure the rigors of the road. Accessories such as helmet, shoes, and spare parts are also necessary. You want to purchase clothing that will keep you warm and comfortable during winter outdoor training sessions. If your schedule is such that you will have to do some or all of your training at night, then you should buy a reflective vest as well.
If you already have a bike but have not used it for some time, then it is best to check it into a bike shop for service. You want to ensure the bike is still safe to ride.
Cycling Training Plan For Beginners
One of the best approaches to becoming a good cyclist is to embark on a 25-week cycling training program. This can provide you the confidence, energy, experience, and physical aptitude to go on to more advanced and competitive cycling—even if the only person you’re competing against is yourself.
The First Four Weeks
During the first week, you want to get a sense of how much your heart rate will fluctuate as you ride. You will need to conduct a threshold test, which will allow you to formulate training zones that you can then use to monitor your progress. In the second week, you should focus on strength and flexibility. Although cross-country rides are optional, your time will be best spent increasing your endurance. This can be done by exercises other than riding. Yoga, Pilates, and other activities can be done to complement your riding.
By week 3 you should have an idea of what your heart rate is in the different training zones. If you continue to struggle in the lower zones, do not worry. It may take you some time to adjust to the routine. The essential thing is to stay focused and disciplined. Week 4 is a recovery week. This is a time for you to rest so that your body can become stronger and harness the fruits of the previous three weeks of labor.
The Second Four Weeks
After your week of rest, you will need to get back to it. You ought to dedicate week 5 to building up your tempo and increasing the pace at which your ride. By week 6 your rides should be longer. You will also need to start thinking about fueling and proper nutrition during this week. Thinking through such matters will become acuter as the distances you cover and the energy you exert become greater. At week 7 you will need to make an honest assessment of you stand. You should feel tougher, fitter, and more able to endure long rides in all kinds of weather. Week 8 is another week of rest.
The remainder of this 25-week cycling training program can be read by clicking on the attached link. If you are serious about cycling, then it is wise to begin with a structured plan of some kind. Beginning with the above program will give you some direction. Of course, no plan need be followed to the letter. You must always be conscious of your health. If you begin feeling seriously unwell, then you might want to dial it back a bit. If you have had health problems in the past or have other concerns, then you ought to consult your physician before beginning.
Cycling And Other Physical Exercise
The only way to get into cycling shape is to cycle.
However, flexibility, muscular strength, and cardiovascular fitness are essential properties of being a good cyclist. You don’t need to cycle to improve in these areas. Doing basic calisthenics such as push-ups, sit-ups, and stretching can help. Weight training and running on the treadmill will also enhance your physical condition. If you exercise regularly but have not been on a bike for some time, you should build on the exercises that your body is familiar with at first.
It might surprise you to know that many champion cyclists spend more time doing exercises other than bike riding. To be sure, you don’t have to give yourself over to hours in the gym to improve your cycling performance. Unless you are looking to do bike riding as a competitive sport, this is entirely unnecessary. However, you should be aware of the benefits that come with keeping up a health and fitness routine that is generally sound.
Cycling, Nutrition, And Wellness
Your performance as a cyclist will also be affected by your diet. As you progress through the beginner’s training program, your body will not only demand more fuel but the right kind of fuel. You will have to maintain a carefully balanced diet that has the right mixture of carbs, sugar, and other important sources of energy. Your aim should be to integrate your cycling routine into a general scheme of wellness. Cycling is an excellent way of keeping yourself active, physically strong, and solid enough to get the most out of your personal and professional life.