Cycling training advice

Cycling training advice

Cycling Training Advice

It’s that time of year where cyclists start hitting the road and enjoy this beautiful weather.

Some advice for advanced and novice cyclists that can help you prepare for: a major race (Tour Down Under) or for increasing your distances between your coffee stops if you are a beginner.

Preparation

Technique is key when preparing your body for high demands.  Those that are serious about cycling will have had their bike fitted to them, however it is still important to be assessed when on the road as good technique on the bike will help you to build speed and a good stamina base.  If you are novice and just getting into cycling and find the whole bike buying and fitting business daunting then this guide for the 5 best budget bikes might be helpful.  Once you have had a bike fit out It is a good idea to spend at least 3 months getting your body ready for a race and your technique finely tuned, after this you can start loading the muscles and working at your top 15% with minimal rest each session (no coffee stops till you are done!).

Benchmarking

You have to make sure that you are improving and be able to measure your improvements.  Any reduction in performance could indicate that you are overtraining which could lead to injury or illness.  Strava is a great way of tracking your training and progress, whilst wearing a heart rate monitor is vital if you want to keep track of your fitness.  However if running is more your thing then have a look at these different apps to keep you on track.

Avoid injuries

In any sport we have a tendency to push ourselves and our training times and effort in order to try to advance ourselves as quickly as possible.  Overtraining or not balancing out your training can lead to injuries and muscle imbalances.  JUST cycling without any other training can often lead to development of the major muscles that are required for cycling, however because of the lack of growth of opposing muscles it can lead to an imbalance in strength of one muscle group compared to another.  This results in stronger muscles exerting a greater pull over the weaker ones.  Often this can lead to injuries in the weaker muscles.  The reason for this is that those lesser used muscles are necessary in stabilising the main muscle groups used during cycling.  Because these stabilising muscles are smaller and less trained it means that they become fatigued quicker which then causes inefficient movement and poor technique due to muscle imbalances  This can often then result in an injury of some kind.

Overuse – When we first start training, our body lets us know when it needs rest, you’re sore or stiff for a few days after a big ride. Then after a while your muscles adapt to the training load and you don’t feel stiff after big rides.  The problem is that the muscles adapt quicker than your tendons and ligaments which can then lead to inflammation and tendonitis if adequate rest of these attachments is not provided.  This happens when you continuously increase the training load without giving your body time to recover.  A simple solution if you find yourself in this scenario, is to rest until you feel strong enough to continue training.

Plan your training programme

When you plan your training sensibly you can avoid all the above conditions.  It is important to take at least 1-2 days off each week to help your body recover and repair from the hard training you have put it.  It is also important to incorporate a specific weights and stretch programme to compliment the training you are doing on your bike.  If you are preparing for a big race/season then it is also vital to periodise your programme with the correct workouts throughout each season, on or off.

If you want a specific programme for your cycling needs then please feel free to get in touch.  I can sort out the perfect programme to keep you fit, strong and fast.  nicki@fitnessfaster.com.au

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