Once you are bitten by the cycling bug, there is nothing you can do to prevent it as you only think of getting fitter, faster and better day-by-day. If you are one of those who is looking to be the best, make sure you listen to others who are at the top of the game. Also, don’t forget there are no real shortcuts to become a better cyclist. Below we have listed some of the top tips that not only help you stay motivated, but help you climb stronger, train better and fuel effectively.
So if you are giving it all and still fall short of the finish line, here’s how you can become a better cyclist!
We all know how important motivation is. Right from getting out of bed after a busy day juggling between your job, family and other errands, life can get tough. Ensuring you have a realistic plan of training will help you become a better cyclist. Don’t forget to mix it up and make each session interesting and truly believe in yourself and buy in to your training.
On the other hand, it’s completely okay to not feel motivated. Just ensure this day does not come around often. Giving yourself permission to be imperfect can keep you out from achieving your goal to become a better cyclist.
Get better at bike handling:
Bike handling helps you learn to feel the bike that makes it possible to handle well in tight situations. Riding your mountain bike or cyclocross bike in muddy and sandy venues can help you learn the feeling of the bike underneath you.
Ride harder. Ride longer:
Building your capacity for long rides is vital and helps you become a better cyclist. Once you are comfortable with a certain distance, increase the ride by 3 minutes. You can also go ahead and add in some more intensity (intervals) that can make you a better cyclist. Cyclists can consider riding with stronger riders that will help them to become a better cyclist.
If you are new to long rides, start easy and eat more than you think you require. Those of you who are worried about going longer and failing to complete the distance should consider doing loops around home. This can give you the confidence to try more things than you might otherwise.
A good way to become a better cyclist on the climbs is by including strength and endurance training in your plan. It could include staying seated and climbing at a higher gear with around 50-60rpm and so on. Once you’re done, don’t forget to give yourself enough time to recover. You could also consider doing efforts on long as well as short climbs. If you fear the climbs, add in some variety by riding in and out of the saddle or alter the pace and cadence depending on how you feel. There is no way you can become a better cyclist by avoiding this step.
Make every second count:
Considering you are juggling between your job, family and running other errands, time is precision and making every second count is important. However, this shouldn’t be a reason and block you to become a better cyclist.
Do a long ride if you have time in hand that can help you work on your overall fitness and assist you to become a better cyclist. But if you just have 30 minutes in hand, ensure to put in a hard effort and get some quality in. Know the purpose of your ride whether endurance, intervals or just enjoyment. This will help you stay focused on that intention and make the most of the time on the bike.
Long rides and hard sessions on the saddle require you to fuel effectively that can keep you going. Before you set your foot outside for the battle, load on carbs and don’t forget to carry a sandwich or gel that you can have on the bike. Carrying a sports/electrolyte drink is important too. Any reduction in your stores can reduce your performance by at least 10 percent that can worsen, resulting in poor performance.
Just like staying motivated and training hard, recovery is equally important to become a better cyclist. As you want to be fresh and ready for the next day, staying off your feet is vital. So get some good rest and don’t forget to eat properly and eat right.
However, recovery does not always mean you need to stay off the bike; going for an easy ride, getting a massage and stretching can also be helpful.
Keep the above tips in mind and become a better cyclist.
Editor: Nigel Buthello