Whether you’re an expert cycler or just starting, you want to know you’re getting the most out of your cycling sessions. There are a few key steps even the strongest cyclers overlook that could boost the efficiency of their cycling.
Create a Fitness Roadmap
Before starting a cycling session, you should prepare a fitness roadmap to figure out your goals for each session and your overall goals. Are you a competitive cycler, or is this exercise part of your physical therapy? Are you coming in with any weight loss or muscle gains? These overarching goals will shape your smaller session goals and dictate how you should split your time between intensity and endurance exercises. Finally, integrate your schedule into this roadmap. Be honest about the time you have available to dedicate and consult health professionals to check that you aren’t overdoing any exercises that harm your body.
Never Neglect the Basics
In cycling, basic exercises are crucial, especially for beginners. Learning the basics and learning them well is a key to a long and efficient cycling career. Practicing basic training exercises will strengthen your body and transform it so that you can advance to higher capabilities. For cycling, this means working on expanding your aerobic capacity. Your body is making the mitochondria that turn fuel into energy with oxygen better at their jobs so that you are faster and your aerobic capacity expands.
Bike Fitting and Getting the Right Equipment
Another overlooked element is bike fitting and sizing your equipment. Some companies, such as Plan 7 Coaching, know just how true this is. Working with a bike that does not fit properly is cumbersome and genuinely dangerous. The mechanics of a bike fitting are not difficult, but some people would benefit from a professional consultation. The main requirements should be ensuring your feet comfortably touch the pedals and can go through a full rotation without losing contact. Your legs should also be able to complete a rotation without cramping up. Additionally, make sure your hands can easily pump the hand brakes.
Prioritize Rest and Recovery
Finally, it is essential to complement your intense cycling sessions with periods of rest so your body can recover. This is doubly true if you are a beginner cyclist. Your body is genuinely changing its structure. Your muscles are breaking down and getting stronger. To protect this growth, you need to add concentrated rest to your schedule. You also need to eat healthy foods and get a full night of sleep. Finally, you should learn some stretches and practice them regularly. Stretching will alleviate much of the associated pains and aches.
As you can see, a lot of work involved in becoming a better cyclist isn’t cycling at all. However, these background processes are necessary to become an effective cyclist. Eventually, they will become routine habits.