Laurence Pigott
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Cycling Training Tips

Laurence Pigott
Posted by
22 Apr 2015

With the summer approaching we've put together some cycling training tips to get you ready to race.

1) Develop an economical speed

The key to a good race is making sure you’re working as efficiently as possible. During the event, when you’re not climbing and descending hills, you're going to want to find a cadence that you can maintain comfortably. A quick way to assess whether you're at the correct pace is how constant your breathing is – if you’re gasping for air you’re going too fast, too soon.

2) Build your engine size

In a long distance race, endurance is much more important than power and speed, so focus on developing that first. Once you’ve increased your endurance you can then fully turn your attention to improving your other areas.

3) Practice seated hill climbs

When ascending hills, standing up is natural and gives you more power, but while training it’s more beneficial to practice climbing in the saddle. This will not only benefit your hill climbs during the race, but emulate cycling into a headwind (without having to wait for a windy day). At a low speed and low cadence you can also focus on improving your pedalling technique.

4) Increase your power

By adding short intense intervals to your rides you can build power, and teach yourself to overcome periods of intense effort you’ll be sure to face on an unfamiliar course.

5) Keep your training balanced

When you start increasing your power and intensity, you’ll want to cut down your endurance training, as your muscles are going to need more recovery time than before. Don’t try to increase every aspect of your training at the same time otherwise you could end up slowing your progress.

6) Rest

You don’t build strength and endurance during your training sessions, but in the time spent recovering. Don’t overdo it – make sure you get ample rest between sessions.

7) Cross train

Just because you’re training to cycle don’t confine yourself to the bike! Swimming is a great aerobic activity and uses a different combination of muscles, so why not spend a rest day at the pool? You could also do some ab crunches to improve your core strength.

8) Don’t be afraid to take a step back

If you’re not feeling 100%, are fatigued or stressed out, keep yourself ticking over with some low intensity training instead. Get back to the hard training another day.

9) Have the right mindset

We can’t all afford to hire a sports psychologist, but it’s a good idea to try and make sure you’re in the right mindset while training and to keep this continuity through to the event. Before setting off for a training session learn your routine, and prepare in the same methodical way each time. When you begin the routine on race day your body will be subconsciously conditioned to put in the hard effort.