Starting training for a cycling event can be an incredibly rewarding experience, provided you take the proper steps to ensure your preparation is successful.
Before beginning any rigorous training plan, it’s important to have a medical check-up with your you are fit and visit a doctor to make sure that your body can handle the added strain.
To supplement this, many gyms will provide a quick so-called ‘wellness’ exam that includes measuring your blood pressure and other simple metrics to assess the status of your health.
Once you know that you’re ready for the challenge, you can focus on creating a cycling plan that will best suit you and allow you to confidently achieve your goals in regard to the cycling event.
With cycling training, there are three pillars that should be considered just as important: technique, strength, and nutrition.
Once you have the right combination of cycling, strength, and nutrition, then you will start seeing real gains in your performances and be well on your way towards completing your cycling event.
Taking a Start
Cycling should be seen as a supplement to an overall healthy lifestyle in order to gain the most benefit – rather than a one-time event.
With that being said, it is still important to have a training program in place if you are focused on completing a challenging cycle race.
The optimal timeframe to start training is 4-6 months before the challenge, but this timeline may need to be extended if you are starting from scratch and don’t have a base level of fitness yet.
Dedication and sustained effort are key ingredients for success when approaching a long-distance cycle challenge, so make sure your training methodology accounts for those factors.
The Equipment you need
Taking part in a cycling challenge requires having the right equipment for success.
A good bike is the first essential, as it will ensure that you can compete safely and effectively.
While it’s possible to take your chances with an old bike, it is worth looking into having it serviced at a local cycling store.
If you are purchasing a new bike, it’s important to try it before you buy. Trying the bike out beforehand gives you an idea of how it feels and ensures that you’ll be comfortable while riding instead of being stuck with something that doesn’t quite fit your needs.
Additionally, reputable cycling shops offer this service, meaning that even if you’re buying online, you can still easily test bikes of different sizes and models to find the style and fit that works best for you.
Take your bike to a professional for fitting and set-up. This service is well worth the potential savings in long-term damage and injuries down the line.
The small expense of getting your bike adjusted to specifically suit you ensures greater comfort, balance, and safety during rides so that you can take full advantage of the many benefits cycling has to offer.
Some of essential equipment to have during a race or tournament or even for proper bike ride are as below:
which come in a variety of materials and styles, are a must-have for any cyclist who values comfort and performance. Specially designed to reduce the pressure placed on your bottom from bike saddles—they provide extra shock absorption that increases muscle support on even the bumpiest of trails.
Not only do cycling jerseys offer aerodynamic benefits, they are also equipped with pockets that allow you to store snacks and energy gels that give you the boost of energy you need during your rides.
Cycling jerseys are designed with fabrics that wick away sweat and allow air to flow through, helping regulate body temperature as temperatures rise during your ride.
Wearing gloves helps to provide a number of important benefits beyond just keeping your hands warm. Go for cycling-specific gloves, and you’ll get the added advantages of extra padding on the palms for comfort, plus better grip and improved braking power compared to regular gloves.
The palm pads are designed to reduce pressure on key areas of the hand during long rides; this reduces tingling sensations from fatigue as well as eliminating the possibility of hot spots or abrasions developing on the palms.
Cycling Fitness Watch
Are you looking for a way to keep track of your fitness level? Consider investing in a watch or heart rate monitoring device. Tracking your progress with one of these devices can help you develop and maintain a healthier lifestyle by giving you an understanding of how intense your workouts are being.
They can also provide feedback on your recovery time so that you know when it is time to rest.
Cycling Shoes and Pedals
Cycling shoes and pedals are a must for any avid cyclist. By clipping your feet onto the pedals, you have complete control over applying pressure throughout each pedal stroke, allowing for maximum efficiency.
However, when using these for the first time, it is best to be practicing in an area with plenty of space as initially coming to a stop might take some getting used to, and it may result in an unexpected fall! Make sure to get familiar with cycling shoes and pedals before taking them out on the open road.
2-Good to have
Keeping properly hydrated is an essential part of playing any sport. Dehydration can lead to cramps, weak muscles, low energy, and even dangerous drops in blood pressure.
But staying hydrated isn’t always easy; lugging around a bulky water bottle can be inconvenient and heavy. Fortunately, modern water bottles are now designed specifically with active athletes in mind, so they can stay safe and healthy while enjoying their favorite sports.
Breathable and lightweight upper-body base layers are good to have for any cyclist who wants to stay comfortable while cycling.
Whether you’re cycling in cold weather or hot, these base layers effectively wick away sweat so that you don’t get chilled.
Leggings are also a great choice for cyclists who wants to stay warm and comfortable in chilly weather without adding extra bulk to their wardrobe.
Not only do leggings provide the warmth needed, but they also come in all sorts of designs, patterns, and colors allowing wearers to still show off a bit of style and personality even when the temperatures drop.
Cycling Hat / Helmet
These lightweight hats act as the perfect insulation between your head and the environment, providing extra warmth on cold days. And it also ensures safety during the ride.
Nasty weather conditions can put a stop to your outdoor activities, such as cycling, or at least make them much less enjoyable.
The best way to prevent that from happening is by investing in a good waterproof jacket. Not only will it protect you from the elements, but it helps maintain body temperature, too; the wind resistance cools off your body quickly, which means you’ll stay warm for longer.
It goes without saying that saddles are a very personal choice and that different riders may prefer different styles, but for those of us who ride our bikes for long distances, gel saddles are often the most comfortable.
Gel-filled saddles have been specifically designed to help minimize saddle soreness while riding for extended periods of time. With thicker options providing more cushioning and less pressure, such as your sit bones and crotch, it is easy to locate the right style of saddle that won’t compromise your comfort and performance.
Warm-Up Before Cycling
Before you jump onto your bike, I would recommend that you spend at least ten minutes walking to warm up.
Warming up prepares the body for any upcoming physical activities, allowing your muscle to gradually build up and reduce discomfort while cycling. Of course, jogging is a great way to get your muscles going too – cycling can limit the movement of certain joints, so by taking your body through its full range of motions beforehand will have you feeling more comfortable and ahead in the saddle.
You can also do a 100 m sprinter round to warm up your body.
Another warmup exercise is Knee raise. Knee raises are an easy way to continue warming up properly: when raising your knees, ensure your hands are held at waist height so that your heels will almost touch them.
After Warm Up. What Next?
After you are done with a warm-up, go for a short 10 min ride on your bicycle.
Once you’re done cycling, give 5 min time to do some stretching.
After that, take a shower and relax a little.
Additionally, adequate hydration is key when replenishing what you lost during exercise – having something to drink as well as eating a small snack afterwards can provide your body with the necessary nutrients for healing and repair.
Cross-training is a great way for you to stay fit without getting stuck in the same cycling routine.
Not only can it be fun and an exciting challenge to try out different activities with your friends and family, like running or swimming, but you’ll also reap the advantages of working different muscles simultaneously and of building strength that may affect your performance in other exercises.
What’s more, the change of activity will help break up the monotony that can sometimes come with sticking to one fitness regime for too long. So for a ‘fresh’ start in cycling, look for cross-exercises as well.
When it comes to the science of training and exercise, the concept of ‘no pain, no gain’ is, in fact, a reality!
Our muscles become stronger when we cause micro tears while training and then allow them to heal through rest.
We need to be careful, though – if we overwork our muscles without giving them time to repair, the micro tears become macro tears resulting in injury.
So ensure you give your body time to rest, and you’ll be able to train more effectively, with greater results and less pain.
Hydration is so important to make sure your body performs optimally in any type of exercise.
People have different sweat rates, and as a general rule, you should be drinking two liters or more of water each day, plus drink sufficient amounts before, during, and after your training sessions.
To easily tell whether you are hydrated or not, pay attention to the color of your urine: if it is a pale straw color, then you know that you are hydrated properly; however, when dehydrated, there is an increased chance of injury and up to a 15-20 percent reduction in performance.
Eat Quality Foods
When training, you’re going to be burning more calories than usual, so it’s important to make sure you refuel properly with the right foods while cycling.
This is key if you plan on taking part in an event that requires cycling and needs to replenish your energy stores during the ride.
Eating a carb-dense meal the night before a long-distance bike ride is considered by many athletes to be essential for success, as it helps fuel your body for an extended period of activity.
Eating wholesome and healthy foods, such as bananas, peanut butter, and cheese cubes, are great choices, as these items provide energy from carbohydrates and proteins along with beneficial nutrients from the fats.
Eating the right kinds of food the night before a bike ride is just one more step towards having an enjoyable and successful ride.
To stay motivated while cycling, it is important to set realistic goals that you can work toward. It could be anything from increasing speed or distance, conquering a difficult hill or trail, joining a fitness challenge, or writing down your progress and goals for yourself.
Having such achievable objectives will be the cornerstone of maximum motivation when battling those hills and tracking progress over time.
Joining forces with other like-minded avid cyclists who might have different passions but share your common love for the sport can also prove highly motivating, such as taking part in group rides or charity events organized in your locality.
Biking has become an essential part of my life. Not only does it help me stay fit, but it also allows me to share my experience and knowledge of biking with others. I enjoy the challenge of cycling, the satisfaction of completing a long ride, and the feeling of freedom that comes with being on the open road. For me biking is a great way to explore the world, and to stay fit and healthy.