Training to become a better cyclist is more then jumping on a bike and riding for hours, it takes preparation and discipline. Each cycling workout needs to be specifically planned to work on key areas for becoming a better cyclist. It also requires various other elements outside of just hitting the gym or riding a bike, making sure your body is finely turned with things like proper sleep and nutrition are vital to executing effective cycling workouts. Whether you’re trying to win a local race or get to work quicker, having an effective cycling routine can make all the difference.
The term, the more you put in the more you get out of it, is an age old saying, especially in sports. The greatest athletes in the world dedicate their life to their sport, they spend every hour of the day studying and analyzing how they can become a better at their craft. It can be as simple as changing a specific diet habit or shaving a few seconds off of your run time, continuing to improve even the smallest margins is what helps you improve as an athlete. Cycling is no different. Having a disciplined and structured goals is what will take you to the next level of your cycling ability, those goals can be a lofty as qualifying for the Tour De France or biking to work in under 20 minutes. It’s not about how big the goal is, it’s about setting out the priorities to reach that goal. When starting out on how you can execute a high effective workout routine it’s always a good idea to utilize the SMART acronym, its a full proof way to set out a measurable set of goals.
When setting your goals they need to very specific and clear, if they aren’t specific then it’s easy to lose focus and divert away from your goals. When setting your specific goal, it’s good to ask yourself these 5 questions. What do I want to accomplish, why is the goal important, who is involved, where is it located and which resources or limits are involved.
Measuring your goals is how you stay focused, continue to stay motivated towards achieving those set goals and meet any set out deadlines.
Your set goal needs to be somewhat reachable and realistic, if you set too lofty of a goal you are more likely to give up. Setting an achievable goal is vital in reaching your set target.
Setting a goal that is important to you is important to reaching your goal, if you don’t believe in what you are trying to achieve or are not 100% full committed there is always a chance you will fail and reaching that goal.
Setting specific times and being deadline focused will not only help you reach your goal but help with the specific, measurable, achievable and realistic. Knowing when you can achieve your set goal and setting a timeline that reflects both your daily schedule and training schedule can better help set our reasonable times.
Now that you have organized the goals you want to achieve as a cyclist it’s time to move how you can execute your workouts effectively.
How To Executive Effective Cycling Workouts
Cycling workouts are much more then just getting on the bike and doing bike interval training, there are 5 key elements that athletes need to focus on to get the best out of their cycling workouts. Many athletes tend to dip in form which comes from their inability get the best out of their cycling workouts at the highest quality, the steps we’ve outlined below will directly influence your cycling workouts and help take your cycling workouts to a higher level.
Sleep, sleep and sleep some more
Whether you’re struggling with your various cycling workouts or your cycling interval training the first question that needs to be asked is are you getting enough sleep? Sleep is arguably one of the most important factors when recovering, those who don’t get enough sleep are guaranteed to suffer when it comes to training. Most medical experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep a night for athletes who are intensively training, some even say athletes need more then 9 hours of sleep. Sleep is the time that the body needs to repair itself, without the right amount of sleep the body has a bigger chance of injury and fatigue. Life can be stressful and getting the right amount sleep can be near impossible with things like job and families taking priority, if that’s the case then you should be altering your workout schedule to reflect your sleep pattern. If you’ve had a poor night of sleep its best to not do any high intensity bike interval training that day, it’s best to schedule a high intense bike interval workout for a day you’ve got a lot of sleep are your body is more rested. A good tip for getting a better night sleep is avoiding things like alcohol and screen time before bed.
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Getting the right amount of fuel for each specific workout is key, for cycling workouts you want to make sure you are reaching your appropriate caloric intake, this gives you enough energy to sustain an intense cycling workout. Consuming enough calories is one thing, eating the right food for each cycling workout is another. If your doing an intense bike interval workout you’re going to want to make sure you consume a high amount of good carbohydrates around an hour before any high intensity bike interval workouts. It’s all about having your muscle glycogen fully charged for your bike workouts, healthy carbohydrates like vegetables, fruit, nuts and whole grains are optimal for a intense cycling interval training and workouts.
Be Mindful of Your Mind
Having a clear and focused mind is important, whether you are doing an intense bike interval workout or a long endurance ride, having a focused mindset can give you that competitive advantage to take your cycling workouts to the next level. It’s all about being present in the moment, not letting things distract you such as cell phones, make sure they are turned off and that you can’t answer any emails or texts. Prior to your cycling workouts it’s recommended taking time to collect your thoughts and getting mentally prepared for your cycling workout. Meditation is a good tool even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes to add to your pre-workout routine, it will help you look at your stresses in a different way.
Make Your Bike Workouts Purposeful
Having a purpose in life is important, it’s what gets your out of bed in the morning. It’s the same with getting on your bike, you need something to strive for to mount up everyday. Every training session needs to be planned out with an end goal in mind, even if it just getting on your bike and riding for an hour, always have a purpose when approaching bike workouts. A lot of cyclists when they start their training regime at the start are motivated and excited to start their journey to becoming a better cyclist, but as time goes on motivation can dwindle. If you’re training for a race a year away, after 6 months of training it can become difficult to motivate yourself to keep going, with your goal so far away. Even if you’re following a training plan you should also know why you are doing that specific workout.
Stay on Track
Your workout plan was designed specifically to optimize your bike workouts, whether it is a static training regiment or designed by a coach, you should always stick to it as closely as you can. Training is specifically designed to focus on various aspects of your body to achieve the optimal intensity. Over the course of a workout regime if you alter or skip certain elements of your workout, it will all add up resulting in a lesser performance when it counts the most. Most planned workouts range between 60-90 minutes, it’s important to make the most out of that time and it’s also recommend to stick to the appropriate recovery times as well.