How To Train For Cycling Events
The best way to train for cycling is by making it a regular part of your lifestyle. Start off with easy, manageable workouts and build up gradually over a period of weeks and months. The beauty of cycling is that it’s a great workout and a useful method of travel. You can be time-efficient by combining your journey and training into the same time-frame.
Specific Training Tips For Cyclists
Around 80% of your training should be done at an easy or steady effort, where you can maintain a conversation. Low intensity training boosts your fitness and is kind to your body, meaning you’re less likely to get over-tired or injured.
The other 20% of your training should be done at higher intensities. This normally involves harder efforts with frequent rests (after you’ve done a good warm up). Our online training plans include high intensity sessions, longer aerobic workouts and recovery periods, so you will improve consistently throughout.
Aim to cycle at least twice per week if you want to consistently improve. It’s generally better to follow a pre-planned workout, rather than just riding along aimlessly. Your training should include a mix of longer steady rides, and focused workouts with higher intensity efforts.
Your workouts should start off at a relatively easy level and progress gradually over a period of weeks and months, so that your body gradually adapts to the loads placed upon it. Include regular recovery days and easy weeks, so that it never feels like a drag. The more you enjoy it, the longer you’ll stick with it. Consistency and gradual progression are the keys to improvement.
You can either cycle outdoors in good weather, or indoors using an indoor trainer. Many indoor trainers enable you to use cycling software like Zwift, which makes it more fun. The workouts in our training plans can be exported to platforms such as Zwift, TrainerRoad and Garmin. However, it’s sensible to do at least some of your training outside on the bike you intend to use during your key event. This ensures you’re used to the feel and handling of your race-day bike.
We include two 45-minute strength and conditioning sessions per week with our cycle training plans. These workouts can help balance your strength and flexibility, which leads to more efficient movement patterns and fewer injuries. We suggest you only do strength work in addition to at least three rides per week. Rather than instead of them.
How Long Do I Need To Train For?
Entering a cycling event is a great way to kickstart your training, because it adds a sense of urgency to your preparation. The earlier you start training for your target event, the more time you can build up your fitness gradually. Fitness adaptations take weeks and months to occur, rather than days. Improvements occur faster for beginners. Either way, you should allow yourself at least 8-12 weeks to get fit.
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