Start your day with an ice cold glass of water. A study from the University of Utah showed that those who drank 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water per day had higher metabolic rates than those only drinking four glasses.
The body also burns extra calories from heating up the cold water inline with your body’s core temperature. Starting your day this way before you eat anything will have your metabolism firing on all cylinders ready for the day.
Tackling a steep climb is a great way to train and many new riders say they want to get better at climbing (well, as do most experienced riders).
They key is to pace you effort across the climb and not to put in a really hard effort at the start then burn out.
Switch down the gears until you can maintain a cadence around 70-80 for most of the climb. If you go off too hard at the start, you are likely to find yourself in too high gear, and that will slow you down and sap energy.
Use Strava to monitor your performance on the hill over time. Whilst you may not be close to getting the KOM, it will give you any indicator of how well your training is going and motivation to set a PR. It won’t get any easier, you’ll just go faster
This session throws in a mix of zones and areas to help build leg strength in the off season.
Go riding for 2 – 3 hours, with the following efforts:
- Seated, over-geared (60-70 rpm) – 10 x 1 minute
- Out of the saddle hill efforts – 3 x 2 minutes
- Continuous climb – 1 x 5 minutes
The idea of these sessions is working the muscles against a hard resistence. If you are in your first year of riding, it is recommended that some gym work is performed before these to make sure your legs are strong enough and to avoid injury. The effort level needs to be hard on the legs, but not destroying the lungs.
Any well maintained bike is better than any faulty bling bike.
Drink before you’re thirsty, eat before you’re hungry.
If you experience back pain whilst cycling on the drops, you can reduce this by either adding more spacers below the stem or changing the stem for one which has more rise. Do this until the handlebars are an inch below the saddle.
If you start to feel any discomfort on long rides, loosen your shoes. As you ride, your feet will naturally swell, so you will need to slacken them off to allow for this. If you use toe clips, they might need loosening too.
This is how Bradley Wiggins gets his body ready to race a time trial, the discipline he has dominated in recent years.
“I do the same warm-up every time I ride, and have done for 10 years. You need to gradually pull in your slow endurance and then your fast twitch explosive muscles to halve your injury risk. You should do 7 mins working at an easy 60% of your maximum heart rate with a heart rate monitor [your maximum is roughly 220 minus your age], then 8 mins working at 85%. Then spend the next 5 mins doing a series of intense 6-10 second sprints, interspersed at 95% with easy 20-second recoveries. It’s a routine anyone can follow, and benefit from.”
Don’t be pushed by people to alter your training to suit their desires. If you have said you are going for a fast ride, and they just want a social, don’t hang around. You can always meet them at the half way cafe (just you will have worked harder for your treat).
Similarly, if you are on a recovery ride, and they want to up the pace – let them. Put yourself first, and don’t pander to the wishes of your riding friends.
There are no yellow jerseys for the club ride champion.
A lot of people post in online forums (i.e. club website, facebook groups, twitter) asking for help with training, or advice on sessions. Don’t get involved! Invariably, the person will either completely ignore your advice, or someone will try to disagree with you and be looking for an argument. Don’t engage, let your mind focus on yourself and avoid any stress.
If you want to help them, just post “http://didfinish.com/”