After a long winter, avid cyclists are chomping at the bit to get outside for the first ride of the season.
While some cyclers ride outside all year round, the spring season hogs the spotlight when it comes to training. After all, spring beckons new life, and a time to prep for change & transformation and all forms of spirited cycling fun.
Undoubtedly, the fact that the cycling season has just started or is about to start, it can be hugely exciting, and slightly nerve-racking, especially for the cyclists who have spent their autumn and winter months working on their spring or summer goals.
When the first nice day starts, you might get tempted to jump on the bike and go. However, there are a few tips that will allow for a successful progression into spring.
And in this article, we shall highlight five tips from the pros that you should consider when plotting your course for all the fun of warm-weather pedaling ahead.
Create a Training Plan for 2019
The first step towards readying yourself for the forthcoming cycling season is to create a training plan. After all, spring is several weeks ahead and in all likelihood, your training goals aren’t exactly set only for spring but the entire year.
It’s crucial that your training plan is structured accordingly to climax for the main event.
To achieve this, your training should be specific for your goals as much as possible, and while at it, ensure that you account for your current levels of strengths and weaknesses, and how they’re going to relate to the forthcoming event, plus the available time left.
The key to a successful training plan is consistency. Rather than beating yourself up for a short period, plan progressively, while incorporating periods of rest and lower training loads, and this should help you increase your training capacity gradually.
Beyond consistency, ensure that you iron out your weaknesses. As a general rule, you should train your weaknesses and race to your strengths.
While creating a training plan for the entire year seems convenient, it’s unrealistic and unhelpful. Instead, set a realistic time frame that is easier to follow.
Commit Yourself Mentally
Understandably, a majority of the cyclersare always ready to commit to the next cycling season after the winter break.
Physically, unless you over trained or have an injury, it does not take long before you’re ready to go. Here, we’re referring to the mental & motivational side that will need time for recharging.
Sure, while it’s possible to continue with your offseason routine while you’re getting ready for the forthcoming programs, you should always be ready to focus your energies on the road ahead.
Let’s be honest: successful cycling requires dedication, enormous effort and time, and the last thing you would want to complain about is training in February or March.
So, it’s essential that you’re ready to go mentally, motivated and prepared for the long haul.
While at it, remember that we’ve different temperaments, and the time to get back that edge varies considerably. Therefore, there’s no right or wrong amount of time to get prepared mentally.
What is crucial here is that you understand what triggers your commitment to any activity, and whatever it is, be prepared to give 100% of yourself.
Get your Body Tuned Up
Ensuring your body is moving well and that your joints are aligned is crucial for getting your cycling season started
Cycling is repetitive, and this can be rough on joints, especially if they are misaligned.
Therefore, it’s vital that you build a base now by engaging in light exercises that will allow you to be in much better shape come spring.
A good place to start is the indoor spin classes. Indoor spins help in conditioning your body and most importantly working on your cadence. Your body will thank you for developing good and efficient cadence during the actual race.
Plyos, are another remarkable form of exercises, especially for cyclists. This is because engaging in plyometrics will not only bring improvements on the bike but will also add an interesting aspect to your off-bike training.
Plyometric exercises, which consists of competing exercises that exert maximum force on muscles for short periods are vital for improving neuromuscular adaptation and power output without increasing muscular size.
Beyond the two, other workouts that can get your body in shape include exercises that engage your core, rollers, and jumping ropes.
Regardless of the form of exercise you do, ensure that it gets your body in shape.
Choose A Perfect Bike According to your Height
How many times have you sat on your bicycle and it didn’t feel just right? Too high? Too low? Too wide and unable to reach the ground well? Or it does seem to fit, but you don’t like the balance from side to side?
Well, cycling is all about balance, comforts and feel and there are a plethora of reasons why a bike might feel it’s not meant for you.
The lack of any of the above key components is not only unsettling but also uncomfortable.
So, how do I choose one?
One way of choosing a bike that is right for you is picking a bike that fits your height. A right-fitting bike will allow you to feel for a proper weight distribution from side to side as well as an overall comfortable feel of the bike. ( Read more about bike size chart from mybikexl )
In effect, this will allow you to maximize your training, and handle the forthcoming cycling season with greater confidence and comfort.
Take it Easy and Move Goals if You’ve To
With the cycling season fast approaching, a majority of cyclers enter in a panic mode, fearing that they`ve not trained enough and decide to increase their training session suddenly.
In effect, the abrupt increase in training volume and intensity can result in injury and set you back much longer than just being behind on schedule. It’s therefore important that you take the whole preparation thing easy.
And if you cannot reach your goals as you had planned with a slow and steady build, it may be worth moving the goal post a little.
Set yourself a new goal of a similar distance later in the year, but ensure you replace the initial goal with something more challenging.
It’s still not too late; you still have time to get your body in shape for spring cycling.
Get those legs ready, prep your mind and take it easy as you embark on this exciting journey.