The training road to your big event begins now. Include the following in your training program to make sure you show up fit and ready to enjoy the experience.
Include Strength Training Exercises for Fatigue Resistance and Increased Power
A training plan that includes cycling specific strength exercises is key to being fully prepared for the rigors of a high mileage endurance event. Dedicating training time to improving core strength and muscular endurance now, will assist your body in handling the fatigue associated with successive days on the bike later. Another reason for strength training? According to USA Cycling certified coach Mike Schultz, “The aerobically stronger your assistance muscles and core, the less fatigue you will experience late in a race, additionally, the more potential you will have for increasing power.” Who doesn’t want more power? In the watts per kilogram game, increasing the power you can produce while maintaining body weight means getting to the top of a climb faster.
What exercises should you include? Exercises such as planks and stability ball pikes help to increase core strength. Core strength is key to a stable bike position and pain free lower back when the miles run into triple digits. Other key exercises include lunges, which work one leg at a time, kettlebell swings, single-leg deadlifts and front squats. Focus on exercises which zero in on quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings. The glutes are the engine for muscular power.
Put a little yoga in your life
Hip flexor tightness is common in many cyclists. The same muscles we want to strengthen for performance are also at risk for being tight. A steady training program of repetitive action (cycling!) performed through a limited range of motion, fuels this imbalance. Stretches that counteract the cycling posture may address it. More and more cyclists are including yoga in their cycling training program. If attending a class isn’t doable for you, Bike Radar has summarized 8 stretches to improve your flexibility and cycling performance including photos of stretches.
Address Your Areas of Opportunity
Some people call these weaknesses. Instead, choose to view these as increased speed and power opportunities. Incorporating specific workouts into your training plan allows you to concentrate on these areas. What is the easiest way to do this? Train Indoors. Training indoors on rollers or a magnetic resistance trainer allows you to control the environment and focus on fitness and technique with targeted workouts. Mike Durner, Carmichael Training Systems Pro Coach, regularly incorporates trainer workouts into training plans for clients. According to Mike, “doing some of your winter training on trainers or rollers with resistance allows for precise focus in areas of your fitness that are opportune for improvement without weather, traffic, or road surface. Additionally, spending time on the trainer or rollers can provide some quality mental training.”
Plan the Road to Success
Use an organized manner to plan, track and analyze workouts and progress. Many coaching services, including CTS, use Training Peaks as an online system to communicate between athlete and coach. It’s more than simply logging your workouts. Athletes use programs to plan a season and make continued informed decisions about progress and the need for recovery. Consider it your GPS system for your big event. Training Peaks offers trials for their Premium version and the Athlete edition is Free.
Consider a Coach
For accountability, there’s nothing quite like having a coach. A qualified coach that clearly understands your goals and limitations can keep you on the fast track to improvement. Realizing your full potential, whether you are a novice or a seasoned athlete might be best achieved by including an expert in the process. For coaching services consider researching Training Peaks as well as personalized coaching from CTS.
The accomplishment of a big event is something that stays with you for a long time. Why not arrive fully prepared and able to take it on feeling fit and ready? Planning your training program for being strong on the bike is your best bet for success.