10 sneaky training tips for cyclists
1. Start with goals
Always start with setting up your goals, that is what will keep you motivated long-term and will make it easier for you to find the right path (training plan).
Answer the question: why are you actually doing it? Do you want to prove to yourself that you can? Do you want to be an inspiration for your kids? Do you want to lose weight? Whatever it is, make sure that you define your “why”? It will help you with motivation and taking over your obstacles.
3. Typical 5 workouts week
More advanced cyclists do 5 workouts a week and it is usually, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Remember to take Wednesday easier so you recover between harder workouts on Tuesday and Thursday.
4. Don’t feel bad about finishing your workout before the end
When you follow your training plan it is harder to not do your workout than actually do it. Very often, motivation is so high that you will do your workout no matter what. It is extremely important to always listen to your buddy. If you have a bad day and you can’t put your heart rate at a specific zone, or maintain your watts, don’t be afraid to finish your workout! Our bodies always give us signals about what they need.
5. Recovery is the key
You can do any type of training, endurance, strength, intervals, put more and more stress on your muscular and cardiovascular systems but without proper recovery, you will eventually collapse. All of those workouts are important but actually “magic” happens when you actually rest and recover. That is when you become faster and stronger. Never forget about the right workout-recovery balance.
6. Better to do more Zone 2 rides than not enough
In recent years we can see that interval training is more and more popular, and many “schools” of cycling put less emphasis on endurance training. Never skip the second zone which is a relatively easy effort but extremely important in a long-term game.
“One of the things that I’ve been focusing on these years is what I call the mitochondria function. This is key because this is where we oxidize fuels, where we burn the different fuels. We use our carbohydrates, fats, and some protein as well, but the key is to utilize more fatty acids for energy purposes.” – Iñigo San Millán, coach of Tadej Pogačar, 2020 Tour de France winner.
7. Take your time
Take things easy, don’t rush anything, and don’t try to be the best in one season, that is why it is good to start with long-term goals so it is easier to adjust your week or take extra time off if you get sick. From a long-term perspective, those things can only help rather than hurt your training plan.
8. Don’t only do cycling
Many cyclists are actually only doing cycling, which seems obvious but it should not be practiced. At a young age below 18, you should be doing many other activities to make sure that all your group muscles are developed at the same level. So enjoy running, hiking, swimming, group sport and overall active life, it will benefit you in the long run. Always think of being a good athlete rather than only a good cyclist.
9. Don’t skip core training
The cycling position on your bike is very unnatural and many cyclists have problems with their lower back, that is one of the reasons why you should do a core training session at least once a week for the entire year. Core training keeps the position of your pelvis and backbone stable and will also help you with transferring power from the upper body to the lower body for better sprints and accelerations.
10. Don’t skip stretching
Another important part of training that is skipped by many cyclists is stretching, do it after every workout, even around 10-15 min. Add 1-2 stretching sessions per week that are only focused on stretching, it will help with your recovery, flexibility, and finally with your power output during the cycling.
Find more training tips for cyclists
Check our Cycling Guide for more nutrition and training tips and on how to create your own training plan.