Working full time or taking a full load of units in college can end up leaving you drained and demotivated. Unfortunately this usually results in less training time in your week. Try commuting to work by bicycle, or if that isn't possible, come up with a schedule for getting your training in, and stick to it!
2. Change It Up
Don't get bored of the same old routes. Try new ones to find new roads and new territory to ride in. It's also not very fun to be lost, so try to plan out your new route with your phone or computer which you can then send to your Garmin device.
Longer climbs are all about pacing. Don't be tempted to race others or go too hard at the beginning of the climb. Save something, wait for halfway, and that's where you can press on to the very top.
Also in the vein of pacing yourself, make sure you allow plenty of recovery time in the case of illness. The extra miles you are giving that day could save you from a relapse.
4. Increase Your Efficiency
There are many ways you can increase your efficiency. The first and easiest way is to Get A Professional Fitting. You can also work on your Pedaling Technique.
The key recovery window is the 30 minutes following a ride; that's when your body needs protein to repair muscles and help reload its energy stores, so make sure to get at least 20 to 25 grams. Stacy Sims, a nutritionist at Stanford University, recommends six to eight ounces of nonfat Greek yogurt with walnuts or berries.
Or try this protein rich smoothie: Before working out, put 1.5 scoops whey protein powder, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries or blueberries, 1/2 frozen banana, 2 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal, and 1 cup vanilla almond milk into a blender (but don't blend it yet). Store in the refrigerator. Whirl and drink when you return.
Look to the Pros: See Chris Baldwin's Nine Golden Training Rules Here
Now that we have told you a few ways to improve your training, here are some pitfalls to avoid.
1. Letting Your Cadence Stagnate
If you ride the same steady speed all the time, you won't learn to go faster. So pick a few times during the week when you will work on your sprinting. This could be on a trainer, racing your friends, or sprinting uphill.
2. Not Bringing A Repair Kit
Always, always, always have at least these bare minimum repair tools any time you ride.
- 2 Inner tubes
- C02 Canister or Pump
- Tire Lever
Make it a habit to bring these items with you, or if it's easier, slip it all in to a saddle bag that you can always leave on your bike.
3. Not Practicing Bike Skills
It can be very easy to focus solely on endurance, fitness, strength and speed when training. It is important to remember to practice your bike handling skills as well. Make sure you stay aware of the areas in which you struggle. If your downhill riding or cornering need work, incorporate these things into your training. If you have trouble riding in a group or riding in the drops, don't just ignore it. Over time and patient application, these things will become second nature to you.
4. Ignoring Advice
Don't ignore advice. If you don't listen to others, you will find it very hard to progress as a cyclist. Ask questions! Most cyclists would love to answer your questions on how they got better. Remember, even the pros are still learning.
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