Racers start somewhere; most likely, they aren’t at the top. Training is a critical factor in becoming a successful racer. Whether you want to compete in local races or one day hope to race in the Tour de France, we’re providing you with the best tips and techniques from fellow cyclists, so you can make the most of your training and be race-ready in no time.
Why Do Cyclists Train?
As with any sport, cyclists must build a solid base before starting race-specific training. The base phase is about increasing endurance and should last for at least four to six weeks. Workouts should be long and slow during this phase, focusing on building mileage.
After the base phase, cyclists can focus on more specific training goals. The next phase is typically the build phase, where athletes work on increasing their power and speed. A race-specific phase follows this, and cyclists fine-tune their skills and practice race-specific tactics.
Each training phase should have a specific goal, and workouts should be planned accordingly. For example, cyclists might do longer rides at a lower intensity during the base phase to build endurance. During the build phase, they might do shorter, more intense workouts to increase their power and speed.
Types of Training Workouts
When it comes to training, there are a few different types of workouts that cyclists can do. The first is endurance training, which is about building the cardiovascular system to handle longer rides. This training is typically done at a lower intensity and for longer periods.
Interval training is another type of workout that cyclists can do. This training involves riding at a high intensity for a short period, followed by a recovery period. Interval training is excellent for increasing power and speed.
Lastly, there is strength training. Strength training helps cyclists build muscle, which can help them ride faster and longer. Strength-training workouts should be done two to three times per week.
There are a few different ways cyclists can go about it regarding training. Some cyclists prefer to follow a structured training plan, while others prefer to create their plans. There are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches.
Following a structured training plan is great for cyclists who want to ensure they get the most out of their workouts. Structured programs also take the guesswork out of training, which can be helpful for busy people who don’t have a lot of time to plan their workouts.
The main downside of a structured training plan is that it can be inflexible and can quickly get discouraging if something comes up and you can’t stick to the program.
Creating your training plan allows you to do what you want when you want. This approach is great for cyclists who are self-motivated and who like to have control over their workouts. The downside of this approach is that it can be easy to overlook essential aspects of training, such as rest and recovery.
How To Train For Cycling Races
Racing in an actual event differs from training by yourself or friends. To make sure you’re race-ready, it’s essential to do some specific types of workouts. Here are a few examples:
- Group Riding
- Road Races
- Mountain Bike Races
Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when training for any cycling race:
1. Get A Training Plan
The first step in any training program is to get a plan. Whether you create your plan or follow a structured program, having a plan will help you stay on track and make the most of your workouts.
2. Set Some Goals
Before you start training, it’s essential to set some goals. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to win your age group? Finish in the top 10%? Complete a certain distance? Having specific goals will help you stay motivated and on track.
3. Train Smart
Training for a cycling race is not about putting in as many miles as possible, and it’s about quality, not quantity. Make sure your workouts are well-rounded and include a mix of endurance, interval, and strength training.
4. Rest & Recovery
Rest and recovery are just as important as the actual workouts. Make sure to take one or two rest days per week, and don’t be afraid to take an extra day off if you’re tired or sick.
5. Check Your Equipment
Make sure your bike is in good working order and have the proper clothing and gear for your rides. Wearing the right clothes can make a big difference in your comfort and performance.
6. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is a common cause of fatigue, so it’s essential to ensure that you’re drinking enough fluids during and after your rides. A good rule of thumb is to drink about 1-2 cups (8-16 ounces) of water every hour you ride.
7. Eat Right
Eating a healthy diet is crucial for any athlete but essential for cyclists. Make sure to eat enough calories to fuel your rides and recovery, and include plenty of healthy carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in your diet.
8. Get Some Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for recovery and performance, and most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try avoiding caffeine in the evening and establish a regular bedtime routine.
9. Have Fun!
Remember that cycling should be fun! Don’t get too wrapped up in your training and race goals. Take some time to enjoy the process and the journey. That’s what it’s all about.
Cycling races can be a great way to challenge yourself and test your limits. Following a few simple tips, you can ensure that you’re prepared physically and mentally for race day. So get out there and start training.