Enter A Race
Competition raises your fitness ceiling because it forces you to push your body harder than you do while training. You’ll recover stronger and experience a bump in performance that could take weeks to develop otherwise. Find a race near you.
Go Easy More Often
The physiological adaptations that raise your cruising speed happen during recovery, not training. Leg-searing, lung-burning rides create tremendous physical stress. Your body doesn’t like that, so it strengthens itself by building more muscle fibers and increasing its aerobic engine. Push yourself to your limits once or twice a week and take a day or two off the bike in between.
Get A Jump On The Competition
Plyometrics–explosive jumping and hopping–train your muscles to reach maximum strength quickly. Researchers found that just one month of plyometric training twice a week can increase your power endurance by 17 percent. This means you’ll be stomping out longer sprints and charging up hills in your big ring.
After you have a few weeks of general training under your belt, do star jumps twice a week: Stand, then bend legs toward the floor into a crouch position. Swiftly jump up and open your arms and legs to create a star shape midair. As you land, bend your knees until your hands can touch the floor on either side of your feet. Do one to two sets of eight to 12 reps.
Condition Your Core
Whether you’re pulling up on the bar or pressing down on your pedals, your core is at the heart of the work. As it fatigues, your form deteriorates. In a University of Pittsburgh study of 15 competitive cyclists, researchers found that as the riders’ core muscles became tired, their legs started wobbling. To best simulate the unilateral demands of cycling, get into a plank position (arms extended like a push-up), then simultaneously lift your left foot off the floor and extend your right arm in front of you. Pause. Return to start. Alternate sides for 10 to 20 reps
If you are interested to learn about the Conditioning your Core, contact our friends of Innerfight
Balance Your Body
Cyclists’ bodies are notoriously imbalanced from hours of hunching forward, which eventually causes tight quads and hip flexors, weak glutes and hamstrings, soft abs–and the various aches and pains that accompany these disparaties. Stretch your quads, hip flexors, chest and shoulders daily.
Strengthen the backside of your body with moves like this one three times a week: Lie back on the floor with shoulders flat, arms at sides, and legs extended, ankles resting on a stability ball. Squeeze glutes and lift hips off the floor while pulling the ball toward your butt with your heels. Return to start. Repeat 15 times.
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