Whether your goal is to complete your first 50km charity ride complete the Etape, Marmotte, improve your time trialling or competitive racing it all comes down to training smart and using time efficiently. Here at Cyclissimo our goal is to bring elite level knowledge from the sporting professional world of sports medicine, physiology, strength and conditioning, injury prevention, recovery and training concepts to you.
Over the next few weeks we will be posting useful tips in all these areas that you can apply to your own training to help you achieve your goals.
As much as we’d like to think that a new bike, item of clothing, chain set or aero helmet will transform us from mere mortals into cycling gods the reality is somewhat different. Sure all these will help the top percentages of performance but the reality is that you are your bikes engine and it’s you and your legs that are going to get you over the high mountains. A fellow teammate always used to say 'there’s no substitute for strong legs!' He was definitely right, being spat out the back end of a climb or peloton is very rarely down to the bike or the type of cycling helmet I was wearing, as much as I’d like to have blamed it on that.
How do you achieve all that? Well if I had the definitive answer I’d be a very wealthy man. The truth is, it does take time and dedication at what ever your aspirations are on the bike. Here are some helpful hints that I found useful when trying to train as best I could to achieve my best results whilst holding down a full time job and avoid turning up at home to find all my worldly possessions strewn across the front garden.
A lot of these are not ground-breaking but might just give you a helping hand!
Organisation; a dull unattractive and not very glamorous concept I know, but vital if you are going to attain your goals. Being organised helps give you a focus and a plan. Writing a realistic training programme for the weeks ahead taking into account work commitments etc is a vital tool. It also gives the ability to periodise your training making sure that you're in good shape going into your goal/competition. Obviously just having a programme doesn’t mean automatically you’ll stick to it, particularly on those cold dark nights through the winter. This is where a training partner or group really helps, it doesn’t need to be the same people all the time but having people waiting for you to turn up is always a surprising motivator.
Sticking to these programmes is vital and not skipping a session is key to success however, we all have those unexpected meetings, late nights or generally feeling grotty and knackered. On these days my advice would be to do something - stick to the routine. If you don't you will soon lose your motivation and you will struggle to get it back.
As mentioned earlier, there is no substitute for a big engine and strong legs for getting the most out of your bike so there’s no avoiding those sessions that are tough but training hard also means being smart. Recovery plays a massive part to your sessions and your ability to perform the next session and therefore improve your physical ability to achieve your goal. Sleep, food, recovery time and stretching all play a massive part to your training regime, and although the last thing you may feel like doing is stretching or a bit of core after your training it’s these little things that add up to enable you to become a more robust athlete and improve your fitness.
In further blogs that I’ll be posting with Cyclissimo I’ll be talking about all of the above in a lot more detail with the examples we use in the elite sporting environment and how we, at Cyclissimo can use these cutting edge practices to help you to achieve your goals.
Remember to visit the rest of the web site to see what we can offer you as a cycling holiday/training camp, full physiological testing or even writing your very own personalised yearly training plan.