The popularity of the sport of cycling is growing every day. More and more people are taking to the streets with their bicycles as a means to get fit and explore. This is merely due to the beauty of the sport. Almost anyone from any age group can get out there and cycle just for the joy of it. However, some of us have already been cycling for a while and want to take it to the next level. We may wish to increase our mileage, challenge our limits or get a little competitive and move towards advanced cycling. It is important to understand our motivation and remain injury free, to have a good experience while we do it. It is possible to maintain a balance between your work life and your passion for the sport, so read on to know tips for advanced cycling to take your hobby to the next level.
“When it’s hurting you, that’s when you can make a difference”.
– Eddy Merckx, four-time Tour de France winner
4 Tips for Advanced Cycling
1. Select a Goal Event
Competition generates interest and motivation. You may want to compete against others or challenge your own limits. Decide to take part in an event that will be held nearby. Make sure you set a target which is achievable but challenging at the same time. Choose a race or event distance and decide on your goal for the race. This goal will keep pushing you to improve as a cyclist. You don’t have to cycle to win, but completing the event will give you a better understanding of where you stand and you will also get a feeling of satisfaction once you’ve achieved your goal. That feeling will be more than worth it. We suggest having a look at these training plans that will definitely help you get to your goal for advanced cycling. There are plans for all levels of cyclists, so choose one that best fits you and then stick to it with all your heart.
If competitive cycling is not your thing, plan a trip! 5 Incredible Trips Cyclists Can Plan.
2. Maintain Discipline in Workouts
As your schedule progresses, the workout will begin to get tougher but you have to keep going. Lance Armstrong once said, “Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If you quit however, it lasts forever.” Keep these words in mind, while you are training for advanced cycling, and let them inspire you whenever you feel like giving up.
Every quality ride that you put into your training is going to take you closer to your goal. Make sure you fix a plan and a schedule that you follow day in and day out. Many training plans for various distances are available all over the internet which you can use and adjust according to your needs. Your goal might seem too far away and you might feel the lack of motivation on some days but you have to trust that your hard work is slowly helping you get there. A dreaded long ride brings extreme satisfaction after it is completed. Some rides will be extremely tough but you have to understand that the more difficult the ride, the stronger it is making you. For this to happen you need to be careful to ensure that you take the requisite rest. Overtraining is one of the main reasons for riders failing to make their goals. Maintaining a disciplined schedule will not only make you physically tough but it will also make you mentally strong. Keep sowing hard work with every ride and you will soon reap the fruit of immense satisfaction and high self-respect.
3. Don’t Underestimate Your Diet
Many people fail to understand the importance of the fuel that drives them through their regular rides. A balanced diet is a must to support your intense workout schedule while training for advanced cycling. Every healthy and unhealthy meal makes a bigger difference than you think it does. Eventually, your body will be drained of all its energy and remove the fun out of the sport. You must make sure that you consume enough calories to fuel your workouts effectively. Carbohydrates are the most accessible form of energy that the body can store. Fats also contain energy, but the body finds it much harder to convert these into energy.
The following video is a highly interesting source of information about what you can eat while you are riding your bike.
It is easier to eat healthy food when you’re not exposed to less healthy options. For example, if you find a bowl of salad on a table and a pack of Doritos, you’ll most likely pick up the pack of Doritos and start munching. So try to keep as little junk at home as possible so you have no option but to eat right. Also, motivate others around you to eat healthy so it becomes easier for you and it can end up benefitting everyone. It is also extremely important to remain hydrated throughout the day. Track your water intake even when you are at work by keeping a separate water bottle from your colleagues. Drink about 3-4 litres of water on the days of your hard workouts and at least 2 litres on the easy days. Make sure you stop drinking water close to bed time so you get some good sleep.
4.Manage Your Sleep
While you may do everything right, nothing will benefit you unless you get a good night’s sleep. Your tired body and mind need to be rested so they can help you push harder and longer. Create a regular sleep schedule and give your body time adapt to it. It really does not matter how early or late you sleep, all that matters is that you go to sleep and wake up at exactly the same time every single day. Your sleep will be much more effective if you have a fixed body clock. Getting 7 hours of sleep is essential but 8 hours is ideal.
Making the move towards advanced cycling; taking cycling from a hobby to a higher level is something that requires hard work and patience but once you get going and enjoy a few races the sport becomes obsessive. Then there’s no turning back.