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Cycling competitions can be quite interesting and fun, but to get there you will need an adequate cycling training program. This is what led me to join my first mid-distance cycling race. Back then I though the distance was short enough and I could easily skip the bicycle training sessions and still perform well.
I was proven wrong, and since then learned that cycling competitions are just as demanding as any other competition not only for those looking to win but also for anyone looking to perform at their best. My problem was the lack of training for competitions before.
Sure, I did enjoy cycling along trails and had gained a lot of fitness and strength from tackling hilly terrain. However I had zero endurance training. This is an essential prerequisite for participating in long bicycling tours that go on for miles with any level of success.
After identifying my main deficiencies, I applied myself to a cycling training program for better preparation.
To get the right sort of training, I had to get the right type of bicycle. Initially, I had been spending my cycling time on my mountain bike; this had to change as I was raining for a road racing competition. This meant switching to a hybrid or road racing bicycle. It got a new well-conditioned road bike in readiness for my road racing domination.
Bicycling Training Schedule
Even with the right bike, it is only possible to excel in road racing competitions by tuning your body. This is the main aim of cycling training. After asking around from my cycling friends who had been around the cycling circles longer than I had led me to find out that I needed to attain three main aspects strength, stretching and conditioning. These aspects are to be integrated into a cycling training program.
Phase 1: Cardiovascular Performance Training
To build on the cardio vascular fitness, trainees are required to spend up to six weeks at this stage.
Tip: Have the right state of mind
Getting ready for the cycling competition is not just about having the right nutrition plan and exercising the correct physical training. You will need to have the right frame of mind as well. Staying relaxed at the starting line-up is essential.
Make sure that you have something you can focus on to keep you calm. This will give your body the best chance to perform at its peak.
The training involves riding a stationary or mobile bicycle at least once every week at moderate intensity for anything between twenty to forty minutes. These exercises build on respiratory and cardiovascular capacity and fitness.
It is also necessary to repeat the same training two or three times a week off the bike. This involves working on exercising the upper body, limbs, chest and back.
To build on the cyclist’s fitness, it is necessary to increase the repetitions and sets of the above exercises with time.
Stretching is also another important aspect in which the cyclist is required to increase the cyclist’s range of motion and therefore reduce the risk of injuries.
Phase 2: Frequency
Another training phase lasting six weeks for beginners, it is designed to help the cyclist get used to the regular motions they will have to endure during the competition. Cardiovascular bike training sessions introduced in phase 1 should be increased to two or three times a week. Ride time should also increase.
Strength training should be increased for parts that cyclists often use. These include Legs, triceps, abdominal and lower back muscles.
Phase 3: Longer Rides
By the time you get to this phase you will have built up the necessary fitness for participating in the upcoming event. The target then becomes getting ready for the upcoming event. It is recommended that you continue to increase your training distance for aerobic training as the weeks pass. During the aerobic exercises make sure you focus on your muscles and stretch them as you did in phase tow.
Phase 4: The Slowdown
This is usually during the last week to the event. You will need to take time off from practice and rest. This will get you ready for the event when you are fresh and ready.
Now that you are ready for the cycling competition after completing your cycling training program, give it your best, but most importantly, have fun. With this in mind plus the physical work accomplished you can do anything.