Cycling as a hobby, as a mode of getting fit, and as a career is on the rise. As more and more people looking to get fit, cycling is one of the exercises they look to as it combines fitness with enjoyment and pleasure.
We can go for a summertime cycle and enjoy the journey as much as the effects it has on our bodies. For those who are more than mere enthusiasts, cycling can become a lifestyle as well as a career – one that requires focus and commitment in order to get the results desired.
To be a top cyclist, cycling training is paramount; it requires as much as it gives, and what it gives can be a lot. But what it requires from you is the utmost dedication.
Write Up a Training Schedule
When it comes to cycling training, literally every day becomes important. One day missed can leave you falling behind. The best way to start is by writing up a plan, or a training schedule. When we plan things, we can envision success.
If you envision your goals and targets, you will have a greater chance of meeting them. You will know exactly where you want to be. When you write up a training schedule, you can better plan it around your daily obligations, such as work, family, and social life.
Planning your cycling routine also means that you are less likely to suffer from burnout, as you will be able to calculate exactly what is needed from one day to the next. Moreover, when you map out your goals and targets, it lessens the possibility that you will aim too high.
Too many goals can become stressful and too many ambitions can too easily lead to failure, as well as burnout. You need your main goal – such as a tournament you want to enter – and then you can arrange and build your smaller, daily targets within your cycling training schedule.
What is important to remember is that cycling training is not just about your physical condition, but also your mental condition. Your behavior and your outlook are important.
If you mentally can’t see yourself sticking to your goals, then you need to shave them a little, make them smaller without losing sight of the end result. Motivation is key to getting out there day in, day out.
For this reason, it is important to never lose sight of the end result (which may be a tournament that you want to enter) because this will serve as motivation.
Keep thinking of the rewards as it will improve your mental condition and sharpen your focus. Just as a boxer never loses sight of the prize, you need to keep your mind on your ultimate goals.
Ask a Friend for Help
A good way of encouraging you to stick to your training schedule is by training with a cycling partner. It may be that you have a friend who cycles, and who has the same goals as you do.
If you work together, you will be greater encouraged to both turns up to training and meet the goals. Moreover, it may be that you encourage one another to push yourselves further, thereby increasing your productivity.
When we work with others, we have a greater chance of establishing a routine. When working alone, it is so easy to allow our standards slip by taking a day off here, and another there; but working with others enhances our motivation.
We feed off one another. Moreover, there is nothing like good communication with a friend when we’re out training; if we wake up fearing another draining session, the fact that our mate will be there to make us laugh can serve as motivation to get out there.
Stay In Shape
Cycling training can be exhausting, and for this reason, it is important to maintain a healthy diet that aids and assists in your training. Whilst you need to retain discipline when it comes to your training, you also need to retain discipline when it comes to your diet, too.
If you don’t, the training itself can become difficult, and it will take much longer to meet your targets and goals. By taking your diet seriously, you are taking your cycling training seriously. You need to stay hydrated, and you should take nutrition with you for all your sessions.
Cyclists have to eat on the move, and therefore it is important to not wait too long after a session before you eat. If you wait too long, you risk losing important fuel. During a tennis match, each player will take nutritional breaks. You should be no different.
A Brief Guide To Bicycle Parts
Just like the complex design of a human being, all the components that make up a bicycle are important, and when one of the components breaks, the whole mechanism is prevented from fulfilling its potential.
Whilst a bicycle consists of many parts, each as important as the other, any cycling enthusiast needs a thorough understanding of the basics in particular. From the brakes to the handlebars, this article seeks to briefly but comprehensively reward the reader with an insight into the major bicycle parts.
It sounds like an obvious bicycle part – and it is – but a bicycle is a wheeled vehicle, and thus subsists on two wheels for its operation. Bicycle wheels come with spokes which vary in number (some bicycle wheels have up to 36 spokes), and all come with outer rims, which these days are made of aluminum (they used to be made of wood).
In short, without an axle, which is basically a rod, no wheeled vehicle would be able to propel itself forward. On a bicycle, the wheels rotate around the axle as opposed to rotating with the wheel (unlike some wheeled vehicles).
The handlebar is basically the steering mechanism, which allows the cyclist to control and operate the bicycle. Moreover, they provide comfort to the rider as they support their weight.
Different handlebars exist for different types of bicycles, with track racing handlebars being vastly different from handlebars used on mountain bikes. This is to enhance either comfort or performance – whichever is needed.
Unless you’ve purchased a death machine without any brakes, the brake is an invaluable bicycle part. Whilst a bicycle can still go without them, let’s just say that for safety reasons, the brakes are a major component of any bicycle (or any vehicle, for that matter).
Operated by brake levers, a brake is what slows down the bicycle, and ultimately assists with it stopping. The brakes can be found on the handlebars.
This bicycle part is not only functional, but it also lends the bicycle its aesthetic. A frame has to be strong but lightweight (no rider or racer wants to be lugging around a bike that is as heavy as a truck), and essentially performs the same function as the body of a car.
Frame designers are now an invaluable part of the industry as they seek to find the right balance between functionality and aesthetics. Frames typically reach up to sizes of around 46cm.
The frame will vary from the type of one bicycle to another; for example, road cycling requires the frame to have a lower center of gravity to optimize performance.
The pedal is where the cyclist’s strength is directed. By pushing down on the pedals with their feet, the cyclist is propelling the bike’s wheels forward, creating motion. Power and motion are transferred from the pedals to the wheels via a roller chain.
Pedals have been adapted over the years to provide greater grip for the rider, thus enhancing performance. Nowadays there exist clipless pedals, for which a cyclist can buy compatible shoes that adapt to these pedals, providing greater comfort and control.