5 Key Elements of Improving the Cycling Performance

Posted by tan xiao yan on

In my last post, I described some effective cycling tips on how to conquer the hills. I hope those tips may be of great help for you. In my next post, I would like to provide suggestions for becoming a stronger cyclist. I will discuss the three key elements of cycling performance: training, Nutrition, and Recovery.


Training is the most obvious element of cycling performance. You know, if you don't train or practice, you will not improve your performance as a cyclist. Before training, you can read some books, articles, or magazines on cycling tips. Well-preparation is preparing success. Ok, now, I will tell you how to train effectively. You can practice through the model, which stands for frequency, intensity, time and type. Frequency means the number of times you cycle a week. How often you want to ride? This is based on the time you are available to ride and the goal as a cyclist.

Intensity measures how hard you ride during a given cycling session. Time must be the length of cycling session, such as 60 minutes or 20 miles. There is an inverse relationship between intensity and time actually. The harder you ride, the shorter the session is, and vice versa. To balance the intensity and time is the critical factor to successfully cycling training. This can also facilitate improved cycling performance. Type means what kind of exercise you are going to do. To maximise the effect of training, you have to make decisions about how to apply the model based on your goals as a cyclist.


Nutrition is very important for cyclists. Good nutrition may offer you at least 3 benefits for cyclists. Firstly, it can provide you with enough energy you are in need to enhance your cycling performance. Having enough energy, you can beat your rivals in a race. Secondly, good nutrition can also facilitate the recovery process. Finally, good nutrition may allow you to have a healthy life in cycling. So here are several steps to improve your eating habits.

Drink more than one bottle of water an hour on a ride- more on a hot day;

For cyclists less than an hour, water is sufficient; for riders more than an hour, you need to drink sports drink to replenish carbohydrates and electrolytes;

For riders more than 2 hours, you need to eat something like fruit and cookies. If you do a long-distance riding, try different foods to see what you can tolerate best.

Eat before hungry and drink before thirsty;

Have breakfast every day

Speed up the recovery by taking in meal rich in carbohydrate right after you ride.

Balance your daily diet, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products.

Don't be afraid of eating your favourite dessert. But remember to exercise every day. Let you fat burn!


To all intents and purposes, recovery is the most overlooked factor of cycling performance. It is totally incorrect. In contrast, you should pay more attention to recover after riding. It is important. Sometimes, you may notice that someone doesn't improve even he trains hard, while someone makes much more progress for resting hard. You have to do both. But the physiological adaption process which improves cycling performance usually occurs during rest, not training. Because the body desires to maintain an internal balance, also known as homoeostasis. For instance, you may feel extremely fatigued and sore after the laborious riding. Because your body doesn't get used to strong physical stress. The body will experience physiological adaptations which make it stronger while resting and recovering.

Various types of workouts you do on and off the bike

Rotate between steady-state rides and interval or hill workouts while on the bike. Change your workout types occasionally to keep your body avoid training plateaus. When you are off the bike, try to involve in cross-training exercises, such as running and swimming, to lower the chances of overuse injuries from excessive riding.

Set goal targets.

A saying goes, pressure drives impetus. A goal can also do the same. You will try your best to achieve your goal once set. And you can also gain fitness productively through setting and achieve it. Targets can keep you motivated and also help you come out a tactical plan to reach your objectives.

The best way to set an effective goal include:

Establishing a specific goal you want to achieve with your fitness.

Determining a goal that can be achieved in the short, medium and long-term.

Establishing the process required to reach the goal.

The next time you perform the workout, you will feel much easier because of these adaptations. The critical point is to allow for adequate recovery from that initial hard workout. This is the essence of progressive overload and training for cycling performance. You ride hard, get adequate rest so your body can recover and get stronger, and then frequency, intensity and endurance can be gradually increased. Your primary goal as a cyclist is to create a training program which can push you to your limits, and then allows for adequate rest and recovery so your performance can be improved. Always remember, hard ride without adequate recovery is an Achilles' heel for training, which will have an extremely negative impact on improving your cycling performance.