If you are a beginner maybe you will ask: what’s the secret of cycling training? Then you have come to the right place. Keep reading and here are a few tips about it.
1. Recovery workouts
It may seem strange to start off my article with recovery workouts. Don’t get me wrong, I just want to remind all of you that the recovery is as important as working out. Here I lay stress on the recovery ride instead of complete recovery (not riding).
The recovery ride is of great importance because it delivers oxygenate blood to tired muscles and carries away by-products of exercise metabolism. After you do a hard training ride, you can go out for a recovery ride the next day which can greatly enhance the recovery process. You can ride for 30-6- minutes on a flat terrain. During this period, your heart rate should be below 65% of maximum heart rate and the power should be below 55% of threshold power.
2. Endurance workouts
For most riders, increasing endurance and strength on the bike needs to become a great focus. The greater your muscle endurance, the less fatigue you will feel towards the end of a hard training, so endurance workouts are extremely valuable for your training. With the heart rate of 65%-80% of maximum heart rate and the power of 55%-80% of threshold power, this should be your main training intensity. It’s of great importance to not to go too hard throughout the training session. Sometimes, it’s OK to push it a little harder but most of your time you should maintain this intensity.
3. Tempo workouts
Tempo workouts are prescribed as lasted for 7-60 minutes efforts because tempo training with great effort is difficult to sustain the required pace for hours. Most riders like to call tempo workouts “fun fast” because tempo doesn’t elicit the pain like threshold workouts do and achieve more physiological adaptation. One example of tempo workout is 3*10 minutes on in tempo and 5 minutes off. Start off with an easy warm up for 10 to 20 minutes and then increase your effort until the tempo zone. Stay in the tempo zone for about 10 minutes and cool down for 3 minutes. And then return there for one more 10 minutes and cool down again. Some experienced riders can do 3 to 5 10-minutes efforts intervals.
4. Threshold workouts
In most cycling events, one of the essential skills is threshold power. You are likely to be a successful rider if you can generate many watts at your threshold power. With the heart rate of 87%-92% of maximum heart rate and the power of 90%-105% of threshold power, this training intensity which is close to your threshold power will give you a boost to your aerobic engine.
5. Anaerobic workoutshow to do cycling workouts
Anaerobic workouts are critical for riders especially mountain bikers, track and road racers. The ability to deliver short bursts of power anaerobically is of great importance for a good cyclist. Anaerobic workouts are full of gas efforts performed greater than 121% of your FTP. A beginner should train with 3*1 minutes on and 1 minute off compared to pros level of 3 sets of 7*1 minutes on and 1 minute off, with 5 minutes off in-between sets. The more anaerobic capacity you possess, the better you will perform in your riding.
6. Sprint and power workouts
Sprinting and power workouts are often neglected in training programs. Sprinting is to generating high watts buy don’t start with the assumption that it’s all about strength and mashing pedals. There are 3 components of a successful sprint: acceleration, top end speed, and fatigue resistance. Warm up for 10-20 minutes with some sets of 1-minute high-cadence, low-power efforts and then start high cadence sprints. At last, get in 15-30 minutes of easy spinning home.
7. Leg strength and speed workouts
Good cyclists need to build up several types of leg strength. Among them, the strength-endurance which is about the ability to push the pedals powerfully for a long time is very important. Besides, you need to own the ability to generate a force quickly. Most of the force is generated from the 1 o’clock position to the 5 o’clock position which is one-third of the pedal stroke. It’s of great importance to think about some leg speed work to train your muscles to fire fast. Incorporating some jumping exercise is a good way to work on rapid firing. The amount of power you generate when jumping is very high because you are contracting the muscles so much.
8. Race as workouts
The race requires riders to train their muscles and cardiovascular system for the type of racing you are doing. When you ride the course, there is no need to ride at race pace and you just need to get an idea of what you are facing and where you are challenged. Pay attention to the terrain and the grades of the uphills and downhills, and note your heart rate throughout your ride, then you can duplicate these conditions in your daily training. If you can’t go to the course, creating a similar route nearby to take a practice ride is a good way.
9. Recovery workouts
At last, I will talk about the complete recovery. If you miss the chance of repairing muscle damage, you are likely to be left with more than just aching legs. One of the important differences between professional and amateur riders is not the amount of training but the quantity and quality of their recovery time. Pros will give their whole attention to recovery when they are not riding. As for amateurs, if you fail to give enough time to recover, you will make no progress, lose motivation, risk developing overtraining syndrome and even expose yourself to injury or illness. There are a few ways to recovery, such as stretch, elevate, compress, message, and sleep.
What are you waiting for? Just act.