Preparing to race

Posted by tan xiao yan on

As a hot fans interested in cycling sports, he or she would often concern the relevant news and race. Sometimes, he would have an idea to participate in competitive sports activists and enjoy himself. The performance during the competition is very important but the preparations before the race are not less important than the former. So the questions may come to your mind: how to prepare to race? What should we do before cycling? Here are some tips you may need. Only with right and science approaches, can we get fitter, ride faster, go further.

Off-the-bike trainin

One-leg bridge changeovers
Lying on your back with your knees at 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor and arms by your sides, lift your hips and tense your glutes. Then lift your left leg, tense your right glute and hold for two seconds. Switch legs and repeat for 30 seconds.

It’s vital to make your glutes work as independently as they would during cycling but without activating your back and hamstrings, so tilt your pelvis up and pull your belly button in. Do it before every ride, especially interval sessions, to fire the glutes. Up the speed by doing fast reps for a minute at a time while maintaining control and form.

Leg squat with rotation
Standing on one leg, squat down and push your hips back while keeping your knees level to prevent your hips rotating. Assume a cycling position, bending forwards from the hip with a flat back and your hands out as if holding a bar. Rotate your upper body until your shoulders are almost at 90 degrees but keep the bottom half of your frame perfectly still. Hold for two seconds and do 10 reps on each side.

This is fantastic for hitting the gluteus medias muscle on the side of your bum. This helps prevent lateral movement so your hips stay in line on that one axis when you’re out of the saddle.

Press-up hold-to-knee raise
In a press-up position, tense your glutes and lift your right knee to your right elbow, keeping everything in the plank position. Then take your right foot back and straighten it. Just before you touch the ground, tense your right glute and change legs. Repeat 10 times on each side.

One-legged squat jumps
Stand on one leg and squat down until the top of your thigh is parallel with the ground, keeping your knee behind your front toe. Jump forwards and land on the same leg, squatting down to cushion the landing. Do 10 in a row on one leg before turning around and repeating on the other.

Depth jumps
Step off a 50-70cm high box or stair and jump up from both legs as high as possible. Quickness off the ground is the key to this drill. React as though the ground was covered in burning ash and you had no shoes on.” Repeat five to eight times.

Power skipping
You remember how to skip. Now make it explosive by pushing forcefully off the ground with each hop and lifting the knee of your forward leg up to your chest. Exaggerate lifting the knees to get the greatest benefit. Do 16 skips per set and three sets, with a 60-second rest between each.

Single leg hops
Hop forward on your right leg as far as you can, swinging your arms for help. Immediately repeat the movement. After you’ve done it six times, rest for 15 seconds and then repeat the exercise with your left leg. Do six reps per leg per set and do three sets, resting for 30 seconds after each.

Warming up

The thought of completing a warm-up before you head out for a ride may seem a bit tedious and pointless if you aren’t at the professional level. This can especially be the case if you believe that an effective warm-up can take more 15 minutes out of your precious ride time.

However even a quick-fire five minute warm-up can provide an efficient and alternative way to active your muscles prior to your rides. The importance of a warm-up cannot be underestimated no matter what level you are riding at and can be essential if coming back from a recent injury.

The myth of performing a successful warm-up just to help reduce the risk of potential injuries is false, as it can also lead to an increase in your performance on the bike itself as well. In the same way a car works better in the winter after its engine has warmed up for a few minutes, the same theory can be applied to your body before physical activity.

A warm-up itself may not seem vital during a long sportive where you progressively increase your speed into your constant effort for the ride ahead. However it can be just more important to warm up the mind than for the body itself. Completing a warm-up also means you can focus your mind on the ride ahead, meaning that decision making will come easier when out on the road when taking into account race strategy and pacing.

The basic rule of thumb to warm-ups implies that the longer the ride you are about to undertake, the shorter the warm up needed. Therefore this five-minute warm-up is the perfect length of time if you are heading out for a long Sunday ride or just before a sportive. Whereas if you are heading out for a short track sprint session then a longer warm up that includes bike work and increasing your heart rate may well be needed. As with all warm-ups it is not necessarily a case of how long it is but whether it activates the correct muscles that you will be using on the bike.

Stand tall and reach stretch. These movements helps stretch and loosen out muscles in the back and torso as well as reducing tension in the spine as well as activating adductor muscles in the leg at the same time.

The founder. A variation of the stand tall and reach stretch, this exercise helps elongate the muscles in the posterior chain. Working them in a chain off the bike will replicate the same way in which the muscles work together when working them on it.

Squat. One of the most common body weight exercises activates the glutes and lower limb muscles in particular but engages a number of muscles throughout the body during cycling.

Plank. Usually used as part of a core strength session, but when completed correctly for a shorter amount of time it can engage the deep core muscles perfectly for the ride ahead.

The bridge and single leg bridge. The bridge exercise activates the hamstrings and glute muscles as well as increasing the strength of stabiliser muscles that are used during a pedal stroke. You can then increase the difficulty and engage the glute muscles further by completing the single leg bridge, which mimics the motion of the muscles when cycling.


In this part, what you need are s soft surface or yoga mat, a foam support block, and a strap or latex resistance band. Take every pose for five to ten breaths (about 30 seconds), remembering to breathe through your nose not your mouth. After you reach the proper position, concentrate on improving it with each inhalation- flatten your back a little more, stretch your hamstrings a tiny bit farther.

Donwnward-facing dog
Start on hands and knees. Lift hips into an upside-down V-shape, keeping palms on the floor. "Bend your knees if necessary," says Farmar. "Don't focus on putting your heels on the ground, but rather on flattening your back."
Works: Lengthens back muscles and hamstrings, for more power on the pedal backstroke

Thunderbolt pose
From downward dog, walk your feet to your hands and then squat as if you're sitting in a chair. "The tendency here is to have a big 'C' curve in your back," says Farmar. "But you want to engage your core, so pull your belly up and in, and flatten your back." Reach your arms up over your head and roll your shoulders back and down to open your chest.

Works: Glutes, quads, hamstrings and lower back; also helps open chest for better breathing

Crescent Lunge
Step one foot forward into a lunge position, arms still raised. Focus on keeping the heel of your back foot as close to the floor as possible and your back leg as straight as possible, and keeping your shoulders aligned over your pelvis. Never push your front knee past your toes, or you'll put undue stress on the joint. Hold for five to 10 breaths, then switch.

Works: Hip flexors, quads, hamstrings

From the crescent lunge, lower yourself to the floor with your forward leg crossed in front of you, rear leg straight out behind. Unless you're ridiculously flexible, use a block under your hip for this pose. Don't worry about how low you go--the important thing is to keep your hips level, without letting one sink to one side. Fold forward, if possible. Hold five to 10 breaths, then switch legs.

Works: Hips. "This leads to less hip rock and less knee rotation while pedaling," says Farmar, so your pedal stroke is more efficient.

Lie on your back, knees bent with feet planted close to your butt, arms by your sides. Exhale and lift your pelvis up in line with your knees and your sternum toward your chin, keeping shoulder blades and head flat on the floor. Join your hands underneath you. NOTE: Never turn your head in this pose. If you have a back or neck injury, skip this exercise or do it with extra care, and place a folded towel under your shoulders at the base of your neck.

Works: Glutes and abdominals; helps strengthen your back and open your chest to make your reach to the handlebar more comfortable

Recline hands-to-toes pose
Lie on your back and, using a strap looped under one foot, lift that leg up in the air, leaving the other leg flat on the ground. Don’t worry about keeping the raised leg perfectly straight if you’re not flexible, but do try to pull your heel past your hip. As you hold the stretch, point your toes to the sky and then flex your foot so your heel points skyward. Do this several times. Switch legs after five to 10 breaths.

Works: hamstrings