Most people will have learned to ride a bike at some stage in their childhood. And it really is something that you can pick up again even after many years. But riding a bike for a bit of fun versus trying to compete in a sporting even like a triathlon is a big difference.
And even if you think you’re fit from going to the gym and going for regular runs, the type of muscles and fitness you need for cycling is very different.
So if you’re just getting into cycling and maybe have a triathlon plan you’re working on, then the tips on this page will definitely help you get set up and on a path to success.
Let’s dive right in.
Tips For Training
The first step in becoming an avid cyclist is to start off training modestly. You don’t want to kill it as you get started, as this can lead to burnout and exhaust you—which won’t get you very far. You want to start training to build yourself up to more.
The point of the first phase of training is to push yourself just enough but where you feel like you can go further or do more. You’ll want to do it to where you can see yourself building up to an hour of cycling. You don’t have to commit to more than just a few days per week when starting off, so if you have around 3 days to cycle for an hour, that’s a good start. The good thing about this is that again, you won’t tire yourself out when just getting started.
Consistency is very important when starting out, so if you want to make sure that you get the most out of your training, try keeping your training days on the same days. You don’t have to do the three days consecutively, but it’s helpful if they are.
More importantly, you don’t want to overdo it. Even if you have time to do more days, try to keep it at only four. Rest is actually a very important part of training well and can also ensure that your body stays healthy and that your muscles have time to recover—which surprisingly is actually very important for their growth.
As time goes on, you can start adding extra minutes to your routine until you eventually build up to an hour. Once you can consistently do an hour of riding for an extended length of time, it may be time to start a new step of more advanced training.
Something that you want to do while beginning your cycling training is to include at least one day of alternative exercise a week. Whether you do an aerobic class or core training, etc., it’s good for your body to train in other ways that aid your balance and stamina in cycling.
Heart Rate Training Is Important
Because the first phase of cycling training is when you need to be careful about overdoing it, you’re going to want to keep an eye on your heart rate. You’ll also want to keep an eye on training your lungs as well.
As you train for getting used to faithfully cycling, where you’re cycling moderately, you’re going to want to have your heart rate percentage within the 46% to 50% range. If you feel like this is way too easy for you, go ahead and try for a bit more at moderate level of 56% to 60%. Remember, you don’t want to go past a moderate tempo when you first start out.
If you go too far, you could end up losing endurance and stamina and may very well give up your efforts on becoming a trained cyclist. Click here for some tips on cycling heart monitors.
Things You’ll Need
To get started on cycling, you’ll need a few things to make it easier for you to have a good time and progress. The following are some of my favorite things to have for a successful cycling experience:
- Cycling shoes-Shoes that are designed for cycling are a good idea for you. They will help you to avoid knee pain associated with cycling. Cycling shoes will usually have hard soles, which plays a part in your overall posture and comfort during your ride.
- Heart rate monitor-As mentioned above, keeping track of your heart rate is important for training correctly and at the right pace. Unless you can do a good job at keeping track of how you’re feeling in regards to the percentage you should be in, a heart rate monitor can help you to train without overdoing it. It also takes the guesswork away from the experience, so you can focus more on enjoying your ride.
- Cushioned seat cover-As you get started riding, you will notice that you will feel some pain in your body—especially the area that has been sitting on the bike’s seat. So, to take away the discomfort, consider investing in a cushioned seat cover.
- A great bike-Obviously, you’ll want a good bike that can keep up with the use you will get out of it. Whether you want to train on a city bike or mountain bike, whatever style you’re into, make sure that it’s designed to last and has the right features for your specific cycling goals.
- An app on your phone to track your progress-Apart from keeping track of your heart rate, it’s cool to see how far you’re going on a daily basis, revisit the routes that you’ve taken, and understand how you’ve been riding. Consider downloading an app like Strava for your cycling training plan.
Are you ready to turn your hobby into a passion? Cycling is by far one of the best ways to enjoy the fresh air and get great exercise. Follow the tips above to get started and find yourself working to new fitness levels in no time.