5 Things to increase your Cycling Performance
Being excited about your cycling is where it all starts. So being clear about why bother in the first place is vitally important, particularly as cycling is an activity that can provide such a diversity of challenge. Being as enthusiastic to wake up early to ride, or whilst spinning into a head-wind, is as important as the enthusiasm injected into buying a sexy new bike. In the end, it all serves the net end result, that will be all the more when the head is aligned with the legs.
2. Bike Set-Up
Comfort and aero-dynamics go hand in hand when it comes to cycling performance – not to mention enjoyment. When you stop and consider the money many of us spend on the purchase of our bikes, spending a few hundred bucks extra on a professional bike-fit makes a good deal of sense. A good friend of mine tells the story of a friend of his asking Cadel Evans advice on getting a bike – Cadel reply was “a bike that fits”. So if Australia’s greatest cyclist considers this the most important thing in getting a bike, why do then so many of us get it so wrong?
3. Ride Hills
For time efficient bang for buck improvement it is hard to go past riding hills. Hills necessitate an increase power in order to overcome gravity, and with higher power output higher aerobic effort. So if you are looking for increasing aerobic power; lactic clearance; pedalling efficiency; and mental toughness – basically the key elements of cycling performance – then hills is your one stop shop.
4. Ride Fast
Riding faster and easier is the ultimate goal in improved cycling performance. Yet so many cyclists neglect to ride fast! This doesn’t mean you need to be hammering every ride, but it is favourable to your riding improvement to throw in the occasional ‘Mark Cavendish’ effort. This will effectively open you up to riding faster, effectively raising your own speed bar, and also will have a trickle-down effect of making sub-maximal riding speeds feel easier.
5. Good clean food
The importance of nutrition on cycling performance cannot be overstated. Cycling requires a significant energy output, one that requires an equally significant energy input if sustained improvement is the goal in mind. But it is way more than simply ‘refilling the tank’, keeping in mind that what we eat can either have a complementary or adverse effect on our immunity, of which needs to stay strong if our riding is to be consistently strong. And providing this is a diet abundant with probiotic rich in vegetables, and lots of them. Look at the meals prepared for the riders of Le Tour and the plates are plentiful of everything, but everything is ‘real’ are certainly abundant with colourful immune bolstering vegetables.