The Typical Training Regime of a Professional Cyclist
While some may believe that training to be a professional cyclist is as simple as riding a bike, others know the reality behind it. Despite the “just pedal hard and fast” mentality that many on-lookers have, there are different facets that go into training to be a professional cyclist, facets that are important as they help protect the body and ensure safety and comfort during training.
Some of these factors include mixing it up in the pool with cross training, learning how to prevent possible injuries, and nailing down nutritional regimes. These approaches only skim the surface of how to train like a professional cyclist, as their typical training regime is much more intense, but doable if one has the drive and motivation to try it out.
For more information about training, biking accessories, and much more, one can visit websites such as cyclinginquisition.com and review the content to better their practices of cycling. But for now, let’s look at the average training regime of professional cyclists:
1. Varying the Intensity of Training
Professional cyclists don’t pedal hard and fast all the time. Rather than just hopping on a bike and going out for a ride, professionals understand that in order to get faster, it is vital to compose a training plan that varies the types of rides one partakes in. For example, it is necessary to have a mix of long rides and slow rides, rides that have different interval training on and off hills, in addition to having drills that practice handling skills to further develop control and pedaling efficiency. Such training gears cyclists to have a goal in mind and helps avoid burning out quickly during training regimes.
2. Monitoring Nutrition
Shedding extra weight is important for many cyclists, as lower body-mass can lead to a more streamlined race. However, a lower body weight can cause weaker muscles, so it is important to ensure that one still has the strength, muscles and power needed to perform well. Weighing foods and ensuring that they consume 80-100 grams of carbs and 3 bottles of fluids for every hour on the bike is a great rule of thumb, as this nutrition helps replenish and maintain energy levels, both in training and during races.
3. Learning How to Pace
Once again, cycling is not simply going in for the kill. Rather, pacing one’s efforts is a great way to ensure that one doesn’t get stuck in a mundane routine or speed. Pre-determined training zones are vital for getting the most of any training session. By monitoring distance, heart-rate and power, one can avoid going too fast and burning themselves out. Plan paces ahead of time!
Not getting enough sleep at night can lead to an increased chance of injury, weaker immune systems, and fatigue on a bike, so it is of the utmost importance to get a minimum of eight hours of sleep a night. But as one’s training increases, don’t be afraid to increase the number of needed hours. Recovery and rest is key.
5. Cross Training
Cyclists don’t just cycle. It is important to work all muscles, to ensure that all the work isn’t over-doing it on just a few targeted areas. This in mind, it’s important to continuously work out. Having a strict exercise schedule ensures focus and constant training for preparation, but mixing it up with different work-outs, such as swimming, or weight training for the core, can help build strength, reduce pain of over-worked body parts, and prevent future injuries.
While it may come to a surprise for many, relaxation is very important to training regiments. Staying off one’s feet and taking breaks from training leads to feeling refreshed for their next session. Frequent cyclists might even want to consider in getting a massage, as this prevents soreness, increases circulation and calms the nerves, helping the body heal faster so they can get back on track ASAP.
There is a lot that goes into training to become a professional cyclist. Between food-intake, cross-training workouts, and required rest, these training regimes are intense, but doable. Take it one day, one workout at a time! Practice, focus and mentality are vital for this success!