Use time, rather than
distance, to measure amount of training.
From May through
September, increase all your off-Saturday ride times by 10% for every 2-week
*1. After a hard ride,
recovery rides clear the body and blood stream of lactic acid build-up and
other toxins. Also helps to keep muscles from tightening up from the previous
day’s hard work.
*2. Rest is very
important. As training intensifies and increases, you will need more rest and sleep.
Rest can also be “active,”
- walking, Tai-chi, soft Yoga, are all good ways to rest and give your body
some variety in activities. Variety is good.
*3. Running can be a
substitute for riding for building aerobic fitness and endurance. If you are
pressed for time - 30 minutes of running is roughly equivalent to 90 minutes of
riding. Also requires less gear and is safer to do in the rain than cycling.
*4. This is when you
should get a good workout, but be sure to warm up with easy spinning for at
least 20 minutes before really exerting yourself. Similarly, warm down with
easy riding to end your ride. Do not stop abruptly from intense exertion.
Riding hard could mean
climbing, riding fast in a big gear. Doing “intervals” is a quick way to
develop strength and power.*
At all times, be sure to
stay properly hydrated. Drink before and after rides and before you feel
thirsty. The sensation of thirst comes from dehydration (very bad!) that
has already taken place.
Sports drinks are helpful
and more useful than water. They replace salts and electrolytes lost through
Similarly, do not train on
empty stomach. Eat adequately before each ride. Learn to eat on the ride.
Riding “on empty” can bring on the dreaded “bonk” and can even do organic
damage to your system. It does not make you tougher.
long ride, carbohydrates, though a major source of energy, will burn quickly. Fats are needed for slower, sustained burning, and
proteins are needed for muscle repair.
“Carbo-loading” is an oft
misunderstood concept. It does not mean eating a huge plate of pasta the night
before. It involves starvation-like procedures, a
minimal time period of 7 days and very controlled
conditions. Do not try this at home!
The best thing to do, as
always, is to eat balanced meals. Go to bed early, stay away from drugs,
alcohol and loose men and women.**
* This is
too much to get into here, but there are many good books on training that deal
with the concept of intervals. I found them (i.e., the books and
intervals) very useful.
** I am
not a nutritionist or doctor, so these tips are to be taken with a grain of
salt (!) There are, however, many good books out there on the nutritional needs
of the athlete, so get yourself educated!
Train Safe! Train Smart!
Live long and prosper!