While you may never make it to the Tour de France, applying these ten training strategies will help you become a better, faster and more efficient cyclist, no matter what speed or distance you ride.
- Long Slow Distance Training
- Pace/Tempo Training
- Interval Training
- Circuit Training
- Fartlek Training
6. Improve Your Bike Handling SkillsPro cyclists have amazing bike handling skills. They are smooth through corners, stable on descents, are aware of road conditions and traffic. Skilled cyclists ride predictably and follow the rules of the road.
Good bike handling is essential if you plan to ride in a paceline where riders follow within inches of each other to take advantage of aerodynamics. In a paceline, the lead rider battles air resistance and creates a draft that saves the other riders up to 30 percent of their energy. This type of riding takes tremendous bike handling skill.
If you want to improve your bike handling, ride with skilled riders, take a bike safety course, or join an established local club and ask questions about improving your bike handling skills.
7. Don't Go It AloneTraining alone day after day can become a bit of a training dead-end. In order to improve your cycling and your results, you should consider joining a local club or bike racing team that matches your skills and goals.
Being a part of a team is also essential if you want to race at a competitive level. Team strategies and tactics are a huge part of every bike race.
Find a local Bicycle Club at USA Cycling.
Overtraining can easily occur in athletes who train frequently and at high intensity. It's important to watch for the signs of overtraining and listen to your body when it is calling for rest.
Training the same way day after day often leads to staleness, fatigue, boredom and makes your more prone to injury or burnout. You may eventually hit a plateau and fail to see any additional improvement. Elite athletes use the off-season to mix it up and modify their workouts every few weeks or months.
10. Wear Cycling-specific ClothingCycling clothing may look a little strange at first, but the specialized clothes do serve a purpose. Clothing
The tight fitting clothing minimizes wind resistance as well as increases visibility. The shorts have special padding to eliminate chaffing and increase comfort on the saddle, and yes, they are to be worn without underwear.
Most cyclists now wear special shoes with cleats that attaches to the pedal with a click and release with a twist. This not only increases cycling efficiency (you can pull up as well as push down on the pedal), but also increases safety.
The bike helmet is a mandatory piece of safety equipment. No sanctioned bike races will allow a rider to compete without a helmet.