Getting Ready for the Cycling Season

Spring is in the air and you’re itching to get outside on your bike. As exciting as that may be, we tend to forget (or ignore) a few of the basics, like layering, bike prep, hydration and all that good stuff.

So, here are a few tips on what to avoid so you can get started on the right track.

  1. Your brain thinks you can start off with a 5 hour ride but your body is going to say otherwise. Try beginning with an hour or so a couple times a week and build gradually. Remember – the indoor trainer and the outdoor road aren’t the same thing.
  2. It’s not spring yet. You want it to be, but it’s not. Being prepared for changing weather conditions is key – being cold and wet is the worst thing. Dress in layers and make sure you have food on board. If you need to stop, make it quick. After about 10 minutes your body really starts to cool down and that equals feeling miserable.
  3. Put on a couple extra pounds over winter? Many people do, so now you think you have to get it off again – fast. Well, not so fast. Not eating and drinking on a ride will just set you up for loss of energy and potential to bonk. Not to mention putting stress on your immune system. Fuel up before your ride and make sure you hydrate – even if it’s cold out.
  4. Put at least one long ride in your training schedule whether its adding an extra hour or few extra clicks to your shorter ride. This will get your body primed and help to start using your fat stores as well as boosting your metabolism. Don’t forget to drink!
  5. Ah, recovery. But I feel fine, you say. Unless you’ve been training consistently over the winter, take it easy. You’ll get there.
  6. Nutrition and off-bike training: make sure your diet is balanced with fruits, veg and proteins. You’ll feel better while riding and you’ll recover better. Off-bike training like yoga, light weights, IHIT will help with strength. If all you do is cycle, being in that one position on the bike can lead to other weaknesses. Having a strong core, for example, will help stabilize your back which is always being stressed in that hunched position.

So, start out easy and you’ll have a successful season. We look forward to seeing you on the road.

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