How to become a better cyclist ► the perfect plan 💪
Success can be defined in an infinite number of ways. In terms of cycling, for some, just buying a road bike and getting out there for a ride is considered a success. For others, perhaps winning a certain number of races is what motivates them. Either way, success isn’t defined by one thing or one win, it means different things to different people. So read on to find out the secret formula for your successful cycling training 👇…
- Set your cycling goals
- Break the goal down into manageable and measurable chunks
- Be realistic when you plan your training
- Don’t just ride your bike
- Be flexible in the way you organise your training
- Don’t be too hard with yourself and enjoy cycling
- Conclusion ► Successful cycle training
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Set your cycling goals
Choosing a goal is the best way to quantify and measure your success. As the adage goes, ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to set a ridiculously high cycling goal either. Yes, it should scare you to some extent as you’ll be pushing yourself beyond your current limits, but it shouldn’t be ridiculously unachievable. It also needs to be something that motivates you, so if you pick a goal to ride an enduro mountain bike race but you’re not actually that keen on jumps and drops, you’re probably not going to find success.
Break the goal down into manageable and measurable chunks
Don’t worry, this article isn’t just about cycling goal setting, but it is important you go about it correctly. Breaking your goal into smaller chunks makes it easier for you to understand what it is you need to do to be successful.
So for example, if you want to ride a 10-mile time trial personal best, work out what you need to do in your cycling training plan to achieve that. Do you need to work on your TT position to get as much speed out of yourself as possible? Or do you need to incorporate intervals into your training to work on sustaining a higher power output?
The individually achievable objectives for this cycling goal might include, getting comfortable in your new position, equalling your PB or setting a new best time on a different course (with a different terrain, for instance, flatter). By working towards small steps in your cycling training, you’ll be able to find smaller successes along the way and keep yourself motivated when you hit each target.
Be realistic when you plan your training
We’re not trying to be pessimistic here but be honest with yourself. Not just about whether you’ll be able to achieve your cycling end goal, but how much time and resources you can put into fulfilling each objective along the way.
If you work a 40+ hour week and are planning to ride 20+ hours a week in your cycling training plan alongside family and other commitments, you’ll most likely set yourself up to fail. By all means train as much as you need or want but don’t let other commitments and relationships fall by the wayside.
Finding balance with cycling is itself a success and one that many people struggle with. Focus on quality over quantity of sessions, and if you’re not able to ride 20+ hours a week, don’t fret – plenty of riders have been successful on far less cycling training time. All it takes is structuring things realistically and working out what it is you want to achieve on and off the bike.
Combine cycling with other things
What do cyclists love most? Exactly, cycling in beautiful places with fantastic routes. For many cyclists, a training camp is one of the highlights of the cycling year. If you have family, you know the dilemma – family holidays or training camp? Why not do both together? Mallorca is the perfect place for family holidays and for cycling holidays as well. Check out our top rental bikes and find your dream bike!
Don’t just ride your bike
Unless you’re a rare breed like Eddy Merckx, cycling day in day out and not doing any other sort of activity may well drain your enjoyment quite quickly. Not only do you knacker yourself physically, but mentally too – taking the time to put out so much effort every day can be draining.
The way to combat this is to do other things off the bike, or at least, in other disciplines. Staying on top of stretching and strength training is a great way to help prevent injuries and build strength on the bike, especially where endurance is concerned. The idea is to mix it up, don’t become too rigid in your cycling training plan if you feel your motivation starting to dip.
If nothing else, try reserving one ride per week just for fun – perhaps leave the cycling computer at home and head out to meet a friend at a cafe. Keep the fun factor there and remember why you enjoy riding your bike.
Be flexible in the way you organise your training
Setbacks happen, it’s almost inevitable. But how you respond to them is what makes the difference. Picking up an injury, missing cycling training or finding your cycling event is cancelled are all less than ideal, but be flexible. Control the controllable and try not to worry about the rest.
If you’re injured, be sensible. Focus on recovery and don’t push too hard too soon in your cycling training or you might find yourself on the sidelines for longer. If your race gets cancelled, which is unfortunately happening all too often at the moment, adjust your goals.
Even if there’s nothing else happening around that time that you can switch your focus to, remember that your cycling training hasn’t been wasted. Think about how much stronger you are now than you were six months ago when you started training, and then think about how much of a better position you’ll be in when the event does go ahead.
Don’t be too hard with yourself and enjoy cycling
This is the big one. Success isn’t just measured in cycling results and power PBs, if you’re miserable, then none of that matters. Make sure you enjoy yourself and the process of training towards your goal. If you’re finding that you’re not, take a couple of days to regroup, try and rope in a friend or cycling training partner, or maybe try something different entirely like running or walking, and perhaps you’ll find that motivation returns.
Conclusion ► Successful cycle training
Cycling and cycle training should be fun for amateur athletes. Many ambitious cyclists often lose sight of that. If you don’t reach your end goal or something sets you back. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world, there will always be other events and opportunities to push yourself. And if you did succeed, well, looks like you’ll need another goal!