How to become a strong cyclist – 8 pro tips 💪
If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking at stepping up your game on the bike, whether that means racing or training for a sportive. Becoming a strong cyclist could mean a completely different thing to you than it does to your friend and might require a completely different way of cycling training. How to structure your year and maximise your training potential? We will help you with fine technical details and tips for your training camp in Mallorca. Read on for our 52 week curriculum to becoming stronger on the bike.
- Plan your cycling goals
- Plan your calendar – rent a bike in Mallorca
- Periodisation for the best results
- Build your aerobic cycling base
- Build period – power to the legs
- Training camp in Mallorca – sun & cycling
- Peaking – like a pro cyclist!
- Transition – after the cycling race
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Plan your cycling goals
The first step to planning your year is to define what becoming strong means to you. What are your goals? Are you interested in learning how to train for a gran fondo? Or perhaps you’re a racer and want to podium in a road race. Identifying your cycling goal is the most integral part to planning your success.
We could write a whole other article on the importance of goal setting in cycling and how to do it correctly, but essentially, make sure it’s measurable, and something that’s going to motivate you and your cycling training on those days when you want to sit on the sofa instead.
Plan your calendar – rent a bike in Mallorca
Now you have identified your cycling goals, you need to establish when they will be met. This will help you plan your cycling training plan as we can work backwards from your destination. Your A race or event should preferably be at least a couple of months out, as depending on your shape, you’ll need time to build your fitness as well as allowing for tapering – but we’ll get to that shortly.
It might be the case you have a few of ‘A’, or important cycling events – that’s fine, just try to leave at least a couple of weeks in between to allow sufficient time for recovery. It might be helpful to look at other events leading up to your A event as B, or C events in terms of cycling training plan importance. This will help you to decide how to taper to each event, as well as when you need to peak.
Remember that a training camp in Mallorca can take your fitness to the next level. Especially in the cold season it is much better to train in Mallorca than in the cold north.
Best bike rentals in Mallorca
- Rad-Salon BMC Pro Rent Mallorca – Playa de Muro
- Rad-Salon BMC PRO Rent Mallorca – Hotel Sunwing
- Tramuntana Tours Port de Soller – Rental Station
- Rad-Salon BMC PRO Rent Mallorca – Aparthotel Fontanellas
- Tramuntana Tours Soller – Rental Station
- Rad International – Peguera
- Rad International – Santa Ponsa
- Thomas Völker La bici – el paradiso – Rental Station
- Nano Bicycles – Rental Station
- CAMI Bike – Roxybike’s Bikestation
- Rental Station Speed Bike – Mallorca
- Rental Station Danilo Hondo ePoint
- Bikepoint Mallorca – Rental Station
- Rental Station VIP Cycling
Periodisation for the best results
Once you’ve pencilled in your events, you can start planning your cycling training. It’s important to note that this is only a guide and is by no means a match for a personalised plan from a qualified coach or service, as everybody and their journey is different, and plans should reflect that. The first thing you want to realise is that no matter how rigid you think your plan is going to be, things happen. You get ill, injuries occur, and life gets in the way – so be flexible. If you’re tired, listen to your body and stay off the bicycle. An extra day of rest now and then isn’t going to ruin your form long term but overtraining and injury can.
So, what is periodisation?
This is a common cycling training concept that’s been around for several years. Essentially, you split your calendar into different periods of training, each with a different focus. There are four main periods: foundation, build, peak, and transition. By dividing your cycling season into these sub-periods, you can progress the training according to the calendar, and adjust your workouts the closer you get to your race.
Let’s break it down and look at what sort of cycling training you need to be doing in each sub-period.
|Foundation||► Aerobic cycling base|
► Volume high
► Intensity low
|Build period||► Specific workouts|
► Volume high
► Intensity high
|Peak||► Recovery week|
► Control week
|Transition||► Take a week off|
► Plan the upcoming races
► Plan the next training camp
Build your aerobic cycling base
Base building or foundation training is about building your aerobic cycling base. Without it, you won’t maximise your potential at the top-end. It’s at this point of the year where you’ll be focussing largely on keeping your volume high and intensity low in your cycling training. This is also a good time to utilise strength training or other cross-training activities, as your body won’t be as fatigued as it will in the later periods.
Each microcycle should be either two or three weeks hard (or high volume), one week recovery – depending on your current fitness level. This is a good formula for all stages of your cycling training plan so when you’re marking out your calendar make sure to account for enough time for these microcycles. Generally speaking, you should account for two to three microcycles in each sub-period, depending on how far out your goal is.
Build period – power to the legs
Once you’ve built a solid foundation of cycling fitness, it’s time to move onto the build phases. These are where you start to bring in specific workouts tailored to your goal. So if you’re looking at improving your sprinting, then anaerobic and sprint workouts should be included in your cycling training plan. If you’re targeting a time trial, then long sustained efforts will do the job. This specific preparation will help you not only physically but mentally – once you know you can do something in training, you will be confident you can do it in a race or event. Your intensity will be high here, and volume only slightly lower than during the base period, so keep an eye on your fatigue levels.
Time to evaluate your cycling progress
It’s also the best time to testing against some cycling benchmarks – or key demands, to see how your cycling training is progressing. For example, if you’re using a power meter, then perhaps your FTP (twenty-minute power) or if you’re using speed and distance then how fast you’ve ridden a particular loop.
Training camp in Mallorca – sun & cycling
If you are worried about the stresses associated with bike travel it might be worth instead thinking about bike hire. As Mallorca is such a popular road cycling destination there are plenty of rental stations that you can go to for road bike on your training camp. Cut out the fuss and get a rental bike, and contrary to popular belief you can hire some fantastic high-quality bikes and kit to ride on. Just remember to pack your pedals.
Peaking – like a pro cyclist!
Peaking is as it sounds – peaking for your A race or event. If you’re an experienced cyclist, you’ll want to start your taper typically three weeks out, which will begin with a recovery week, a control week and a final seven-day taper. The idea behind tapering is to freshen your legs up and reduce any cumulative fatigue from your cycling training plan. So, you might schedule one hard session, then easy sessions for two or three days after. Intensity can stay relatively high, but the volume decreases significantly to get you in the best shape possible for your event.
Transition – after the cycling race
The transition period is the days or weeks after your cycle race. You could end your season here, take a week or so off and start planning your cycling training for the next season. Alternatively, depending on where you are in the calendar year, you might take a couple of days rest, and then begin the countdown to your next event.
While this isn’t a step-by-step cycling training plan, we hope it contains enough key points for you to be able to plan out your training and to becoming a strong cyclist and hitting your goals. Always mind – Mallorca and the best rental bikes are just one click away.
Read more about cycling in Mallorca
- Epic training camp in Mallorca: 5 tips & the best equipment
- 7 tips for a successful road cycling training camp in Mallorca
- Top 10 climbs in Mallorca for cyclists
- 5 secrets about bike holidays in Mallorca
- Top 8 reasons to choose cycle hire for your bike holidays
- The best places for bike holidays in Mallorca