Top 7 Tips to Avoid at the Start of the Season
After the festive period and a cold snap, it's time to get out on your bike and work on your fitness.
Here's our top tips of things to avoid at the start of the season, to get you on the right road to "beasting" those Bucket List rides!
1. Going for a Big Mac, rather than Quarter Pounder
After a lay off your brain will be bigger than your legs and your motivation to get fit fast, can get the better of you!
Going out for a huge long ride from day one, and you could easily bonk, struggle home, or worse, have to phone your partner to come get you.
Advice: Instead of going out on a 4 or 5 hour ride with all guns blazing, start off with a couple of hours, several times a week and build it up gradually.
2. Unprepared for the Weather Conditions
Again your enthusiam and desire to rack up some big base miles is admirable!
But on longer rides, if the weather is poor, make sure you carry food, spares and spare clothing.
Spare clothing like an extra base layer and gloves can be a life saver if you have to pull over and fix a puncture.
If you don't get going after 10 minutes or so, your body starts to cool down, combined with your sweat and you will soon start to feel cold.
Advice: Fix that flat, whip off your base layer, put on a new one, dry gloves and set off again. If in doubt head home and live to fight another day!
3. Cutting back on too many Calories
Most cyclists after a lay off will put on a few pounds, especially over the festive period.
The worst thing you can do is go out for a longer ride and not eat and drink as much as you can. You're likely to bonk or struggle home as your body copes with the initial change in pace.
You could upset your immune system and catch colds easily.
Advice: Fuel up before and during your rides, especially those that last over 2 hours, when your gylcogen levels are nearly depleted.
4. Not adding any Intensity
Rule of thumb is that you should build up a good layer of base miles in heart rate zone level 2 as you ease back into the season. But base miles alone won't get you fit as fast.
Advice: Add in some interval work, whether its short sprint bursts or a few higher intensity hill climbs, start off with one or two reps with a rest in between and then increase the amount of reps as you start to feel fitter.
5. Not doing a least one Long ride
A tricky one when you're getting back on the bike but once you're riding for a few hours comfortably, you'll need to over reach on time and distance on at least one ride in your training schedule. Getting in that longer ride will help your body to use fat as an energy source and raise your metabolism!
Advice: Take your longest comfortable training ride and add an hour at a comfortable pace. Fuel up before and during your ride as normal. The next day should be glowing hot and feeling great. You're in the sweetspot, as your metabolism is burning fat! Make sure you drink more than usual to stay hydrated.
6. Not Recovering Enough
Again your enthusiam and desire to rack up some quality training is admirable. Cram in too much because you feel unfit, and you could overdue it, get an injury or catch a cold.
Advice: Start off sensibly and up the anti with your base miles and interval work, while listening to your body.
7. Undoing all that Good
Congratulations, you're on your way to becoming the next top Fondo rider!
However, don't undo all that quality training with bad nutrition. Now the season is upon and the festive season is over, it's time to train smart and eat smarter.
Advice: Nutrition is the other 50% of a good training plan or regime.