As the temperature gets warmer, the days grow longer, and the weather improves, cyclists everywhere are beckoned to ride their bikes. While some may have trained through the winter months, many have not. And the alluring call of gorgeous spring days lures many unprepared cyclist to ride too hard, too fast which can lead to injuries or a set back in the 2015 cycling season.
Whether you are planning to ride a century, multi-day rides, race or aspire to longer or more frequent rides in 2015, monitoring your early season training sets the stage for a successful year ahead.
Key points to keep in mind include training intensity, duration, and frequency. There are coaches and coaching plans to assist with specific and customized training. Or, you can create your own training program.
Regardless of your approach, for precise bio feedback to align your training plan, you’ll need to use cycling accessories available to you – as in power meters and /or heart rate monitors. Early season training lends itself to “false” feedback. Meaning, because you may be fresh, your perceived effort on the bike may be low causing you to push too hard, too soon, and then training suffers later due to increased recovery time or even injury. By monitoring your efforts with specific data, you objectively know when you are pushing beyond your targeted indictors, as well as, when you aren’t pushing hard enough. This allows your body to adjust to increased training load over time and in a manner that meets your 2015 cycling season goals.
Our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, dives into the benefits of training with power. You may also want to check out our post, Heart Rate Training – What You Need to Know for our staff picks at Peak Cycles Bike Shop. You can also learn steps in discovering your “threshold” heart rate range, setting up heart rate training zones, and identifying the daily variables that affect heart rate.
An often overlooked, yet incredibly powerful tool for improved cycling is a bike fit. If you haven’t ridden much through the winter, now is the best time for a bike fit. Why? Because your body is unaccustomed to the riding position. You have an opportunity to optimize your position and make needed upgrades to your road bike or mountain bike. Think of it this way – leg strength, endurance, and fitness are at the heart of cycling speed, but without a proper bike fit, you are sabotaging your training efforts. In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is a proper bike fit. And, a bike fit goes beyond just setting saddle height and bar reach. To get the most enjoyment and reward from your training programs it’s critical to dial in the fit and confirm you have the right bike parts for optimal performance.
There are countless more ways training tools can aid in your spring cycling training. We’ve mentioned power training and heart rate training, but also consider the importance of nutrition and recovery. The main goal of them all is to assist you in dialing in your training to optimize your performance as it relates to your goals and objectives.
Do you need help figuring out which one is best for you? Visit us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado or ask us on Twitter.