Spring riding and racing is just around the corner and athletes everywhere are starting to think about their “A” races as well as secondary races to use for training and motivation. A given rule of thumb is that all races and events provide experience, training benefits, and act as a stage to assess your form.
However, 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 2017 cycling season. To avoid injury or setback, follow these tips to help transition into a healthy and rewarding Spring cycling season.
Whether you plan to ride a century, multi-day rides, race or aspire to longer or more frequent rides in 2017, monitoring your early season training and racing sets the stage for a successful year ahead. Key points to keep in mind include training intensity, duration, and frequency. Our tip to do this? Use power meters and heart rate monitors to guide you. Given that 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. Check out our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, to dial in which training aid is best for you.
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.
Get your bike race ready – It’s obvious, but often overlooked with the excitement of the season – but that is getting your bike ready to race. Our post, Spring Cleaning! 4 Essential Bike Maintenance Tips to Get Your Bike on the Road, walks you through all the bike maintenance and safety checks needed before embarking on epic training rides. Fortunately, all the bikes, bike parts , cycling accessories, and cycling apparel you’ll need can be found on our website – bikeparts.com. And, if you aren’t into doing bike maintenance yourself, Call or stop in to Peak Cycles in Golden, CO to schedule your bike for a full tune-up.
Be prepared. April kicks off the season in Colorado with the Boulder-Roubaix, Front Range Classic, Fruita Fat Tire Festival, and Koppenberg Road Race. Not only are you testing your fitness in these early season races, but you’re also testing your memory! Don’t forget necessary event and race itms. We’ve prepared a handy, comprehensive checklist for Spring racing.
Early season cycling tempts cyclists to jump into race training with all the intensity, determination, and vigor they can muster. While these are positive mentalities to have, its important that competitive bicyclists not let their excitement for spring training cause them to overwork themselves. Recovery is critical. Our post, Don’t Compromise Your Spring Training Recovery Rides! Here’s How… offers resources for you to learn about recovery best-practices and get the fuel and equipment you need for adequate recovery.
Finally, have fun! Enjoy the launch of the cycling season!