How To Stay Motivated to Ride After Daylight Savings Time

November 9, 2017

At the beginning of the race season, enthusiasm and energy is high!  About the mid-season point, accumulated season fatigue catches up with most racers. Recovery rate from workouts and from races slows down and finally, by the end of the season, some find their motivation waning.

And motivation is important!  After all, motivation is the foundation all athletic effort and accomplishment. Without your desire and determination to improve your sports performances, all of the other mental factors, confidence, intensity, focus, and emotions, are meaningless. To become the best athlete you can be, you must be motivated to do what it takes to maximize your ability and achieve your goals.

But now with the end of Daylight Savings time and riding conditions are less than ideal, what do you do?  How do you maintain motivation to train through the rest of the year?

Have a goal. The goal can be big, small or in between but having something to shoot for between now and the New Year can inspire you to ride.  Goals can be off the bike or on.  Meaning, setting nutrition or weight goals can support your motivation to ride.  Or, having a goal to ride a certain number of times a week can get you off the sofa and on to the bike.  Pick a goal that inspires you and is manageable.

Fine tune your fitness.  Use a heart rate monitor or power meter to benchmark your efforts. Sure, heart rate monitors and power meters have been around for a while now, but how effectively are you using them?  Learning what what you need to know about the nuances, ranges, and data interpretation can make a difference in just getting a workout in versus targeting a specific workout in which you hit numbers and are motivated to get after it again the next day. 

Make friends with the trainer.  Nobody likes riding the trainer much less riding it for consecutive days in a row, but there are ways to overcome trainer woes  to eliminate boredom and support your training.  Try different approaches, times of day, and lengths of workouts to keep your trainer workouts fresh.

Dial it in!  Your body and your bike – that is! Get a bike fit.  We’ve heard about them, talked about them, but somehow, most of us don’t get one.  And why not?  They say the quickest way to get faster on the bike is with a bike fit.  Sure, fit impacts comfort but it also impacts technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries and how you ride. Meaning it directly affects how much power you can efficiently deliver to the pedals. Dialing  in your body and your bike parts will keep you motivated as you discover how the new changes positively affect your time on the bike.

Ultimately, motivation is not something that can be given to you. Rather, motivation must ultimately come from within.  Just like the passion you have for cycling.  Dig deep, find what inspires you to keep riding through the year end.

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How to Keep Riding Through the Time Change

November 2, 2017

With the time change this upcoming weekend, darkness will fall earlier each day making it more challenging to fit training rides in the schedule. You’ve worked hard all year long, it seems a waste to let your fitness fall off.  Given that the days with long sunshine hours are ending, what are the best strategies for continued training and maintaining fitness?   

Time management – It all begins with time management. Scheduling your workouts in your calendar; shifting meetings and family obligations to early morning, late afternoon and early evening; and optimizing your lunch hour as ride time,  are three areas that can assist in getting your scheduled training in during the daylight hours.  Again, the idea here is to create a plan and stick to it.  If you plan a ride during the daylight hours and miss it, then it creates stress on how to make that ride up.  So, if you do, then night riding becomes your option.

Night riding – To begin, don’t be afraid of the dark!  Get the right bike parts and cycling apparel to ride and you’ll be inspired to do it.  Remember, visibility is crucial – for you and your bike. Outfit your bike with a good light system.  You will want lights for the front of your bike.  Consider having multiple lights for the front of your bike.  One on your helmet so you can shine side roads and traffic and have a second light on your handlebars so you can see at least 10 ft. or more in front of you.  For the rear of your bike, opt for a rear red light-particularly one that blinks. A blinking red light is much more likely to get the attention of a passing motorist who might otherwise not notice you.  

Don’t forget to wear cycling apparel that is visible.  There are options to choose from including vests and ankle bands.  Also, reflective tape is a good idea. 3M makes black reflective tape that is great to put on black wheels.

Indoor riding – Maybe you just can’t swing riding during the day and night riding isn’t your thing.  You can maintain fitness with indoor training on the trainer.  Most cyclist have a love / hate relationship with the trainer. Yet, there are ways to make it work.  Check out our post, Trainer Techniques for Winter Training for tips and suggestions on getting the best out of your indoor rides.

Now that the time change is upon us, it doesn’t mean you have to put your cycling regime on the shelf!  With an enthusiastic attitude and a few bike part changes, you can shift your end of season cycling experience to be the best one yet! 

 

 


3 Essential Cycling Training Tips for Winter Training

October 26, 2017

Cycling Apparel at BikeParts.com for Winter Riding

Cold, winter weather is right around the corner.  While we are just getting a taste of the cooler temps, not too long from now we’ll be bundled up wondering where the sunshine and dry roads and trails have gone.  The trick to riding through the Winter months is to prepare now. Preparation gets you in the habit before the weather turns poor. Here are our tips how to make the most of it.

#1 Trainer
Most cyclist have a love / hate relationship with the trainer.  As a training aid, cyclist love it because it offers training options during poor weather and winter months.  Yet, on the flip side, trainer rides can be boring, lead to muscle- specific fatigue, and basically, offer uninspired riding.  Ugh. Is there a way to make it work?  Yes!  It’s important to have the right trainer setup. 

When we’re talking about setup, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, and indoor riding clothes.  If you are using a basic trainer, you may also want a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor.  You might not think all of these cycling accessories  add up to a great trainer workout, but  if you’re looking to take your training to the next level, having the right bike parts helps support motivation and training consistency. 

#2 Build Your Core
Most everyone agrees that
building a stronger core helps you improve your performance on the bike.  Moving into the cooler months, it is easier to cross train and focus on developing core strength.  But what exercises are best for more core strength?

The best way to train all parts of the body is through working with a full range of motion while strength training. A bench press, for example, will only work your arms and shoulders through a fixed range of motion. A great way to gain core strength and work full range of motion with many repetitions and longer durations is through practices that primarily use body weight such as yoga and pilates, for example. Ashtanga and power yoga are styles of yoga that are faster flowing, continuous, and challenging. Yoga is hands down one of the best way to work for aerobic strength gains throughout the entire body. Not only do you focus on many repetitions such as with pushups, squats, and lunges, you work each joint in a full range of motion while doing so, which focuses on core endurance, stability, and flexibility.

In a nutshell, a core group of muscles that fatigues less will allow you to work with increased power ranges for a longer period of time while riding a road bike or mountain bike. With more range of motion, increased flexibility, and a stronger core, you will not only feel better before, during and after each workout, you will be slightly more productive as well.

#3 Dial in Your Cycling Apparel
You don’t want to miss riding outdoors all together.  So, it’s important to dial in your cycling apparel for the type of riding you will be doing.  Specifically, when you are riding, you want to balance your warmth and comfort with the intensity of your bike ride. If you are really bundled up when you start riding, you will likely want to start shedding layers. It may feel good to sweat in 25 degree weather, but you want clothes that are both breathable, wind-stopping, and sometimes waterproof. You also want to evaluate the type of ride you are doing? Is this a training ride? Will you be working really hard? Or are you just going to work? 

With all that in mind, get clear on the type of cycling apparel you have in your existing wardrobe and identify the clothing you need purchase to enable you to ride in a variety of weather conditions.  Be mindful of having waterproof and wind resistant clothing.  Check do see if you have enough of the basic cycling necessities, as in leggings? Arm warmers? Knee warmers? Scull cap? What about your base layers?  Do you have enough of them or do you need to add in some fleece lined clothing?  Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs! In fact, we’ve got quite a lot of new cycling clothing in store right now.

When you think about it, it’s easy to embrace winter riding when you are warm and toasty. So prepare now. Get your trainer setup ready – make plans to cross train and build your core – and figure out your cycling apparel needs to avoid a clothing crisis on a Winter bike ride. 


How to Stick with Your 2017 Training Plan 

January 26, 2017

Out with the old – in with the new.  That’s pretty much the motto of the New Year. Many cyclists, both competitive and recreational, commit to New Year cycling resolutions; but, it’s right about now, late January, when those resolutions begin to fade.  Whether is is general fatigue, lack of time, seasonal illness or just plain boredom, many find the resolutions of the New Year in the rear view mirror.  Is there a way to make resolution stick?  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we think so! Following are the 4 components to making your resolutions stick.

#1 ENJOYABLE: Plain and simple.  If you enjoy what you are doing, you’ll do more of it.  So, make winter riding more fun.  Get the right clothing, winterize your bike, and get going!  Check out the post,  21 Ways to Have More Fun on Your Bike, for more fun ideas including singing, testing new bike parts, experimenting with new cycling apps, and opt for new cycling accessories

#2 CONSISTENT: Consistency in training helps you physical body prepare for the physical stresses of  the upcoming season.  According to the post, Nine Golden Rules for Training, consistency is key. That means consistently training but also, consistently racing builds fitness too.  Consistency in racing builds all kinds of fitness: mental, physical, and psychological fitness.  The post, 4 Habits to Increase Your Consistency, offers more suggestions on increasing consistency, such as, being purposeful, following your plan as best as possible, and getting in shorter rides when you have less time to train.

#3 CONVENIENT: The winter months make riding outdoors less desirable. So, riding outside may not be the most convenient option.  Instead, schedule your workouts inside on the trainer.  Before you groan, read our posts  Don’t Be a Hater! Overcoming Trainer Woes for great suggestions on making trainer workouts work for you.  Additionally, shared in the post, 3 Indoor Cycling Workouts Under 1 Hour, are effective workouts to pair technology with your over/ under intervals, power intervals, and speed intervals.  Without the distractions of outdoor scenery, using these tools aids in motivation by setting time goals or power goals to engage your brain.  Another motivation technique includes using the technology tools as valuable feedback for precise and strategic cycling in specific zones which adds to up to greater gains later in your cycling season.

#4 REWARD: There is true satisfaction to be gained by following your fitness routine.  Whether that is increased fitness, a sense of well being, or making progress towards your 2017 cycling goals.  But rewarding yourself can take on other pleasures as well.  Consider purchasing new bike parts or new cycling apparel as a reward for your hard efforts. Treating yourself to these pleasures invites more motivation to stick with your training plan through the cold, winter months.  

It’s easy to keep your resolutions when you focus on having fun.  When you love what you are doing, you’ll keep doing it.  Here’s to your best year yet!


Trainer Techniques for Winter Training

January 19, 2017

Trainers at BikeParts.comAs a cyclist, you can either hate the winter, or make the best of it. Some bundle up and dress to embrace the winter chill while others opt for the dreaded trainer. 

Most cyclist have a love / hate relationship with the trainer.  As a training aid, cyclist love it because it offers training options during poor weather and winter months.  Yet, on the flip side, trainer rides can be boring, lead to muscle- specific fatigue, and basically, offer uninspired riding.  Ugh. Is there a way to make it work?  Yes!  Fortunately, there are now many apps that make your time on the trainer more productive and entertaining. Additionally, these apps record your workout so you can analyze your effort and get your best bang for the buck workout wise. 

The post, Choosing the Right Indoor Cycling App, offers a list of apps and a description of how they function to help you decide which is best for you.  Some of our favorites from the list include ZwiftCycleOps Virtual Training, and TrainerRoad.  

Granted, apps can make your ride more enjoyable; yet, having the right equipment can make a difference too. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, and indoor riding clothes.  If you are using a basic trainer, you may also want a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor.  You might not think all of these cycling accessories  add up to a great trainer workout, but  if you’re looking to take your training to the next level, having the right bike parts helps support motivation and training consistency.  

If you find yourself really averse from riding the trainer.  Break your workout in half.  Spend half as much time on the trainer and the other half running, hiking, or doing another sport. One way to do this is to avoid long rides on the trainer all together. Year round strength training for cyclists matters and substituting your indoor rides with strength training will do more for your cycling later on in the season than doing another trainer session.  In fact, a one hour hard trainer workout will do more to improve your cycling and race fitness than 2 to 4 hours easy on the trainer. So, plan your time on the trainer accordingly.

Indoor rides are not a replacement for outdoor rides but with the right bike parts, cycling apparel, and equipment, indoor rides can be fun and beneficial. 


Motivation for Trainer Riding – It’s an Inside Job

January 28, 2016
Cycling Motivation from BikeParts.com

Cycling Motivation from BikeParts.com

“I love riding the trainer!”  – said no one – ever!  The trainer can be a love / hate relationship.  As a training aid, you love it because it offers training options during poor weather and winter months.  Yet, on the flip side, trainer rides can be boring, lead to muscle- specific fatigue, and basically, offer uninspired riding.  Ugh. Is there a way to make it work?  Yes!  There is!  With a mixture of planning and dose of discipline, you can motivate yourself to get in quality trainer rides.  Here’s how. 

First and foremost, set up your trainer right.  Having the right equipment and bike parts can make your indoor workouts less boring and more effective. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, indoor riding clothes, a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor.  You might not think all of these cycling accessories  add up to a great trainer workout, but according to the post, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Trainer, it can make all the difference in the world.  Aside from the actual cycling components, setting up your trainer right means creating an inviting cycling environment. Do you need bright lights to keep you motivated?  An upbeat playlist? Be mindful to the “little things” that either inspire you or detract you from getting on the trainer.  By noticing those elements that dissuade you, you can take actions to create a better trainer environment for yourself. 

Another way to make riding indoors work is to shorten your ride and add strength training to your workouts.  One way to do this is to avoid long rides on the trainer all together. Year round strength training for cyclists matters and substituting your indoor rides with strength training will do more for your cycling later on in the season than doing another trainer session.  In fact, a one hour hard trainer workout will do more to improve your cycling and race fitness than 2 to 4 hours easy on the trainer. So, plan your time on the trainer accordingly and substitute ride time for strength training time. 

Sometimes seeing is believing!  Keep your motivation strong with visual effects.  Pop in a DVD training video or select a few YouTube clips to get your mind in the game.  Posters, a vision board, books, maps, apps, or pictures of upcoming races can trigger your motivation to not only get on the bike, but maybe even dig a little deeper than you would have otherwise.  If that doesn’t motivate you, another option is to focus on form. One way to improve form is by not rocking your hips while seated and spinning. Maintaining level hips, along with a tight core will place more emphasis on the leg muscles, working them just a little harder through the revolution. This will lead to increased leg strength over time. The torso, shoulders and arms also need to be engaged at all times. Focusing on strong arms, bent elbows and a strong upper torso will increase upper body muscle endurance, being of great value on race day.  Shifting your mental focus to your riding form can make the minutes on the trainer tick away faster.  

Granted, trainer rides will never replace the joy of cycling outside. However, you can take pride in that you are getting your rides in and building your cycling base for the season ahead.  


Holiday Blessings: Remembering the Season with Gratitude

December 24, 2015
Happy Holidays from BikeParts.com

Happy Holidays from BikeParts.com

Cycling seasons come and go. There is the big training ramp up in the spring for summer riding and racing followed by fun and challenging cyclocross racing and fall riding.

And, there’s the lull in training and intensity during the winter months accompanied by trainer rides and possibly, a few, fun fat bike rides in the snow.  Yet, through all the seasons runs a thread of passion and love for the sport that unites all the seasons in a unified, blissful experience.  An experience of health, fitness, adventure, camaraderie, and personal victories.  Riding a bike offers freedom and adventure unparalleled by other experiences.  Whether it’s seeing wildlife up close from your mountain bike on a remote bike trail; or, claiming a new personal best while riding your road bike on a long ride or race – the cycling journey never gets old.

Here at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we feel that the true Christmas spirit of cycling is the love of the bike.  It’s the adventure cycling brings – the challenge of a new ride, the experimentation with new or different bike parts, the joy of connecting with friends in meaningful ways, and the building of camaraderie with teammates.  It’s about inspiration.  Riding and training towards goals that call us to be our best selves and enlist the support of family and friends that unites in powerful connections.  At its essence, the true spirit of cycling is really about passion, joy, exhilaration, excitement, camaraderie, enthusiasm, and gratitude.  These are all the very blessings we wish for you and your family this Christmas day.  Merry Christmas from Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and BikeParts.com!