When Lack of Training Motivation Rears Its Ugly Head – Do this!

January 15, 2015

training motivationIt’s tough being a bike rider from December through late March. Keeping up the motivation to exercise on a cold winter day instead of curling up under a warm blanket on the sofa can be difficult. Sometimes lack of motivation rears its ugly head during these challenging times despite our best efforts to press on.  Yet, this time of year, many cyclists, competitive and recreational, are fighting regular demons whether that is general fatigue, lack of time, seasonal illness or just plain boredom.

Granted, the amount of downtime you can afford to take in winter depends on your goals for the coming year. If you have a century ride, a bike trip, or a hard race scheduled for June or July, you can probably get away with a layoff.  On the other hand, if an athlete wants to maintain fitness over the winter it it’s important to you get your motivation in gear now to make these gains and keep your cycling training on track.  Here’s how. 

First, it’s important to review your goals for the coming year and create a supportive environment that supports your goals.  Is there a time of day that works best for you?  Then, schedule your training time.  Do you train better with a partner?  Then, enlist the help of your family and friends.  Is your bike riding properly?  Check out your bike components, determine which bike parts you need, and get your bike in proper riding condition.  Your primary objective in creating a support structure is to foster an environment in which you are supported and held accountable. This makes sitting on the sofa eating bonbons a little less attractive and harder to do!

Also, keep it fresh! Winter is a time to build for the year ahead.  Trade saddle time for gym time to gain core strength.  The primary focus when it comes to strength exercises for cyclists is to train in a similar motion to cycling with lower and upper body, while increasing overall core strength and muscular endurance. Check out The Best Strength Exercises for Cyclists or 7 Hip and Core Exercises for Endurance Athletes to get you started and also – to keep you motivated through the winter months.

Another option?  Focus on nutrition.  Many subscribe to the idea of eating pasta and carbs for fueling training and racing.  Yet, there is a growing shift in nutritional information towards a strong focus on vegetables, fruits and lean meats as fuel.  Consider experimenting with your diet and nutrition as a means for making gains in your 2015 cycling program.  For ideas, read Five Ways To Get Started With the Paleo Diet.

Everything else aside, if you still don’t feel compelled to train through the winter, then at least feast your eyes on bike parts, cycling accessories, and new bikes.  Or, bring your bike in for service at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop.  At a minimum, you are fueling your desire to ride when the weather improves!   But, what it boils down to is that an essential element to being a successful athlete is staying motivated throughout the year.  Remember, cycling is supposed to be fun.  Set small goals, create a supportive structure and atmosphere for your training environment, and you’ll be amazed at what you can do in 2015!

 
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Are you Fat Bike Curious? The Questions You Want Answered! 

December 11, 2014
Fat Bikes at BikeParts.com

Fat Bikes at BikeParts.com

Fat bikes – they’re all the rage! While many consider fat bikes to be a trend, they are, in fact, here to stay!The hottest trend in the mountain biking world right now is the oversized bike that can accommodate tires up to 5 inches wide.

Fat bikes are hard to miss. Their bulbous, “fat” tires roll over virtually anything, which makes them an ideal winter mode of transportation because they help cyclists traverse snowy and icy trails with ease and traction.Sounds good, but why ride a fat bike? Fat bikes behave much like a mountain bike but, in many cases, they are much more versatile. You can practically ride them anywhere and they are particularly useful during winter rides in snowy conditions. They are also great beginner bikes and will make you feel like an 8 year-old again, bouncing gleefully all over the trails.

So, how are fat bikes different than other mountain bikes? Many fat bike models today are similar to “normal” mountain bikes, which have slacker head tube angles, lower stand-over heights, thru axles, and tapered head tubes. The main difference is the tires. The wider tires have more traction in both dirt and snow. They climb better than almost any mountain bike and the fat tires provide greater cushion that feels like extra suspension.

But what makes them special is they entice you to ride outside when it’s cold! According to the post, Fat Biking 101: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Biking in the Snow, most people do not ride when it is cold because, well, it’s cold. Fat bikes offer a unique experience and allow you to explore familiar trails in a new light. Fat biking lifts the winter doldrums by giving you a new freedom to ride off-road.

Sounds good so far, right? You might be wondering in what kind of conditions can you ride your fat bike? Fat bikes can ride pretty much anywhere. They do really well on dirt but they are also very capable in the snow. Packed snow will feel very much like riding on dirt. Pushing through heaps of freshly fallen snow will provide more of a challenge and there will be some days when riding is simply impossible. Remember, while sliding around on ice may be fun, ice is ice. The bike will still go down if you are not careful riding on slippery subs.

There are other factors to consider with fat bikes – as in, how to stay warm, best pedal and footwear options, and basically, how does a fat bike ride?

Are you curious about fat bike riding? Demo a fat bike at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado and stay tuned for more upcoming blog posts on fat bike bike selections, cycling apparel, hydration strategies, fat bike bike parts, and accessories.


Use Support Goals to Make Fitness Gains Through the End of the Year 

November 6, 2014

Halloween has come and gone.  Daylight savings time has ended.  Ugh, the dreaded winter months will soon be upon us.  Keeping up the motivation to exercise on a cold winter day instead of curling up under a warm blanket on the sofa can be difficult, not to mention the allure of the holidays.  All distractions pulling our energy and focus everywhere but the bike.

Yet, there are ways to make the transition through the Fall and Winter seasons work.  Some use cyclocross to maintain or gain fitness; others use technology as a means to boost motivation.  While others, think a little outside the box and choose to focus on support goals.  You might be wondering what the heck is a support goal?  Supportive goals are those activities that are indirectly related to your cycling yet can positively impact your performance.  They are oftentimes activities that are neglected during the season.  The Fall and Winter months are ideal to opt to focus on supportive goals.  Here’s why.

Selecting a goal to focus outside of the scope of your general cycling regimen can be refreshing and help you feel like you are still on your game.  These goals can be less time intensive allowing you to enjoy more family or social time.  Check out these support goals for ideas.  Consider selecting one to focus on for the month of November and add another one to focus on for the month of December.  Before you know it, you’ll be moving into 2015 refreshed and energized with added gains.

Build up your core with core exercises.  For some cyclists, strength training is a welcomed part of the training process; however, for others, it is a necessary evil. Yet, to avoid injury as well as get stronger on the bike, strength training is becoming a critical aspect of year round training.  The best way to train all parts of the body is through working with a full range of motion while strength training.  Dial in the best core exercises for you by reading Year-Round Strength Training for Cyclists.

Improve your flexibility.  Consider doing yoga.  In cycling, the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hips never rest. As a result, riders often have overdeveloped quadriceps and tight hamstrings, which can pull the hips out of alignment. Also, a cyclist’s spine is constantly flexed forward. If proper form isn’t maintained, it can result in muscle pain and strain in the back and shoulders. Yoga helps ease the tightness, creating core strength, and aligning the spine.  Even if you aren’t into yoga, there are 3 poses you should practice.

Improve your body image.    As athletes, many have negative self conversations that impact how they feel about themselves and ultimately, affect performance. Learn the Three Steps to Having a Healthy Body Image and move into 2015 feeling better about yourself.  It’s important to be healthy, be fit, and be proud of who you are.

Ultimately, if all else fails, remember, the Holiday season is right around the corner! Nothing inspires cycling more than getting a new bike, purchasing some new cycling accessories or getting some new cycling apparel to wear.  Better yet, why not add some support goals AND get some new bike parts?!


How to Dress for Winter Cycling – Video

October 24, 2013

How to choose winter cycling apparel?  It’s hard to know what to wear what to wear when it’s 50 degrees and sunny outside
versus 30 – 35 degrees and cloudy.  Winter riding can be a challenge!  But, with clothing that is versatile, lightweight, and easy to pack down, you can find a winter cycling wardrobe that works for you.

  • What to wear in different weather conditions?
  • Why waterproof and wind resistant clothing matters?
  • What pieces of cycling apparel are necessities: Shorts? Leggings? Arm warmers? Knee warmers? Scull cap?
  • When do you wear fleece lined clothing?  Base layers?

Depending on the type of ride, the duration of your ride, and the elements, your clothing options make the difference between a suffer fest or a great ride. We can help you at BikeParts.com for your winter clothing needs.