Whether you’re recovering from an injury, giving your body a break, or just finding a way to stay fit through the winter months, diversifying your activity is a great way to keep things interesting and your body bike-ready.
It’s important to fuel your desire for your sport. One way to do that is by not losing interest in your routine—or even the sport itself. You need variety, and you need to have fun. Hence, enter the picture for cross training! Following are our cross training tips for fun and fitness gains.
- Running – Some question if running is good for cyclist. Fortunately, it is! Running is good for you whether you are a road cyclist, mountain bike cyclist, or cyclocross cyclist. The post, Is Running Good for Cyclist shares more in detail, but the bottom line is, running adds extra gains when used as a cross training aid.
- Yoga – Some of the most elite cyclists use yoga as part of a successful training program, including 2012 Tour De France winner Bradley Wiggins. Wiggins’ benefits from the focus it brings to his cycling, while others, such as pro mountain biker and Olympian Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, use yoga to gain strength. From power to endurance, athletes at all levels are incorporating yoga to gain an edge over the competition, and prevent injury. The next question – how to get started? Check out our post, Yoga and Cycling: What’s In It For You? for ideas and inspiration.
- Hiking – Hiking is a great way to get your nature fix while mixing in a little exercise. Hiking helps build up your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, core, and hip muscles—crucial muscles that can help your riding. As a bonus, it helps with bone density because it’s a weight-bearing exercise. Aim for shorter and longer hikes to mix it up.
- Strength training – For some cyclists, strength training is a welcomed part of the training process; however, for others, it is a necessary evil. Many cyclist wonder if they should train year round? Answering these questions, the post, Year-Round Strength Training for Cyclists states , “one of the main goals with sport-specific strength training is to target your prime movers as well as the assistance muscles that support your prime movers. With proper strength training, each time you press on the pedal, your primary group of muscles (those that take on the majority of the load) will be stronger and have a stronger group of assisting muscles to help produce power. Since you are only as strong as your weakest link, the stronger system you build as a whole, the more potential you have for cycling specific gains. For ideas and inspiration on strength training, read our post, Why Year-Round Strength Training for Cyclists Matters.
- Bike parts – Hmmm? You might be wondering, how does cross training apply to bike parts? Well, consider doing different types of workouts and rides on different bikes. Use your road bike for intervals, your mountain bike in the nastier weather and to do drills to improve bike handling, and race your fat bike on the snowy days. Mixing it up keeps it fresh!
Get started cross training to make 2017 one of your best years yet!