When it comes to cycling faster, there are a few things that can help you. A better bike can help shred seconds from your final time, but ultimately it’ll be your own body that is the deciding factor. Here are some training tips from Leisure Lakes Bikes for boosting your speed.
1. Understand nutrition
Cyclists are an elite bunch, but there are many who underestimate the importance of good nutrition. You need to eat small, frequent meals with plenty of non-refined carbohydrates throughout the day to help build up glycogen ahead of training. If you need a quick energy boost, a burst of refined energy such as an energy bar or gel can help give you some much-needed power. If you’re riding for longer than two hours, eat every hour to keep you fuelled.
2. Implement strength training
While you need to be careful not to be carrying too much weight, a good weight room program can help you increase speed and power in a way unrivalled by other methods of training. Implementing squats, lunges and deadlifts into your routine can help give you legs like Sir Chris Hoy and increase your pedalling power.
3. Train intervals
Interval style training is the ultimate way to increase your speed and emulate sprints come race day. Repeatedly climbing a hill, slowly cycling down and heading back up again builds up a unique kind of endurance and ability. If you’d like to perform intervals on a longer route, pedal normally for five minutes, then power to top speed for two, back to normal for five and repeat.
4. Improve your posture
A simple trick that is easy to implement, improving your cycling posture is vital for a better, faster ride. Wind resistance drags your speed down and stops you achieving your max potential. Reduce resistance by lowering your body position. Lower your body closer to the bars and tuck your elbows in to increase an aerodynamic form.
One of the most overlooked aspects of cycling is hydration. Cardiovascular activity reduces your blood volume and makes your heart work harder. To combat this, you need to take in plenty of fluids throughout the day. When you’re riding, energy drinks are a good way to get some carbohydrates and liquid. Aim to drink a bottle every hour when pedalling hard.