After the last 59km jaunt out of Brussels towards Kampenhout, it was time to repeat the training circuit and keep the fitness momentum. The weather was the same, but this time I opted to wear warmer overshoes and full riding gloves, as well as an extra thermal base layer top. These little extras made quite a difference to the experience, particularly in maintaining steady body heat and warmer muscles for the duration of the ride. Last time, my temperature fluctuated too much into the cold, wasting valuable energy when training!

My bike on the trainer

I also learned some new bike handling skills and cycling etiquette from my cycling coach:

  • I learned a super efficient way to keep air flowing into the nostrils. I’d seen other riders do it but hadn’t wanted to try it before… today I did and what a difference!
  • Learning to set and maintain a pace for multiple riders
  • Learning to follow a pace and keep up!
  • Maintaining a continuous steady cadence throughout the route, with no stop/starts in peddling
  • Pedal on descents
  • Not over braking on corners
  • Not subconsciously slowing down before a hill (i.e. changing gears and cadence power) but mindfully approaching a hill with the same momentum and power instead
  • Sip more water throughout the route

There were a few things my coach encouraged me to try, but I couldn’t today!  These were to take a few risks by pushing my effort (particularly on hills) to place myself out of comfort zones. I had a lot of positive thinking today but I figured I may push my luck if I tried too hard. Next time…. 😉

Training at home can be a little tricky, but it is necessary if you want to see improvements on the next ride outdoors. I tend to do about one hour of yoga per day, which helps with flexibility and strengthening the body’s ‘core’, however, it helps to use a bike trainer with a progam to simulate hills, flats and descents if possible. I have a few programs for myself, ranging from a hilly 10km for a quick workout to a 30km endurance that takes a bit more puff!

Trainer without the bike

Originally published: Sunday, April 28th, 2013 at 19:00 in Living matter, Monologues


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2 Responses to “Cycle training for fitness”

  1. Coach M says:

    That’s “pedal”, not “peddle”.

    The general idea is not to stiffen up when doing these core kms: spinning a good, lowish gear and keeping yourself at a constant, comfortable pace.

    Lots of changes of pace are much harder to sustain and these flatter rides give you the perfect opportunity to build up resistance over progressively longer distances before we let you loose on hillier terrain.

    • Thanks for the typo alert. S’funny how these happen!
      I understand from what you say then that there is method in the madness (and pain!!). Can’t wait until the day when I see a hilly horizon ahead and think, “bring it on!”, instead of “OMG!” with panic!


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