Whether you are a professional or a weekend warrior, being passionate about cycling includes aiming for improved performance and better training routine. Usually, it is a long process of trials and errors, which is inevitable when learning something new and conquering new summits. Learning from the experience is most effective way to develop your skills, but learning from other people’s mistakes is even better, for it may save you a precious time, energy and nerves, while it will help you to progress with ease. Take a note of some common cyclists’ mistakes, see how to avoid them and to improve your ride.
Riding on your own
Although this may seem like a perfect way to start developing your cycling skills without being criticized by more experienced cyclists, know that pedaling on your own will get you mileage, but it won’t get you far. Joining skilled riders on their slow day can open a whole new world to you. Aside from having new acquaintances, you will benefit much more by having a tutor who can share few tricks with you. A tip from a veteran is always welcome, so make sure to get new friends on wheels and don’t be afraid to ask.
Training too hard
It is good to have role models but be realistic and understand that training like a pro will get you over exhausted, sore and with no results. Increase in fitness and training needs to come gradually, while the best way for the body to adapt to changes is to have enough rest so that it can recover. Take recovery days with short and easy rides, or without a bike at all. No need to spend a day in the bed, unless you are completely worn out.
Being on a diet low on everything
Even though sugary, fat, and salty food are not healthiest, being active means being able to burn it in the right way. Having balanced meals including sugar, salt, and fat will help you maintain the much-needed energy level during your demanding training sessions. You should eat enough of everything to keep yourself fueled and to maintain the level of amino acids released in your muscles. Hunger is the main reason for exhaustion so make sure to grab a bite, especially during the long rides.
Bad meal timing
Eating at the right time before the ride will help you to pedal with ease. Have a decent large meal three hours before the ride and make sure to have a recovery drink around 20 minutes after the ride. However, everyone has a different time of digesting so try to see what works best for you, but make sure not overeat right before the ride.
Not using helpful devices
Since you happen to live in the happy times when there is an app for everything, make use of devices like heart rate monitor or track your rides with devices that measure speed and distance. It is more than helpful when monitoring your progress while it serves as a great motivation during the training sessions.
Avoiding off-road rides
There is more to cycling than going fast on the flat road. Practice bike handling on the grass or some other bumpy terrain, ideally with a group of cyclers who will show you some brushing shoulders and wheels at a slow speed. Not only it will get you away from the traffic and improve your bike handling, but it will improve your climbing skills.
Speaking of climbing skills, riding in the hills will boost your heart rate and will effectively improve your performance. Although a stiff climbing requires a lot of effort, be consistent and pedal your way up so that you can enjoy effortless descent down the hill. Try not to go too hard in the bottom of the climb, for it will make only make it harder to climb the rest of it.
Making up for missed training
If you have missed the training, do not double up the next day. The key is to be consistent, not to punish yourself. Slowly build your strength and fitness by being regular and increase the intensity with time. The point is to ride as frequently as possible, at least five times a week. Make sure to get on the bike even if you know that it is not going to be as long as planned.
By dedicating to cycling only, you neglect the upper parts of your body that can result in imbalance and posture deterioration. The best way to keep your whole body fit is to include another sport in your daily routine. Start your day with basic yoga exercises and remember to work out regularly. Running or hiking can help you to work on your leg muscles while it will keep you active in a different way.
Choosing the wrong bike fit
There is plenty to choose from online, but the best way to buy a bike fit is to find a reputable fitter in your area. That way you can adjust it to your needs without having your back or knees hurt. Not to mention sore from the saddle. In addition to that, you’ll get to find the perfect components for your hands, bottom, and feet that will ensure comfort and boost performance.
Comparing yourself to others
Questioning too often your ability while comparing yourself to others, probably better or faster riders, will only ruin your confidence and distract you from your main focus. Find a way to boost your confidence and be patient. Results will come only if you keep the mind on your goal and if you work consistently. It is ok to look up to someone, but have a little faith in you.
Body is recovered and replenished by sleep, so do not miss morning sleep for the sake of training. Lack of sleep can cause various health problems, low energy level, and anxiety. Make the sleep your priority and schedule the training when you are at your energy peak. After the late night, or simply when feeling tired, avoid intense training and rest as much as you can.
Even though some mistakes are listed here, most of them are not. Making a mistake is inevitable and is part of the learning process, so make sure to learn from your mistakes and to share your knowledge with fellow cyclists. Keep in mind that errors of the past are future wisdom. Be clever and consistent, learn from others and pedal your way to the top.