Is cycling training for beginners and amateurs different from training for a professional cyclist? How do I train effectively? Where to train and what mistakes to avoid when training? Many questions arise among people who are beginning their adventure with cycling.
As a matter of fact – the doubts are understandable and can be considered appropriate as they indicate that more and more beginner cyclists want to train responsibly and consciously. To train in such a way that the implemented activities are safe and bring satisfactory results.
WHAT IS CYCLING TRAINING AND HOW CAN IT BE MEASURED?
It is worth starting with the basics and explaining the term “training” itself. The word under discussion consists of several different activities, therefore sports training is a process and often quite complicated. During training, the body is subjected to loads of various intensities in order to adapt it to specific conditions, to acquire and achieve a rise in the level of various motor characteristics.
Well prepared and adapted to a particular person – training on a bicycle, allows for gradual adaptation, that is the body adapts to various conditions such as environmental. Often the purpose of trainings is to prepare the body for competitions and competitions which require gaining maximum results. However, in order for this process to be effective – the trainee should learn available techniques in the chosen discipline, shape the physical fitness, and acquire knowledge about the subject.
Moreover, a set of planned exercises is also about building habits that are closely related to a given sport. It is worth bearing in mind not only the exercises, but also the diet, and that properly planned and adjusted nutrition is an integral component of sports training. With the help of a well-prepared training plan and proper diet it is possible to shape various morphological features, such as increasing muscle mass or reducing the level of fat tissue.
Training is not equal to training. There are several proposals of exercises that should be adjusted depending on the planned goal and on one’s abilities and form. Nevertheless, there are several elements that should accompany the exercises – they are listed below.
CYCLING TRAINING – WARM-UP
No matter what kind of training we want to do it should be preceded by a warm-up. Both athletes, trainers and physiologists emphasize that the warm-up allows to prepare the body for further, more intensive activities. Slow activation of our body allows us to avoid injuries, and also improves our condition. All because the muscles are slowly warmed up and the amount of captured oxygen increases, the body is gradually activated, which then allows the full training to reduce acidification of the body, which reduces the chances of the appearance of the so-called “soreness”.
There are two types of warm-up, namely a general warm-up and a specific warm-up. The first type of exercise involves stretching the muscles, loosening the body before endurance training. This group includes exercises that use your own body weight, such as tummy tucks and push-ups. The second type of warm-up is an activity that is similar to the target workout, but distinguished by a much lower intensity.
In cycling, a special warm-up is an activity such as using a trainer. Keep in mind that the longer the workout you plan, the longer the warm-up should be, and vice versa – the shorter the workout, the shorter the warm-up. Every body is different, so the time we devote to the warm-up should be an individual matter.
Cooling the body is an important step in the overall training plan if the exercises are of high intensity. Body cooling involves gradually reducing the number of repetitions in the exercises performed until the heart rate returns to its pre-workout and warm-up normal.
The benefits of this action are as follows:
- prevents blood pooling in the legs,
- reduces the potential for acidification,
- safely lowers the heart rate.
TYPES OF CYCLING TRAINING
The most common cycling exercises take the form of continuous workouts. After a warm-up is done and with this type of activity, the cyclist’s heart rate gradually increases and then remains constant. The main purpose of this training is to build endurance.
In cycling this characteristic is very important and it is what allows you to cope with long and demanding routes and build up the pace. At the beginning of the adventure with cycling it is worth to carry out continuous training about three times a week, and after achieving satisfactory results, reduce this type of exercise to once a week.
Intervals on a bicycle
With the workout described and implemented above – it’s time for intervals. What does it mean? Simply put, intervals are varied exercises, segments with rest breaks. The cyclist, after the warm-up performed, moves on to the implementation of the training, in which he repeats a very intense effort for a short time, and then stops the activity and reduces the pace to a minimum.
After a few minutes, the cyclist again returns to the implementation of exercises that accelerate the heart rate strongly and after a while again interrupts / slows them down. Depending on the needs there are two types of interval training: with passive or active recovery. The first type means performing an interval of exercise (IW) followed by an interval of recovery (IR). Regeneration in this case is active, it means continuing cycling but at a low intensity. The second type of interval is a combination of IW with passive regeneration, i.e. with very slow movement or its complete limitation.
Distinguishing intervals into those with active and passive regeneration is not the only division. Due to the use of different energy systems during the intervals, their individual categories can be described.
Tempo intervals – this is a very good solution for people who want to develop their fitness on the lactate/oxygen threshold. Exercises from this category are characterized by the fact that they are long and heavy, but they clearly develop the aerobic/oxygen system.
Anaerobic intervals – this is the so-called anaerobic training, which is very intensive. During this physical effort energy is obtained from anaerobic metabolism, which allows to burn a lot of calories while building muscle mass. The training plan for anaerobic intervals can be divided into two parts:
- Exercises to develop lactic acid tolerance. With this type of training, you develop tolerance to the so-called lactate, which is produced in your muscles during intense exercise.
- Exercises developing aerobic capacity. For many people the most important element in training is the maximum development of the ability to use oxygen.
- In order to achieve the best possible result it is recommended that the exercise interval should last from 3 to 5 minutes, and the regeneration as much as IW.