Sometimes it’s very difficult to be consistent when cycling; family life and busy work schedules are always going to pose as obstacles. So how do we find a way to mimic the professional cycling lifestyle, without it interfering with our personal lives?
Watching your favourite cyclist fly down the ‘Tour De France route’ can often make you want to emulate whatever it is they’re doing to make them so successful. We can find ourselves wondering, how do we train like a pro? How many hours a week do they train? What are they doing differently to me?
The reality is, that we have to accept that our lives are very different to that of a full-time athlete and therefore, is it realistic to attempt to train like a pro? You can learn a lot from the way a professional cyclist trains, but sometimes training to their level can be exhausting and you could lack progression. Here are a few tips to help you achieve your riding goals and begin to train like a pro:
When planning your year in training, don’t follow the traditional cycling seasons from April to September.
Professional cyclists train throughout the entire year in order to be able to withstand all weathers.
If you’re training for a race, make sure that you incorporate these routes or terrains into your training so that you can test your fitness against other people and track your progress as you work towards achieving your race goals.
Evaluate what you have planned for the year and make sure it fits into your daily or weekly lifestle. Do you have a job that becomes more stressful towards Winter? Then schedule that in and perhaps cut down your hours of training. Make sure you take every detail into account. If the training plan isn’t realistic, you simply will fail to follow it.
Evaluate, how many areas of your life that you are willing to sacrifice to increase your speed and performance. The life of a professional isn’t all glitz and glamour; a lot of their personal time is taken up by physiotherapy and massages.
Would you be able to forget your Friday night out and swap it for a night in with a protein shake? Be realistic about how much you’re willing to give. If you aren’t a professional al
ready, evaluate whether you would rather treat it as a hobby or a commitment.
If you are willing to forgo particular aspects of your life for a short time to see how it would work and how much progress you would make, it’s always worth a try! Really make sure you know where your priorities lie and you’ll get plenty out of your training.
Get rid of unnecessary miles
What are the key things that can be taken from the way professional cyclists train? The first thing amateurs can learn from pros is that you are always doing something to improve. Whether it’s ‘recovery’ or progressing your fitness or even just training.
A lot of cyclists when recovering are usually getting adequate rest so that they can give the next session their all. However, a lot of amateurs tend to do too much riding in-between these two intensities, which isn’t really getting you anywhere. Make sure you keep your intensities separate. Be clear on your goal for each particular riding session and keep a journal or plan of this. Speed training is essential to improving your rides and timings.
Professional cyclists spend more hours in the saddle than amateurs because their training is a full-time occupation and a commitment. Obviously, being an amateur means that you have your work life, social life and family life to juggle whilst training. This means that you may find that you have to train fewer hours than a professional, which is perfectly fine! Don’t be down heartened by the thought that you aren’t doing as much training, be proud that you can manage more than one aspect of your life whilst also training too.
If your summer has been a lot more hectic than you would’ve liked and you haven’t done as much training, it can be really tempting to head straight into the colder seasons without taking a break at the end of the season.
Really, this time should be used for rest. You can use it wisely and reboot and evaluate where you’re at with your progress.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to hire a cycling coach who can ensure you’re making the correct choices when it comes to training and taking rest days. The work/family balance is crucial when judging your fatigue after a season and sometimes, professional advice is what you need to make the correct decisions.
Build a Support Team
A vital part of a professional cycling life is having mechanics and technicians to deal with all your minor and major problems that surround your cycling life. However, for us amateurs we have to be our own support team.
It’s always a good idea to maintain a healthy relationship with your local bike shop, just in case of those inevitable mishaps for example, a puncture. As simple as it is to fix a puncture, it can be a whole lot easier if your friends down the road at the bike shop can help you out! Before race day, make sure you have a service so that you aren’t blowing your opportunity by riding a bike that isn’t maintained properly.
Make sure that you set aside time in your training to clean your bike and maintain it. Having your bike maintained regularly by an experienced mechanic at your local bike shop means that you won’t have to spend what feels like an eternity on the side of the road attempting to fix your bike. It also works out better than if you were to Google the answers and try to do it yourself.
Look the Part
When you watch a professional in a race, their kit always looks clean and neat. However, comfort is a huge factor in this too! Make sure that you look professional when you train, it will boost your confidence and make you feel better when you’re cycling! If you’re looking for some new cycling clothing, click
here to take a look at our Spokesman Clothing brand!
So there you have it, all these different factors can affect your training. Take note of these tips and you’ll be training like a professional in no time!