It really has been awesome coaching triathletes, cyclists and both new and experienced riders. Cycling can be tricky, especially when you first start out on the bike, but we have been able to really teach athletes how to ride, not just move the pedals around and observe forward motion. There are so many things to think about while riding and training for a ride, such as
terrain, wind, balance, cadence, wattage, miles per hour, strength, power, speed, strength endurance, rules of the road, a good fit…..shall I keep going?
Often it can be overwhelming for a new rider, novice racer or even intermediate triathlete to learn everything. So take it one step at a time, and a shameless plug – we certainly believe that when you hire a coach you can progress faster.
The title of this blog post is “Are you really riding”. I named it that because I think a lot of people on the road are not pushing the pedals to gain fitness. They are spinning and the bike is moving forward. When you are with the wind, the bike can certainly move forward fast and you think you are doing pretty well….but how fast you are going does not always mean you are gaining fitness. So how do you improve on the bike?
First things first, you need to get a good bike fit. Why? Well, you want your body to function properly on the bike. If you are not fit correctly, you are risking injury, imbalances will occur, and you will not be as strong and efficient while riding.
Second, you need saddle time. Simply put, the more time you spend riding your bike, the more efficient you will become. It’s time to build that engine and this is called base riding. The more you ride, the better base (foundation) you will create. Often you don’t need fancy wheels and other gadgets…just go ride and you will improve.
Third, we suggest good training plan which will take you through different training blocks and focus on different muscles and energy systems in the body. Work on Strength: you gain strength by pushing “big gears” on the bike. Once you gain strength by pushing “big gears”, then we work on Strength Endurance which is being able to push those big gears with more intensity. Then you can progress to Speed Endurance: Holding a high cadence at a high intensity (90+). All the while you are still doing base building rides at 88-92 cadence. Wow! A good cycling coach will assist you in building all of these different pieces of the bike puzzle. You only need
a cadence monitor, a good solid training plan and some focus to your training.
So how do you focus on all of the above while you are really just trying to avoid cars, people, potholes, dogs and more. That is where having an indoor bike trainer or even better yet, access to a Computrainer will come in very handy and build fitness even faster. There is a time and a place for both the trainer and the road. I believe that there is nothing that can simulate the road, the elements and the experience of riding on the road. You also get more adrenaline because you are actually moving forward:) However, one day a week where you do your quality intervals to gain more power and strength in your legs on the Computrainer at the Without Limits cycling Center will build fitness fast. In fact, the Computrainer/Racermate technology actually has a guarantee that you will gain 10% power in just a few months. Come check it out and let the experience speak for itself.
We always wish you the best in your cycling adventures and safety first! Good luck and see you out on the road!
Coach Tom and Coach Sami