What I felt as though I had to write a quick blog about cycling training. We all love our bikes, and part of riding is preparation. We clean our machines, buy good kit, spend money on stuff we don’t need. It is all part of the joy of cycling. However, do we really prepare ourselves to ride. Is our cycling training helping us to get better? Do we know what we are doing? I decided to find out, by joining a young local professional, who has been injured, at a cycling training session. I was enlightened.
I have been riding for about 11 years. I started the sport late, when I came to live in this beautiful part of NW Spain that is Galicia. I fell in love with so many aspects of it. The incredible natural beauty , the wonderful Galician coastline, and decided that cycling was for me. So, where do you start. I bought a bike, rode it, and suffered like a pig. In Galicia we have many beautiful climbs, and when you have no clue about cycling training, it hurts. I learnt the hard way that I had no clue. I had to adapt my cycling training, to limit my pain, and increase my enjoyment levels. Only then could I really say that I was a cyclist. I thought that I knew a lot, but you can always learn more.
Professional Cycling Training
So, after so many years, it was fascinating to spend four hours with a top coach, and a young pro. So thank you to Mario at OPTIAMIZA TRAINING and to Jake Wright for allowing me to sit in. What I saw both enlightening and fascinating. I, like many, believe that the key to cycling is a lot of kms and very few kgs. Yes, that is a big part of the package. However, without proper preparation that doesn’t involve either of those two, cycling training will not yield results.
Core Stability and Breathing
Mario spent almost two hours illustrating exersices with just one goal. Increasing internal core strength. The internal abdominal muscles. He explained that all top cyclists have incredible internal core strength. This enables their legs to produce maximum power. Another half an hour was spent on just breathing exercises. How to breathe. Trying to eliminate diaphragmatic breathing, to maximise oxygen intake. Increasing resistance using skipping and jumping, to strengthen the calf muscle. The calf is the only muscle that is always used in cycling. Almost to wo, without one pedal stroke. NO bike, just floor exersise. It opened my eyes. Before we “saddle up”, we must prepare ourselves. I intend to do so this winter. I will be writing more on this subject throughout the darker months.