Cycling Is Great, But How Else Can I Prepare?
Our training tips have focused on cycling to improve your fitness. However, there are a host of other things that you could be doing if you can make the time!
Tighten up on your diet. Easier said than done, but worth the effort. You will actually notice a difference if you shed even just five kilos, especially on the climbs!
If you have time to spend off the bike, then it's good to work on Core Strengthening. There are all sorts of exercises that will help. A Google search is a great place to start. Mix it up with Kettle Bells. They are very versatile - great for core work and cheap to buy too. Build in some 'planks' and some 'crunches' and you'll be flyin'!
If that still leaves you with time and motivation, then work on muscle development. Squats and lunges will strengthen the glutes, which are often ignored yet absolutely necessary for cycling. Take the stairs two at a time. And don’t forget to focus on upper body - a long day in the saddle will work your back and arms just as well as your legs!
Rest. Training places your body under stress. Resting allows it to adapt and repair. The increase in exercise will make you tired, and while this is also a sign you’re pushing yourself and getting fitter, you must listen to your body. If you need to back off, it will tell you. Best to listen before it starts to shout.
Most of all, don't push yourself so hard that you risk injury and practise a positive mindset in everything. Like all things in life don't underestimate the impact of a positive outlook on the body. Have fun!
British Cycling has a number of great guides and videos that will help you get to grips with off-the-bike training and strengthening: