areUfit 2 Ride? - Part Five

by Robin Akers

Look out the window at the moment and the chances are that itís raining. Keeping up the fitness built up through the summer is hard with options limited for actually riding the bike. The problem is that its important to remember that if you race in the summer, winter is when you can train most effectively. The time available allows you to work on things that racing, and the specific training that requires, prevents in the summer.

Most coaches encourage riders to make as much use of this time as they can and to consider one of the following alternatives to outside riding:

I am a particular fan of cross training in that it allows you to combine some of the activities that riders find tedious i.e. turbo trainers and gym work into more interesting training sessions which contain some variety. Because of this cross training removes the perceived tedium of winter training that lots of riders have. I also try to encourage riders to set goals for these sessions so that the incentive to improve is there.

A typical weeks training might look like this:

Monday Rest Day
Tuesday Circuit training. (Mixture of weights & aerobic exercises)
Wednesday Turbo session working on strength and pedalling technique.
Thursday Other sports activity (i.e. squash, aerobics session)
Friday Rest Day
Saturday Road bike ride (Very steady 2 hour zone 2) or turbo session if weather bad.
Sunday Road bike ride or run.

Your local gym will be able to provide you with guidance on gym based work but its important to combine the strength exercises with aerobic activities (although this need not be on the bike, it could be on the rowing machine). The strength exercises should target the muscles you use when cycling so concentrate on glut, quad and calf muscle exercises (i.e. step ups, squats & lunges, make sure you use correct techniques when you do these exercises as they can cause damage to knees if not done incorrectly). Also donít forget the upper body, back and stomach muscles, as these are all important in terms of technique and position on the bike.

So donít hibernate get busy and start to improve yourself over the winter, as it will mean that you will enjoy riding your bike even more when it does eventually stop raining!

Robin Akers is a qualified British Cycling Coach. If you have any questions about training or fitness generally, Robin can be contacted via www.areUfit.co.uk or by email robin.akers@virgin.net