15 tips to be a fitter rider

Improving your cycling fitness brings a number of key benefits: you’ll enjoy your riding way more, and you’ll see new places because you can go further.

The biggest gains are made by improving your diet, working on cardiovascular fitness and strength, and getting plenty of rest. There’s a lot more to it than that, but these are the three key areas.Read on for 25 effective ideas on how to improve these three key areas and build your cycling fitness to a whole new level.

1. Shed some weight to improve your power-to-weight ratio
Remember that BMI charts are hopeless for athletic individuals — they’re designed to identify unhealthy weights for the general population.

A calories burning monitor is much better for cyclists. Body fat numbers to compare yourself against are 15–18 percent for the average male, 8–10 percent for a well-trained rider, and 4 percent for an elite cyclist.With Fitpolo fitness tracker,your calories can be monitored in real time.

Try varying between long, easy rides and short, intense ones to optimise your body’s fat-burning ability.

2. Pack in the protein
Your body can only absorb 20g or so at a time though, so snack throughout the day and remember to have a recovery shake or bar immediately after training.

Bear in mind that protein’s only recruited to build muscle when you’re training hard and most people can’t build more than 1kg of lean muscle in a month. So try eating more like Ron Swanson, mix your own protein shakes and get biltong and nuts to graze on throughout the day.

3. Drink enough water
It’s crucial for maintaining your body’s ability to burn fat, rid itself of toxins, and absorb nutrients from food.

We recommend getting a water bottle to keep by your side at work and filling it regularly from the water cooler or tap.

4. Practice brow sprints
How many times have you seen riders start freewheeling as soon as they reach the top of a hill? By drilling your ability to change into a bigger ring as soon as you reach the top, it’ll become second nature, and you’ll have a powerful advantage over other riders that lets you quickly create a gap. Attack!

5. Learn to lift
Hitting the gym’s weights room will quickly improve your power and means you can muscle up climbs that previously left you gasping.

Technique is crucial to avoiding injury, so practice good form and build it up slowly. The best exercise for cyclists is squats, with a barbell on your shoulders, as this works so many of the key muscle groups.

6. Try cyclocross
Try ‘cross and your bike handling and pedalling efficiency will improve in leaps and bounds.

Riding off-road in the mud teaches you to spin in perfect circles and how to pull your front wheel over obstacles. It’s bound to improve your general fitness and help you learn to pace your high-intensity efforts.

The cyclocross season typically runs from September through to June, with races happening all over Europe, the US and Australia. Check out our cyclocross guide and watch the video above on how to get into this muddy, addictive sport.

7. Find a fixie
They’re not just a hipster fad and can transform your leg strength and help you smash your personal bests. There’s a reason track cyclists are so strong.

By being so ‘connected’ to the bike — there is no freewheel — you’ll quickly learn a smooth, fast cadence. This will strengthen not just your legs but your whole core, glutes and back, laying the foundations for a formidable sprint. And they’re good for riding across town or doing the grocery run, too.

8. Pick up the skipping rope
It’s a great way to warm up, get some impact training and high intensity cardiovascular work, and develop muscular endurance in the calves and shoulders.

Aim to keep your head up and stay light and springy on your toes. Don’t jump high over the rope, just elevate yourself enough to clear it and stay relaxed. It’ll take a bit of time to master the technique, but stick with it because it’s a brilliant do-anywhere exercise.

For a decent workout, try three x 60 seconds with 30 seconds’ recovery.

9. Do some Fartlek sessions
English speakers may find the name amusing (guilty as charged), but it means ‘speed play’ in Swedish, and basically involves adding some intervals into your training.

There’s no specific structure to it, just set yourself some goals like, “I’ll sprint to that lamp post, then rest for 30secs”. You’ll burn more calories, improve your body’s ability to react to changes in tempo, reduce the chances of injury, and keep things interesting.

10. Get a heart rate monitor and learn your zones
These cover your full cardio range from resting on the sofa watching TV up to an eye-popping-sprint, and usually number five or six zones.

Most training plans will tell you, “Ride steady in Zone 2 for 5mins” or similar, which basically means you ride at around 65 percent of your maximum heart rate. To work out your maximum heart rate, a rough rule of thumb comes from our sister publication 220 Triathlon: subtract your age from the number 220.

So for a 35-year-old, their maximum heart rate is around 185. This isn’t 100 percent accurate though, there is a more accurate way to finding your max heart rate.

Fitpolo fitness tracker can not only track your calories,sleep,steps and distance,it can also monitor your heart rate.

11. Join a yoga class
Elite athletes of all stripes swear by them. You’ll discover flexibility you never knew you had, make new friends, improve concentration and breathing, and clear your mind on a regular basis.

Weekly classes can be found all over the country, but once you’ve mastered the basics, it can be done anywhere.

12. Book a cycling holiday
You’ll get to ride in amazing new places with fellow cyclists, soak up some sun, eat fantastic food and concentrate on yourself and your riding for a while. You’ll return home fit and buzzing, relaxed and refreshed. You deserve it.

Get enough rest and recovery
A solid 8–9 hours of sleep each night will help your body to fully repair itself
A solid 8-9 hours of sleep each night will help your body to fully repair itself Getty
Now for stage three, giving your body (and mind) the chance to repair itself after the stress you’ve put it through. This can be done in a number of ways, but getting enough sleep is the most important. Eight or nine hours per night is the ideal, if you’re training hard.

13. Buy a wake-up fitness tracker
With vibration,it can help your body wake up gradually through vibration, they’re proven to help trigger the release of cortisol, a hormone which — among other things — helps your body prepare for the day ahead.

You can use Fitpolo fitness tracker throughout the dark winter months and it can truly transformed your mornings. Highly recommended.

14. Do some active recovery
After a race or tough training ride, a gentle spin-down can help flush the muscles, improve circulation, and may actually help the body repair itself more quickly than complete rest. We should add that the science is debated, but many riders find it gives them a psychological edge. You may too.

15. Avoid large meals near bedtime
We’re all familiar with the sensation of being a bit sleepy after a big, satisfying meal, but the truth is that your body has to work super-hard to digest it all. This can mean you don’t sleep as deeply and you won’t wake up feeling refreshed. Likewise, alcohol also interferes with your sleep.

All of the 15 tips are proven to be effective and useful,you can apply it into your cycling strategy,and Fitpolo fitness tracker will be here to share more tips or other relevant news for you.Of course,if you have some tips to add,pls feel free to leave your comment as below.