If you are planning on setting some New Year’s resolutions, how about trying some of these suggestions?
1) Make your racing debut
If you have never pinned a race number on, you are missing out on one of the biggest thrills in cycling. It is not too late to give a go this winter and, at many local events you can enter on the day and ride a mountain bike. How about entering an early season ? It will be a great motivator for the rest of the winter. Or, maybe 2016 is the year you try road racing. Closed circuit races are fun, thrilling and, for 4th Cat riders, only typically last 30-45 minutes.
2) Become a safer and more successful rider
If you are fairly new to cycling you might be unaware of many of the skills, techniques and etiquette that will make you a safer and more successful rider. Our Ridesmart videos are a brilliant resource for making sure that your riding is as safe and enjoyable as possible. Even if you are an experienced rider, it doesn’t hurt to refresh your memory.
3) Start structured training
If you are not already following one the, now is a great time to start. There are plans for all levels from wanting to tackle their first sportive through to riders preparing for racing. There are discipline specific plans for and and, new for 2016, shorter bolt-on plans to boost your climbing, prepare you for a time trial or get you sharp for circuit racing.
4) Shed a few pounds
If the scales had a bit of a shock for you on New Year’s day, don’t panic. It is normal for even professional riders to gain a kilo or two over the winter. A bit of extra padding will also help you stay warm and healthy throughout winter. You don’t want to crash diet excess weight off though so, depending on how much you want to lose, bearing in mind that sustainable genuine weight loss is about 0.5 kg per week.
5) Hit the gym
Do you include strength work in your training regime? If not, make our a priority for 2016. As well as the potential performance gains for your riding, there are a number of health benefits, especially for forty-year-old plus riders. It boosts low bone density, which can be an issue for cyclists, raises testosterone levels, improves joint health and can help off-set the loss of muscle mass through ageing.
6) Prioritise recovery
One of the biggest differences between enthusiastic amateurs and pro riders isn’t necessarily the amount of time spent on the bike but the amount and quality of recovery. If you are skimping on recovery time to cram your training in, you need to reevaluate your regime. You should be taking every step you can to and including both andin your regular routine.
7) Improve your diet off the bike
Although nutrition on the bike is crucial to cycling success, unless you’re eating healthily off it you’ll be compromising both performance and recovery. Make it your resolution to try some healthy eating. There are even some apps to help make things easier.
8) Check your bike fit
Many aches and pains on the bike can be attributed to an incorrect bike fit and a number of other issues can all often be sorted with a simple positional tweak.
9) Plan your 2016 events
If you haven’t already planned your, make it a priority to sit down and plan it out over the next couple of weeks. With your target events set in stone, you will have definite goals to aim for which will give you a real motivational boost for the rest of the winter.
10) Join British Cycling and your local cycling club
If you haven’t already joined the 100,000 plus members of British Cycling, now is the time to do so. Whether you are a commuter, sportive rider, racer or cycling fan, there is a membership for you. Not only will you be helping us to raise the profile of and lobby for cyclists in the UK, you will also benefit from insurance and legal support. You will easily be able to recoup your membership fee with exclusive discounts and offers from our partners and get priority tickets to top cycling events.
Joining and riding with your local club is the best way to develop your cycling skills, fitness and social life is to join your local club. Whether you are a novice building up to their first sportive, looking to start racing or even more experienced but have always ridden alone, joining and riding with a club will help take your cycling to the next level.
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