Overlooked ways to cycle faster
Cycling is extremely simple as a concept: all you need is a working bike! But cycling fast, or efficiently, gets a whole lot more involved. Here's a summary of techniques and checks that you must do, to give yourself the best possible ride. These are inspired by a racer-oriented list published in Cycling Weekly, but most will apply to you regardless of your inclination to race.
- Wear decent kit
- Light wheels, please
- Keep equipment to a minimum
- Get a proper bike fit Including your shoes and sole inserts
- Don't scrimp on tyres
- Check tyre pressure
- Train a lot
- Avoid "recovery rides"
- Do core strength exercise such as weight-lifting
- Get your thresholds measured
- Be race-ready: taper!
- Eat and drink enough
- Try beetroot juice, beta-alanine and sodium phosphate These are good, respectively, for blood pressure, lactate absorption, and peak oxygen uptake.
- Split up endurance and intense training
- Be SMART with goals
- Identify your weaknesses
- Be comfortable with group riding
- Learn to descend
- Spin the gears
- Learn to pedal
- Take control of the race
- Cage the Chimp
- Learn from a coach
- Write stuff down! Include data where possible (such as heart rate zones and weather conditions) to help you fine-tune your analysis.
- Get a power meter
- Get over the hill Don't stop pedalling hard until you've levelled off or are starting to descend.
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