Cycle Training is an exceptionally efficient form of Cardio Training and when you take advantage of what it has to offer you’ll increase your Fitness and Muscular tone (especially in your legs). Cycling is an excellent choice as it offers a non-load bearing environment for your joints. Unlike jogging or running there is no high impact associated with the exercise movements and being predominately in a seated position you’re not supporting your entire weight while you train.
Cycle Training can be performed indoors or outdoors and in all seasons. I’ll admit that there is a need to out lay some money to set yourself up adequately but once you’ve got all you need you’ll be set for quite a while. You may already have a bike that you aren’t taking full advantage of, just dust it off, check it over and you’ll be off and riding.
WHERE DO YOU START?
One important point that I would strongly recommend is to ensure that your choice of bicycle is the correct size for you and how you intend to ride. This takes in certain aspects such as your leg length, arm reach and riding position. Riding efficiency, comfort and reducing the risk of injury are all important considerations and need to be assessed when sizing a bicycle.
If you are unsure about the correct size that you require, your local cycling store will be able to advise on the correct size for you and your riding requirements. Once you do work out your size and correct riding position (seat height / angle, handlebar adjustment, crank length, etc…), you may have to give it some time to feel right. At first it may feel awkward and unusual but your muscles will need time to adjust to this new style of movement. Your patience and persistence will be rewarded.
In the beginning it is best to ride for a set duration and not for a certain distance. That way you can gradually increase your time and the distance will take care of itself. There is no need to introduce any training principles because just by riding you will be increasing your fitness and becoming more accustom to cycling.
Concentrate on a steady cadence (pedalling rate) and aim for rate of approximately 80 – 90 rpm. Your heart rate intensity should be in a range of 60 % – 80% of your maximum heart rate. I would recommend a Heart Rate Monitor from the beginning as this will allow you to track your improvements and target your preferred training intensity.
I’m not trying to advise you on becoming an elite-racing cyclist with this information, what I would like you to achieve is an increased fitness level and Cycle Training is an excellent path to follow.
Please ensure that when riding on public roads that you obey regional road rules and ride in a manner that is safe for you and other road users. Wear a standards approved Helmet and bright clothing to increase your visibility to others
WHAT ARE SOME EFFECTIVE VARIABLES THAT YOU CAN ADD TO YOUR CYCLE TRAINING?
The idea here is to add variety and this will ensure that your Cycle Training continues to provide you with ongoing improvements. Once you have been riding for a while and have become accustom to your bike and you have built a Cardio base to work from. You can introduce some Training Techniques that will increase your intensity and your riding ability.
One training technique that you could employ is to introduce a form of interval training into your ride. For instance you are warmed up and have been set on a steady pace, now you can increase your pace for a set distance or time, then revert back to your original pace for a set distance or time. Continue alternating from one to the other, increasing and decreasing your intensity. This is a proven way to increase your fitness and also keeps you focused.
You can also make use of the local terrain in your area. Are there hills or inclines to use to your advantage? Always view an incline as a challenge that will offer you a reward for your effort. When you can tap into an undulating area to train, it’s similar to Interval training, but it is not set at equal increments. You have to take each incline and decline as they come, conquering each in turn. This Cycle Training will get you out of your seat and pushing on the pedals.
One other option is to locate an area to train that has numerous corners and offers no interruptions (traffic lights, stop signs). Cycle training in this environment has you slowing for corners and accelerating on a repetitive circuit. You speed up, you slow down, and you sweep through a corner or drive down a straight stretch. As well as increasing your fitness, this cycle training will test your technical riding skills and allow you to build on your ability.
CYCLE TRAINING IN ALL CONDITIONS
Of course Cycle Training is a pleasure on a calm spring day, no wind, not too hot or humid and the sun is radiant. Unfortunately this isn’t the case all year round, so how do you still take advantage of your training when the conditions aren’t favourable?
This is where Indoor Cycle Training can come to your rescue. At times it can be too cold, too wet, too dark or you’re short on time. When you have an indoor trainer to ride none of these issues will affect you.
These trainers come in various forms but all allow for the same convenience “training at your fingertips”. Another benefit to riding an indoor trainer is that your bike will sized and adjusted to suit you correctly, so when it is mounted on an indoor trainer you feel no difference, the feel and comfort is what you are accustom too.
There are basically three styles of indoor trainer and these are,
Rear wheel mounted, fitted with an adjustable magnetic or wind generated resistance to ride against.
A trainer that allows for your whole bike to be fixed in place, usually with the front wheel removed and the axle clamped in position. These too have a similar adjustable resistance to ride against.
The third option and most challenging are what are termed Rollers. This indoor trainer is made up of three rollers where the rear wheel sits in between the rear two rollers and the front wheel sits a top the front roller. The middle and front rollers are joined with the use of a large rubber belt or band and as the rear wheel drives the rollers the energy is transferred to the front wheel so it spins. These trainers are for the very experienced as any slight movement is magnified and a continual high cadence is necessary.
LET’S GO FOR A SPIN!
Nowadays there is a new version on an old theme. The old exercise bike is gone and the new Spin Cycle is in. Spin Cycling took the world by storm a couple of years ago and Gymnasiums everywhere were offering the advantages of Cycling as a new form of Cardio Training to the masses. The great advantage of these bikes is that manufacturers have finally discovered the need to be able to adjust a bike to your own requirements. Seat height, Reach and Handlebar settings are all adjustable to your individual requirements.
These Indoor Cycles can take the strain and sweat away from your traditional outdoor bike but don’t take away the advantages that Cycle Training has to offer. Most come with an LCD Computer to monitor your performance, where you can track stats of Speed, Time, Calories and Scan and all at your fingertips.
These Cycles incorporate a braking system on the front Flywheel ( as these bikes don’t have traditional front and rear wheels) to facilitate a resistance, which is easily adjustable from your riding position and offers countless resistance settings from nil through to the highest. This differs from a conventional system where you have set training increments.
One other advantage of utilizing these Indoor Trainers is that unlike a normal bicycle, these don’t roll along when you stop pedalling. The rider continually controls the Flywheel and this in turns gives a continual workout.
There is one advertised benefit of riding these indoor spin cycles and that is you can watch TV or read a book while you ride. To be honest if you want to watch TV or read a book that’s fine, do that. Don’t try it while you’re riding, you won’t be fully concentrating on your training and I guarantee your results will suffer.
Indoor Cycle Training offers you the ability to continue with your Cycle Training no matter what the season or time of day. You can incorporate the training technique of your choice, with the exception of going through corners, while using them. Change your gearing, change your cadence or your speed it is all there for you to use to your advantage.
Sit back and allow me to tell you a little story
You might learn something that you'll never forget.
This tale dates back a few years but the message of perseverance; enthusiasm and rewards still ring true today and always will. Imagine a man early forties, married with growing children; busy working life and not much time for any outside interests. He is starting to spread a little around the middle, but so were his peers, that’s just how life was.
One day he visits his doctor and amongst other things his doctor recommends that he lose a little weight. He thinks to himself that it’s the usual thing to be told by your doctor but it sticks in his mind. Time passes and he still cannot stop thinking of what his doctor had said all those weeks before.
So he decides to cut back on alcohol and to improve his diet. As time passes he discovers that he is feeling all the better for the changes that he has made and has more energy, is feeling better in himself and has a higher self-esteem.
He takes up an exercise regime of cycling, not too much at first, but he finds that he gets a great deal of enjoyment from it and his training grows in proportion. He rides further as the weeks pass and he achieves each little goal that he set himself. In his travels he meets other cyclists and he eventually joined a local cycling club.
His knowledge grew and he trained harder and entered some local races, he doesn’t win but the excitement of the race and the thrill of participating is all that he needs to spur him onto greater things. He started to introduce some cross training into his regime and does some jogging. He also didn’t live to far from the coast so he tried his hand at swimming in the warmer months.
It doesn’t take long for him meet other like-minded individuals and he is soon part of the local triathlon club. He enters their events for his age group and learns the tricks for fast transitions and what is needed to succeed.
Over the next couple of years he continued to race in bigger and bigger events up until he was doing full Ironman distance triathlons. He set himself a personal goal and strived for it, trained hard and participated the required events to qualify.
And he made it.
The day finally came and he was there, he looked left and right at the endless faces of the many other people, all with their own goals to achieve. Just by standing there he had already achieved what years ago would have seemed impossible.
He had qualified for and is about to start in the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon.
Now I’m not saying that if you choose to do Cycling for your Cardio Training that this is where you will end up.
What I am trying to emphasis is that when you truly enjoy what you are doing and you take advantage of the benefits that it has to offer and your fitness and your new found energy levels increase.
There is no telling where it may take you.
Think about what's stopping you? Cycle Training allows you to unlock your potential and gives you a beneficial Cardio Workout where you can build your Fitness, Stamia and Lose Weight.