With the weather now becoming incredibly warm, many of you may be starting to think about getting out and going cycling a little more often.
Whether you choose to take your bike to the mountains and escape the busy life that goes on in the city or you’re just looking to go out riding after a hard day at work or over the weekend when you’re ready to relax and enjoy the outdoors, keeping some factors in mind is important.
Not only are there things you can do in the gym to help you with your cycling efforts, but understanding proper nutrition and supplementation will also help you make the most of your time spent out on your bike.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you head out.
In The Gym
Focus On Quad And Hamstring Training:
When you’re out on your bike, the two main muscles that will power you through the ride are your quads and hamstrings. It will be important to have a careful balance between training the two muscles. You don’t want to start experiencing a muscle imbalance.
When that happens, you set yourself up for injury, especially in the lower back area if the weaker muscle becomes tight. Good exercises to include for these muscles include squats, deadlifts, leg curls, lunges, step-ups and split squats.
Don’t Neglect Your Upper Body:
One problem many cyclists have is they focus so much of their energy on their lower body training thinking this is what will be needed for cycling and end up neglecting their upper body entirely.
The upper body is actually used to a large extent during cycling because it partially supports your body weight as you continue to cycle. Over longer rides, lasting one to two hours in duration, don’t be surprised if you find your upper body feels sore.
Next, you also need to look into proper nutrition to make sure you have the fuel to get you through your workouts. It’s important that you’re eating well not only before you go out to cycle but also after you’re finished.
Right before your training you want to take in a good solid source of carbohydrates that will release somewhat slowly in your body so you’ll have a steady stream of fuel for the longer period of time that you’ll be out there. Good options include oats, pasta, brown rice or a big bowl of fruit and yogurt.
If you’re going to be out for longer than an hour, then it’s also a smart idea to take some fast-digesting carbohydrates along with you.
Maintaining Adequate Hydration:
In addition to providing carbohydrates to fuel your ride, you also need to make sure you’re staying well hydrated. While you may not feel as though you sweat as much on a leisure ride as you would if you were out for a hard run, that does not mean you shouldn’t take in liquid.
Water is best for rides that last an hour or less, but for rides that are longer again that carbohydrate beverage will be a good option. These will also help to supply your body with the electrolytes it needs to maintain good muscular contraction rates.
Finally we move on to supplementation. When used properly there are a number of supplements that can make your cycling trips more effective and enjoyable.
The first supplement to consider is protein powder. This is a good option to take for longer rides to give your muscles some amino acids to feed on while you’re out there burning up fuel. Failure to provide these amino acids could result in lean muscle mass loss, so it’s important not to overlook.
If you’re doing mountain cycling or are doing any type of races, you may also want to think about adding creatine to your supplement protocol. While creatine has traditionally been used for weight lifting workouts, if your rides are intense enough and involve short bursts of intense activity, creatine will be beneficial to you as well.
original source: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cycling_season_preperation.htmorigia