Cycling, or biking to many, is definitely one of the most popular activities these days. Some are into it for commuting while others do it for recreation or sports. Today, many also use biking as a way of getting fit. With the days being stretched to accommodate the balmy winds of winter, bike fitness for beginners are seemingly on the rise, too. If you are one of the many who wants to get into the groove then, it is high time to craft a plan for that biking fun ahead.
Bike Fitness for Beginners Training Schedule
While you may be in an exciting phase to begin right there and then, it is important to prepare your bike. If you have none, consider going to a bike shop to choose which bike will be most suitable for you. Be reminded that mountain biking requires a different set of bike when deciding to simply do it on the road. The same thing also goes to offroad biking requiring different set of wheels and gears when mountain biking. When you already have a terrain in mind, decide accordingly on what bike to buy.
If you have your own but have long been stashed in the pit of your garage, consider having it thoroughly checked. Clean it. Oil it. Change the wheels and some rusty gears, too. Go for a short test ride to check if it’s still working the way it should be. When you’re all set, consider crafting a training schedule like this one from Simon Kidd, a cycling coach.
If you carefully observed the schedule above, bike fitness for beginners is gradually being increased on a weekly basis. This chart is designed for riders who have been inactive for quite some time. If you’ve observed, the pace is a little on the easier side to give time to the body to adapt to the changes which will occur after each ride. Each week, you can increase your ride time and pacing up until you can freely do as you want.
This proposed schedule for bike fitness for beginners simply requires a bike, comfortable clothing, cycling computer, and a journal to note down your experience. This progressive 4-week plan is done in pairs with adequate rest days in between to allow recovery. The rate of perceived exertion (or RPE) is the indicator of how hard a particular session should be with 10 as maximum effort.
These sessions may not fit your current schedule, so feel free to rearrange it in a way that’s conducive to yours. Do make sure to follow the length of ride time and RPE as well as consistency. This is one way for you to easily and efficiently progress from week one to the subsequent weeks thereafter.
Power to the Pedal
Before going on an actual ride as per the schedule above, it is imperative to get into a trainer and practice proper pedaling. To properly pedal, ensure that the foot’s ball is on the pedal and the knees are pointing straight ahead. Doing otherwise will result to knee problems and muscle strain.
Using an indoor trainer also allows you to practice certain drills to improve your pedaling skills. Single leg drills can help develop smooth, fluid pedal strokes. High RPM spin, on the other hand, helps widen your RPM range. To increase awareness on your pedal stroke, the ability to listen to your trainer can also be improved. Take note that when you ride, an even hum must be heard.
Simply incorporate these drills into your workout during rest days or when it’s impossible to ride outdoors. Warm up for 20 minutes before starting off.
Now is the most important part of a bike fitness for beginners—tracking your progress. You may decide to keep a log in your smartphone or computer but you would need the help of a “tracker” to record important aspects of your training like ride distance, length, and speed. These cycling computers must also come with GPS and barometer to measure and display stats. Most importantly, they must be easily transferred or shared for record-keeping.
Planning a bike fitness for beginners must be carefully followed to help the body adapt to growing changes effectively and safely. Hastening your return to biking will not only result to injuries, it may also cause lasting damage to your system preventing you from longer bike rides later on. Condition yourself, keep track of your progress, and increase your performance to fully enjoy fitness at its peak.