When taking on cycling either as a hobby or a serious training regime, there are certain things that everyone need to know and follow to make the experience both productive and fun.
Now that you’ve gotten a bike and would like to use to for more than just transport, it all comes down to the amount of time you’re willing to spend and the goals you’re looking to accomplish.
Besides getting your body accustomed to constantly being in motion, cycling can be great fun and isn’t bound by the location of a gym – perpetually providing us with real-time progress.
Make the necessary preparation
Before setting out on any kind of trip, it is mandatory to double-check everything, especially if going on a ride that will considerably stress your bike. A very common problem among cyclists is the chain falling off because the gears haven’t been set correctly.
Luckily, adjusting these is fairly easy and won’t take too much time away from the actual ride. Another key factor is to check both your front and rear brakes and make sure they’re tight enough.
While riding a bike, especially through an inhabited area, being able to stop is somewhat important.
Create a schedule and stick to it
Now that that’s out of the way, like with any training regime – keeping a schedule is crucial. If you’ve had a long break from cycling or exercising in general, it may be wise to pace yourself and increase the length and difficulty of rides as you get back into it.
Overstraining yourself on the first day can prevent you from continuing until you recover and may even tank your mood to do it again. Just like in the gym, pace yourself.
You’re never going to start out by putting on every weight you can find and hoping for the best. You’ve got nothing to prove, exercise is a journey, it doesn’t matter where we start – the only thing that matters is where we end up.
Start out slow
After you’ve gotten onto the bike, start out slow. Hopefully you’ve done some stretching beforehand, but giving your muscles time to warm up and get into the motion of things is considered wise.
A slow start will help you maintain proper breathing patterns while slowly warming up your legs and the rest of your body as time goes by. Building on the notion of avoiding rushing yourself in terms of your schedule, the same logic should be applied here.
Slow and steady wins the race, this way you won’t pull any muscles and won’t get any cramps before you’ve even started to break a sweat.
Ramp it up
As our bodies warm up, we get to the stage where we can kick it into high gear. If you’re prepared properly the actual gear switch will go without a hitch and you’ll start bolting forward.
The idea here is to find a tempo that best suits the rider and maintain it for about ten to twenty minutes. The key thing here is to avoid stopping at all costs which is why an optimal place to do this would be an open patch of road.
This will raise your heart rate and will finally help you feel the burn.
Tune it down again
After starting to get tired, remember to tune it down – never just stop. A sudden stop can be quite a shock to your muscles and can lead to problems later.
When compared to a regular workout, this would be the stretching stage after the actual workout. You’re allowing your heart rate to go down at a steady pace while still getting some benefit out of it.
This is essentially the leisurely ride back after the workout. Upon arriving, take a few minutes to stretch out and center yourself before going in and hitting the showers.
Check everything again
After you’ve freshened up, go and check on your bike. Go through the same motions as you did before the actual ride and make sure everything is where it should be and properly secured. If not, do not waste time, repair it on the spot, prolonging it will just make it more difficult down the line.
If able to, avoid buying at local retailers as you can get much better deals on the web via places like Bicycles Online. Shop only when absolutely necessary to avoid falling into the trap of constantly upgrading for no discernible reason.
Rinse and repeat
Once everything on the list has been checked off, there’s nothing left to but to stick to it. A successful ride will boost confidence and get the endorphins running, but that will soon fade if it is not made into a daily thing. If we want to see results, we’ll have to put in the time.
No amount of exercise will help us reach our goals overnight and it is up to us to keep at it and take control of our own path instead of waiting for something to change it for us.