Midweek Post for January 4, 2023 – What Cyclists Can Do to Prepare for a Great Season Ahead

Picture of Man Cycling by Munabaik Cycling Clothing from Pexels.com

With the holidays over and the start of a new year, you probably are thinking about the cycling season ahead. What can you do to prepare for the rides, cycling vacations, or events to come in 2023?

Gradually Build Your Strength and Endurance

While it is great to see family and friends during the holidays, all that fun and partying can lead to excessive calories and reduced time for exercise. If that is the case with you, then getting on the trainer and doing some lite spinning is a good place to launch your training.

A couple days a week of this practice will help you readjust to your cycling position, which will help if you have been off your bike for a while. However, if you push too hard too fast, you open yourself to the possibility of injuries.

Unless you have a January or February event you are preparing for, time is on your side. Build your strength gradually and steadily on the trainer or with short training rides. This is especially true for older cyclists 50+ and above.

Make Note of Events on Your Calendar

While you prepare to face a new season, Jim Rutberg, a coach with Carmichael Training Systems (CTS), says you can do this list of things. One of them is to fill in your calendar with all the “possible events” you want to do once spring arrives.

Chances are unless you are really ambitious, you may not do them all. That’s okay. Rutberg suggests planning on 3 to 4 events that are at least 2 weeks apart if possible. That way you can train specifically for each event and not all of them at once.

The key thing to remember is to use your off-season time to prepare instead of trying to cram in a bunch of training right before an event. That way injuries and training stress can be avoided.

Stay Mobile While Not Cycling

If you have just restarted your training after taking time off during the holidays or for another reason, you might find you don’t have time to always hop on the trainer or go out for a ride. That is okay as well.

Movement of any kind is useful for cyclists since the position we are in while on the bike is static. And, as Rutberg notes, it can shorten muscles in the hips, chest, and shoulders. Exercise like yoga, pilates, stretching, and even a daily walk is helpful.

Other Things You Can Do To Jumpstart Your New Season

Three Cyclists Riding by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels.com

Time on the trainer or winter rides (ideally with a training partner or two) is a definite plus. But there are other things you can do to assure your season ahead will be good. To read more about these, review Jim Rutberg’s article at the Carmichael Training Systems website.

  • Increase your carbohydrate intake while on the bike.
  • Eat more protein.
  • Focus on getting better quality sleep
  • Bike Fit – As we get older, our body dynamic changes. If you’ve never had a professional bike fit or it has been a long time since you last had one, this can improve your overall performance.
  • Reduce or eliminate your use of alcohol.
  • Lift weights or other types of strength training – This is important because cyclists tend to only think about their legs.

Last Thoughts

Winter and the beginning of a new year are both hard times to think about a new cycling season ahead. But the truth is, spring will be here before you realize it.

Ideally, come spring, you want to hit the road in peak condition and not feel like you need to make up ground. So, start with the recommendations above and know if you can stick to most them, you’ll have a fruitful season with good fitness while remaining injury free.

Author: Doug McNamee

Freelance Content Writer, Travel Writer, Editor, and poet.

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