Have you hit that plateau? You’ve tried everything from the lightest lycra to changing the height of your handle bars but no matter what you do, you can’t scrape off that extra second?
Here are some of our top tips that will help you get the best out of your ride.
1. Riding position
Many people take setting up and positioning themselves correctly on their bike for granted. This is crucial in maximising power output to the pedals in the most efficient use of energy. Any decent bike shop will be able to give you a hand with this. To notice the difference straight away cycle to your bike shop, get your bike fitted and then cycle home. You’ll be certain to realise the difference on the journey home.
2. Hydration – The most important aspect of all life, and a huge part of any active training is getting fluid intake right.
A drop in as little as 2% of your overall body weight can have a detrimental effect on your performance. Ensure you are fully hydrated before cycling by drinking water regularly and during your rides by taking plenty of water to drink. Whenever you get a chance, fill up to ensure that you always have some water. If you don’t like stopping to drink or cycling one handed then we suggest buying a hands-free water system. The CamelBak HYDROBAK™ is a great piece of kit.
3. Padded Shorts
These will be a life saver on your longer rides and enable you to ride to the best of your ability without having to slow down and stop because you’re in pain. This will make your sessions much more enjoyable and test you much more as you won’t be having unintended breaks throughout. Our favourites are Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts.
Having socks specifically designed for cycling will help you out no end. Cycling shoes are designed to be tight fitting so that your foot does not have a lot of room to move, this is where cycling socks come into their own. Our SockMine Cycle Air range is lightweight and fits closely to the foot, perfect for close fitting shoes. They are also packed with technical benefits such as breathability, moisture control and thermal regulation helping you to go further and faster for longer.
Avoid the dreaded ‘bonk’ or ‘hitting the wall’. This is where your body runs out of glycogen and has to start converting fat into energy. The problem with burning fat is that you can’t work at anywhere near the same intensity level. The body can carry around 90minutes worth of glycogen for high-tempo efforts before it needs replenishing. Any sessions longer than this, you will need to top up during exercise. We recommend consuming around 100-250 calories every 30mins, whether that’s energy gels, cereal bars or a banana. A common mistake with fuel intake on long sessions is to begin fuelling too late. Start early, even though you think you may not need it yet. Trek is a great brand of healthy energy bars made from all natural ingredients. Check out their bars here.
6. Riding Buddies
As much as you may enjoy riding alone and trying to push yourself on your own, having a group of like minded individuals to ride with will help you push that little bit harder – especially if your group of friends are very competitive. There are plenty of local cycling clubs that you can find on the internet either through social media or even Google, just get out there and make some cycling friends. Using apps such as Strava can help give you the motivation to get out on your bike, when you start seeing that your friends have been training and you haven’t yet this week.
7. Leg work
As simple as this tip may sound, let your legs do the work. Try to limit movement of your whole body, as this will have a negative impact on your time. The wasted energy that you expend moving your upper body will be more use to you towards the end of your race/ride as a final push. For most of your ride, try to stay relaxed and focus on the consistency of your pedal strokes. The improvements will follow.
8. Bike Maintenance
Your legs and your pedals should act as one, and having a properly maintained bike is one way to ensure this can happen. Correctly inflating your tyres, cleaning and oiling or greasing any moving parts are an easy way to maintain the performance and lifetime of your bike. If you do all the correct checks your bike will be able to go faster and further for longer.
All of these tips should give you that extra edge that you have been looking for. Helping you cycle:
- Further – cover more distance than you ever have done before.
- Faster – decrease those split times.
- For longer – improve your endurance.
For more tips, tricks and everything in between follow our brand new Facebook group (SockMiners). We have created this group to bring sports men and women together from across the globe to share training tips and help, as well as shout about their latest feats.
Also, follow our other social media’s to ensure you stay up to date with everything SockMine.