How to Train for a Bike Race

How to Train for a Bike Race
Competitive bicycle racers are exceptionally well-conditioned athletes who spend months, even years, preparing for specific events. To avoid a potentially embarrassing showing, novice bikers should commit to at least 10 weeks of intensive training before competing in a race. The ideal training regimen includes long hours of cycling over varying terrain and distances, as well as weight-lifting to build and maintain muscle mass. Attention to dietary needs also is a key part of the training process.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Lightweight road cycle
  • Safety helmet
  • Gloves and other assorted gear
 
Step 1
Have your lightweight road bike professionally fitted. The optimum placement of the handlebars and saddle will make training far more comfortable and enjoyable.
Step 2
Cycle six days a week. Spend an hour to 90 minutes cycling at differing intensities over level and hilly terrain for the first four days of the week. Following a day off for stretching and recovery, devote the weekend to a pair of endurance-building rides of up to four hours.
Step 3
Lift weights two or three times a week. Weightlifting helps build and maintain muscles that you'll need during the upcoming race.
Step 4
Pay attention to your diet. Always eat a breakfast loaded with carbohydrates before your daily ride. Stay hydrated and snack often during the ride. Afterwards, eat a high-protein meal.
Step 5
Taper off training as the race approaches. Gradually reduce your miles during the last couple of weeks to help your body prepare for the rigors of race day.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
In addition to logging miles on your bike, training should include intense intervals of sprints and hill-climbing to build explosive leg power.
 
Drinking too much water can cause low blood sodium, which may lead to cramping and a serious condition called hyponatremia. Consuming sports drinks with electrolytes instead of water during training rides will help prevent this problem.

Resources

Article Written By Kirk Brown

Kirk Brown is an award-winning freelance writer with two decades of diverse media experience. A former newspaper reporter and editor, he also was managing editor of an acclaimed scuba diving magazine. Brown has written scripts for more than 50 half-hour TV programs focusing on technology and health topics.

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