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.


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.


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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