Fitness is crucial for cycling. When you hop on a bike, you're not just using your legs, you're engaging your whole body. The physical demands of cycling vary greatly among the cycling disciplines, from sprint track cyclists to cycling multiple day tour type road events. Whatever distance you ride, fitness is importsant to be able to ride faster and for longer, and also lowers the risk of injury and aid recovery.
The training for cyclists need to reflect the demands of the sporting discipline. Track sprint cyclists focus their training on improving power and strength, while the endurance based road cyclists would be interested in improving their aerobic capacity (VO2max). Of all the fitness components important for cycling, strength and power are rated highly.
Fitness Training for Cyclists
As a cyclist, you want to work on your endurance. Cycling can be a long-haul sport, so building up your stamina is vital. Try going on longer rides at a comfortable pace. Gradually increase the distance as your fitness improves. Also, interval training can give your fitness a big boost. These are short bursts of intense effort followed by rest. They mimic the way cycling often requires quick sprints or hill climbs.
Don't forget about your leg muscles, they're the powerhouse for cycling. Squats, lunges, and leg presses can help build strength. Also, include some cycling-specific exercises like pedaling against resistance or uphill, which mimics the demands of actual riding.
Balance and core strength are crucial too. They help you stay stable on the bike. Planks, yoga, or exercises on a stability ball can improve your core. And don't underestimate the importance of flexibility; it prevents stiffness and discomfort.
More on Fitness for Cycling
- Fitness Testing — example tests for assessing the fitness of cyclists.
- Fitness Components — a discussion about the components of fitness which are important for the sport of cycling.
- Top Exercises to Help Cyclists Ride Faster — exercises to help increase your power, strength, and therefore your speed on your bike.
- Cycling Fitness Testing, also Talent ID testing
- Cycling Anthropometry
- Poll about the fitness components for cycling
- The Benefits of Electric Bikes
- Fitness for Sports
- List of Fitness Tests