14 November 2015
- Find the right bike – Have the right bike for the type of cycling you are doing. Mountain bike for off-roading or road bike for road cycling, perhaps a Cyclocross for a mixture of the two. It sounds obvious but will make a massive difference to your cycling experience.
- Warm up – Warming up is vital to prevent injury and help your body perform to its full potential. Try a few dynamic stretches such as lunges or squats to start raising your heart rate and get blood and oxygen moving to the major muscle groups. This prepares your body for higher intensity cycling.
- Cool down – As important as warming up, this promotes recovery and prevents injury. A few minutes gentle cycling at the end of a ride will lower your heart rate gradually. This allows toxins such as lactic acid (which causes the burn) to be pumped away from your muscles. This combined with a few stretches will help ease the achy muscles.
- Rest – Your body needs rest. Over training will put you at greater risk of injury and your performance levels will plateaux or even decrease. Allowing your body to rest means your muscles can heal and consolidate all the benefits of your hard work. Have you ever found cycling feels easier or faster after a week’s holiday?
- Fuel your body – Our energy intake should match our energy output. In other words eat enough to give your body what it needs, no more, no less. Carbs such as pasta provide slow release energy over a longer period of time. Stock up before a big ride. An energy gel or Shot Block are great for when you need a quick burst of energy. Ideal for during a ride (try Zipvit or Clif). Stock up on a mixture of carbs and protein after a ride. This will replenish you energy supplies and promote muscle growth and repair.
- Safety – Be safe while cycling. Wear a helmet. Be seen. Protect yourself and your loved ones. We have a wide range of Met helmets that offer both style and comfort. Check out our Really Bright Range for high visibility gear and lights.
- Fit – Perhaps consider a bike fit to ensure your bike set up and cleat position are best suited to your size, body shape and flexibility. This will optimise the benefits of cycling for you.
- Comfort – Some would argue that if you feel comfortable you’re doing it wrong. However there are ways and means. A thinner saddle will feel more comfortable as less contact points will decrease the area of friction against the skin. It is also well worth investing in a pair of padded shorts (try Polaris). These are much more effective than a saddle cover.
- Look after your bike – Respect your bike, keep it clean and well oiled. The components will last longer and you will be able to cycle more miles before parts wear out. Try our Muc-Off range, this will considerably decrease your maintenance costs. It is also recommended to have your bike serviced at least once a year (as you would with your car) to make sure everything is running sweet.
- Get on your bike – The only way to feel the full benefits of cycling is to do it. The hardest part is getting off the sofa and out the door. Once you’re on your bike, you won’t regret it!
If you need any advice please ask in store at your St. Albans bike shop BC Cycles; here for all your cycling needs.