Every cyclist has a different motivation and gets a different kind of reward from cycling. Some people are pursuing fitness for health reasons, some want to win races, and others cycle because they enjoy getting outside – whether alone or with friends and family.
Regardless of your reasons for cycling, the more you put into your performance, the more you will get out of the experience. When you know what your cycling goals and motivations are, you can start to set yourself tasks and targets to help you get there.
If you are struggling for inspiration, here are six ways to improve your cycling performance:
Upgrade Your Equipment
If you tend to feel aches and pains after a cycle ride, it may be time to upgrade to a professional-quality bike that is the right size for you. There are plenty of great mens mountain bikes to choose from such as those available at Cycle Solutions, so do your research and consider lots of options.
Work on Your Core Strength
It is worth spending time working on core-strengthening exercises that will help you to support your upper body while your lower body is pedalling. This will prevent you from slumping down and bending over the bars, which can cause aches in the arms and back.
Remember to warm up before the ride and stretch your muscles afterwards to prevent injury.
Cycle More Regularly
Sometimes life gets in the way of being able to ride as much as you want to, but rather than putting off cycling until you can commit a few hours to it, try to include in daily life. With a little organisation and creativity, you can create short cycling opportunities such as cycling to work or to the train station, to the shop or to see a friend.
All you need is a towel, some refreshing wipes, deodorant and a change of clothes in a backpack.
Eat the Right Foods Before Cycling
You need to fuel your body with the right nutrition before you cycle, or you will find that you slump prematurely. This does not necessarily mean protein shakes or supplements, as you can get plenty of energy from the everyday foods in your cabinet. If you are planning a long ride, take some snacks and plenty of water along with you.
Practise Your Hill Rides
While they may not be pleasant, tackling hills is an important part of improving your cycling performance. Cycling up hills will strengthen your legs and improve your cardiovascular fitness, and it will also add a bit more variety to your ride. If you do not live near many hills, consider travelling to try a new cycling route.
Cycle with Friends
Sometimes, friendly competition can be just the motivation you need to push yourself a bit harder. Arranging a regular cycling session or a trip with a group of friends will make you more likely to do it and will also spur you on. Nobody wants to be at the back of the group, and having people to chat with makes the time fly by so you cover more ground.
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