8 tips for the ‘time-crunched’ cyclist
Maybe the holidays are over, the days are getting shorter and the children have to go not only to school, but also to football, hockey, piano lessons and tennis camp. All of this usually does not result in more time to train, but more stress. What is the best way to deal with this. In other words, how do you make sure that you train efficiently and effectively. Here are our 8 tips!
The 8 golden tips for cyclists with little time
- Train harder. The heaviness of a training and thus the effect of a training stimulus is determined by the duration and intensity. If you have less time and the duration goes down, simply increase the intensity. This means that four hours of quiet endurance training in two hours is enough for you. No! In these four hours you will mainly be burning fat, while in two hours you will be burning carbohydrates at a higher intensity. So the energy system that is being trained is different and therefore the effect of the training is completely different. The point is that by increasing the intensity because you have less time, you cannot expect that the training effect will be the same. What simply doesn’t make sense is doing very short endurance rides. Precisely the effectiveness of endurance training lies in, you guessed it, the duration of the training.
- Adjust your goals. You can’t expect that with only short training sessions, you can prepare well for long distances. So adjust your goals and try to shift the focus. Use this period to improve, for example, on your 5 minute value or the sprint.
- Train varied. Actually you can state quite simply, that if you have unlimited time to train it is less important to know exactly what you are doing. In fact, you train all areas a little and by simply making a lot of hours you will always improve. If you don’t have that time, you have to be smarter about it. It is more important to know when your last FTP or VO2max training was done and depending on your goals and level when you do another one. In addition, it is important to make sure that you keep training all your energy systems, so it is best to monitor them with the help of a power meter.
- Train specifically. If you really don’t have a lot of time to train and your goals are to cycle better or faster, then train mainly on a bike. Strength training in the gym or other workouts can be very effective, but especially if you can sit on your bike for at least 6 to 8 hours a week. If you can’t do that, spend your time mainly on the bike and not under a barbell bar.
- Divide your time. For example, if you only have 3 hours a week to train. Then train 3 times an hour, rather than once 3 hours in a row. If there are 6 days between training sessions, you will not improve your stamina. This is because the period in between is too long, so that the training effect and super compensation of the previous stimulus is already gone when the new training stimulus presents itself.
- Call the other parents of the soccer team and try once every 2 to 3 weeks to get that long easy endurance training. If you only train briefly and intensively, you will eventually miss out on the effect of a long, quiet training. If you even manage to do that long endurance training only once a month, you will notice that you can make even more training progress.
- Buy an indoor trainer. Since sliced bread, this is the invention for the modern cyclist. Not only do you train in the evening, while the rain gently taps against the attic window. You can also train at a very high intensity, without ending up under a car and with programmes like Zwift you can also have a great time.
- Train well-rested. Training with a tired body makes no sense. It doesn’t help you at all. You can sometimes get on your bike a little extinct and get into it after five minutes. But three times a week, tired at ten o’clock in the evening, it’s useless to tire yourself out on your indoor trainer. Then go back to step 2. Adjust your goals and train less, but with a fit body.