Cycling is one of the most comfortable ways of working on your condition. The demands on your bones, tendons and muscles are not very high. An added advantage of cycling is that you can easily cover quite long distances, thus discovering new places and experiences. Apart from cycling, ‘spinning’ is a good addition (or alternative). Spinning is an indoor sport that helps cycle-racers to improve their outdoor performance.
Racing and spinning demand a large amount of energy; it is therefore important to give your body the nutritional support it needs. Fast carbohydrates during and directly after training coupled with good proteins are important for optimal recovery of the muscles. Take, therefore, predigested (hydrolysed) or concentrated amino-acids for good muscle tone and repair.
Race-cycling demands a very high level of energy and stamina. This high energy level has to be maintained at a constant level for prolonged periods of time. Racing is an endurance sport which also contains ‘explosive’ elements, i.e. a sprint. This is why it is important to use carbohydrates which provide continual but also immediate energy. In this way, you body has enough supplies to perform well. Insufficient levels of protein and other nutrients will cost you, as a racing cyclist, muscle power, energy and muscle tissue. Recovery is more difficult,and the risk of injury is higher.
As a racing cyclist, you have to maintain your energy levels constantly as you approach the final sprint. During prolonged periods of cycling drink not only water, but also carbohydrates and proteins. That way you supply yourself with energy without depleting your glycogen reserves.
Do you want to power-train and see the effects reflected in your cycling performance? Then you must train at least twice a week. Once a week is not enough to make a difference. After each training-session, take at least 24 hours’ rest and recuperation time (48 hours is best). Moreover, training more than three times a week is not beneficial for a cyclist because it will take it’s toll on your normal cycle-training programme.
Always start with a good warm-up, and after the training session, cycle at least another 20 minutes to wind down. This will improve your stamina. Also, it is particularly important for cyclists to take only short breaks between sets, (max.1 ½ minutes). That way, you build up enough muscle-mass, and your muscles make more efficient use of your energy reserves.
Dietary supplements enable your muscles to get the most out of your power-training.
After a good work-out or race, your glycogen reserves will be almost totally depleted; you will probably also have used up a lot of protein. Your body requires replenishment, and good nutrition is essential for this.
In any case, it is very important to ingest rapid-absorption carbohydrates immediately after your performance. After that, a larger meal with carbohydrates within 2 hours. Also, amino-acids are essential for direct recuperation. Amino-acids are important building-blocks for muscles and play a large part in the repair process, performance achievement and acquiring lean muscle tissue.
Finally, we advise cyclists, in the interest of auto-resistance and the conversion of nutrition into energy, to take a high-dosage multi-vitamin. Also a vitamin C for tendons, magnesium for stiff muscles and extra iron.