As with any form of exercise- if you’re thinking of getting into cycling training it is important to do your research first and make sure you’re prepared. There are many things to consider before getting out on your bike, so we have put together a guide to make sure you can plan ahead and be safe. Keep reading to find out more.
Before getting into cycling training, be careful of any existing injuries or health concerns that could be affected by this type of exercise. Although cycling can be great for our health, it won’t benefit you if you make health problems you are already facing even worse. If you have doubts about whether you should be training on a bicycle, talk to your doctor and seek their advice. If you get the all-clear to go ahead, invest in some high-quality safety equipment for when you’re out on your bike. There is absolutely no doubt you will need to purchase a high-quality safety helmet. Whilst it may be tempting to avoid putting on a helmet, especially on those hot days, it could save your life in an accident. You could also invest in protection for elbows and knees. If you’re cycling out alone, look into downloading a safety app, so if anything happens and you’re not sure where you are or what’s going on, you have instead access to safety support services. You could also consider getting a GPS tracker and giving the app logins to a trusted friend, so that if you go missing, they can help to find you and get you to safety.
What Are Your Reasons For Bike Training?
Before beginning your bike training, take some time to reflect on the reasons you are interested in this form of exercise. Are you doing it purely for the physical health benefits, or do you care more about the mental health benefits that exercise and being outside can bring? Are there certain areas of your body you want to strengthen? Or could you even be incorporating it into travel? Consider what locations and terrains you will be training in-you will need to factor this into what kind of equipment you will need. Cycling training has a plethora of benefits, but they will all mean something different for everyone. Once you have a clearer idea of the exact reasons for getting into bike training, you’ll be able to base other decisions and planning around these aspects.
Research The Best Bike For Your Needs
Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you will need, you can start looking into which kind of bike you are going to purchase. If you think you will be cycling mostly on flat roads, you could go for a standard road bike. But if you will be cycling on mud tracks or hilly areas, you might need a bike with a larger range of gears and more grip on the tires. Whatever the type of bike you choose to go for, make sure they have visibility such as lighting and reflective accessories so drivers can see you when it gets darker.
Plan Your Routes
Before you set out on your new bike, map out the route you plan to take- and for safety try to tell family or friends about it. Route planning not only makes sure you know where you’re going, but also gives the opportunity to look into terrains, places to stop and rest, and any potential road diversions. You could even go so far as to plan a route to cycle long-distance and turn your training into a longer trip.
Training In High Temperatures
Training in high temperatures can be dangerous to your health if you don’t take the necessary precautions. There are a few things you can do to beat the heat whilst training on a bicycle. Firstly, hydration is key- make sure to take plenty of supplies of water. Your bike may have a holder for a bottle of water, or you may have a backpack to carry them in. There is also the option of water backpacks which have a built-in tube you can access easily, so you don’t need to stop every time you want a drink. Be aware of any signs of heatstroke- such as extreme fatigue, dehydration, vomiting and skin burns. Also, make sure to protect yourself from sunburn and harmful UV rays by using high SPF sun cream.
Consider Investing In An Indoor Bike
If you want to build up your fitness and stamina without having to get kitted up and leaving the house, consider investing in an indoor bike. This will allow you to keep training should the weather not allow you to train outside, or if you simply don’t feel like it! Training bikes such as Peloton have built-in training classes to give you guided workouts and training sessions, as well as the motivation boost to keep going.