No matter how much you love cycling, there will be times when your training sessions can feel a little lacklustre [translation: boring]. We’ve chatted up experienced riders, racers and influencers from the cycling sorority and assembled a list of handy tips to keep that training sesh fresh.
Go with a purpose
Whether it’s racking up a particular distance, improving your cardio or clocking a consistent pace, set an intention for your training session, says Robert Bell from Cycology (pictured above, racing in Oman). Go one step further and write it down: by committing the thought to paper, you’re far less likely to shirk the task when it comes to training day… and everyone loves to tick of a to-do list.
Mix it up
Regularly change your sessions and the people you ride with, recommends Danielle Welton from Casquette magazine. “I’ve just started Wattbike, which forces me to work on my sprinting and fitness. I have chat lap buddies for social rides and a couple of manic mates if I really want to push myself. For that lot, I always plan in a rest day before we go out.”
Quality, not quantity
We’ve all heard the one about “junk miles” (it applies to running too) but there is truth in this much uttered idiom. Clocking up mega mileage because you feel you should will never glean the best results. If you’re not feeling it, forget about hours in the saddle and go for a short, sharp interval or hill session instead.
Flip the script
It’s really rather simple: get to the end of your road and instead of turning left, turn right. Reversing your route will transform a well-trodden path into something of a magical mystery tour, offering up new challenges, sights and delights. It’s amazing how a seemingly easy few miles can morph into a challenging climb when taken from the other direction.
Find a friend
If there’s one thing all our experts agree on, it’s the importance of finding like-minded folk with whom you can cycle (see Danielle’s tip, above). Building a close-knit crew of bike buddies means you’re far less likely to drop a training session (would you honestly go out alone if it was raining?) and far more likely to have fun while you’re breaking a sweat. Just remember to bring a pannier-load of gossip to share with the peloton…