Becoming A Pro Cyclist Part 2
Get Equipped with Good Gear
Sure there are no magically enchanted leg braces that are going to make you ride five times faster, and with illegal drugs aside there isn’t really one specific item (other than your bike) that is going to make or break your performance. That being said there is a reason why a professional race looks like a small army of two wheelers, by which I mean they all seem to have very similar gear. This is because in reality it all serves a purpose. From the aerodynamic helmets to the tinted glasses, each little item adds something extra to the complete outfit which in total creates valuable seconds that separate a win from a loss. Of course, you don’t need to buy every brand-named item from the back of a cycling magazine but taking another look at your gear when your ready can be a real game changer. From the simple comfort of padded shorts on long rides to Camelbak pouches that save fiddling with water bottles. They all persist because they are better than the alternatives, and more importantly the people at the pinnacle of the industry use them.
Manage Your Diet
Nutrition is essential for giving your body the fuel to keep going. When you are in a demanding situation such as cycling often, your body needs a lot more than usual and often it requires it from specific sources. You may notice when you start out that what you eat and when has an effect on how good your ride is. Whether you are hitting high speeds at short distances or are going for endurance rides, without the energy inside you, you aren’t going to perform at your best. There are plenty of sports snacks out there designed to help these moments but monitoring your calorie intake and macronutrients throughout the week will also help you improve.
Track Your Stats
Getting better requires that you have some quantitative information in the first place, if you have no idea how long your ride is, how fast you went and how your body handled it then you have nothing. Statistics and data are everything in professional sports so its better for you to start here sooner rather than later. There is a mass of fitness tracking equipment available today from chest strapped heart monitors to simple wristbands, all of which will help you track your improvements. Using apps like Strava that remember your route and time are a great way to find out how you stack up against yourself, which brings us to the last point.
From the days off old competition has worked as an unstoppable means for the best to try even harder, with an opponent in sight people are driven to push themselves even further than they could alone. All sports have competitive elements, and cycling is no different. Once you feel up to the challenge finding ways to compete will really show you how good you need to be once you see the abilities of those around you only then can you gauge how good (or bad) you really are. Finally, competition is the best way to get your name noticed by others, whether that is challengers, sponsors or journalists, putting yourself in the spotlight eventually reaps benefits.