Use our training plans and expert advice to help you train like a pro!
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Kick start your training
Andy shares his pointers on how to devise a training plan that you'll stick to:
- If you're going to compete it's essential that you train properly. If you don't you can be putting yourself at risk of an injury.
- Preparation is key. A former Team GB coach once told me about the 5 P's: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Words to live by and words that I have lived by throughout my career.
- Try and get your gears serviced. There is nothing worse than your kit letting you down after an intense training camp.
- Invest in some gloves and a padded pair of shorts - luxuries yes, but you'll thank me after.
- Create a training plan and try your best to stick to it. The trick is working backwards, so if you're road cycling, you'll need to find your comfort zone. If 100 miles is what you'll be riding on the day of the event, you'll want to bank a 90 mile ride three or four weeks before your event, 80 miles the week before, and so on. This process should follow all the way down to your comfort zone area, allowing you to calculate how many weeks in advance your training needs to start.
- If possible, try and train in a group. You'll have more confidence when you compete against others and you'll be more likely to stick to your planned
How to tackle hills
Hills can be one of the biggest challenges you face when cycling. Not knowing if you’ve got enough left in the tank to get up and over, at a fast pace, is a daunting feeling. Here are Andy's top tips for tackling those hills:
- Be confident. If you approach the incline convincing yourself that you can't do it, you won’t.
- If you’ve already decided that you’ll push your bike up, then you’ll give up straight away. Have the positive mentality and you’ll find that you’ll be up and over in no time.
- You’ll need momentum, so always make sure you get a good pace before you start the ascent. It means that you won’t have to use as much energy on the hill - it’s an obvious one but it’s easy to think you’re saving energy by resting on the build-up.
- Have rhythm, get your breathing and your pedalling in sync. One push of the pedal is one inhale, the next push is your exhale.
- Take the hill in sections - this always works for me. Focus in on a tree, lamppost or parked car, and make that your short-term goal. As soon as you get there, locate another object and change your goal. You’ll be up before you know it!