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Cross training for bikers

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Those who ride a bike on a regular basis know what great exercise cycling can be. But as good as you may feel after cycling, and as good as cycling may be for your health, it is in no way a complete workout. Cycling is a wonderful way to stay in shape, but even the most avid cyclists have to do more. Here are some ways that bikers can cross train to help complement their cycling habits and improve their cycling ability.

It may sound surprising, but running is actually good cross training for bikers. Running can further enhance the leg strength that cyclists will have developed already, but running or jogging provides more of full-body workout than cycling. It works out the upper back, the shoulder area, and the upper arms, as running can give your upper body a nice workout. Running is also more physically demanding and can help improve your endurance and stamina, elements that will ultimately show up in your cycling.

Swimming is another great cross-training exercise for cyclists, as it helps to further develop your cardiovascular fitness. This can be a good way to give your legs a break, as your arms will do most of the work, giving your legs only a light workout. It’s considered a low-impact workout, but your arms and upper body will get a good workout that will ultimately help your cycling, as your joints will get a break and your cardiovascular fitness will improve.

When you’re not biking, you may want to be rowing, because that’s a great way to cross train. Even if you can’t get out to a lake, the rowing machine at the gym will do just fine. Your thighs, hips, back, and shoulders will all get a good workout from a rowing machine, and most of those are body parts that won’t get a lot of work while biking. Also, rowing can be quite a vigorous work out, further pushing your cardiovascular system in addition to working muscle groups that are largely ignored when cycling.

Finally, on days that you don’t cycle, you may just want to spend some time in the weight room doing a variety of exercises. There may not be any cardiovascular benefit to the weight room, at least compared to the aforementioned cross-training exercises, but you will be able to find exercises that work out the leg muscles that can improve your cycling considerably. Doing squats, leg extensions, calf raises, and hamstring curls can all add a good deal of strength to your legs. The weight room also gives you opportunities to work your arms and your core, and making working out in the weight room on a regular basis will eventually pay dividends when it comes to cycling.

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Essential Biking Gear

Purchasing a new bike can be exciting but it can be easy to forget to buy some proper bike gear. If you’re equipped with the right gear, you’ll be able to enjoy biking in a safe manner. It’s not a problem to bike with your favorite pair of pants or shorts, but if you intend to bike the longer distance or aim for rugged trails, you’ll be glad to have invested on some reliable biking gear.

Helmet

A helmet is a must for biking. Avoid purchasing the cheapest one you find. It’s essential that the helmet you’ll be buying is made from high quality materials since they offer maximum comfort and protection. If you want to save a few dollars on a cheap helmet, you’ll regret it later when an accident comes around since a poorly made helmet won’t save you from head injuries. It may even lead to serious neck problems if it doesn’t fit well.

Therefore, it’s better off to spend a little more on a durable and quality helmet. It may be a good idea to opt for a helmet with good ventilation to curb overheating during hot weather.

Hydration Pack

A hydration pack is another good idea, although it’ll only be useful if you intend to go for long-distance rides. In a traditional manner, bikers are often seen carrying a water bottle on the bicycle frame, and that’s reasonable for short trips. But that would mean having to stop for a drink or lifting your head to drink, which means losing sight on what’s ahead of you. That would entail losing control and speed.

Sometimes it would be a little easier to avoid drinking water while biking. However, you could risk dehydration. But with a hydration pack, you can easily sip your fluids without interruptions. In addition, the pack has enough room to store your mobile device, keys, rain jacket, and even food. It’s also good idea to have a water bottle, just in case.

Goggles/Sunglasses

A pair of googles or wraparound sunglasses is highly recommended. They shield your eyes from the harmful glare of the sun and dust on the road/trail. Glasses with yellow or orange lenses are advisable since these colors enable the road/trail to appear brighter, lighten shady/dark patches, and enhance visibility. They work exceptionally well early in the evening or when skies are overcast.

Gloves

Buying a pair of half-finger gloves is also an essential biking gear. These special gloves have padded material on the palms that allow free movement of your fingers. These help prevent rash formation or other finger-related problems on long bike rides.

It’s important to remember that your bike is just part of your bike gear. It’s worth buying a bike that’s durable and made for the kind of biking you desire. It’s ideal to opt for lightweight bike with good suspension. By selecting the right bike gear and bike, you’ll make cycling more safe and enjoyable.

Endurance Training for Bikers

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Endurance training is an important component for a cyclists’ regime. Regardless if you’re a speed cyclist or simply commuting from one place to another, you’ll attain better benefits from cycling when you build up on your endurance, including enhanced fitness levels that endurance training can bring.

A key aspect to endurance training for cyclists is to slowly build up your distance training and mixing your biking with long climbs and flat roads, where you stack up tempo and recover from a hill climb.

Gradual Increase in Training

Employing variations is essential to building up on your endurance. A combination of steep climbs, quick sprints, and a bit of cruising are examples of increasing your endurance. To maximize your biking endurance training, gradually increase your distance over several weeks instead of doing everything in one session.

Enhancing your endurance will aid your body to make use of the glycogen stored within your liver and muscles. This will make your body efficient in utilizing glycogen as fuel and for burning off fat. When your endurance increases, your muscles and cardiovascular system will operate more efficiently.

Even though good climbing methods are essential skills for bikers, endurance training will enhance the ability of your body to cope with stresses brought about by extended rides and hill climbs.

Rest is Beneficial

Resting plays a critical aspect in endurance training. Most cyclists would want to hop on their bikes and take on the road but the fact of the matter is, rest periods are required in training. If you’re beginning to feel tired or you’re breathing heavily on sprints, taking some time off is needed. This will be beneficial for training than pressing further to train.

Train smart, train hard, and include rest periods in your training regimen. You can still bike during rest periods, but avoid steep hill climbing and reduce your training intensity. Allow ample time for your body to recover.

Importance of Endurance

Your biking ability is created on endurance. Good techniques are important but even this entails some level of endurance. You may possess adequate climbing techniques but if you start getting weary as a result of low endurance, it won’t do your body any good at all.

Endurance is the foundation where you biking is created on. The higher your endurance, the more capable you are with your bike. Add some endurance training in your biking regimen and you’ll soon notice the benefits it brings. Not only will you see it on your biking ability but also in your overall fitness level.

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Necessary Gear for Mountain Biking

If it’s your first time mountain biking, you might be overwhelmed with the things it brings. Strolling on a rugged path is never easy and requires skill and endurance. In addition, you’ll need to equip yourself with the necessary mountain bike gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.

If you’re a newbie to mountain biking, you’ll easily get lost in the number of biking accessories and collections seen in stores. An important aspect to investing on mountain bike accessories isn’t about what’s “cool,” but what’s needed to help you achieve a comfortable, fun and secure ride. In the end, you’ll be grateful for picking the right biking essentials the next time you hit the trail.

Here are some mountain biking gear essentials worth investing in:

Helmet

The bike helmet is one of the most important biking accessories you’ll ever need. A lot of regular and mountain bikers have suffered head injuries as a result of not wearing a helmet. Nowadays, you can spot bike helmets that are comfortable, stylish, and made from quality materials.

Bike Gloves

Regardless of the season you bike in, your palms and fingers will likely experience a huge beating from the rough ride on the trail. If you end up in an accident, your hands will likely be the first to hit the ground. Biking gloves are important since they keep your hands and fingers protected throughout your ride.

Bike Shorts

After taking a few rides on the trail, you’ll observe, over time, discomfort from your rear end. This is where the need for bike shorts come in. Bike shorts are made from materials that assures maximum seating comfort for long rides. Ensure you go for shorts that are comfortable and durable.

Footwear

Footwear plays a crucial role in mountain biking. You’ll need to opt for an ideal pair that can handle your mountain bike. A typical pair of bike shoes should have hard soles, good grip, comfortable to wear, and made from durable materials. In addition, you’ll need to settle for shoes that cater to both biking and rough terrain.

Sunglasses or Clear Glasses

If you don’t have the proper eyewear or you bike on the trail without one, you’ll easily run off the trail in a matter of seconds. Sunglasses or clear-lens glasses shield your eyes from debris, dust, and sunlight. It also ensures clear visibility to see what’s ahead on the trail. It’s important to ensure your glasses can withstand the everyday outdoor conditions.

Hydration Packs/Water Bottle

Having a hydration pack or water bottle is a must-have for mountain biking. You can risk dehydration if you don’t replenish your body with fluids lost through sweat. Therefore, being hydrated all times is important especially if you’re going biking really far.

Restoration Kit

It’s typical to run into bike problems when you’re biking in rough terrain. A restoration kit is critical since you’ll have the necessary tools needed to make quick fixes in case anything happens to your bike. Whether it’s a flat tire, lever problems, or other gear issues, a restoration kit is consistently a life saver for mountain bikers.