If you’re like me then getting the most out of your training is key, and nonchalantly jumping on the bike isn’t going to do it justice when you are looking deep for those real gains not “bro gains”. After many years of training I have found some important things to consider and things that work. Some of this may seem obvious, and it could well be, but its also very much overlooked information.
Without further ado, five areas to think about that can help you step into dealing in your workouts both mentally and physically.
When do you train?
It sounds easy but, It took me a while to figure out when I felt the best and most productive – the classic “Am I a morning or evening person? ” but more-so, considering your schedule, understanding when is the most productive time.
Some people can get on the bike in the early mornings, others struggle and choose afternoons or evening. It’s all about experimentation for what works for you. Personally I had a tough time getting a good nights sleep if I trained at 6pm, my body was too amped to rest. So experiment and see what feels right and see if it lines up with the numbers too. It took me several weeks to finally figure what worked and what fit in with non cycling life.
What did you eat?
You will find certain foods that don’t assist you for a hard session. Easier endurance or recovery sessions I found it doesn’t matter too much.
This subject ties into when in the day you train, so If you train in the morning then really take note your evening meals the day before. Make a note of what you eat and what type of workouts you are doing and how you feel.
AM Rides, Breakfast is important even if your ride is at 5:45am you still need fuel. I found that in the mornings I needed time to have breakfast and let it process a little before getting on the bike. For me that mean’t if I wanted to be on the bike at say 6:30 am, I needed to be out of bed at 5:40am.
pre workout. coffee 8 oz, oatmeal with fruit and honey -small bowl, small cup of orange juice.
For afternoon or evening training its really important to eat well through the day, don’t skip lunch etc. Keep your body fuelled!. Then approx 1.5hrs prior to your workout make sure you eat, have a snack etc to prepare you. You will also need some food, a gel or some blocks while you ride.
How do you sleep?
I don’t have a rest app, but they can help you determine your quality of sleep. Aim for 8hrs of sleep and in general people sleep better in cooler darker rooms, so before bed, prepare your room to be a smidge cooler than normal. Rest not only helps you recover but sets your mind for the day ahead. Getting a regular sleep schedule will help you eliminate small but noticeable stress, meaning you will get a higher quality workout.
How strong are your excuses?
The day before your training have your kit ready or at least partially ready knowing where everything is. This can help a ton not to loose focus or not to talk yourself out of it. For an indoor session I make sure I have most stuff in a pile,
Near the bathroom – shorts, top, heart rate band, hair tie, head sweat and socks.
In the kitchen – I make sure there is a clean bottle ready to be filled and that I know I have ingredients for my breakfast.
Near the bike – shoes, computer, fan, headphones, fuel snack, sweat towel.
For an outdoor session, my methods are very similar except of having jackets, shoes, overshoes, gloves, glasses and helmet neat the bike. In the dark months its also good to throw a night before charging your lights routine in there.
What’s your clothing and laundry routine?
A couple of rules. Don’t reuse your clothing, at some point you will regret it. You sweat a lot and bacteria infections are not fun, enough said.
Make laundry less painful and group a few sets of clothes, even if you train 5 or 6 days you can still group and be efficient with the earths water resources. If you are lucky enough to live in a household that does a daily load of laundry then there are no problems! toss your clothes in.
Are you using a recovery drink?
If not, you need to start doing so after your workouts. You ask a lot from your body in a workout and giving back in the form of specific nutrition is a good idea. With blends of carbs and protein it helps your body flip the switch into recovery mode and gives your body ingredients to replenish.