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How Do I Improve Cycling Performance?

When training, it's important to swap out high-fat foods for ones that are high in protein.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Cycling is one of the most difficult sports in terms of physical endurance and strength, and many professionals and semi-professionals go to great lengths to improve cycling performance regularly. Regardless of your ability level, you can improve your cycling performance by first determining your cycling goals, and then by researching different methods to accomplish those goals. A few consistent recommendations regardless of your goals are to ride regularly, rest correctly, eat right, and ride with those who are at a higher ability level than you are. You can improve your cycling performance just by watching people who have been riding longer and more efficiently than you.

Start improving your cycling performance by determining how important racing and riding is to you. Professional cyclists will make many sacrifices to improve their strength and endurance, and you need to decide if you are willing to do the same. You will need to start by examining your regular diet and making changes that will increase your energy and decrease your fat intake, which can slow the availability of usable energy during physical activity. Avoid fatty foods and simple sugars when possible, and look for foods that are rich in protein, high in whole wheat and grains, and easily digestible. Fruits and vegetables should be a staple of your diet, and red meat should generally be avoided, or at least reduced in the diet. Keep track of how many calories you take in and how much you burn.

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Keeping a training log is a great way to learn more about your body and improve your cycling performance. Track not only the miles you ride, but also the preparations you did for the ride, the rest you got, the food you ate, and any external conditions that may have affected the way you ride. The more you know about your habits and your body's reaction to certain stimuli, the better choices you will be able to make regarding your training. Consult a professional cyclist or trainer for more information on preparing for races and rides. Learn as much as you can about dietary supplements and energy bars, and be sure to try out different kinds to make sure they do not make your stomach hurt during rides.

Ride with people above your ability level. This will help you improve cycling performance by allowing you to observe tips and techniques from people who know the sport well. If possible, enter a race or two to get a feel for what competition is like. Take note of the preparations of other riders, and how they recover after the race. Remember that over-training can be counterproductive and may lead to injuries; learn how to rest properly, and be sure to schedule regular rest days every week.

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