Finding it hard to fit cycling training around a working week?
The solution is to take a quality approach to cycling training. This means taking a “less is more approach” to workouts so you see similar fitness improvements, but with less overall training. To follow through with ‘quality training’ to get workouts completed, you need to be flexible as to how and when you train.
Follow these 5 tips below to ensure you’re taking a flexible approach to all your training when trying to fit it around a busy working week:
Tip 1 – Reduce training to 3-4 times a week
Riding less frequently does not mean a loss in fitness. In fact, in many cases you gain fitness, because you allow your body adequate recovery between sessions. Not only this, but training 3 or 4 times a week is easier to maintain when busy than trying to tear yourself apart squeezing workouts in every day of the week. You effectively become more consistent with training from week to week which is one key criteria to faster cycling later on in the year.
Tip 2 – Recover from all your rides
Recovery is often overlooked in a cycling training programme, yet it’s recovery that gets us fitter – not the workout! Know that when you have a busy work schedule your body adds together all your daily stressors, not just your training.
Unlike the professional cyclist who is full time and has full time to recover and do nothing else, you have to recover from other parts of your busy schedule. To get the most out of your fitness then, you should build in recovery days.
Once you start building recovery into a working week, you might be surprised how fresh your training rides start to feel. In addition to this, you’ll also notice you have more time to attend to more urgent work matters, or find you have more time to relax and unwind with family and friends.
Tip 3 – Be flexible on which days you train
Try not to follow a fixed daily schedule for your cycling training. As a cyclist it’s impossible to know which days it’s going to rain, which days you have to stay late at the office etc., so you end up missing scheduled workouts.
What’s more efficient is to choose the type of cycling you’re going to do versus your situation. For example if it’s raining you have two options: 1 move the workout until the next day. 2. Get on the turbo (indoor cycling).
As long as you get your 3 or 4 workouts completed, it really doesn’t matter which days you train on during the week. Just remember to build in adequate recovery after training a few days in a row.
Tip 4 – Learn to commute to work
Commuting to work is an excellent way to build cycling fitness. If you’re ready to give this a go but don’t know where to start, please visit my cycling blog – link is below in resource box.
One example here is to take advantage of carrying things to and from work, either via panniers or in a backpack. The extra weight does wonders for your cycling strength, especially if you choose a hilly commute!
Tip 5 – Get a turbo trainer
A turbo trainer is an excellent investment when you’re busy. If you can’t make a ride to work, or it’s snowing, you can jump on the turbo for an excellent quality workout. As long as you do one good road ride a week outside, you can get very fit with a turbo – so don’t underestimate its value.
You can also use the turbo as extra training on top of commuting. For example, if you have a short commute and need to add time in the saddle during the week, the turbo is a great way to obtain this.
So there are really no excuses to getting good rides in during a busy week. As I’ve said, as long as you are consistent from week to week and take a quality approach to training, you’ll be building an excellent base on which to then build faster or longer workouts once the weather picks up later in the year.