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Fitness:  Bike Racing, Training & Nutrition

Nutrition for Bicycle Fitness
To keep that body fit for cycling, regardless of length and distance, here are some things to consider.

1. The carbohydrate intake
Cycling is an endurance exercise. Carbs play a big part in training even before the cycling day itself.
- If you have low carbohydrates stored in your muscles, a heavy meal comprised of carbohydrates can boost energy before you start your long bicycle trip.
- Carbohydrates that you eat before long biking will give you greater advantages during the big cycling day. These carbohydrates will be stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver. And when you get low in energy, the stored energy will be released through respiration and insulin production.

2. Caffeine during training?
Some studies have shown that cyclists who take caffeine during training increases endurance limit and sprinting capabilities. However, it should be noted that the tolerance and effects vary from cyclists to cyclists.

3. Solid vs. liquid foods
Cyclists are less prone to gut problems that sprint and long distance runners. That is why they can tolerate eating solid foods before long cycling events.

4. Low and High Glycemic Index (GI) foods
Glucose can be categorized into high and low GI type.

  • High GI foods like glucose, bananas and breads have tendencies to release large amounts of sugar in the bloodstream in an instant.
  • Low GI foods like leguminous crops tent do release sugar at a steady rate at longer periods. Low GI foods are better to consume because it lessens the possibility of hypoglycemic backlash. When large amounts sugar is suddenly released in the bloodstreams, the liver reacts abruptly, causing the hypoglycemic backlash to occur.

5. Sports Drinks
When you sweat, you also lose electrolytes, salts and other nutrients. Sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade bring more than water in your body. They also give you the minerals that you lost.

6. On sodium
Sodium maintains osmosis in the plasma. It slows down urine processes and causes the cyclist to drink a lot of water. That is why sodium is beneficial to persons who will take long cycling tracks.

7. Water intake
Drinking approximately 500 milliliters of water before a long cycling activity is beneficial to avoid dehydration. During the activity, drinking around 200 milliliters of water would replenish the liquid that you are losing.

8. After is as important as before and during!
After all the activities, it must be remembered that your body deserves all the nutrients it deserves to bring it back to shape.

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From Fitness to Serious Bicycle Racing

At first, you just wanted to keep fit, just trying to fight the beer bellies and flab. But as you continue doing so, you may discover that you can do more than just toning your body and increasing your cardiovascular strength. Suddenly you may want to feel the rush of air in your face as you do bicycle racing.

1. Get the right equipment
  • The racing bike must be composed of light materials.
  • The wheels should have the following dimensions:
    width: 50 cm (maximum) - length: 185 cm (maximum) - diameter: 55 cm to 70 cm
  • The wheel should have at least 12 spokes
  • The bike should weight at least 6.8 kilograms
  • The handle bars should be lowered, and seats slightly higher to support streamlined form of the rider
  • wheel spokes should be designed to be aerodynamic

2. Get the proper nutrients
More carbohydrates should be taken by the cyclists to condition the body for more tedious and tiring activities. It is advisable to take one to four grams of carbohydrates per kilogram to ensure that you store enough sugar for bicycle racing.

3. Adjustments have to be made
Bicycle racing calls for greater agility, balance and faster pedal sprinting. All of these things have to be done using a bike that is fit for racing. Doing all these things to other forms of bikes will just leave all your efforts in vain.

4. Time yourself during trainings
Equip yourself with a training buddy and a stopwatch. You can concentrate on cycling fast, while he takes note of your time. Assign a track that you can use for training. This is to ensure that the time and distance is accounted for during evaluation.

5. Be aware of air resistance and aerodynamics
You are after speed. These things will determine how fast you will go. Now that you have a timer with you, check which of the positions will be most aerodynamic for you. By assuming a certain position, you will decrease the resistance of air on your body.

6. Join a club and expose yourself to racing
In this group, you will learn a lot from experienced riders. You can also find the support and drive to excel.

7. Read books and manuals about bike racing
Knowing things in the theoretical level is truly a big help for you to become a bike racer. The concepts will be clearer in your mind.

How to Train for Bicycle Racing

Checklist of items to consider if you are contemplating racing at a higher level:

  • Proper Diet to increase strength and stamina
  • Proper Exercise and Workout Routine, including warm-ups
  • Proper Equipment and Gear
  • Personal Coach
  • Exercise Equipment: Aero Bars, Exercise Bike, Weights
  • Improve Spinning Skills - pedal cadence
  • Cross training
  • Proper rest and attitude

Not everyone can be a Lance Armstrong, but you CAN become a serious competitor with the right exercise, diet, and attitude. Good luck, and we hope that you can cycle your way to success!

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