Finding Time to Train on Your Bicycle
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/24/2006 | Sports
Finding time to ride your bike can be a tough challenge in today's crazy modern world. Family, work, sleep and other hobbies leave very little opportunity to spend time on a bike much less train at a vigorous level. However, it is mostly a matter of being organized and proper planning to find the time to train and ride. The following are tips to finding the time to train.
Set goals for yourself. You should have a long-term objective like riding a century or competing in a race. Short-term goals are vital as well for gaining an understanding of how you are progressing. These could be anything from quicker training times on your favorite route or riding 50 miles without a break. Once the short-term goal is achieved, set another until you eventually achieve your long-term goal. It is best to keep a training diary so you can evaluate your progress.
Do not waste time. When you do have time to get out and train, do not waste the opportunity. If you plan an early morning ride, make sure your bike is ready to go, clothes prepared, water bottles are filled and gear are ready the night before.
If you cannot ride then do not feel guilty or get angry. You may feel inclined to go out the next day and ride double what you normally would ride. This will only lead to over training or injury. Accept what you cannot control and realize that some days you just will not be able to train.
If you cannot train during the day, then put a light on your bike and ride at dawn or dusk. Similarly, your can also use your lunch hour for a hearty ride.
Make sure that when you do go for a ride that you train hard. When time is limited, hills, simulated time trials and intervals provide an especially good workout. Heart-rate monitors and cyclometers can be used for feedback to ensure that you are getting maximum results from your training.
You can combine activities. Ride your bike to work or use your bike to run errands. If you cannot ride all the way, drive part of the route then bicycle the rest. If you do not have time to ride outside, use the time spent lounging in front of the television to ride a trainer or a stationary bike.
If you cannot ride your bike find other activities to take its place. Participate in high-intensity spin classes, lift weights or run. You have to be willing to compromise some days. 45-minutes in a spin class is not as good as a two-hour ride outside, but it is better than no training at all.
Try not to put things off. For instance, if you have a worn tire, make sure to go ahead and replace it before you head out on your lunchtime ride. It is far quicker to replace parts at home than have things break down on a ride.
The important thing to remember is that riding should be fun. If you are dreading having to train it will be hard to keep with it and stay motivated. Try to vary your routes, ride with like-minded friends or go mountain biking.
There is always a way to ride your bike and get in a good workout even if you are busy. You just have to use a little imagination and be reasonably flexible with your schedule.