Whether you’re just looking for a new personal challenge or you’re preparing for your next big race, learning the habits of top cyclists can help you imitate them and potentially improve your own performance. Knowing what you may be missing, and focusing on that area can help you get better results on your rides. Here’s a look at 5 habits of elite performers.
Habits of Top Cyclists
- They make time for both aerobic and anaerobic training: When many cyclists want to get faster they assume it will be all about intervals and sprints. While this has some truth to it, top cyclists also understand how important it is not to neglect that endurance base. You need to keep a balance of both forms of exercise in order to succeed. Many recommend training for endurance rides in the beginning and end of the season, and focusing on high-intensity workouts throughout the middle of the season.
- They get their intervals right: Most cyclists are familiar with the concept of intervals, but that’s different from really getting them right. Top cyclists are extremely precise about getting their intervals exactly right and pushing themselves to the proper level of exertion. If you are continually struggling to match your intervals properly, you might consider getting a power meter and/or a coach to help you get an honest read on how to improve.
- They eat right: Nobody likes giving up on favorite foods or cutting down, but the truth is that part of the difference between top riders and good riders has nothing to do with training. Top cyclists eat well because they understand they will ride better with a healthy body and mind.
- They recover smart: One of the key habits of top cyclists is that they that are proactive about recovery. Some people assume that if they aren’t training hard they are recovering, but top riders plan out ways to recover smart with activities such as yoga and other restorative practices. Making a plan for recovery will help you return to training in better condition.
- They are honest about their shortcomings: As easy as it is to lie to yourself, your friends or your trainer about what you’re doing wrong, it isn’t going to help you become a better cyclist. Top cyclists are brutally honest about their own weaknesses, which helps them set a plan for improvement.
Following some of the habits of great riders might not turn you into a champion, but it can certainly help you identify areas where you can grow and improve. The constant effort to get better and push yourself harder is what makes cycling such a great sport.
Frederick M. Dudek is a San Diego bicycling enthusiast and personal injury attorney with a passion for fighting for victims of cycling accidents