The Tour de France 2020 may have been delayed by Covid, but thankfully it wasn’t cancelled. The exciting finale has had many of us armchair (or spin bike) viewers watching and wondering where we can improve our own cycling. Complete’s resident cyclist and Bike Fitter, Dan, has put together a list of key areas to optimize your cycling performance through bike fit, key off-the-bike exercises, injury prevention techniques and other considerations to close the gap between us and them to cycle more like the pros!
So, now this epic race has drawn to a close in the Pyrenees, let’s consider a few changes we could make to get closer to achieving such heights in our own cycling careers. Dan focuses on the following:
A great bike fit with us, can make a huge difference to the power (W) you can generate though your bike set up, the improved aerodynamics can really help with your descent also. If you don’t come in for a Complete bike fit then make sure your read up on the correct positioning for your saddle height in our series of blog posts as this can make the biggest difference on your power output. Not only the performance gains are enhanced with a bike fit but also injury prevention also – we promise to keep you on your bike for longer. We use the best software (Gebiomized) to place you in the perfect position for comfort and speed on the bike. As well as combining this with over 15 years of physiotherapy experience and expertise.
Train off the bike
It is so important to spend time improving your strength and power to improve your strength to weight ratio. Plyometrics and strength training should form a significant part of your conditioning regime to maximise performance on the bike. The top exercises are Deadlifts, single leg press and front squats. Don’t skip leg day! Always feel free to seek advice, guidance or book a session with our expert team at the cycle clinic for the best performance and injury prevention advice.
You will need to make sure that you have enough energy to last long climbs. Typically 1g glucose (carbohydrate sugar) per kg of bodyweight, per hour is sufficient. Pick your poison on this one, (mine is Haribo) but make sure you eat well. The pro peloton use homemade rice cakes and any number of energy gels (posh haribo).
Look after your body
As cyclists we can encounter knee pain and hip pain , check out our advice to ensure when you are riding your bike you minimise the risk of these common injuries, that can hold you back on the tougher climbs.
‘Cheat’ where possible and cycle with your friends (the faster ones)
We all do it, sitting in the slipstream of a teammate or rival is up to 50% more efficient, plan your climbs and BEFORE you start climbing save up some energy by drafting your colleagues, teammates or rivals. Once you are on the climb drafting is much less efficient but can still follow your friends for some motivation or healthy competition!