Here’s some of my top tips on how you can instantly improve your cycling with WorldTour rider, Brodie Chapman.
Warm up at home before your ride
Switch your muscles on with some core and glute activations before rolling out – 5-15mins is all it takes to get the important ‘support’ muscles firing so your ride just isn’t all quads.
I like to do 15-20 repetitions of dead-bugs, hip bridges, crab walks and some mountain climbers then I feel ready to go. A quick YouTube search will give you an example of how to do these exercises.
Plan your rest days – don’t wait until you need it.
If you have a coach, then they will be looking at your accumulated fatigue and upcoming events and planning accordingly. If you manage your own training, plan a rest day (Monday seems to be a good universal rest day after big kilometres on the weekend). Even if you feel energetic and okay on your planned rest day, that’s a good sign that you will be able to get back into effective training the rest of the week.
If you skip rest day and try to push on, it’s likely you will be fading as the week draws to a close, potentially causing injury not adaptation.
Try a 3 days on, 1 day off.
A day off can mean a really easy ride for less than 60 mins but if you tend to not be able to resist holding back it’s better to ignore the bike completely for a day. I always have one day totally off the bike each week.
Upgrade your cycling shoes.
This is one of your most crucial points of contact, I have seen riders make huge improvements after upgrading to stiffer, lighter and more ergonomic shoes.
It’s worth the investment if you’re tolerating pain and discomfort due to ratty old shoes. If you don’t upgrade your shoes today with I promise your subsequent physiotherapy bill will be more expensive! I personally have been using Bont shoes for most of my professional career as you can order custom fits, heat mould them to your foot and also choose from a few different retention systems. They also have a wider toe box so that I don’t get numb toes like I used to.
Get a regular massage
This is a huge help for me, it’s an opportunity to relax, have your tense muscles attended to and get the legs feeling supple again. A good one to coincide with your planned rest days. Well before I was a professional cyclist, I would ensure I put some money aside for massage a few times a month. Sports massage, traditional Chinese massage, and Thai Massage are all modalities that help me immensely and are easy to find in any city. A good tip if your budget is tight is to look for massage schools in your area with students who need to practice. In my experience you still get a good massage for a fraction of the price, and your feedback will help someone learn!
Utilise indoor training
You might already know the drill as a FulGaz user, but for the purpose of a focused, intense training session without the risk of all the uncontrollable elements (weather, traffic, road condition) you can be sure to get an excellent adaptation out of even 60 minutes on the trainer. Check out FulGaz training sessions, choose one and smash it out!
Occasionally train until fatigue.
This is more of a personal ‘find your limit’ kind of test. This is best done by picking a climb and riding as hard as you can until the top. Maybe go back once a month and see if you have improved. Otherwise a group ride or race that forces you to ‘hold the wheel’ will push you outside of your comfort zone and defies the need to monitor your ‘training zone.’ It’s good to know where you mentally and physically are challenged.
Train to cadence
Pro bike racers are extremely efficient at pedalling. Often when we first start riding we think we need to feel ‘force’ on the legs to be getting stronger but this isn’t always the case. Try to aim for a cadence between 90-100rpm average for the entire ride (if it is mostly flat, or on the indoor trainer).
Do an FTP test
If you are not sure where your limits are or what numbers to train to, this age-old metric is a good place to start. FulGaz has their classic Kinglake FTP test that learns your FTP and helps you base your training and e-racing off this number. Training to this number will ensure you are engaging the right physiological systems at the right time to see overall improvements in bike fitness.