Whether it be diet or training, hard work is essential if you want to achieve your goals. Nicolene Marais touches on the training and bike maintenance required for cyclists to achieve what they set out to do.
I previously discussed how a balanced and healthy lifestyle is important when it comes to working towards achieving a set target. Besides diet, training, gear and the maintenance of your bike are equally important.
Due to the fact that I set my goals early in the year, I have been able to train throughout the winter. This means there has not been any major differences in my training as the seasons change.
With spring in the air I am now able to train earlier in the morning and also later in the afternoons due to the fact that it becomes light earlier and dark later. This gives me an extra few hours during the day to fit in all the university responsibilities.
If you have not done much training during the winter months, it is important to remember to ease into the training. An increased load puts stress on muscles that are not yet conditioned to training and it could lead to injuries.
An added benefit of spring is that travelling becomes easier as you do not have to pack all the winter gear and jackets to protect you from the cold. For training and racing you can now wear light gear to assist with perspiration. Having said that, I recommend that you always remember to have a rain jacket at hand.
The new Bestmed kits are ideal to go into summer, they feature breathable fabrics which have been strategically used to aid body temperatures control as well as comfort.
While it is important to focus on yourself, your bike is equally important. Bike maintenance should be an on going activity in your daily routine. There are a few areas that I make sure not to neglect.
I clean my bike after each ride before I clean myself to ensure any dust is washed away. In addition to this, I ensure that the chain is clean and well lubricated. I also check my tires and brakes to ensure my bike is ready for my next training ride.
After 50 000km I take my bike for a major service and before big events I prefer a quick service to ensure a problem free event.
As I have indicated, if you have your goals set you can ensure proper planning which makes training and racing a something to look forward to every day.
A well structured day ensure the results that was set out in my goals and each little progress keep me well motivated.