Undoubtedly, the best way to get better on the bike is to ride your bike under a structured training program.
But any good training plan involves doing work away from the saddle as well.
John Hughes and Dan Kehlenbach are the authors of Distance Cycling: Your Complete Guide to Endurance Cycling. Recently, they presented a Human Kinetics webinar on training for long-distance cycling events. Kehlenbach, a strength coach, outlined three important things cyclists need to do away from the bike to improve their performance on the bike.
"These can help you ride stronger and help reduce training-related injuries," Kehlenbach said.
Here are his three keys, with examples of how to incorporate them into your training:
More: 10 Training Fundamentals for Cyclists
While cyclists in training don't need to pump iron six days a week, it's important that you get one to two days a week in.
"Gravitate toward more of a maintenance level program," Kehlenbach said. "Make it more of full-body routine consisting of two sets, 10 to 15 reps per exercises. It should only take around 30 or 40 minutes of your time so it's a great investment."
If time is of the essence—and isn't it always?—Kehlenbach outlines a quick session you can do. It consists of:
- Lower body multi-joint, like lunges
- An upper-body pull, like a pull-down or a row
- An upper-body push, like some sort of press
- One or two core exercises
More: 3 Leg-Strengthening Exercises for Cyclists