Just Because You Ride Doesn’t Mean You’re Fit

In case you missed it, in our last Bike Scoop we were lucky enough to have USA Elite Level 1 Cycling Coach Stacey Richardson back in the studio to talk about some things you can do to stay fit and stay motivated when off the bike.

In addition to being just an all-around awesome person, Stacey has spent the last twelve years coaching a range of athletes from Special Olympic athletes to elite-level runners and triathletes. You can learn more about Stacey here: www.tristacey.com

While our focus was on how to become a better cyclist off the bike – one key point that stuck in my mind was how to stay injury free. For many athletes, some of this knowledge is probably basic – but for those of us who use the bike for fun and exercise – the following tips covered in Stacey’s last visit are extremely valuable – especially if you want to use the bike to improve your overall health and keep your bones and muscles intact in the process.

Get a Bike Fit

It’s extremely important that your bike fits you right. This can sometimes be easier said than done, since we’re all different shapes and sizes. When I first started riding, my back would hurt and my hands would go numb. Getting a bike with upright geometry and making micro adjustments to the saddle height and fore and aft positions helped me dial in the fit. If it’s your first bike, talking with one of our Performance reps at any retail store is highly recommended.

Warm Ups

This can mean before you start a ride – but can also easily mean “before you start your day” as well. Dynamic stretching can make a world of difference on and off the bike. From simple stretches to yoga or Tai chi, any type of dynamic stretching and focused movement is a great way to limber up. Staying consistent and stretching daily is key to avoiding injury. Take it easy at first and figure out what your limits are – don’t push it. Back extensions are extremely helpful, especially if you ride a bike.

Mix It Up!

From my perspective, if you’re on a bike, you’re already winning. No matter what your speed is or how far you ride – even it’s down the street and back – you’re still a winner in my book. However, it’s not bad advice to change up your ride. Doing the same route, at the same speed, over-and-over again, isn’t very challenging and, frankly, can get pretty boring. So, keep things fresh by switching up your route and switching up your gears. You can also focus on intervals, keeping a steady pace for as long as possible, or “uppers & downers” – high and low cadence training.

When talking about off the bike – I’ve started the 7-minute workout. Only, I take my time. Some of these exercises include: jumping jacks, wall sits, push-ups, step-ups (onto a chair), squats, planks, lunges and “high knees, running in place”. I usually mix this stuff up and sprinkle it with a dose of standard yoga moves. If I’m not feeling any of these exercises, then I just dance to my 80’s dance party mix.

Nutrition

The most important words of the day: “Don’t finish your workouts hungry”. Eat real food that’s dense in nutrition and if you want to go the energy bar route – limit your intake to one a day. Here’s some more in-depth info on nutrition from Stacey’s last visit:

That’s it for today kids. Here’s a photo of a tiger stretching:

tiger stretching.jpg

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