10 Habits to make you a better cyclist





By Founder and Head Coach, Matteo Cigala



Here are 10 habits that can help you being a better cyclist.
Enjoy the reading.





1-CONSISTENCY


This is the first step and key to cycling success. If you want to become a better cyclist, consistency is essential, there are no secret formulas. Consistency on your training, lifestyle, nutrition and sleep through a week, combined with consistency through a month, combined with consistency through years will allow your body to build a foundation and adaptations to cope with added workloads of duration and intensity.


2-STICK WITH YOUR TRAINING PROGRAM


We all have limited time to train due to work and family commitment, and it is therefore important that we maximise this precious time. Your training plan should be realistic based on your life and training availability. If the plan is made to suit your training time, it is essential that you stick with it. If for some reasons you have to miss a session, note the key sessions of the week and focus on getting at least those completed.





3-RECOVERY AND SLEEP


Resting and recovery are critical components of any successful training program. Train to sleep, as sleeping is the best recovery. It is important to focus on getting 7-8 hrs of good quality sleep. You can do that by: -Maintaining a consistent daily schedule -Reducing your daily caffeine intake -Turning off computer and devices before going to bed -Avoid going to bed with a full stomach -Limiting beverages consumptions before going to bed -Keeping your bedroom dark and quiet -Investing in a comfortable mattress, pillow and bedding -Going to sleep and waking up using your internal alarm clock


4-HAVE A BALANCED NUTRITION


Without the right fuel, your body simply can’t perform. It is therefore important that each meal must have a proper amount of all the main nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Carbs must prevail (50-60% of the total calories intake) over proteins and fats (20-25% of the total calories, each). Remember that after hard sessions is good to increase the quality of proteins and before races the quality of carbs. Straight after each training session have your protein shake ready, to speed up your recovery and fitness adaptations as well as carbs to help protein absorption. Maintaining a good nutritional status is also essential in avoiding sickness and improving our immune response.


5-STAY HYDRATED


Do more water breaks, rather than coffee breaks. Water is a crucial element both in training and recovery. It “lubricates” our muscle fibres and joints and maintains a proper body temperature. Make sure that every day you drink at least 2 lt of water. Drink 500 ml of liquids before the training session or races to give your body the necessary time to absorb the water and release the excess fluids.





6-HAVE A PLAN FOR YOUR RACE


You should prepare a race strategy, whether your goals are. Important is to talk with your coach who can deliver for you a good strategy and can give you the confidence and motivation.


7-REVIEW YOUR RACES


In order to keep improving your racing strategy and your experience on racing, it is important to review what went wrong and what went well by analysing your race. Also here, to help do this, it is important to speak with your coach.


8-HAVE YOUR BIKE READY TO RACE


Make sure your racing machine is fully ready to race at the weekend. Check that everything is fully serviced and clean. You don’t want to drive 3hrs away to race and pull over after 10 minutes for a mechanical problem.


9-DON'T FORGET CORE AND STRETCHING EXERCISES


One of the best way to manage training fatigue is to follow a regular cycling stretching routine. Continuous cycling over time can lead to a loss of elasticity and flexibility, stretching can help overcome these problems. Core work must also be a fundamental routine as you can have all the strength in the world, but without a stable and strong core you won’t be able to use it efficiently. Core work encourages stability and eliminates unnecessary upper-body movements, so that all power you produce is delivered into your pedal stroke.


10-STAY FOCUSED AND ENJOY


Riding your bike is supposed to be fun and not an obligation. Don’t make a mental milestone of having to go training. Remember that the reason you ride is for the love of cycling. Results will come naturally without being obsessive. Let your coach worry about all of the numbers. Your focus should be on consistency, following your plan and having fun.


Matteo Cigala
​Founder & Head Coach