2. Get in shape and stay in shape year round. Stopping and starting will often lead to injury as we get older. The best way is to at least lightly exercise year round. Also to keep a “gym” day on your calendar (again more important as we age). I like to do 30-40 minutes of resistance specific to cycling, and then a yoga class.
3. Warm up and then stretch before you start. YES in that order. Make sure you spend at least 10 minutes in a good warm up before any ride and or training. Then spend a few minutes to stretch out. Never stretch a totally cold muscle group.
4. Use proper form while riding and lifting. As a fitness professional & cycling coach, there is nothing worse for me then to be in a gym and watching a person almost hurt themselves with bad form. Plus it builds “ugly” muscles. Also when out on the road to see bowed and pigeon toed cyclist, or a rider with a horribly bad bike fit. All of those things can lead to injury.
5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. In cycling and in any sport it is important to stay hydrated at least 30-60 grams per hour and drink between 600-1200 mL/H of a drink containing Carbohydrates and Na (sodium). Consider sodium supplements if your perspiration levels are high or in hot/humid environments. Most sports drinks meet this requirement but need to be “watered down” because of the sugar content. It is important to maintain proper hydration levels before, during, and after all exercise. This will help us maintain fluid loss, keep our heart rates lower, and maintain plasma levels. Also this helps us prevent heat stroke, exhaustion, stress, or illnesses.
6. Cross train in the “off season”. During transition periods and “off season” make sure to experience other sports and activities. Use those different muscle groups.
7. Do not over train or overdo your abilities. Stay within your limits and know your boundaries. I know this is hard to say to an endurance athlete, because our whole sport is focused on pushing ourselves further, harder, and longer. We just need to learn the differences between good pains and bad pain.
Kevin Lee- Lead Pack Cycling