7 Ways to improve cycling speed
Are you a beginner as a cyclist? Everyone is interested in increasing their cycling speed.
Let’s jump to some tips which I am sure you can easily follow.
1. Training, training, and training
It is the practice and hard work you put in while training to increase your cycling speed. The more you sweat, the more you come closer to your goal. But do not forget that your hard work should go in the right direction. There are two ways where if you contribute your efforts you will soon gain good speed, and they are- interval training and cadence training. Quality interval training will boost up your confidence as well as speed. Add at least two to three interval training rides in a week. Just as an athlete, you can add sprinting practice. It is a very significant and effective interval training exercise for a cyclist. With practice, keep adding time to your sprints. Your sprinting time should gradually increase while resting time should keep on decreasing.
Cadence training is actually related to interval training because you aim to pedal faster in both. It is the expression used for a number of times you have pedaled in a minute. You need to be prudent here to choose the right gear for better performance. You can use trainer workouts for better results.
2. Check on your posture
Sitting in a posture that increases your speed is actually simple science. Here, you need to understand that you are cycling against the wind. To increase your cycling speed, you need to cut the amount of wind resistance. This will be possible when you are riding aerodynamically. First, pull your arms closer to your body. Your pointed-out elbows will hinder your speed due to the wind resistance. Second, Bend over the handlebar. You will be surprised to know that this small step can avoid 20% of the resistance. If you have a drop-handlebars sports bike, then you can drop the bars. This position might not be very comfortable for you in the beginning, but with some bike set-ups, you can soon drive in the drop position. Keep your arms closer to your body.
3. Challenge yourself more in hills
You can make a big difference if you practice riding in hills.
Hilly terrains are quite challenging. Choose to ride on a hill that gives you a not-so-easy uphill slope. This will enhance your endurance and prepare you for your upcoming races. Repeat the process 2-3 times a day during your interval training.
4. Practice in a group
We all need a push when we are slow. Also, it is human nature to gradually slow down. Hence, to get a kick when you feel lethargy on your long rides, it is better to have a companion. When you ride in a group, you are continuously challenged by your fellow cyclists. You also do not feel bored. Experts suggest riding behind front-runners can save 40% of your energy. It is an interesting fact that professional riders stay behind the front-runners. This you can do only in a group and improve your cycling speed.
5. Wear aerodynamic clothes
Once you start riding for long races, your clothes will matter a lot. The material and shape of your clothes should be helpful in increasing your cycling speed. Choose a material like Lycra or other synthetic fabrics which is lightweight and dries up quickly.
Avoid loose flappy clothes as they will slow you down. You should also wear riding shorts. They come with padding which makes your rides comfortable without hurting your sit bones. There are also aero helmets and shoe covers available, which you can wear to avoid rubbing against the wind.
6. Tire Pressure Counts
Before you throw your legs on the saddle of your bike, always check its tire pressure. Tires with low pressure drag more and squeeze out more energy from you. The same happens if your tires are loud. So with balanced air pressure, your tires will surely roll seamlessly, increasing your speed. The right pressure is also important for safe riding.
7. Avoid using unnecessary braking
Unnecessary braking not only hinder your speed, but you will also need extra effort and pedaling to reach the previous speed. Though, it is totally up to you when to use your brakes. With more practice, you will be able to read the road ahead. While descending a hill, if you can drive without using brakes, you can keep up the momentum to reach the height ahead.