To Ride Better Think About your Lifestyle
Just aiming to change one habit a week can be easily managed over 7 days and once the month or year passes we have changed our lifestyle and improved our health hugely. I suggest you follow my ‘Six of the Best’ programme outlined below and modifying each of these will have a beneficial effect on the way you look, feel and think. Let alone ride better on the bike.
1. Exercise – Do more activity in any form You will be doing plenty of this on your programme and exercise plays such an important role in improving health it should not be over looked. Just be careful that you are listening to your body and resting when needed.
2. Food – How many calories are you really consuming? For peak performance on the bike you should be looking at how and what you are consuming with special emphasis on fresh fruit, vegetables, pasta, rice, potatoes, pre-event, during event and post event eating. On a long distance ride you will burn around 500 to 700 calories an hour, so you should focus on your food to allow for this extra use and to keep your immune system strong
3. Sleep patterns – get to bet at around 10:30pm and rise naturally In our increasingly busy lives we are ignoring the importance of sleep to keep ourselves healthy. You should aim to be in bed by 10:30 pm at the latest and sleep for as long as needed. Aim to wake naturally without the alarm clock and snooze during the day to maximise your wellbeing and health.
4. Water – Drink around 2 litres of water a day As you go though your day you should also be aware of the amount of water you are consuming. You should be aiming to consume at least 2 litres a day and this should increase on training days. You should be aware that on the bike performance will decrease by 20% if you have a 2% reduction in hydration levels (levels of water in the body). Unflavoured water is the ‘gold standard’ and other good sources are herb teas, squashes, fruit juices, and smoothies.
5. Times of eating – Have regular meals (ideally 5 a day) never missing one Aim to eat at regular intervals as a consistent intake of food will enable you to perform better on the bike and increase the rate of recovery after exercise. You should be having breakfast, lunch and dinner at 7 to 9am, 12 to 2pm, and 5 to 7pm respectively. In between these times you should be aiming to consume snacks consistent with healthy eating and increasing the recovery after your training sessions.
6. Alcohol – Reduce or eliminate from your diet Eliminating alcohol out of your diet will enable your body to perform better on the bike and in general in life. Aim to reduce it to a bear minimum as one glass will affect the other 5 points above. Alcohol will also affect your body’s ability to recover after training and increase the risk of infection from colds.
Follow these six simple points and you will help to change your lifestyle and riding ability for the better.