Do These 7 Things To Get Faster On The Bike

One thing that almost all of us as cyclists can relate to is the desire to get faster. But often we go about it in the wrong way.

We try to get faster by simply pedaling harder. But, unfortunately, pushing yourself harder doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get faster. In fact, it might mean that you get slower.

That’s a problem I hear from a lot of you. So in this podcast episode, I am going to give you seven actionable strategies to help you get faster.

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1. Ride with Faster Riders

My 10-year-old son, an enthusiastic member of a ski team, has embraced this lesson. His coach advised him to chase faster skiers to improve, and the same applies to biking.

However, some cyclists hesitate to ride with faster peers out of fear of embarrassment or holding them back. Remember, you might be underestimating your capabilities.

Push your boundaries; if you get dropped, that’s ok! Just ensure you’re equipped to navigate your way home or handle mechanical issues.

Challenge yourself on these drop rides. Over time, you’ll notice improvements in endurance and speed. But remember, pace yourself. Joining high-speed rides once or twice a week suffices, allowing for ample recovery.

2. Hire a Coach

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be an elite athlete to hire a coach. Whether you’re a newbie, training for a century ride, or just aiming to improve speed, a coach can design a tailored training plan and offer accountability.

3. Buy a Training Plan

If hiring a personal coach seems steep, consider pre-made training plans available on platforms like TrainingPeaks.com. They’re cost-effective and if followed, work really well!

The only downside of buying a pre-built training plan is that they lack customization and direct accountability. For that reason, I highly recommend finding an accountability partner–perhaps a friend that wants to train with you!

4. Go Easy On Your Easy Days And Hard On Your Hard Days

A common error is exerting too much effort on easy days and not enough on hard ones. Aim for clarity–know what your goal is for the day. On hard days, push yourself beyond your limits, and on light days, ride in zone 1 and zone 2.

5. Incorporate Strength Training

Strength training isn’t just for bodybuilders. Incorporating it into your weekly training can lead to significant improvements on the bike.

Besides building strength, it corrects muscle imbalances, reducing the risk of injury. Strengthening exercises can often prevent common issues, like knee pain due to muscle weakness. You can’t get faster if you’re off the bike with injuries.

6. Prioritize Recovery

While professional athletes can focus on post-exercise recovery, most of us return to the chaos of daily life. This makes effective recovery crucial.

While there are lots of recovery tactics you can use, there are two really critical ones. Ensure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night, especially after rigorous training. Eating a protein and carb-rich meal within 30 minutes post-ride also aids recovery.

7. Nail Your Nutrition and Hydration

Your body’s fuel directly affects performance. Hydration, both pre-ride and during, coupled with proper nutrition, plays a pivotal role in training success. Too many women skimp on calories.

Undernourishing your body is counterproductive; you must feed your body adequately to witness speed improvements. Fed is fast.

Commit to these strategies, whether one or all seven, and you’ll notice an uptick in your speed.

Are You Listening To The Femme Cyclist Podcast?!?

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A podcast for women who love bicycles! We we celebrate all forms of riding and all forms of women, so whether you’re a road cyclist, mountain biker, or bike commuter, you’ll find your community here. Each week we’ll week bring you interviews from inspiring women, and offer tips and tricks to help you thrive on the bike.

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kristen bonkoski

Kristen Bonkoski is the founder and owner of Femme Cyclist.

An avid cyclist for a few decades now, she took to cycling during her late teen years — a time when she needed something to help boost her self-esteem and confidence.

Mission accomplished, the sport has become an important part of her life.  Kristen’s favorite disciplines are mountain biking and bike commuting, although you can also find her cranking out a century on her road bike and touring with her husband and son.  If it has to do with two wheels, she enjoys doing it.

Kristen is a certified USA Cycling coach, and she runs Rascal Rides, a website about biking with kids.

IG: @kristenlbonkoski

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