We all know cycling holidays are some of the most fun you can have on two wheels abroad.
But if you aren’t a regular cyclist and don’t use your bike on a daily basis, or if you’ve been out of the game for a while and fear you may have lost a step, it’s perfectly understandable to worry whether or not your body is in the right condition for a cycling holiday.
Thankfully, if you are looking to improve certain aspects of your fitness for a cycling holiday, fear not – you don’t need to have the leg strength of Chris Hoy to enjoy your getaway.
In fact, all you really need is a decent fitness level and to know your way round a bicycle and you’re ready to go!
And remember, all our holidays are marked with a crystal-clear ‘difficulty level’ so you’ll know exactly how much physicality is required before you book.
So, if you’re in the market to get your cycling legs back, here are a few handy tips to take on before heading out on your cycling holiday:
Don’t over-do it
If you’re like many other cycling holiday enthusiasts out there, you’ll be filled with excited determination to make the very best of your getaway.
This, of course, means you’ll want to be in tip-top shape before you go.
Good for you! But…
Remember, for all the benefits fitting in regular bouts of exercise and cycling can have, it’s just as easy to over-do it and end up at the exact opposite of the spectrum:
Strain and injury.
And if your injury is bad enough, there will be no cycling for you for a good, long while!
Slow and steady always wins the race.
Put in the work, but take your time.
Eat a balanced, healthy diet
Cycling can truly work wonders for your health & wellbeing.
But it can only work at full capacity when you complement your daily exercise regimen with a healthy, balanced diet.
Don’t forget: Everything you put into your body will act in some way towards your ability to move and keep moving. In this case, your ability to cycle.
A regular intake of foods high in saturated fats, sugars and salt will do you absolutely no good in trying to build stamina.
Yes, they may help in having stored energy to burn, but without the right kind of exercise this will surely result in unwanted weight gain.
That isn’t to say you should stick only to lean meats and vegetables – restricting yourself too much will mean you won’t feel the full effects a properly balanced diet can offer.
If you’re looking for that quick energy boost, try a carb-heavy meal a couple of hours before you ride.
But everything in moderation is key – eat more of what is good for you, less of what is bad for you.
This one is obvious, and with good reason – it’s probably the most important point on this list.
Drinking enough water in general is essential if you want to keep yourself well and healthy – we highlighted this in more detail in our National Hydration Day blog.
But in cycling? It’s the single most important thing you can do to avoid not just running out of steam, but serious injury too.
When our body doesn’t get enough water, it gradually begins to shut down.
This is especially true for cyclists and other athletes who exert an exceptional amount of energy on a daily basis.
So keep your water bottle with you at all times. And keep it topped up with fresh, cold water!
Cycle with friends/as a group
One of the main elements of any training session is something that’s often forgotten about on the whole: Motivation.
Sometimes, training alone can be a disheartening experience for some.
Many people who want to get active and make a positive change in their life struggle with the self- doubt or lack of motivation that plagues countless amateur cyclists in the beginning.
This is why training as part of a group is a fantastic opportunity.
Not only do you have a regular support group around you, urging you on, you also have a sort of physical measuring stick by which you can monitor your own progress towards your fitness goals.
Training groups (and cycling groups in particular) are so common nowadays you really have no excuse not to join one!
At Freewheel Holidays, we have plenty of amazing cycling holidays for cyclists of all fitness levels.
If you’d like to find out more check out our holiday listings, or get in touch for a chat, and we’ll help find the right cycling holiday for you!