Improve Your Cycling Fitness with Interval Training

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Improve Your Cycling Fitness with Interval Training

Cycling is an excellent workout. It is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, and it strengthens core muscle groups that are important for everyday living. If you have been cycling for a while now, you may feel that you have hit a plateau. Read on to learn how interval training can update a boring cycling routine!

Improve Your Cycling Fitness with Interval Training

What is Interval Training?

Interval training is when you vary the periods of high, low, and moderate intensity. It may include short bursts of high intensity activity followed by longer bouts of low or moderate intensity work. Interval training has the biggest effect on your heart, which has to work harder during high intensity cycling , and gets a rest during low intensity cycling.

Improve Your Cycling Fitness with Interval Training

What Are the Benefits?

There are numerous benefits to interval training during cycling. Some include:

  • Greater resistance to fatigue
  • Lower heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increased muscle tone
  • Increased speed
  • Increased tempo
  • Increased lung capacity
  • Increased VO2 (this is the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can uptake at any one time. Highly trained athletes have very high VO2s, and this can lead to faster recovery times, a higher resting metabolic rate, and improved endurance!). Read more about benefits of interval training: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=87040

Interval training can also make you more resistant to injuries, as your body is more accustomed to the movements related to cycling, and is able to perform them more easily.

How Do I Get Started?

It is easy to get started in a cycling interval training program. However, before you begin to plan your training, consult your physician. This is something you should do before you start any high intensity fitness program. If your physician is uncomfortable with you performing at maximum or moderate intensity, she will recommend helpful modifications, that you should never ignore. Once you are cleared physically, it is time to get to work! First you must be honest with yourself and assess the level of fitness that you are at. Interval training is an excellent option for beginning cylists, as well as those who are more advanced. Once you have deduced your level of fitness, do some online research into what programs are most appropriate for your fitness level, and the amount of time you are able to devote to cycling every week. Interval training programs are easy to insert into even the most crowded of schedules, so don’t be concerned if you are a very busy person.

Wear the Right Gear

The last thing you want to be concerned about while cycling is whether or not your gear is functional or comfortable. Make sure to:

  • Wear comfortable clothing
    • Loose fitting
    • Supportive shoes
    • Supportive sports bras for women
    • Compression socks for individuals who have issues with circulation or calf discomfort
  • Always bring a water bottle
  • Have comfortable riding gloves

Cycling is a wonderful activity that can keep you in excellent shape. Interval training is one of the best ways to improve your cycling tempo, timing, pedal speed, and endurance. It is definitely a must for any avid cyclist.

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