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avril 17, 2023 13 lire la lecture

Cycling is a popular sport and recreational activity enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. It offers a range of benefits, including physical fitness, mental health, and social interaction. While many people enjoy cycling casually, some may want to take it more seriously and maybe even compete.

This article will provide tips on how to take your cycling to the next level and the importance of keeping it fun and social.


Setting realistic, measurable goals is absolutely crucial for training success.

For a competitive cyclist or someone who wants to take their biking to the next level, goal setting is a crucial aspect of training and improving performance. Setting clear and achievable goals helps to provide direction and motivation for training, and provides a benchmark for measuring progress.
When setting goals, it's important to consider both short-term and long-term objectives. Short-term goals should be specific and achievable within a relatively short period, such as a few weeks or months. For example, a short-term goal may be to improve your time trial performance by a certain amount within the next month.

Long-term goals, on the other hand, are more general and may take several months or years to achieve. Long-term goals may include winning a specific race, completing a challenging event, or improving your overall ranking in a particular discipline.
When setting goals, it's important to ensure they are realistic and achievable. Unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and disappointment, and may even cause injury or burnout. It's also important to set goals that are challenging but not overwhelming, and to break larger goals down into smaller, more manageable steps.
To set effective goals as a competitive cyclist, consider the following tips:

  1. Be specific: Goals should be clear and specific, with a well-defined outcome. For example, rather than setting a goal to "improve my fitness," set a specific goal to "increase my average speed by 2 mph over the next month."
  2. Be measurable: Goals should be measurable so that progress can be tracked and evaluated. This may involve using tools such as heart rate monitors, power meters, or GPS devices to track performance.
  3. Be time-bound: Goals should have a specific deadline or timeframe, which helps to provide focus and motivation. This may involve setting goals for each week, month, or season, or for specific races or events.
  4. Be realistic: Goals should be achievable based on your current fitness level, experience, and resources. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and disappointment, and may even cause injury or burnout.
  5. Be flexible: Goals should be flexible and adaptable based on changing circumstances or unexpected setbacks. This may involve adjusting goals based on changes in training schedules, injury or illness, or unexpected weather conditions.
Overall, goal setting is an important aspect of training for competitive cycling. By setting clear and achievable goals, you can stay motivated and focused, and improve your overall performance over time. However, it's important to remember that cycling should also be fun and enjoyable, and to take breaks and enjoy the scenery along the way.

Having a structured training plan is important to reach your goals. There are a few training principles you should be aware of...


Depending on your goals, you may need to train regularly and consistently to improve your fitness and performance. Start by riding regularly and gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your rides. Incorporate interval training, hill repeats, and tempo rides into your training to improve your endurance and speed.

A Few Training Principles:
Training principles are important considerations for competitive cyclists to help structure their training program, ensure progress and reduce injury risks. Here are some key training principles for athletes:
  1. Periodization: Periodization is a structured approach to training that involves dividing the training cycle into distinct phases, each with a specific goal. Periodization typically includes a base phase, a build phase, and a peak phase. During the base phase, the emphasis is on developing endurance and establishing a foundation for the more intense training to follow. The build phase focuses on increasing intensity and specificity, while the peak phase emphasizes recovery and tapering before a competition. Periodization is an effective training principle for cyclists as it allows for gradual progression of training intensity, which helps to avoid injury and overtraining.
  2. Polarized Training: Polarized training is a training approach that involves dividing training sessions into low-intensity endurance training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This training principle emphasizes that the majority of training time should be spent in the low-intensity endurance zone, while the high-intensity intervals are focused on improving speed and power. Polarized training has been found to be an effective training approach for competitive cyclists, as it maximizes training benefits while minimizing injury risks.
  3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT is a type of training that involves brief, intense periods of exercise followed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. HIIT training is used to improve anaerobic capacity, which is essential for cycling sprints and hill climbing. HIIT training can be incorporated into a cycling training program by adding short, intense intervals to a long, steady ride.
  4. Progressive Overload: Progressive overload is a training principle that involves gradually increasing the intensity, duration, or frequency of training over time. This principle helps to stimulate the body to adapt and improve, which can result in increased strength, endurance, and performance. Progressive overload is an essential training principle for cyclists as it allows for gradual progression of training intensity and helps to avoid injury and overtraining.
  5. Specificity: Specificity is a training principle that involves tailoring training to meet the specific demands of a particular sport or activity. This principle is particularly relevant for cyclists, as cycling requires specific physical and physiological adaptations such as increased endurance, power, and strength. A training program for a cyclist should be designed to target the specific demands of the sport, including hill climbing, sprints, and time trials.


Staying Consistent
Being able to stay consistent is essential for achieving long-term success in any endeavor, including competitive cycling. Consistency involves making a habit of taking consistent action towards your goals, day in and day out. Here are some tips to help you stay consistent:
  1. Develop a Routine: Developing a consistent routine can help you stay on track with your goals. This may involve scheduling your workouts at the same time each day, preparing your meals in advance, or setting aside time each week for recovery and rest. Consistency requires discipline and commitment, and a routine can help you stay accountable.
  2. Find Accountability: Having someone to hold you accountable can be a powerful motivator for staying consistent. This may involve training with a partner or coach, joining a cycling club or team, or sharing your progress with friends and family. Accountability can help you stay focused and committed to your goals, even when the going gets tough.
  3. Embrace the Process: Consistency requires patience and persistence, and it's important to embrace the journey rather than just focusing on the end result. Enjoying the process of training, learning, and improving can help you stay motivated and engaged in your goals.
  4. Celebrate Small Wins: Celebrating small wins along the way can help you stay motivated and maintain momentum towards your goals. Whether it's achieving a personal best time or completing a challenging workout, taking time to recognize your progress can help you stay motivated and committed to your goals.
Ultimately, the secret to staying consistent is to find a system that works for you and that you enjoy. Consistency requires discipline and commitment, but it also requires flexibility and a willingness to adapt when things don't go as planned. By staying committed to your goals and embracing the journey, you can achieve long-term success in competitive cycling.
Overall, understanding and applying these training principles can help competitive cyclists structure an effective and safe training program, improve their performance, and minimize injury risks.

Online training:
There are several online platforms available to help competitive cyclists structure their training and improve their performance. These platforms provide tools and resources for tracking workouts, analyzing data, setting goals, and connecting with other athletes. Here are some examples of online platforms that can help you structure your training:
    1. TrainingPeaks: TrainingPeaks is a popular platform for endurance athletes, including cyclists, runners, and triathletes. The platform provides tools for creating and tracking training plans, analyzing performance data, setting goals, and connecting with coaches and fellow athletes. TrainingPeaks integrates with many popular fitness tracking devices, such as Garmin, Suunto, and Polar.
    2. Strava: Strava is a social network for athletes, with a focus on cycling and running. The platform provides tools for tracking workouts, analyzing performance data, setting goals, and connecting with other athletes. Strava also includes features such as segment tracking, leaderboards, and challenges, which can add a competitive element to training. With Strava, you can record your workouts using your GPS-enabled device, such as a smartphone, smartwatch, or bike computer. The app tracks your distance, speed, elevation, and other metrics, and allows you to analyze your performance over time. One of the key features of Strava is its social network aspect. The app allows you to connect with other athletes, join clubs, and compete in challenges and virtual races. You can follow your friends' workouts, give them kudos, and comment on their activities. Another feature of Strava is its leaderboard system. The app ranks users' performance on segments of roads and trails, allowing you to compete with others for the best time. This can be a motivating way to push yourself to improve your performance. Strava also offers a variety of training plans and challenges, including virtual challenges that allow you to compete against other users from around the world. The app also allows you to set personal goals, such as distance or time, and track your progress towards those goals. Strava is available as a free app, with a premium subscription option that offers additional features, such as advanced training metrics, personalized coaching, and route planning. The premium subscription also allows you to filter out e-bike rides and see more detailed information about your friends' workouts.
    1. TrainerRoad:TrainerRoad is a platform specifically designed for indoor cycling training. The platform provides structured workouts, personalized training plans, and analytics tools to help cyclists improve their performance. TrainerRoad also integrates with many popular indoor cycling trainers, such as Wahoo and CycleOps.  TrainerRoad offers a variety of training plans for different types of cycling events, such as road races, time trials, and triathlons. Each training plan includes a series of workouts that are tailored to your fitness level and are designed to improve your endurance, strength, and speed. The platform also offers a variety of tools to help you track your progress and stay motivated. You can track your fitness level and see how it improves over time, compare your performance to other users, and receive personalized feedback from expert coaches. One of the key features of TrainerRoad is its integration with smart trainers and power meters. This allows the platform to provide accurate power-based training, which is considered one of the most effective ways to improve your cycling performance. TrainerRoad is available as a subscription-based service, with a variety of pricing options based on the length of your subscription. The platform is compatible with a wide range of indoor cycling equipment, including smart trainers, power meters, and heart rate monitors.
    1. Zwift:Zwift is a popular online training platform for cyclists and runners. The platform provides virtual worlds to ride in, and includes structured workouts, group rides, races, and challenges. Zwift also integrates with many popular indoor cycling trainers, and provides a social network for connecting with other athletes. With Zwift, you can ride through a variety of virtual landscapes, including mountains, city streets, and countryside, while training alone or with other cyclists from around the world. The platform offers a range of workouts and training plans, including structured training plans designed by professional coaches. One of the key features of Zwift is its gamification of cycling training. The platform allows you to participate in virtual races, group rides, and challenges, and tracks your progress and achievements. You can also connect with other cyclists and socialize with them through the platform's chat and messaging features. Zwift is compatible with a variety of indoor cycling trainers, including smart trainers, as well as with power meters and heart rate monitors. The platform also offers a companion app that allows you to control your workouts and view your progress on your smartphone or tablet. Zwift is available as a subscription-based service, with different pricing options depending on the length of your subscription. The platform offers a free trial period, allowing you to try it out before committing to a subscription.
These are just a few examples of the many online platforms available to help competitive cyclists structure their training and improve their performance. Each platform has its own unique features and strengths, so it's important to research and choose the platform that best meets your individual needs and goals.


Nutrition is not rocket science, but you need a bit of discipline until you have created positive habits around food.


Nutrition is a critical component of a competitive cyclist's training program. Proper nutrition can help improve performance, enhance recovery, and reduce injury risks. Here are some of the most important nutrition principles to consider for competitive cyclists:
  1. Adequate Energy Intake: Competitive cycling requires a significant amount of energy, so it's important to ensure that you are consuming enough calories to support your training and racing. Cyclists should aim to consume a diet that provides enough energy to match their energy expenditure, while also taking into account their individual needs and goals.
  2. Macronutrient Balance: Cyclists require a balanced intake of carbohydrates, protein, and fat to support their training and performance. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for cycling, while protein is essential for muscle repair and recovery. Fat is also important for energy production and should be included in the diet in moderation.
  3. Timing of Nutrient Intake: Timing of nutrient intake is important for competitive cyclists, particularly around training and racing. Carbohydrates should be consumed before and during exercise to support energy production and prevent fatigue. Protein should be consumed after exercise to support muscle repair and recovery. Adequate hydration is also critical for optimal performance, especially during long or intense rides.
  4. Nutrient Density: Cyclists should aim to consume a nutrient-dense diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Nutrient-dense foods provide the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential for optimal health and performance.
  5. Supplements: Supplements can be a useful addition to a competitive cyclist's nutrition program, but should not be relied upon as a substitute for a healthy diet. Common supplements used by cyclists include electrolytes, sports drinks, protein powders, and caffeine. Cyclists should consult with a sports nutritionist or healthcare provider before starting any supplement regimen.
  6. Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for competitive cyclists, as excess body weight can impair performance. However, extreme weight loss can also be detrimental to performance and health. Cyclists should aim for a healthy body weight that is sustainable and does not compromise their health or performance.
Overall, proper nutrition is a critical component of a competitive cyclist's training program. By following these nutrition principles, cyclists can optimize their performance, enhance recovery, and reduce injury risks. Cyclists should consult with a sports nutritionist or healthcare provider to develop an individualized nutrition plan that meets their specific needs and goals.

Recovery and rest is super important for your body. During recovery your body adapts to your training load and rebuilds itself stronger and faster!


Another crucial aspect of taking your cycling more seriously is recovery. Make sure you allow your body to rest and recover between training sessions to prevent injury and improve your overall performance. Stretching, massage, and foam rolling can also help to reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility.
Without proper recovery, the body can become fatigued, which can lead to reduced performance, increased risk of injury, and even overtraining syndrome. Recovery allows the body to repair and adapt to the stress of training, and helps to improve overall performance and reduce the risk of injury.
  1. Rest and Sleep: Rest and sleep are essential for recovery, as they allow the body to repair and regenerate damaged tissues, and replenish energy stores. Adequate sleep is especially important for competitive cyclists, as it helps to regulate hormone levels, support immune function, and enhance mental clarity and focus.
  2. Nutrition: Proper nutrition is critical for recovery, as it provides the body with the fuel it needs to repair and regenerate muscle tissue. Competitive cyclists should focus on consuming a balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats, as well as micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. It's also important to consume adequate amounts of fluids, electrolytes, and antioxidants to support recovery.
  3. Active Recovery: Active recovery involves engaging in low-intensity exercise or movement to promote circulation, reduce muscle soreness, and enhance recovery. Examples of active recovery include easy cycling, stretching, yoga, and foam rolling.
  4. Rest Days: Rest days are an important aspect of recovery, as they allow the body to recover from the stress of training. Competitive cyclists should include one or two rest days per week in their training schedule, during which they can engage in light activity or rest completely.
  5. Periodization: Periodization involves planning and organizing training cycles to allow for adequate recovery and avoid overtraining. This may involve adjusting training volume and intensity, and including rest and recovery periods within the training plan.
  6. Mental Health: Mental health is also an important aspect of recovery, as stress and anxiety can negatively impact physical recovery. Competitive cyclists should prioritize activities that promote mental health, such as meditation, mindfulness, and stress management techniques.
  7. Listen to your Body: In addition to these aspects of recovery, it's important for competitive cyclists to listen to their bodies and adjust their training and recovery strategies as needed. If you are feeling fatigued or experiencing muscle soreness, it may be a sign that you need more rest and recovery. Overtraining can lead to injury and reduced performance, so it's important to take recovery seriously and make it a priority in your training plan.
Overall, recovery is a critical aspect of training for competitive cycling. By incorporating rest, nutrition, active recovery, rest days, periodization, and mental health strategies into your training plan, you can improve your overall performance, reduce the risk of injury, and enjoy the sport of cycling to the fullest.

Maybe the most important thing to consider when it comes to training is to keep it fun and social. Ask around to find like minded cyclist in your area to ride with.


To make cycling more social and fun, consider joining a cycling group or club. This can provide a sense of community and camaraderie while also providing an opportunity to learn from more experienced cyclists. Group rides can also be a great way to push yourself and improve your cycling skills.
Participating in cycling events and races can also be a fun and challenging way to take your cycling to the next level. There are many different types of cycling events, including road races, time trials, and cyclocross events. Choose an event that suits your abilities and goals, and start training specifically for it. Participating in an event can provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue training and improving.
While it's important to take your cycling seriously and work towards your goals, it's also essential to keep it fun and enjoyable. Cycling is a great way to explore new places, spend time with friends and family, and enjoy the outdoors. Don't forget to take breaks and enjoy the scenery, and remember that the journey is just as important as the destination.
In addition to the physical benefits of cycling, it also offers many mental health benefits. Cycling can be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and boost self-esteem. The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from achieving your cycling goals can also provide a significant mental health boost.
Taking your cycling more seriously and even competitively can also provide a sense of purpose and direction in life. Having goals and working towards them can help to increase motivation and provide a sense of accomplishment. Cycling can also provide a sense of adventure and exploration as you discover new routes and destinations.