If you are planning to one day become a bicycle rider that gets paid to ride your bike, you’ll need to really take a look at each facet of your performance. It takes more than just being the fastest rider in your neighbourhood, or the ability to ride your bike all day without tiring. These are merely anecdotal measurements that may not stand up against the competition in the pro circuits. Those times that you see clocked at the end of every race are more than just what the numbers show you, there’s a lot that goes into a race, both before and during.
Staying physically fit is definitely a key aspect to becoming a professional bicycle rider, but there are some things you need to be able to handle mentally, before attempting the highest form of competitive marathons on a bike.
You’ll need to be able to ride by yourself for hours length, we’re talking at least five hours without stopping. This trains you to focus on your goal and ignore the physical beating and repetitive motions that will break the average person.
Once you are comfortable with riding for long bouts, you can then begin to really isolate areas of the body to attack those muscles and really gain the ability to alternate between power and conservation.
This game of stamina is what separates the professional bicycle rider from the enthusiasts.
This is achieved by mixing bicycle sprints in-between your endurance days, as well as strength training at the gym. You can keep track of your progress with power gauges that judge how much force you’re outputting on the bike, along with your usual weight measurements at the gym.
A plan into motion
All this training will be for naught if you don’t apply it to real world situations, so it is important to find places to ride that give you a sufficient challenge.
Find places with minimal obstacles in the sense of traffic or pedestrians, but high variations in turns, elevation, and terrain. Not all of your bicycle races are going to take place on perfectly paved roads. If you train in the elements of rain, heat, and cold, with rough concrete, it will make it all that much easier when you’re biking in conditions made for racing.
Finally, never stop pushing yourself, no matter how big of a lead you have or how easy the course may be, we all approach races differently, it’s a marathon, you don’t win it in the first 30 minutes.