Finding Success in the New Year
5 ways for a better cycling year
Set GoalsIn the New Year we get a chance to start over as it seems. Take advantage of that idea. This is a new year, a new you, and new goals. Setting up goals is a great way to gain some self-confidence and also have something to work for every ride, run, or rest. Goals should be long and short term. Some short term goals can work well to keep you on track for that big goal. An example of a short term goal is to ride 50 miles in the month of January. Another short term goal would be to brave the cold for two hours of riding this weekend. An example of a long term goal would be to ride the Hilly Hundred or MS-150 (or any cycling event next summer). Your short term cycling plans will have a direct affect on your long long term. This planning prevents poor performance and poor performance does not result in fun times. So this year, pull out the calendar, and plan it out. You'll be glad you did.
Track your performanceTracking how much you ride and seeing gains is fundamental for keeping focus during the season. Now that we've established that you'll be riding more this year how will we keep track of all those extra miles? First, you must decide what data you would like to keep track of. Smart phone user? Strava.com is a great tool for tracking performance and seeing who else is riding out there. You can have fun with friends attaining King of the Mountain segments or just use it as a way to map rides. GPS, SRM or Garmin computer user? TrainingPeaks.com is great for tracking everything from your commute to work to how much Vitamin C you took in. All of these programs are free for basic services and are a great way to keep you motivated this season.
Plan out your seasonPlanning is crucial to the cyclist. We are prepared for flat tires, and prepared for inclement weather during rides, so why not plan out the season? This is a great way to meet your goals. If you have a big race or event planned in July, for example, you may want to log more hours at the beginning of the month and taper off towards the end. Planning your season out allows you to perform at your best, which results in having fun.
Treat yourselfNew gear can rejuvenate the riding animal inside of you. Sometimes a new pair of shorts or some new gloves can make a world of difference. So treat yourself, you earned it!
Enjoy the RideCycling is fun, and that's why we ride! It's rare we get time to take a break from our work and hectic schedules. So remember, you are riding a bicycle. The winds blowing through your hair and you're outside getting exercise, so smile. Enjoy the ride.
By: Jordan Villella
Aero Tech Designs