There are many training methods and preparations for road bike racing due to different types of race and cyclist’s individual roles for achieving certain goals in the race. Because of the event variability and complexion, some riders will focus more on endurance and others on strength. Which leads to conclusion that all cyclists will need to have a certain combination of power, durability and skill. Following these few training tips, should provide you with some knowledge for cycling race training preparation.
Organization and time management
No matter what kind of event you are going to participate or role you are going to have, it is crucial to have a good training plan. Since most of us have tight schedule, because of the everyday obligations (study/work), it is a good idea to have weekly planer. For example: it could be piece of paper putted on your fridge or text document folder with 7 columns for days (Mon-Sun) and rows which indicate time (0-24h). You could put special marks in them for training, work, rest and etcetera. A good preparation (bike maintenance or inspection, food and supplement managing) can also bi time saving, so try to do it in free time. That way, on training days, you could save at least 15-30 min from doing pre-ride check on bicycle and have already prepared training supplement from previous day.
Focusing on your roll or certain event
Pro-tour and experienced cyclists tend to have one specialized role (sprinter, climber, support or time trial). However, although having different builds (sprinter/climber), they still need ability to ride trough obstacles that require various physical efforts. Riders, who have larger build, need to have endurance to pedal for long time and still have enough strength left for finish sprint. Same goes for thin riders, especially when they need plenty of power on races that require muscle, cooperation and team dedication. In order to find compromise, the best way is to combine individual training along with collective team steady rides. For example: if you are focusing on time trial, your individual training routine will be high cadence and heart rate training, short 30min-1 hr high power output rides with some gym exercise for leg muscles and core. Your collective training should be team rides for building endurance, efficient cooperation and support (assisting or drafting other riders). Try to find a cycling club with a lot of members, who have at least1-2 time per week group rides. Besides skill and performance improvement, you will learn a lot about team cooperation, strategies and tactics, which is essential for any king of cycling event. Also you can find people with similar goals and having them by, will further improve your role knowledge, along with individual training.
Having rest and following your progress
It is very important for every cyclist to have enough rest, because overtraining can lead towards fatigue and illness. Besides, recovery is actually another factor that helps athletes to perform better. To minimize chances on getting some illness or exhaustion, you also need to have good nutrition, along with enough sleep. Because cycling has repetitive nature, it will be important for rider to maintain flexibility and balance of his muscles. In other words, after every high effort ride, stretch and massage your body and that way you will avoid tension in your hamstrings, quads, core and hip flexors. During resting days, should be perfect time to analyze your data, collected from your measurement programs/apps (distance, time, average speed, average/highest heart rate, energy/power output) and put it in the same folder with weekly planner. That is one of the best ways to track and follow your progress.