Climbing Tips Resistance Training for Fat Burning Getting ready for Winter Words / Phrases you’ll hear during the Tour de France Gaelforce group training day

Climbing Tips

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Resistance Training for Fat Burning

Whether you are cycling in preparation for a particular event or just to stay healthy and lose weight, resistance training should form part of your overall training plan. It holds advantages for all cyclists regardless of your goals. One of these advantages is the important role it plays in fat burning. Recommend on FacebookTweet about […]

Getting ready for Winter

After a long season your body and mind may be feeling quite jaded. Although it is quite possible that a lack of motivation makes you feel like your body is tired when in fact it is not. What you do during the winter will form the basis for how you perform through the spring and […]

Words / Phrases you’ll hear during the Tour de France

With the Tour de France off and running, I have a feeling  we will all be watching a little more television than usual during July. So next time your listening to the commentary during the race have a listen for these phrases, some of which you’ll all know, but for those new to the sport […]

Gaelforce group training day

With the ever popular Gaelforce event in Connamara only a few weeks away we were asked to work with a group of brave souls gearing up for this multi-sport marathon. The group contained both seasoned competitors and first-time applicants all of which were already in great physical shape for the race, but they needed to […]

Words / Phrases you’ll hear during the Tour de France

Words / Phrases you’ll hear during the Tour de France

With the Tour de France off and running, I have a feeling  we will all be watching a little more television than usual during July. So next time your listening to the commentary during the race have a listen for these phrases, some of which you’ll all know, but for those new to the sport lets explain some of these words/phrases.

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Gaelforce group training day

Gaelforce group training day

With the ever popular Gaelforce event in Connamara only a few weeks away we were asked to work with a group of brave souls gearing up for this multi-sport marathon. The group contained both seasoned competitors and first-time applicants all of which were already in great physical shape for the race, but they needed to add that extra push and knowledge to their training. That’s where we came in.

 

 

 

bootcamp 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the cycling sections of Gaelforce riders are faced with both road and off-road riding, so bike handling, balance, gearing and awareness of other riders are all very important. We began the day with some fun skills training, setting up a variety of drills to test the riders ability. While these may have seemed a bit trivial to the group at the start, we soon demonstrated their effectiveness and worth, and by the end the group were showing real signs of improvement and understanding of the core techniques needed to become a better rider.

 

 

 

bootcamp 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next element to the day was our group training ride. Bringing those skills learned earlier in the day into a ‘real’ cycling situation is the best way to demonstrate their effect, and to see how well they have been picked-up. Thankfully this group showed us real signs of improvement during the training ride, and the positive feedback was very welcome and appreciated.

Next came the tough stuff…! Hill repeats..! Once again with the hilly nature of Gaelforce in mind we put the riders to the test on multiple climbs of our favourite training hill.The main focus was on bike position while climbing, gear selection and pacing. The locals must have thought we were gone mad with all the back-forward we were doing, but it all had its purpose.

As usual we wrapped it all up with a brief chat to the group and some questions and answers. In many ways this is our favourite part of the day, as it allows us to interact with all the riders personally, and we try to cover all questions they might have. With Gaelforce not long away we wish everyone who took part the best of luck, and look forward to working with them again soon.

Niall,
Irish Cycling Academy.

10 things I wish I knew when I started cycling.

10 things I wish I knew when I started cycling.

Looking back now I can have little smile and a giggle at how I might have looked and acted when i first began my cycling journey. There are things I do now without even thinking about it, but back then I made all the rookie mistakes…….all of them!  So here is my shortlist of the do’s and don’ts I wish i’d know back then.

 

  1. Conquer the wind. Always try starting your ride into the wind, and finishing it with a tail-wind. It isn’t always possible to do but the last thing you want is to miles from home, absolutely wrecked, and have a roaring head-wind to ride into! It also allows you to start slow and finish fast
  2. Bring food and water. Even if your goal through cycling is to loose weight, proper fueling and hydration is still key. Try to drink one small drinks bottle every 1-2 hours and snack on food after 1 hour, and every 45 mins –  1 hour after that.
  3. Wear cycling gloves. Especially in cold weather! Keeping your hands warm in winter and cool in the summer is very important. Obviously gloves will give you more grip on the handlebars but the main reason you’ll appreciate them is if/when you fall. The skin on your hands takes along time to recover……believe me!
  4. Change gears regularly. Your bike has gears for a reason, so don’t be afraid to use them. Throughout your ride try to keep your cadence around 90rpm and change your gears to suit the terrain. On faster/downhill roads you may need to use the ‘big ring’ but during normal riding conditions stay in the ‘small ring’ as much as possible. Keep the legs spinning, and over time you’ll be able to start using ‘bigger’ gears and increase the speed.
  5. Never underestimate other cyclists.  On your travels you will come across all shapes and sizes of cyclists. But take them on at your peril! Cycling is definitely one of those sports where age and build can be very deceptive. So next time you start half-wheeling  another rider or sprinting past them on a local hill, be prepared for the fact they might actually put you back in your place very quickly!
  6. Fit your bike with mudguards. They might not be the prettiest item you’ll fit to your bike but they will be the most effective. Cycling gear is expensive ans so is your bike so keep them both clean and they’ll last longer. And if your riding in a group on a wet day you will appreciate them even more……..if only every rider would use them!
  7. Wear the right clothing. Being too hot or too cold isn’t just a nuisance its actually costing you energy. Your body will be using up vital energy stores to compensate for your poor choice of clothing, so do your best to get it right from the start. Gilets and arm-warmers are great items to have in changeable weather conditions as they can be taken on and off easily. It’s a science you perfect someday…
  8. Recovery is as important. We  all tend to concentrate purely on what we do on the bike, how fast we were, how strong we felt etc, but the one aspect we tend to forget is our recovery. When I say recovery i mean rest not just recovery drinks and food. Both are crucial but the best way to approach your training is train hard……..recover harder. So stagger your training sessions to allow your body  recover. Also start to implement good practices like stretching, massage,saunas etc…
  9. Bring a spare tube and tyre levers…….and learn how to use them! It seems an obvious point to make but a puncture can happen at any time and you better be ready to fix it yourself……don’t always rely on someone else to do it. Someday you eill be stuck and its best to know what your doing. If your carrying spare tubes in a saddle bag wrap the them in plastic to keep them clean and dry.
  10. Learn the basic rules of group riding.  If you do find yourself in a group, even a small one it is very important to understand the different calls and signals they might make. If you are very nervous say it to the other riders. Perhaps you could stay at the back of the group and observe how the group behaves before you move up. The basic rules are simple……….signal and call any obstructions, and stay steady, no sudden movement that would affect others. Its worth taking the time to learn these basic points, you and your fellow riders will all benefit in the long run.

 

How clean is your cycling bottle?

How clean is your cycling bottle?

There are many things we can overlook regarding our equipment and bikes. It seems like a constant merry-go-round of cycling, drinking, eating, recovering etc. We all tend to switch off after our bike ride and many things can get overlooked. Read More…

Poll – Do you think Cycling Ireland should nominate Pat McQuaid for UCI President re-election?

Poll – Do you think Cycling Ireland should nominate Pat McQuaid for UCI President re-election?

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