The Aspen Cycling Festival, which just wrapped up this weekend, is considered the unofficial debut of the biking season in Aspen. However, due to an unseasonably warm spring, cyclists have been on the trails and cruising through town for quite a few weeks enjoying the warm weather and sunshine.
It’s a good thing cycling got a head start this spring, as one glance at the summer calendar in the Rockies indicates a busy summer. Road races, Mountain biking competitions and simply sunny mountains days fill the docket with lots of opportunities for cyclists, amateur and professional, to get on their bikes and reach new personal bests.
For those looking to bike competitively, or even just for fun, in one of the many biking events this summer, a solid training program is essential. It is not simply enough to pull the bike out of the garage and begin riding. A structured and well-planned training regime will enable riders to ride faster, better and more safely.
A partnership with a club or gym and a physical fitness trainer is a must for riders to establish solid, challenging and attainable goals in their racing and biking activities. Additionally, trainers also perform the critical role of helping cyclists identify obstacles in their racing and training regimes.
Most commonly obstacles fall into two categories, mental or physical. Mentally a rider may feel unprepared or anxious about an upcoming race, ride or event. The best cure for this anxiety is endurance and strength training with a special focus on form. Incorporating two to three days in the gym to train with weights, and to work on equipment specifically designed to work problem areas enables riders to ease their concerns and to feel more confident in themselves.
Addressing physical obstacles facing a rider consist in honestly assessing the amount of training time the athlete has for a specific event and tailoring a training schedule to meet this time frame. Without a trainer, an athlete may not know how to maximize his or her training time to achieve the best results without injury.
Trainers can help riders balance time on the bike outside within the racing environment with indoor training in controlled environment. Working on a stationary bike in the gym allows riders to monitor their times and heart rates closely and accurately. Stationary bikes also allow focused work on hills, endurance, or problem areas without the wear and tear from the terrain.
Overtraining is a real and serious threat to cyclists, particularly because they generally love their sport to the extreme. An invested trainer can often identify the signs of over-training and fatigue far before the athlete and to help them rest enough to avoid burnout or injury. Likewise a trainer will recognize when athletes need a change of pace with a bit of yoga, Zumba or an aerobic workout within a group setting, or even a good deep tissue massage to help muscles relax and rejuvenate.
Most importantly, trainers can help ensure their athletes are getting sufficient water and the necessary nutrition to meet their training demands.
Don’t take the mountains on alone! The Aspen Club & Spa is here to help you make the most of summer cycling and mountain biking season with their staff of qualified and caring personal trainers and state of the art facilities. Stop in today to discuss your cycling goals with the staff and check out all we have to offer!