Cross-training for cyclists How to mix up your training for better results

Cross-training is a great way to stimulate your mind and body as part of your cycling training.In this blog, we reveal one secret to any good performance training: doing the same thing each and every day is NOT the best way to improve your performance.

In fact, repeating the same activity, week after week, month after month will only make you very bored – and you'll actually increase your risk of injury.

That's where cross-training comes in.

Cross-training is performing any exercise that is not the one you're competing in. For cyclists, it’s a chance to get off the saddle and do something different. Whether you're jogging, lifting weights or swimming, your heart reacts the same way. So you can spread your effort across other muscles and joints and still keep your fitness levels up.

You just need to know how.

1. Elliptical cross-trainer

A great alternative to cycling as you can keep your pace (and heart rate) slow and steady, or you can mix it up with some fast interval training. Remember to keep your heels down to engage your posterior muscle chain.

Don’t use the outside moving handles as they don’t provide any benefit. Instead, lightly grasp the narrow fixed handles and concentrate on achieving perfect form.

2. Rowing machine

Perhaps the best bit of equipment to practice bursts of interval training. Set yourself a distance (250m, 500m, or even 1km if you're feeling brave) and do it at threshold pace. Rest, then repeat to improve your speed endurance.

3. Circuit classes

A circuit class is a fantastic way to mix up your training, spike your heart rate and help prepare your whole body.

Choose a class which attacks every muscle group. The short intense bursts of activity, as you alternate different exercises, are the perfect antidote (for both body and mind) to a long stint in the saddle.

4. Swimming

Try a swim in your local pool to rest your joints and still get all the cardio benefits of exercise. Mix up your strokes/ speeds and take a breather when you need to! Avoid kicking your legs hard all the time as this will tire them out quickly.

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