Cycling generally is taken as a hobby that is also organized as a competitive individual sport. Most athletes develop the hobby at an early age. It is one of the most competitive and demanding sports that require a high amount of physical training. Participation in cycling as a sport in major completion there requires a well laid out plan and consistency in training. The following is a layout plan to strategically prepare the athlete for the major annual racing competition.
Demands of The Sport
As a sport, cycling is physically and psychologically demanding both during training and competition. An article by Jim Taylor ranks cycling competition, tour de France, as the sport that tests the extreme levels of human physical endurance. In preparing for a competition, one must start by learning how to comfortably cycle, monitor their pace, and adapt to different terrains.
Pedaling involves and requires high mechanical work, especially the knee and the ankle joints. High strength training, therefore, is required to be focused on the joint areas. During the training period, preparation for great energy management is important (Wilkinson et al. 2019). The athlete should be free from any joints problem. Hip strengthening is crucial in developing great energy derivation for pedaling.
Characteristics of The Athlete
In deciding on the specific type of cycling an athlete competes in, it is important to consider predisposition factors such as genetics. Persons with serious injuries on their limbs would not be physically fit to participate in ad cycling unless. Consistent training improves the athletes’ ability to comfortably race. The cyclist before competition is to poses the following characteristics;
General Physical Fitness
Physical fitness at the time of competition is important since muscles are stretched to the limit and therefore the athletes’ ability to withstand muscular engagement for extended periods is important. Physical fitness can be attained through focused training that is directed and designed for particular parts of the body, the limbs, and the lung capacity.
The athlete should possess high levels of determination since the sport is an outdoor sport and is demanding. They should also have the discipline to attend training and actively participate. Road cycling requires at least one hour of high aerobic and anaerobic activities during competition thus the cyclist has to have been determined to finish.
Fond of High-Intensity Exercise.
The athlete is required to have utmost interest in the sport and the urge to practice healthy ways of living and exercise. How the athlete trains and nutritionally nourishes themselves during training and competition matter. Adoption and desire for a healthy lifestyle and nutrition that is geared towards building muscles and a high level of sustainable energy are necessary.
Individualization and Periodization
To maximize the strength of the athlete is necessary to design the whole training process by their capabilities. As one of the preparation measures prescription, different exercise intensity is to be prescribed. Carry out the various medical test by sports doctors to determine nutritional requirements and exercise types to be done by the athlete (Fennell et al. 2021). A nutritionist is engaged to design a proper diet for the nutritional report. In a major competition, classifying and designing the competition according to gender is key due to their distinct capabilities (López, 2019).
Periodization forms one of the major strategies to curb fatigue during training. Distributing high-intensity exercise over a time frame and intensifying the process progressively so the muscle comfortably adjusts. A typical periodization is set to assume a cycle format to be applied throughout the preparation period (Javaloyes et al., 2020). In preparing training schedules, various training principles with specific instructions such as objectives, training durations, methods of training, and volume are considered. The most important aspect is to identify the tolerance levels of the athlete and improve on them during the training period.
To attain a high level of physical fitness during training for participation in the major annual road cycling competition
- Develop a proper training schedule suited to each individual
- Develop discipline towards high-intensity interval training
- Develop an enhance endurance levels
- Athlete to attend training regularly
- Engage local athletes in competition
Training on muscles endurance and control of heart rates to accommodate and interchange both aerobic and anaerobic processes of the body is the most important approach to actively participating and possibly winning in the competition. The predominant is to adapt to both high-intensity interval training and endurance training exercises administered progressively during the preparation period.
Duration of The Training and Volume
To achieve a proper adjustment of the body, the athlete is assumed to have no prior exercise for the competition, and therefore designing a gradual exercise program to Smooth adjustment of the muscles and the joints. Starting from beginner-level training and slowly progressing to high-intensity interval exercise and finally to resistance exercise. to fully prepare for any level of athletic competition, it takes a minimum of six months of relentless training. The following order will be used to guide the athlete on the type and duration of the training.
A typical training cycle involves, identifying the training needs, designing the training, delivery, and evaluating its effectiveness. Periodization goes hand in hand with the development of cycles of exercises that are programmed into smaller periods. To perform long periods of training, exercises are to be divided into microcycles and macrocycles. Throughout the periodization of the training, the macro and macrocycles are strategically used (Rønnestad et al, 2014). Macrocycle involves the overall cumulative strength training throughout the long periods of preparation for the competition. However, microcycles indicate a specific daily training schedule including the exact training period (Dolci et al.,2020).
The focus is on long-term exercises, strength, and endurance. The exercises are to be done repetitively. An evidence-based training schedule is to be as follows. The focus is on long-term exercises, strength, and endurance. The exercises are to be done repetitively. An evidence-based training schedule is to be as follows. With the athlete evaluated on ability to conduct a certain exercise at that period as prescribed in the schedule
|Periodization and training volume throughout the six months of training|
|Period||Week 1-4||week 4-12||Week 13-20||Week 20-28|
|Sets per exercise||5-10||13-20||20-30||30-40|
|Exercise types||Aerobics||Limb training||application||Safe road cycling techniques|
|Goal||Introduce the body in training||Introduction to high volume||Endurance training||Muscle recovery training|
A typical general program according to Guangzhou university of sports science
|Aspect||General preparation||Time frame
|Strength training||jogging||Thrice a week||At least 20 minutes||Field circuit|
|Muscle conditioning||Aerobic exercises||Predetermined sets||Three types in a training day||30 sets|
|Injury prevention||flexibility||Before major training||Compound stretch||20 reps|
|Cycling speed building||Cycling||daily||Progressive in condition||One and half hours|
Table indicating Beginner model and phase changes and volume from individualization.
The target is to achieve 20-28 sets per muscle per week between weeks 20 and 28. The time between sets is 30 seconds to 3 minutes depending on the type of training.
Strategies for effective completion
In the initial periods, the athlete is taken through the whole training schedule for demonstration purposes. Introducing the psychological and the technical aspects of road cycling as a sport. Cycling bikes are availed during the start of the training season which would be later used in the competition by the participant to familiarize with the mechanical demands as early as possible. appropriate training types of equipment and gears are well-prepared and
availed before microcycles in fostering consistency and effectiveness in training, it is better to be prepared. This even prepares the athlete mentally and reduces anxiety.
Discipline on training
Strength and endurance training requires consistency in training which is easily achieved by progressive repetitive exercising. The major reason and the secret to getting the best from the athletic competition is the possession of high levels of discipline. From the start, the participants are encouraged to attend regular exercise and incentives to be given to those that purpose to attend in time. Some form of mild punishment in line with training is designed as a consequence to the trainees that fail to honor agreements of training.
Assessment reports show the levels and efforts that need to be added to the training. Comparing results against the set goals of training points direction help build focus on specific adjustments that need to be made. designed questionnaires are administered at different periods of training. Monitor heart rates during High-intensity interval training and taking calorie levels are the modes of assessment to be used during training. A local competition that mimics similar conditions to the main competition among local cyclists is to be used to assess the ability of the athlete.
In summary, the strategic execution of a properly planned training program in road cycling almost guarantees success in competition. The key aspect to consider during training is the ability to withstand high amounts of workloads on the limb muscles for longer periods. Curbing fatigue and the ability of the body to comfortably balance between aerobic and anaerobic processes.
Performance programming for coaches: Theory to practice. Drive.google.com. (2022). Retrieved https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1E8mUDhgqvNt0gAFzoVsqvLGHcCh2h_gE?usp=sharing
Dolci, F., Kilding, A. E., Chivers, P., Piggott, B., & Hart, N. H. (2020). High-intensity interval training shock microcycle for enhancing sports performance: a brief review. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 34(4), 1188-1196.
Fennell, C. R., & Hopker, J. G. (2021). The Acute Physiological and Perceptual Effects of Individualizing the Recovery Interval Duration Based Upon the Resolution of Muscle Oxygen Consumption During Cycling Exercise. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 16(11), 1580-1588.
Filaire, E., Legrand, B., Lac, G., & Pequignot, J. M. (2004). Training of elite cyclists: effects on mood state and selected hormonal responses. Journal of sports sciences, 22(11-12), 1025-1033.
Javaloyes, A., Sarabia, J. M., Lamberts, R. P., Plews, D., & Moya-Ramon, M. (2020). Training prescription guided by heart rate variability vs. block periodization in well-trained cyclists. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 34(6), 1511-1518.
López-Grueso, R. (2019). Periodization of nutrition in cycling: something basic!!!. Journal of Science and Cycling, 8(1), 1-2.
Rønnestad, B., Hansen, J., Hollan, I., & Ellefsen, S. (2014). Strength training improves performance and pedaling characteristics in elite cyclists. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science In Sports, 25(1), e89-e98.
Wilkinson, R. D., Lichtwark, G. A., & Cresswell, A. G. (2019). The mechanics of seated and non-seated cycling: A joint-level analysis.