I know many of our readers use bike commuting as their form of exercise. Especially for heavier bike riders. Personally I’ve used my rides to train for mountain bike racing. With the mindset of training, there some key things I did to help me improve on my endurance,strength and recovery. I’ve always been a proponent of supplementation or some may call it sports nutrition. Currently I am taking DHEA, Creatine and Protein Shakes. This may sound quite a bit for a guy that rides his bike to and from places. Well if you looked at it as I do, I basically want to be fit enough to ride my bike, or in this case, race with it.
For the last 2 years all I did was Downhill(DH) Racing. Most race runs didn’t last longer than 3.5 minutes and most of the course I was sprinting from one rocky section to another. For my bike commuting training, I would do sprint intervals. If I was at a red light, I’d wait and as soon as it turned green, I’d sprint to the next light. I would do this as many times as possible. Then I’d mix it up by hitting the bike path and I’d do 30 second sprints. Mind you I’m doing all this with my single speed commuter bike with fenders!
Now that it’s 2013, I am not racing DH, in fact I signed up for XC racing. It’s something I like to do, but not so much race it. XC racing is totally out of my comfort zone and I know this is going to be challenging just to do it. Training for it won’t be easy either. With XC racing, I’ll be going against other riders side by side and there really isn’t much sprinting involved. I have to make sure I have endurance for the long haul. This is where some of those supplements I mentioned will help. The main one that I use for XC training would be protein shakes. I drink a shake after my rides to help aid muscle recovery. There’s actually a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that stated I should be taking in protein after my work outs (bike rides); “20 grams is the best amount of post-workout protein to maximize muscle growth.”
The problem with buying protein is the source. You simply can’t go to Walmart or CVS and get their house brand protein powder. Some of those would be chock full of fillers and don’t really live up to the hype the claim. You’re better off getting your supplements from reputable sources like Maxishop or from personal recommendations from friends and colleagues.
So the next time you get on your bike to commute to school or work, consider using that time to train for other events or just to step up your fitness level.