|image from bicycling.com|
As a trainer for various athletes (triathletes, marathon runners, senior olympics cyclist), I've seen how core exercises and proper stretching keeps my students in the game and avoid serious injuries!
I like the article in Bicycling Magazine, "Shake up your workout." More is not always better -- long rides can cause fatigue that are hard to recover from. The best way to boost your speed is interval training, cross-training (core, yoga, strength training), and proper recovery so you can do it again! Even if you're not near hills and only have flatland for your rides, the article talks about changing to a tougher gear so you can feel a harder ride and then go back to an easy pace. If your weather is not cooperating, you can use an elliptical machine and try one of the pre-programmed interval training programs. Using your entire lower body (without your bike seat) will help you gain more strength in your legs. Balance on the elliptical without holding on with your hands, and you'll work on your flat belly too! (link goes to flat belly nutrition tips).
If you're limited with equipment, simply pull out some space in your home enough for your to practice your elbow and side planks to get started in your core workouts. Don't forget that the foam roller can also work your core (think pilates exercises) and help you stretch out tights spots like your IT band! Need help figuring out your good form for a core workout? You can email me to set up a 30-minute workout where we can check your form and give you several programs to practice at home. If you want help with your nutrition and recovery, we can set up your nutrition+wellness coaching so you know how and when to get your magnesium, minerals, and other fuel to avoid those nasty muscle cramps and get the energy you need to keep your rides fun.