25.        Implementing a training strategy

Six handy training protocols are Routine, Observe 'n Listen, Goals, Evidence, Variety and Discipline:

1.          Routine - Unlike say -

             (a)        swimming, where an enthusiast would try to complete two or three @ 1 km (20 x 50m lengths)
            training sessions each week, intent upon building up distance and/or frequency; or
(b)        jogging, where a budding runner could work out a few local runs and complete them regularly,

              by necessity within "residential suburbia" cycle training is often less accessible and 'ipso facto' less structured, depending on access to national parks eg. Centennial Park, Royal National Park, Bobbin Head, Akuna Bay/West Head, Windsor/Kurrajong, Macarthur Region, Royal National Park etc. 

              Nonetheless, pick out one, two or three ride routes, and try to routinely complete them at regular intervals. 

2.           Observe 'n Listen  -  When the opportunity presents itself for longer training rides, join an established training ride group which ride further from the perimeter of the "Big Smoke" - for Sydney residents at Mt White, Galston Gorge, Windsor, Cobbitty, Ebenezer, Picton, Saddleback Mtn, Austinmer, Mt Keira etc.  Observing and listening to experienced cyclists is a vital adjunct to "time in the saddle".  Useful websites to source rides and ride groups for NSW include -

*        Push On - Rides Calendar

              *        Bicycles Network Australia - Clubs

3.          Goals  -  Part 23 "Graduating to cycling +100km Sunday rides in a few months" provides 5 reason why energetic adults, which are not obese, can progress their cycling at a faster rate than most other aerobic sports.  Cycling within a ride group of positively minded adults can be heaps of fun.  So join up with a local cycling group with lots of positive minded cycle buddies who have Walked the Talk, having been there and done it, and set lofty targets and goals, intent upon increasing your aggregate ride distances, cadence and average speed.  You may need to talk to the ride group leader to ensure that you can maintain the group's average ride speed.

4.          Evidence - Some new cyclists like to keep a record of their training in a "Training Results" Excel spreadsheet with the goal to increase their hours in the saddle by 20% to 30% per month in the initial months.  (If anyone wishes to lock the black font cells and/or add a bar graph for weight loss and average speed in each sheet, e-mail it to ScribePJ@bigpond.com).  An explicit record of improved performance and increased distance and/or average speed has an encouraging influence.  A fundamental tenet of psychology is that humans are motivated when they see tangible evidence of progress.

5.          Variety  -  Compliment road cycling by climbing onto a stationary bike midweek at a gym in the initial months and/or cross training other sports such as swimming, jogging, walking and lifting light weights (two @ 2.5kg dumbbells only cost $20 at K-Mart).   A weekly Pilates and/or Yoga class will expedite progress, as strong/long core muscle groups facilitate increasing cycling load and recovery.

6.          Discipline - Partying the night before a planned training ride is a No No.  Re-hydrate for a few hours after a long ride before partying, whereupon a few drinks shouldn't knock you up.  But a single schooner in the Local Rubbity Dub immediately after a long ride has poleaxed more than a few dehydrated cyclists, particularly during the warmer months.  So rehydrate after a tough ride before Party Time.