In my last post, I complained that the recommended interval training in Ride Your Way Lean was overly complicated. Although I haven’t memorized that chart, I did incorporate some intervals into my rides the past few weeks. It’s been a fun way to add intensity and variety to a ride, although I often felt like I was making it up as I went. Today, I read an excellent article on the RAGBRAI Training Blog in which TJ Juskiewicz advises using “any combination of intervals that you can dream up,” in addition to strength training.
Strength training is important for cyclists — especially those of us with a family history of Osteoporosis — because cycling is not a weight bearing exercise. Ride Your Way Lean recommends doing a variety of floor exercises such as planks, squats and light weight lifting 2 or 3 days a week, in addition to intervals 6 days a week, with one rest day a week.
I enjoy Pilates once or twice a week as a way of doing strength training. Oddly enough, the Pilates instructor told me she tried a Spin class the other day and her back was sore afterwards. Even though she has a strong core, she may have not been using proper form. Whether on an indoor bike or on the road, using what you practice in Pilates can help reduce fatigue and pain. Think about a strong core driving your powerful glute muscles, as your legs spin freely, while relaxing your neck, shoulders and elbows when you ride. It’s a lot to keep in mind, but doing Pilates is all about good form.
I know I can tell a difference in my overall posture and lack of back pain when I do Pilates regularly. If only I could tell a difference in my pants size.