After the chilling winters, spring will finally be there in our backyards with all its blooms. With the first hint of warmth, it will bring back all the energy which seemed to have frozen in the winter days!
So are you ready to get on the wheels this season? Use these 7 tips to verify your readiness!
1. Stay healthy.
Towards the end of winter, often many people fall victim to coughs and colds. So you need to protect yourself from illness through simple hygiene and habits like frequent hand-washing and usual cleanliness. You can also boost your immune system by having enough sleep, adding a healthy diet and including a wide range of immune-supporting nutrients to your palate. Every meal and snack must contain fruit or vegetables in order to maintain your vitamin and mineral intake.
For this, you can add a lot of berries to your breakfast cereal bowl at the kickstart your day with refreshed energy. Did you know that only one cup of strawberries can give you about 100mg of vitamin C, and also calcium, magnesium and folate? Also, during lunchtime, you can go for a salad and include tomatoes and spinach to your sandwich. During dinner, you can prefer a variety of veggies and add different colors of vegetables to your palate, to provide get the goodness of vitamins and minerals.
2. Clean up your diet.
During the winter months, we often increase the intake of sugary and carbohydrate-dense foods to make ourselves feel better. But now, as the spring commences, you can start reducing the amount of sugary food by about 50%. Cutting the intake of processed foods by 50 percent will be beneficial for you.
You can choose whole grain cereals or porridge instead of sugary varieties to get a good start. Also, a simple change of adding canned fruit in natural juice rather than artificial syrup will decrease your sugar intake.
Other than this, it is a good idea to read the labels to ensure that you are not eating a lot of hidden sugars. It is obvious that a doughnut or a cake is full of sugar, but many savory foods have added sugar too. Check the labels for knowing the amount of glucose, dextrose, invert syrup, corn syrup, brown, glucose syrup, lactose, maltose, hydrolyzed starch or treacle.
3. Protect your knees.
There is a condition known to old-school cyclists and certain physios as ‘spring knee’. This nagging frontal knee pain often occurs at the beginning of spring when riders suddenly increase the volume or intensity of riding. It is a soft tissue injury which can take place due to different causes like muscular weakness or imbalance, poor technique or biomechanics and so on.
The extra miles or hard efforts may aggravate an underlying cause which had been lying dormant. If you wish to avoid this condition, then first you have to head out for a 100-mile ride after a winter of inactivity. In case if you do develop aches, then get them checked out by your regular doctor.
4. Prepare your bike for the ride.
Not only your body, but your bike too needs a lot of preparations. Winter riding has taken a toll on your machine and summer will be hard on your machine with all the road grit, salt & debris. So spring is the right season to make all the necessary repairs and make your bike fit for long rides in the summer.
You can give your bike a thorough service by checking tires, drivetrain, and cables for wear and tear. Now will be a good time to replace that rusty chain and lubricate your cassette. Take off the mudguards and light brackets, putting on lighter tires and even refreshing your bar tape can make your bike look like new when you go out for your first spring ride.
5. Eat enough spring greens.
Spring brings a wealth of fresh veggies. Veggies like cabbages, beans, peas, and the short-lived asparagus are the first ones to emerge after the advent of spring. The fragrant nutty, spring green cabbage can be used in juices or salads or steamed or stir-fried in order to retain maximum nutrients on cooking.
Cabbage is an excellent source for vitamin C, vitamins A, and E, and also has a lot of antioxidants to help your body cope with the demands of training and stay well.
Also, asparagus is a rich source of vitamins C and E and antioxidant glutathione. It helps to reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections, it’s a perfect food for in increasing endurance of the cyclist. Additionally, it contains vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting.
Other than these greens, the broad beans are a great source of iron and protein. They are rich in fiber to keep the digestive system to stay healthy and great at promoting favorable blood pressure through potassium. The contain L-dopa, which is a chemical the body uses to produce dopamine.
6. Add a tempo session to your routine.
When you first get on the bike, it is pretty normal that you will feel sluggish and slow. The speed and agility will seem lesser and you’ll wonder if you’ll ever recover the fitness again. But don’t worry, this can be done with a few tempo sessions.
The first thing to do is to add in some tempo or sweet spot riding. These efforts will only need to last from five to 20 minutes but will need you to focus. This session is though uncomfortable, but still, it is manageable.
You could also take the other way round and do some really hard but short efforts in order to help pull your threshold up from the winter freeze.
7. Take your bike outside.
In winters, many of us are used to indoor cycling, but now you must get used to some outdoors as well. So the first thing to do after the spring starts is to take your bike out and get set for some cycling.
Start with a few steady rides and actively concentrate on skills like cornering, descending and track-standing and make sure that your balance and technique are up to scratch.
Once you combine these skills with your turbo-boosted fitness, you will be ready for mainstream spring cycling!
To make your spring rides even more fun, why not buy a new bicycle? Take a look at our new collection at Bamboobee and get the best bamboo cycle for you!