Navigating the demanding tides of a rigorous training programme while upholding the responsibilities of my full-time position as the brand manager here at Styrkr has proven to be no small feat.
Throughout my racing journey, I've honed my skills in various disciplines for several years. Lately, my focus has been on professional gravel racing, where I've been at the sharp end of the competition for the past two years. From racing across the United States to exploring different corners of Europe, my journey has been super fun, all whilst balancing full-time jobs.
Now, let me share some helpful tips that will help you fit training into your hectic schedule.
Cycle training tips for full-time workers
Let's begin by asking yourself a fundamental question: What do you really want to accomplish? Are you aiming for that exciting first event, or are you a seasoned rider looking to push your boundaries and achieve results? Setting clear and specific goals will ignite your motivation, propelling you towards a happier and more productive work/training balance.
Take a moment to reflect on your aspirations, as they will serve as the guiding stars throughout your training journey.
1. Optimizing time management for cycling
Time management becomes even more critical for cyclists juggling a full-time job. Efficiently organise your schedule to ensure you have dedicated time for training. Plan your workouts in advance, accounting for work hours, recovery time, and necessary rest days. By optimising your time management skills, you can ensure that each training session is purposeful and effective.
Tip: With the approach of interval training, you alternate between high-intensity efforts and lower-intensity recovery periods, allowing for more efficient workouts in less time than steady-state cycling.
2. Leverage commuting
One way to maximise training time is by incorporating cycling into your daily commute. Instead of driving or using public transport, consider riding to work. This not only allows you to log extra miles but also helps clear your mind before a busy day in the office.
3. Ride with like-minded people
Training with like-minded individuals who share similar goals and commitments can make training more enjoyable and rewarding. Seek out fellow riders in your area and organise training sessions together. The camaraderie, friendly competition, and shared experiences can boost motivation and provide an added layer of support and accountability.
Tip: Utilising your lunch break for cycling promotes well-being, boosts energy levels, and improves focus when you return to work, making it a win-win situation for both personal health and work productivity.
4. Invest in a Professional Coach
Investing in the guidance of a professional coach can significantly enhance your training experience. A coach can help you create a customised cycling training plan that aligns with your work schedule, monitors your progress, and provides valuable feedback. They can also help you optimise your training sessions, improve your technique, and maximise your performance potential, making each ride more efficient and effective.
5. Embrace Cross-Training
To keep your training varied and engaging, incorporate cross-training activities that complement cycling. It’s quite easy in the winter months to lose motivation on those big base mile days, especially when it’s cold and wet. Engaging in activities like strength training, or yoga not only provides a break from the bike but also helps build overall fitness, prevents imbalances, and reduces the risk of overuse injuries.
Tip: During your lunch break try incorporating bodyweight exercises, such as squats, lunges, or push-ups, to target different muscle groups and improve overall strength.
Find Joy in the Process
While the demands of a full-time job and training can be physically and mentally exhausting, it is essential to find joy in the process. Remember why you fell in love with cycling in the first place and embrace the beauty of the sport. In 90% of my rides, I listen to either music or podcasts, which really helps me focus on the task at hand. It’s important to enjoy life outside of work and training too.
Balancing the rigorous demands of a full-time job whilst juggling work requires careful planning, commitment, and a passion for the sport. By optimising time management, leveraging commuting, riding with training partners, investing in professional coaching, embracing cross-training, and finding joy in the process, you can effectively integrate cycle training into your busy schedules while keeping it enjoyable.
Remember, your dedication and love for cycling will not only propel your training forward, but also enrich your life both on and off the bike. So, embrace the challenge, stay focused, and continue pedaling towards your goals.
How many times a week should you train for cycling?
The frequency of training for cycling can vary depending on individual fitness levels, goals, and available time. Generally, it's recommended to aim for at least 3-4 times a week for regular training. However, more experienced or competitive cyclists may train 5-7 times a week.
Can I get fit cycling to work?
Cycling to work can be an excellent way to get fit, especially if your route involves a decent distance and some elevations. Regular cycling to work can contribute to improved cardiovascular health, increased stamina, and overall fitness.
How many hours do cyclists train a day?
The number of hours cyclists train per day also varies widely based on factors like their level of expertise, training goals, and upcoming events. Some cyclists may train 1-2 hours per day for general fitness, while professional athletes preparing for races might train 4-6 hours or more.
How many rest days should a cyclist take each week?
Rest days are crucial for allowing your body to recover and avoid overtraining. Typically, cyclists take 1-2 rest days each week. The number of rest days depends on the intensity of your training and how well your body recovers. Listen to your body and adjust your rest days as needed.