Pro cyclists cover many, many more miles than any of us could ever dream about, but that does not mean we cannot try to come close. A general target for riders is to hit 10,000 miles per year, which is more or less what most pros ride each year. That may seem like a lot of terrain to cover and a lot of time to dedicate to riding, but if you set your mind to it and create a schedule that allows for this type of riding, it can be done! You have to know how to set yourself up for success, just like the pros do, though.
Write it Down
Start off by writing down your goals for your riding this year. There is something about having things in black and white that make them more concrete, pushing you to meet your goals. You can write down a variety of different types of goals including:
- Times you want to cover a certain distance
- The distances you want to cover in a specific time period, for example, 1 week, 1 month, or 1 year
- The speed you want to reach
- Races you want to accomplish this year
These are just a few examples of goals you can set; of course, the decision is completely personal. Make sure you write your goals down in a journal or somewhere else that is prominent enough to catch your attention and keep you motivated.
Create a Plan
It typically never works to just set out and achieve a goal – you have to have a plan. Take the time to sit down and create a training plan, or enlist the help of a professional trainer to get you where you need to be to accomplish your goals. If you are not physically fit, you will likely have to participate in some types of exercise off of the bike to build up your strength and endurance before trying to reach your goals. Once you have the endurance off of the bike, you can start training on the bike and clock the miles you intend to ride.
Make the Time
The hardest part will likely be finding the time to properly train and to just ride. Hitting 10,000 miles like a pro is a huge deal, which means you will need to alter your schedule accordingly. Many people make time early in the morning as this is when nothing else is going on and the ride is peaceful. When you do not have the stress of other obligations on your shoulders, you will feel better about getting out there and riding for as many miles as your mind and body will allow. Of course, you can alter your schedule as you see fit, riding early in the AM, on weekends, or even after work if time allows.
Get the Gear
Before you can start training like a pro, you need the equipment to keep you safe with obvious things like a bicycle helmet and less obvious things like leg armor. A few of the things the pros wear include helmets, gloves, and road bike clothing. Read articles and look at images of the pros to see what they wear and see if it is something that would work for you. For example, POC offers AVIP bike gear collection for pro cyclists that includes things like rain jackets, leg protection, helmets, jerseys, and gloves. This collection offers the visibility and protection you need to stay safe on the road. Try the varieties available to see what suits you the best because comfort and safety are both paramount to successful riding.
Watch the Weather
Pro cyclists don’t let the weather deter their plans; however, they do plan accordingly. Knowing how to dress for cycling according to weather is very important. For example, if it is windy, you will want several layers to protect your skin from windburn, while also keeping you warm. If it is raining, you want proper rain protection that protects your head, body, and feet as there is no worse way to lose your motivation than to feel wet and cold on your ride. Remember, you can always take layers off if you get too warm or one layer gets too wet, but you cannot add layers if you do not have them with you.
Proper planning is essential to being able to ride like a pro. Whether your goal is 10,000 miles this year, like many pros ride or less, you need to have a plan in place to meet that goal. Being comfortable and safe are both very important aspects of being a successful rider. Check out the large assortment of biking gloves, helmets, and bike apparel to see what would suit your needs the most. When you are comfortable, are fit, and have a proper plan in place, you are much more likely to meet your distance or time goals, just like the pros do.