How To Get Started With Road Cycling | Ask GCN Anything

How To Get Started With Road Cycling | Ask GCN Anything


– Welcome to Ask GCN Anything. – This week we answer your questions on how to get into cycling, renting a bike when on a cycling holiday, and do the pro road riders hit the gym? – Oh, interesting questions, that will be answered in just a second. But before we do, we need to tell you how to get involved in next week’s show. And to do so, use the
hashtag #askGCNtraining and you’ll be in with a chance of winning three free months subscription from Zwift. And to answer all your other questions, then use the hashtag #torqueback. Right Chris, I reckon
we should get started. And the first question
comes in from Par Wangberg, “Which are your best tips for
getting started with cycling?” Interesting question; Chris how did you actually get into cycling
in the first place? – So it kind of came about after
watching the Tour de France and feeling inspired by that. We went to the bike shop, picked up a little bit of information there about local cycling clubs
and things like that. Joined the local cycling club, so you go on like the
club runs on the weekends and you learn from the older,
more experienced riders. And then maybe you start racing, or you kind of find the part of the sport that really appeals to you. But the best way to do
it is to find advice from older riders that have been there and done it themselves. – Yeah that’s an interesting
one, because I also got into cycling through
another sport, mountaineering. But to get into it properly,
I just signed up with a club and went out on Sunday rides,
and just got into it that way. – Yeah it’s a great free way, really, of gaining experience from others, and most people will be really encouraging and help you along the way. – But here’s one for you Chris. If you had a tip to
give your younger self, when you were getting into cycling, what would that tip be? – It would definitely be to
focus on the fun side of it and how much you want to enjoy it, because no matter how
good you are at something, unless you really love it and enjoy it, you’re just wasting your time. – Yeah I would second that 100%. So I hope that helps your question. And yeah, good luck with your cycling. I reckon actually we’ve got a video on how to get into cycling. That’s playing on just behind us. – Cycling in the UK is arguably more popular than it ever has been, and many of you are
looking to take your riding to that next level. Hopefully you will have
gained skills and knowledge through riding with your local club, or an experienced group, and
you feel ready to start racing. And whilst it might seem fairly daunting competing in your first event, it really needn’t be. – Next in is this one
from Abhilash Herakal, I’m really sorry for the
pronunciation on that one. – I thought you did good. – Well we’ll find out in
the comments won’t we! – Yeah! (laughs) – “Do pro road cyclists,
not track cyclists, “hit the gym to do leg
workouts, and how useful is it?” – Well that’s an interesting one. The science isn’t really that clearcut as to how it helps road pro cyclists, but a lot of pros do do it. I did it in the winter, but to be honest I focused the bulk, the
main bit of the training, on riding my bike. And if I wanted to do a hard
session or a weight session, I’d more likely go into like a
strength session on the bike. But I’d also do a few days in the gym, but that would be mainly core
sessions, and stability work. And yeah, work on that kind
of thing, what do you think? – Yeah, no I think you’re right. Focusing on your stability
and functional strength and flexibility, is going to be more beneficial to you
for being a bike rider, than actually focusing
purely on leg strength, because as we said before, the
benefits aren’t that defined. – But did you do a lot
of big weight sessions to get quads like John Travolta? (disco music) – Never did one in my life,
I can honestly say that. – And if you did want to check more out– – Maha! – About going in the gym,
then check out Emma’s workout, and she’ll talk through the
details about core sessions. – [Emma] This is a variation on a bridge, with the added difficulty that
your feet are on the ball. Now you want to try and
hold it for a minute, really engaging your core and lower back and keeping your bum low. – Right, the next question comes in from shakinwakin35, love the name. “I’m new to cycling as of two months ago, “and I’m learning a ton from the channel.” I’m glad you’re enjoying all
the content we’re putting out. “I’m also new to spin
classes at my local gym, “not a dedicated cycling gym though. “Some instructors will have
three to five minute blocks “throughout the class, where
we go uphills at 40 to 60 rpm. “Is that dangerously low
cadence, or is it worthwhile? “Should I stay above a minimum
cadence in those classes?” – Well, shakinwakin, you know what? That is definitely not a
dangerously low cadence. And in fact, force work like that will really help to build
up the maximum torque that you can put out into the pedals. – And torque’s a good thing. – Torque is a good
thing, because you know, that’s your muscle force. And it’s a widely
recognized training session, and a lot of pro riders will find themselves doing it as
well throughout the winter. We’ve both done it throughout our careers and Si and Dan definitely did it as well. And in fact we have a
training session behind us that will be really beneficial to you if you’re not getting
enough from the spin school. – Yeah, so jump on this; it’s
an indoor training workout and you can just follow
along in real time. So yeah, try that one out. – [Simon] The low cadence
work, about 60-70 rpm, is going to be harder than
the high cadence work. – And the winner of this week’s
ASK GCN Training question, with three free months
subscription from Zwift coming right your way, is… – Mark Redfern, congratulations to you. – Yeah, congratulations. – And here the question
is, “I have just come off “an intensive 12 week training plan “and I don’t know where to go next. “I want to carry on increasing
my power and endurance “but I don’t want to lose
the fitness that I’ve gained. “Maybe I should take a couple weeks off “or should I just do an FTP
test and crack on with it?” – Yeah, well first off, well done for completing your 12 week
intense training program. It’s never easy to really
stick by it for 12 weeks. And as always, we send
your question to Zwift, and they came back with an
answer for you, so here it goes. They firstly don’t really know where your FTP is at at the moment, but you’ve definitely
made some gains on that. So we would suggest for the next session, or the next block of training, you would maybe taper it
back on the intense sessions. What do you think? – Yeah, so for the first couple of weeks, maybe two to three weeks,
you want to rein in how often you’re doing
those intense sessions. So bring that down to one to two intense interval sessions per week, because then that’ll help
you freshen up a little bit. – Yeah. – At which point you’ll be
able to test your FTP then. – Yeah, so then test your FTP, and find out where your benchmark is. And then looking at the
structure of your next block, we would suggest, and
Zwift would suggest also, that you look at your
weaknesses and your strength. And then hone in on those weaknesses. So for example, if you’ve
been working on your FTP, and you’ve got a good FTP, why don’t you work on your VO2 max? So structure your next
couple of weeks of training on your VO2 max, or strength sessions. – Yeah, and you want to
spend four to six weeks focusing on those, before you kind of have a look at it again
and reassess where you are. – Yeah, and so good luck with
that next block of training, and do let us know how you get on in the comment section below. Next question, from Chris Ostlund, “What is the best time
of day to weight train “when you plan to also ride the same day? “Couple them together in the same workout “or try and do a double
workout day, one being cycling “and then the other
strictly weight training?” What do you reckon, Chris? – Well there are two pretty
clear schools of thought here. And pointing out the obvious,
one is before training and one is after cycle training. So, if you were to do your weight training before you got on the bike, it’d be great because you’d be fresh when you’re doing the weight training. But you will always end up
riding your bike on tired legs. And ultimately, this will mean that you’re not producing the
power numbers or, you know, hitting the same intensities
that you were before, so in fact you’ll be reducing
your cycling performance. Which is why most pros will
then do the weight training after their on-bike training. – Yes, and I would second that;
I would 100% go out and do a first couple of hours on the bike and then have a good lunch, have a protein shake or a recovery drink. – Yeah, good break in between. – Yeah, and then go into
a 45 to an hour, minute, you know, strength session. – Yeah, and as we mentioned before, you want to keep that kind of varied so that it’s functional,
you’re not just building muscles for the sake of it. – Yep, right, without further ado it’s the Quick Fire Round! – Do love these! – Right, the first question
comes in from Paul Abercrombie. – “Do you have any tips, and warnings, “for cyclists who can’t take
their own bikes while traveling “but they want to rent one?” – Right, interesting question. I’ve never rented a bike before, but it is actually a really
good way of traveling. Because it means that
you don’t have to worry about bagging your bike
up, putting it in a box, getting it stowed away. You can arrive there,
get to the hire place, find the right size bike, that’s key. So if you ride a 54-centimeter
frame then make sure you look for a 54-centimeter
frame when you get there. And then yeah just try and get it set up as closely as your
normal bike as possible. But I would say a big tip
is to bring your own pedals. – Yeah that’s a good point that. And also check that brakes
are the right way around. – Yeah, check the brakes
the right way around and bring your own pedals. So say if you’re riding
LOOK pedals, or Speedplay, then make sure you bring those along and they can just put them on and it should feel as close
to your bike as before. – Yeah, I had a look
online earlier as well, for the prices on bike hire on trips. And it’s not cheap, it’s not
quite as cheap as hiring a car. But, then you do get to ride
a pretty cool bike for a week. – Yeah I guess that’s
another point isn’t it? That you can ride a bike
you might want to try or might want to buy in the future. – Yep, good. – Right quick, we have to be quick, mate. – Oh sorry. – The next question, from Pete F, “I just bought fenders,
UK translation mud guards, “for winter riding. “Why are they so,” beep, “expensive?” – We just don’t know, Pete. But have you ever tried building your own? I imagine there’s a reason behind it. They probably aren’t that easy to build. – I think they are quite
difficult to build. – Khenerav, Kodilakar, maybe? – (laughs) Good one, yep, good one. – “A warm hello to the GCN team. “My question to you, is it
better to work on FTP only “on a FTP building specific
plan, or would other plans, “say a time trial specific plan “be equally beneficial? “Since both plans put a rider at “a better position than before?” You know what, I would just go and choose the one that you prefer the look of. But, doing time trial
training to increase your FTP is definitely going to work. – 100%, yeah, it’s pretty much
the same workout, is it not? – Yeah, an FTP training will
benefit your time trialing. So, win-win. – Best of both worlds really. Next question comes in from Tom Garner, “I only get out on my bike
for an hour or two a week “due to rugby over winter. “What’s the best training to do “in the short one or two
sessions I get a week? “I’m doing the London
to Paris,” fantastic, “bike ride next year, so
increasing my FTP is ideal.” What do we think, Chris? – Well, I reckon a good
hard interval session will really suit you,
something with long intervals to help increase your FTP
that we just talked about. And then, yeah, 10 to 12 minute efforts would be ideal for that. – Yeah, we’ve said that quite
a lot on this specific show, about interval training and making it really time efficient,
because the harder you go, the more you’re really going
to get out of the training in the next coming weeks
or days, et cetera. So yeah, 45 minute
session can be really hard and you can get a lot out of it by structuring it well and
getting interval training. – Enjoy the rugby.
– Yeah, do. – Callumph: “I have a recovery question. “I find that after particularly
tough indoor Zwift sessions, “my muscles are more sore than usual. “Are there self-massage
techniques to assist recovery? “Just like the pros get
massaged after stages? “And can you simply do that yourself? “Secondly, what are your
thoughts regarding cold showers, “or contrast showers to speed recovery?” – Ugh, interesting one. Recovery is key to any cyclist, and getting the most amount
of recovery is also key. But then massage and
actively trying to recover is also really important.
– Yeah. – A lot of pros end up
taking a foam roller or a tennis ball, et
cetera et cetera really, you can use pretty much whatever, to really roll out your legs, so you don’t have to have a
soigneur or a masseuse there to massage your legs. You can actually get the same benefit from just using a foam roller. – Yeah definitely and hot and
cold showers like you mention, they really work well as well. – Have you actually used them?
– Yeah. – I used them at the start of my career. I did some ice bath during, actually my first junior Tour of Isle
of Man, and yeah, it did work. But then I just went and used
massage, because I thought– – Yeah, massage is more enjoyable, but hot and showers, they
definitely help you feel better. – Ah, interesting. Unfortunately we’ve come to the end of this week’s Ask GCN Anything. I mean, I have to say Chris, I’m pretty happy with how fast
we did that Quick Fire Round. – Seven out of 10 I reckon. – Yeah, and just remember, if you want to get your questions
in for the next week, then use the hashtag #torqueback. And if you want to be in with a chance of winning three free months
subscription from Zwift, then to use the hashtag #askGCNtraining. – Nice, that’s not it though. We have some epic deals up in the shop. So, 10% off selected kit
bundles and a free hat. You also get three for
two on fan kit socks. – Yes, and that’s not all. You also can get your hands on these new espresso mugs and saucers with the very nice GCN globe. – Yes, saucy. – But it’s not only that,
I know, we’re going crazy! – Ah! – We’ve also gone and got
GCN’s own coffee blend. – Available in grind or beans. – Ah mate, that smells so good. – (sniffs) Mm, aromatic. – Yeah so make sure you
head over to the shop to get your hands on these. But if you want to watch
some more GCN action then to go on and see Jon
Cannings at the Saitama Crit.