Get On Your Bike And Ride – The Beginner Cyclist

Happy New Year! So, 2012 is here and you have made your New Years resolutions…Get in shape, lose weight, exercise, get that bicycle out of the garage and dust it off and start to ride…Well, here is a little help. If you are new to cycling or you haven’t biked for a few years and you want to start again, here is a 6 week training program to get you off the couch and back on that mountain bike.
There are also some essentials you will need:
What do you need?
  • Helmet – this should sit firmly on your head, and you should feel the straps pulling under your chin when opening your mouth.
  • Lights – both front and back if you plan on riding at night.
  • Reflectors – red at the rear, amber for the pedals.
  • Basic tool kit – puncture repair kit, tire levers, spare inner tube, allen key set or multi-tool, and a pump.
Also, some exercises that will help train your muscles:
What exercises will get my muscles ready?
Exercises that strengthen your core, legs, and protect your lower back, can all be done at home before you set off.
  • Plank – Lie on your front, weight supported your by toes and forearms. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Perform three sets.
  • Lunges – Stand with feet together, hands on hips. Lunge forward with your left foot and bend your knees. Repeat on the right side. Perform four sets of 15 with 30 seconds rest between each set.
  • Superman – Lie facing the floor, with arms and legs outstretched. Raise your arms and leg up a few inches and hold for a count of 10. Perform three sets.
  • One-legged squats – Take the weight on your left leg and lift the right leg an inch or so off the floor. If you need to, use a chair for balance. Slowly bend your left knee as much as you can, pushing your bottom back. Straighten your leg and repeat, keeping your right foot off the floor at all times. Perform four slow sets of 15 on each leg.

Six-week plan

Week 1
Monday 15 minutes Moderate pace.
Wednesday 15 minutes Moderate-fast pace.
Friday 18 minutes Moderate pace.
Saturday 18 minutes Moderate-fast pace.
Goal: to cycle continuously on a flat paved surface
Week 2
Monday 15 minutes 1 minute standing then 2 minutes seated (medium gear when standing). Repeat 5 times.
Wednesday 15 minutes 1 minute standing then 2 minutes seated (medium/high gear when standing). Repeat 5 times.
Friday 20 minutes 2 minutes standing then 2 minutes seated (medium/high gear when standing). Repeat 5 times.
Saturday 25 minutes 3 minutes standing then 2 minutes seated (medium/high gear when standing). Repeat 5 times.
Goal: learning to pedal standing up
Week 3
Monday 20 minutes Moderate pace.
Wednesday 22 minutes Moderate pace.
Friday 22 minutes Moderate-fast pace.
Saturday 25 minutes Moderate-fast pace.
Goal: cycle on grass
Week 4
Monday 5 small hill climbs (approximately 1 minute) Freewheel down, 3 minutes flat cycling. Repeat 5 times.
Wednesday 7 small hill climbs (approximately 1 minute) Freewheel down, 3 minutes flat cycling. Repeat 5 times.
Friday 5 medium hill climbs (approximately 1.5 to 2 minutes) Cycle down, 3 minutes flat cycling. Repeat 5 times.
Saturday 7 medium hill climbs (approx 1.5 to 2 minutes) Cycle down, 3 minutes flat cycling. Repeat 5 times.
Goal: going up and down hills
Week 5
Monday 30 minutes bridleway/grass/trail/loose gravel Mainly flat at moderate pace.
Wednesday 35 minutes bridleway/grass/trail/loose gravel Mainly flat at moderate pace.
Saturday 40 minutes bridleway/grass/trail/loose gravel Moderate-fast pace.
Goal: taking the bike off road
Week 6
Monday 40 minutes, mix of terrain and surfaces, including hills Moderate pace.
Wednesday 45 minutes, mix of terrain and surfaces, including hills Moderate-fast pace.
Saturday 60 minutes, mix of terrain and surfaces, including hills Moderate pace.
Goal: putting it all together
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