I had desperately been trying to get faster and stronger on the bike for months. I tried various cycling training plans on Zwift but without much success. There were two reasons they didn’t work for me:
- I love the freedom of cycling outside and the social aspect of it, and you can hardly do intervals when riding with friends
- I work full time and (unfortunately) most training plans on Zwift are very time consuming, I mean they are a commitment of at least one hour a day and sometimes 2 or 3 hours on some days
And so I wondered. How on earth am I going to improve and how am I going to improve fast before I lose the motivation and become frustrated again. This happened before, when I reached a plateau in my long distance running training and I just lost interest.
The first thing I wanted to do is lose a few pounds and stop snacking so much in the evenings. I also wanted to eat more reasonably. What I mean by this is so called ‘’portion control’’ as I do have a very good appetite and can easily get carried away with simply eating too much. So I ordered a week’s worth of ‘’ready meals’’ from an online company that specialises in ‘’healthy’’ and protein rich meals. This worked well as I didn’t have to worry about shopping for lunch and dinner and I only ate what was in the meal plus extra greens.
The second thing, yes, you guessed it, core and strength training. It’s all been home based with very simple equipment (I own two sets of dumbbells and a mat). To give you an example, two of the three sessions take me about 30 minutes (and I am not rushing) and consist of sets of split squats, lunges, leg raises, butterflies, knee push ups, things like that. The third session is easier, I spend quite a bit of time on the roller and do a bit of stretching and balance work.
It is so much easier than all the Zwift plans I tried and seems to complement my cycling so much better. I don’t feel as fatigued either and the core work helps with other things like posture and joints.
The moral of the story? You don’t have to over exert yourself to achieve results. The solution can be simple and less time consuming than you think. I also believe that this varies from person to person, so ‘’my’’ way might not necessarily be the magic solution for all, but you are welcome to try what I have and let me know if it worked for you. Keep moving!