When you ride your bike in the mountains it will be more difficult when altitude increases. Because of the altitude, your power output will be lower for the same relative intensity. This is caused by the thinner air at higher altitudes. By staying for a longer period at altitude, your body can adapt to the thinner air and performance losses will be reduced.
Most people exercise to improve their fitness. Occasionally, it happens that you can't train for a few days, weeks, and even months because of injuries, illness, or other activities. We all know that when you train and let your body recover you become stronger and fitter. The opposite is also true, if you stop training your fitness will slowly reduce.
A good warm-up is essential to prepare yourself physically and mentally for a race, so you can optimize your performance. Especially if you're participating in a tough race like a cyclo-ross. Immediately after the race, your recovery and adaptation process starts. A cool-down accelerates this process and can be seen as the first preparation for the next workout or race. What is the best thing you can do before and after a cyclo-cross race?
Travelling to the race, the time of the race and the high intensity during the race make it difficult to plan your meals before a cyclo-cross race. You don't want to eat something too close to the race and risk feeling bloated, but you also don't want a poor performance because you've consumed too little.
During exercise you lose water from respiration and sweating. If you don't replace this water loss by drinking enough your aerobic performance can be degraded. When the water content in your body is lower than normal, your body temperature is less well controlled and an effort at a certain intensity can feel much harder than normal. In addition, dehydration also affects your concentration, your ability to make decisions during a race, and your coordination.
Consuming beetroot juice, which contains a lot of nitrate, is a new trend in the world of sports for the past few years. Supplementing with dietary nitrates may improve performance because it enhances muscle efficiency and oxygen supply to the muscles. But it's also a bit controversial because the consumption of nitrate was always associated with possible health risks.
Climbing a hill or a mountain is for many cyclists the ultimate challenge, but also for competitive cyclists it is important to have good climbing abilities. It is possible to become a better climber, but there are many misconceptions about how you can train your climbing abilities. Training in the hills or mountains is very important, but you don't improved your climbing abilities by ascending every climb as fast as you can.
Athletes engaged in heavy training programs, or in the final preparation for competition, appear more susceptible to infection than the general population. This increased susceptibility to infection arises because of an exercise or training-induced suppression of the immune system. Nutritional practices can help to maintain or improve immune function and limit the risk of illness compromising training and competitive performance.
Pedalling is such a simple thing that many cyclists never think about it, however a small improvement in technique can already result in major performance improvements and minimize the risk of injury. During a bike ride your legs make thousands of revolutions to turn the pedals around. To do this as smoothly and efficiently as possible requires a complex coordination of multiple joints.
Compared to most other athletes, competitive swimmers have more training sessions per week and they often start swimming at a younger age. A good diet is not only important to optimize your performance, but also for improving recovery between training sessions. For young swimmers it is also important to get enough energy for growth and development. Therefore, good nutrition should be more than just a sports bar and sports drink during a competition.
Nowadays you read and hear everywhere that low-carbohydrate diets are the best to lose weight, have a healthy diet, and even can improve sports performance. However, there is no scientific evidence for these claims. On the other hand, there is lots of scientific evidence that a high-carbohydrate diet is crucial for good sport performance, and low glycogen levels can even impair your sports performance. When exercise intensity increases, carbohydrates are the main fuel for athletes.
Road cyclists often have a long season and cover enormous distances. In October are the last major races for the pros and the first races in the new season start in January. For others, the season starts again in March. In this period, the preparations for the new season take place and the winter period is also ideal to take part in cyclocross, MTB and track races.