Jenny has recently completed a gruelling ascent of Alpe D’Huez in France. Here she gives some top advice on how best to prepare for yourself for injury free cycling.
For all the fair weather cyclists (and tough it out winter lot!) who are upping their mileage in the summer, here are some stretching basics to keep you going both on and off the bike.
When stretching there are right and wrong ways and to do it, but here are the simple rules:
Only stretch when you are warm, so this could be prior to a workout (but only after you have warmed up for 10 minutes), or post workout when you are still warm from the workout.
Timing and length of holds are important too. If you are stretching before the workout only hold for 5-10 seconds, do both sides twice
If you are stretching post workout, then you will still be warm and the stretches can be held up to 10-20 seconds, do both sides twice.
If you really want to work on your flexibility, stretches are best done in the evening, after a nice warm shower or bath, and should be held a long time, 30-60 seconds, and do both sides three times.
If you are naturally very flexible/hyper-mobile, stretch very little and for short duration, or not at all. There is a upper limit of how much flexibility you want as this leads to instability and potential injury to joints.
This is not an exhaustive list but these some of the major groups to focus on; Just click to follow the links to the video demonstrations.