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Six ways doing less can make you faster

The easiest, low-effort keys to maximize your performance

Photo by: Getty

As the calendar turns over to the new year, and news articles and influencers start shouting about setting year-end goals. If you’re feeling the pressure, don’t worry. “New year, new me” doesn’t have to mean more time on the bike, more sacrefice, expensive training camps or replacing all the gear you have.  There are easy, like really easy ways to improve your performance.

Here are five easy ways that doing less can make you faster on the bike.

Sleep more (and sleep better)

Getting a good nights sleep is the starting point for good training (and for every other part of life). Some experts argue it is the foundation of good phsyical health, but also mental health. So, if you want to get faster, slow down. All the way down. If you’re having trouble logging Z’s, here’s a few tips for getting a better nights sleep.

Sunshine Pro: Four recovery techniques pros swear by and you should be practicing

Recovery time

Unless you’re a pro racer that can commit to your sport full-time, you’ll want to get the most out limited training time you do have. That means recovering as hard as you train. We all live busy lives but trying to squeeze in time to cool down from a workout, stretch a little bit and, when possible, put your legs up and do nothing can help your body recover from whatever efforts you just put it through on the bike or trainer. If you want help, Garmin will even help track your naps for you now.

This former professional cyclist made an absolutely hilarious TikTok on the importance of recovery

food meal


Proper diet (not dieting)

Eat well, go fast. Eat more, go faster. Endurance athletes across sports tent to chronically underfuel. One of the easiest ways to make sure your workouts are actually making you faster is to properly fuel them. That means eating enough before, during and after efforts. This is also helpful for avoiding injury and illness. You’re body is working hard, make sure you give it what it needs to support that effort! Eating well doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Simple foods are some of the best for recovery.

Five Top Recovery Foods

Heat/Sauna training

One of the newer, and more luxurious tricks pros are using to boost performance is heat training. There are a few ways spending time in a sauna can work into your training. Heat adaptation or acclimatization are some of the better known uses for a sauna in training. But there’s new evidence that it can help endurance athletes deal with inflamation, too. While a relaxing sauna sounds fun, using it for heat training can be more effort than it sounds. But it still sounds nicer than another set of intervals, right?

Easy group ride

Easy rides

One of the most common training mistakes riders make is going too hard on easy rides and not hard enough on hard rides and ended up spending most of their time in the so-called “junk miles” zone. But the fix doesn’t only involve trying harder. It also means making sure your easy rides really are easy. It’s not a recovery ride if you’re trying too hard for your body to recover. So this is your excuse to go slower, try less, and still go faster. For you A-type riders out there that still feel like its wasted time, throw in some technical skills work with your easy spin. “Go slow to go fast” applies equally to both finesse and fitness.

Enjoy that post-ride beer

Wait, what? Not like, all the beer. And obviously only if you are of legal drinking age. But a beer can work as part of your recovery process. Studies have shown that a beer right after a ride will help kickstart your body’s recovery. More beer, unfortunately, does not mean more recovery. The scientists recommend switching to more balanced and healthy sources of nutrition after that first “recovery” drink or you could switch from helping to hurting your recovery. But the good news is that that one post-ride reward is actually helping your body, not just your mind.

This electrolyte beer was specifically brewed for post-ride enjoyment