The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on what you’ve done in the last year, and what you would like to accomplish in the upcoming 12 months. That often takes the form of making New Year’s resolutions. These New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be hard, though. In fact, they are often easier to follow through on if they’re small changed to your daily habit.
Here’s five New Year’s resolutions that will help you be better on the bike over the next 12 months:
1. Clean your bike after every ride
Remember when you first bought your bike, and the tiniest flick of dirt would have your scrubbing away? Now you shrug off the mud buildup because it’ll probably be a bit gross out tomorrow anyways, so there’s no point in cleaning it twice. Make 2020 the year you treat your ride with the respect it deserves. Regular cleaning helps maintain components for longer and pushes you to make sure everything is in working order on your bike. It’s much better to find an issue when you’re wiping down a bike at home versus a mechanical 70 kilometres out, surrounded by empty fields.
2. Stop making excuses to get out of morning rides
Maybe it’s a moist road, or a few degrees too cold, or you just didn’t sleep in the right position. Maybe the humidity in your room was off, your pre-bed snack wasn’t big enough or your favourite bibs are dirty. It’s easy to find a reason to stay in the comfort of your bed, warm, cosy and wrapped up like a burrito. The hardest part of a morning ride is choosing to fight your instincts, get yourself out of bed and loaded onto the bike. This year, promise yourself that you won’t come up with a reason to get out of the ride yesterday-you was so excited to do.
3. Finally do those core workouts
You’ve heard how a strong core can really up your stability game. You saw that Sagan video and thought “I should do more core”. Make 2020 the year you stop thinking about it and start working core exercises into your weekly routine. A 20 minute session post ride a few times a week will have you seeing gains surprisingly quickly.
4. Step up your nutrition game
You don’t have to spend hours making your own gels or energy bars to improve your nutrition. Subtle changes in your diet can help you feel better and stronger in the new year. Start by thinking about your rides for the week and planning meals around them. You’ll be less likely to binge eat unhealthy food after a hard workout if you have a large nutritious post-ride meal planned. Try something like this macro bowl.
5. Stretch after every ride
Regular stretching can help prevent injury and increase flexibility. In 2020 resolve to stretch after every ride, even if you aren’t feeling any tightness. Trick yourself into stretching by engaging in the pleasant post ride activity of lying down on the floor. Hug one knee against your chest with the other leg straight on the ground. Switch legs and hug the other knee. Put your feet together and sit up into a butterfly stretch. Next thing you know you’ll be going through a full stretching routine.