By Paudie O'Donovan
THERE’S one important rule in cycling and that is to always cycle into the wind on your way out so that you have the wind behind you on the way back.
It’s important to keep this in mind and choose your cycling route to suit.
I realise that the prevailing wind in Ireland is southwesterly so you’ll end up cycling that direction a lot, but maybe plan a route that will have the wind on your shoulder going out and on the opposite shoulder on the way home.
For the shorter mid week cycles you can go in and out the same road but finding a 12-15k loop is probably the best option. You can do this loop in reverse later in the week and find a longer route for the long cycle over the weekend.
Don’t get into the habit of doing the same route time after time. If you do, boredom will set in and you won’t enjoy it.
West Cork is rightly regarded as one of the most beautiful areas in Ireland and the routes we can chose from are endless.
When I search for new roads I find the process very exciting, finding out where the road breaks out and the feeling of “I know where I am now.”
Obviously, the gradient of the route and the surface of the road really determines the road you’re going to cycle but going up hills will make you a stronger cyclist and help with your overall performance.
Because we live so close to the water, why not cycle in that direction?
Skibbereen/Baltimore (out to the Beacon), cycle to Tragumna and back the coast road to Castletownshend, Leap/ Unionhall/ Glandore or Skibbereen/Schull? The list is endless for the long cycles.
Sometimes I drive to a location, park up, jump on my bike and get in some different scenery including Bantry/Kilcrohane/Sheeps Head or Goleen/Barleycove/ Mizen Head.
It’s up to you but there’s no better way to discover West Cork than on a bike.
With week four of your cycling plan starting next Monday, I feel it is time to talk about consistency in your weekly workouts. When I first started running and cycling I thought it was written in stone that I had to train, train and train. Coming from a Martial Arts back round where you could be training six nights a week, I soon discovered that a person requires more rest when you take part in cardiovascular sessions rather the strength/core training workouts. I trained on alternate days, got plenty of rest and consistency soon became part of my program.
If you want to see the most gain in your training, then you’ve got to be consistent and that’s over a long haul. Acquiring fitness is not a short term process, it can take at least six months of consistent training to become fit.
You need to make a 100% commitment to train and back that up with action. You have got to be disciplined and while lying on the couch with the TV controls in one hand can be more enticing than heading out the door for your cycle if your goal is to reach the next level then you’ve got to decide to push through the tougher days and adversity.Do this and you will succeed.
It’s important to have a training plan that is realistic to your schedule.
That means a schedule that will allow you to be successful but also includes adequate time for family life, work and recovery. Trying to cram training in and not allowing enough time for recovery/sleep will put stress on work and family life and it won’t be sustainable.
The advice I always give is to “keep it simple.” This allows for consistency.
By repeating workouts week after week you will be able to see progress and you will get better with each training session. Like I said last week, fueling your body properly will also help you to be consistent.
Eat high quality food to maintain health and you’ll find that you recover faster and better. If you can stay healthy and injury free you will be more consistent over the long term.
• Next week will focus on how to prepare for an event.
Wild Atlantic Mizen Charity Cycle Training Programme:
Week 4 Plan – Monday June 5th - Sunday June 11th
Monday - 12k
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - 18k
Thursday - Rest
Friday - 15k
Saturday - Leisurely walk or rest
Sunday - 25k long cycle
Total cycled this week - 70k
Your cycle fitness should be growing so four cycles this week
• Paudie O’Donovan is a qualified neuromuscular physical therapist specialising in pain relief and improvement of mobility/flexibility. He is masseur to the Cork senior football team and runs a sports injury clinic at Quarryvale, Coolnagrane, Skibbereen. Contact: 086-2339618 or follow him on Facebook