Are you considering training for and participating in The Cycle the WAVE ride this September? The first thought that crosses your mind may be that the last time you rode your bike it was so uncomfortable you thought, ‘I don’t want to touch that thing again!’ Or maybe, you suffer from numb hands or toes, knee pain, lower back pain, neck aches or shoulder stiffness when riding your bike and shrug it off as ‘normal’ for cycling. These are not ‘normal’!
Most of these issues can likely be fixed with a detailed bike fit. Yes, we know that when you bought your bike the bike shop likely did a quick fit asking you, ‘How does that feel?’ after riding maybe 5 or 10 minutes. Of course, it felt great! It’s new! But, get out for a 60+ minute ride and things change. There are many touch points that this quick fit likely skipped.
At Real Rehab Sports and Physical Therapy, we understand that every cyclist is unique. We understand that each body is different with regard to flexibility, dimensions, strength and general health, all of which can affect how you sit on your saddle, rest your feet on the pedals and/or grab a hold of the handlebars. How you are positioned on a bike can mean the difference between experiencing your full cycling potential or fighting inefficiency or discomfort and risking painful injuries.
What should a bike fit consist of that’s different from ‘How does that feel’? Great question!
At Real Rehab Sports and Physical Therapy we offer 2 types of bike fits: The Performance Bike Fit and the Biomechanical Bike Fit (click the links for further details). Whichever fit service you choose – Performance or Biomechanical, your physical therapist, trained in the science and art of bike fitting will take the time to assess your movements and alignment both off the bike and on the bike in order to match your bike to your body in a way that makes you smile rather than grimace.
The Performance Bike Fit is perfect for the rider who has no acute musculoskeletal injuries and is seeking improvements in efficiency and performance. This is a cash-based service ($280) and is scheduled as a one-time 2-hour session. A great choice if your goal is to finish with a smile on the Fierce or Mighty Sister rides!
The Biomechanical Bike Fit is for the cyclist who is experiencing pain while cycling for health and wellness benefits. This service maybe covered by your health insurance in accordance with an appropriate physical therapy diagnosis.
In addition to our regular services, we are offering a special for Cycle the WAVE participants: a one hour ‘Comfort’ fit ($125). This fit session is perfect for the rider who uses flat pedals and who are looking to complete the Brave and Strong Sister rides.
Hydration can seem daunting this time of year. What do I need? How much? Why?
With warmer weather and longer training days comes the greater need to actually focus on your hydration. It isn’t good enough to grab a bottle of water, throw it on your bike and go. Depending on the length of your ride you might need to plan a stop to refill your bottles, maybe you focus on added hydration the day and night before a longer ride or event, and most would benefit from adding electrolytes to your bottles. Most benefit from one bottle per hour you are riding in the sunshine. Some need more and some need less. More often than not, I see dehydrated athletes so err on the side of needing more than less. It is far easier to drink a little every 10 minutes versus stopping for an hour to rehydrate and feel better mid-ride.
Electrolytes include; Potassium, Magnesium and Sodium – all things that our bodies need in order to function. The more we sweat the more we deplete these important electrolytes, the more important it is to add them back into our fuel during workouts and events. If you choose to ride in the heat of the day for several hours and only drink water, you risk diluting the only electrolytes you have left in your body and that could cause severe cramping and more.
Some foods have these (banana, salty chips, etc), and you can add sodium in a pinch by purchasing organic sea salt and sprinkling some into your bottle at a nearby store. However, the best way to go is with an additive that includes all three electrolytes. I use Nuun tablets, not only because they are a great mix of electrolytes but they also include a flavor and natural sweeteners (monk fruit & stevia) versus sugar that can cause stomach issues for some. They also come in a handy tube you can place in your back pocket or saddle bag. Experiment with options and what works best for you.
*Deadline to sign up for Beginning Program is July 8th and deadline for Advanced Sessions is July 23rd! Don’t delay, grab your spot today!
Moving Forward in the Direction of Your Dreams!
Now that you have your summer goal, it is time to get going! Share your goal with at least one other person or be vulnerable and post it in social media. The amazing positive pressure you get once you declare your goals and deadlines will catapult you towards the finish line. Let’s get started!
Whatever your goal, break it down into bite size chunks. Each larger goal contains many small goals. Once you identify them, you can get them on a calendar to create achievable deadlines. Whether you are working towards a physical, financial or other type of goal, you need to be clear about where you are today and where you will be by specific dates.
Don’t get hung up on the fine details and how much work needs to be accomplished. With each day and each milestone accomplished, you will move closer and closer to achieving your goal! Remember why you want to achieve your goal by posting it everywhere. When you know why, you are more often to push through a challenge, get up early on days you don’t feel up to it, and consistently choose actions that move you closer to versus further away from achieving your goals. What are you waiting for? Get out there and get going. Your best life is waiting!
JOIN Coach Mary this summer in one of her Cycle The Wave Training Programs. *Deadline to sign up for Beginning Program is July 1st, and deadline for Advanced Sessions is July 15th!Don’t delay, hold your spot today!
Dream Big and set Goals for a Beautiful Summer!
This is the perfect time to sit down with pen and paper to map out your goals to get the most out our beautiful northwest summers. It is important to dream big and set goals that are a touch out of reach. When you do so it inspires you to work harder and be more specific about how you will achieve it. As I mention in Breathe Believe Become…“Setting goals is like using a GPS system: you can program it to lead you “somewhere beautiful,” but you won’t get there without the specific details of where you want to go. Without enough input, the navigation system might bring you to a neighborhood garden, but will it take you to an exotic beach? Not unless you set the coordinates.”
Whether you choose as your goal to ride a longer distance at Cycle The WAVE or another inspiring dream, make sure you write it down, post it everywhere, share it with friends and on social media if you really want the added inspiration. When we share our goals with others the positive pressure we receive gets us through the days when we do always want to do what we need to in order to achieve our goal! Dream Big!!
Answer these questions for your best summer yet! What goal(s) will you achieve in the next 5 months? (Be specific.) On what day will you begin and complete your journey? What will you feel when you complete your goal? (ie…When I complete my goal it will make me feel confident and proud!) What will you need to do to accomplish this goal? (ie…Add miles to my training each week in order to be ready for the ride – If goal was to ride further at CTW this year.)
JOIN Coach Mary this summer in one of her Cycle The Wave Training Programs. Deadline to sign up for Beginning Program is 7/1 and Advanced Sessions is 7/15! Don’t delay, hold your spot today!
“Springing” into the cycle season with the right attitude…
It is so important this time of year to not compare yourself to others. If you are new or newer to cycling, you can’t look at someone who has done it for years and ask “why do they already seem – ready to ride?!” Or if you are just ramping up your training, who knows, maybe they have been inside all winter on a bike trainer increasing strength. No matter what, know you are good enough, right where you are! As you move forward from today and enjoy building your rides and training, you too will get stronger and become faster. It all stems from remaining confident that you CAN and WILL be ready. Believe!
Action Step: Create a training Mantra. “I am Good ENOUGH!”, “I am Strong” or “I LOVE Hills!” can be fun. Whatever you NEED to hear, is best. This will keep you moving strong whenever you feel a little extra challenged. I repeat my mantra during any challenging workout or event. “I am Strong, I am Fast, I am Light, I Believe!” Now go create your own. One that will give you what you need to grow and have fun!