In recent years, gravel cycling has experienced a remarkable surge in popularity. This type of cycling, which takes place on a variety of terrains such as paved roads, gravel tracks, trails and dirt paths, presents a unique and thrilling challenge for bicycle enthusiasts. But what happens when the weather conditions don’t allow you to ride outdoors or you simply don’t have access to gravel routes to improve? This is where the indoor trainer comes into play.
The training roller has become an indispensable tool for all cyclists, including gravel lovers. With the ability to train at home, indoor trainers allow you to maintain a consistent training regime regardless of the weather or external conditions. And when it comes to improving in gravel, consistency is key.
Tip 1: Set up your roller correcty
To get the most out of your roller training, it is crucial that you set up the device correctly. Ensure that your bike is securely attached and balanced. In the case of smart rollers, it is essential that you calibrate the device before each use to ensure the accuracy of the training data.
If you’re using a cycling simulator like BKOOL, it’s recommended to select routes that resemble gravel conditions. Choose paths with changes in gradient and varied terrains. Although the roller can’t exactly replicate the feeling of riding on gravel, this will help you better adapt to the specific demands of gravel.
Tip 2: Create a structured training plan
Training on a roller can be monotonous, so having a structured training plan can make sessions more interesting and effective. A good training plan should include a combination of endurance exercises, high-intensity intervals, and recovery.
Consider your specific goals. If you wish to improve your endurance for long gravel rides, focus your training on endurance sessions at a moderate pace. If your aim is to get faster on gravel routes, include high-intensity intervals in your training plan.
Tip 3: Make the most of power training
Power training is an advanced technique that can help you significantly improve in gravel. By measuring the amount of force you produce when pedalling, you can adjust your training sessions to maximise efficiency and performance.
Most smart rollers, including BKOOL, can measure output power, which allows you to monitor your performance and adjust your training accordingly. This type of training is especially useful for gravel routes, which often require sustained and controlled effort.
Tip 4: Incorporate interval training sessions
Interval training is another effective technique for improving in gravel. It involves alternating between periods of intense effort and periods of recovery. This type of training can help you improve your ability to handle pace changes and gradients that are common on gravel routes.
You can perform intervals in various ways, such as time intervals (e.g., 1 minute of intense effort followed by 1 minute of recovery) or power intervals (where you alternate between different power levels). Interval training can be particularly effective when performed on a roller, as it allows you to precisely control the level of effort and recovery time.
Towards continuous improvement in gravel
Roller training can be a perfect tool for improving in gravel. Although it cannot perfectly simulate gravel conditions, it allows you to maintain a consistent training regime, which is crucial for improvement. With the correct setup of your roller, a structured training plan and techniques such as power and interval training, you can maximise your performance in gravel.
Remember, however, that gravel cycling is about more than just physical performance. It’s about adventure and discovery, about the ability to explore new paths and enjoy the journey. Therefore, when conditions allow, make sure to spend time riding outdoors, enjoying the unique sensations that gravel can offer.
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