As a recent convert to cycling (I have only recently become turned on to the phenomemon that is cycling), I can now begin to understand its appeal and fascination.
Since August 2014 when I first took my tentative trip out on to the local highways and byways around my home, I have become thoroughly hooked on pedal power! I seem to be almost as obsessed with getting out on my pedal cycle as I have previously been with my motorcycle. That’s not to say that I have totally foresaken my powered two-wheeler, oh no, she’s safely tucked up in the garage awaiting sunnier and warmer times next spring.
No, I totally look forward to the next opportunity to break out the lycra and push myself to better my previous best on the relatively short circuits I’ve found around my local area. I have managed to gradually build up my rides to around 25 – 30 miles at about 14 – 15mph as an average speed, so I’m pretty chuffed… for now.
One thing I have noticed, apart from all the hills there are in my locale (or ‘climbs’ as we in the cycling fraternity call them), is how my body has begun to tighten up and become stiff quite quickly.
After every ride, the first few steps I take are akin to the humorous ‘Evolution of Man’ T shirt, as I walk a bit like a Neanderthal until I can straighten myself up again!
I have found that my lower back, Butt, Hamstrings, Quads and calves, along with my upper back, shoulders and neck muscles, are all aching and stiff.
Luckily for me though, I’m a qualified Yoga teacher and Remedial Bodywork Therapist, so I can combat all that shortening of muscles and subsequent loss of joint mobility by deploying some targeted Yoga Asanas to relax and re-lengthen my cycling muscles. So with that in mind, I am currently working on devising a cycling-specific Yoga programme looking at Asanas (postures) to assist cyclists to improve and then maintain their flexibility and range of movement, which will improve machine control.
Incorporated in this programme are Pranayama (breathing exercises) to improve breath awareness and control. This will help to better utilise the full lung capacity, providing more fuel in the form of oxygen, more efficiently, for the muscles to burn to drive forwards. Plus techniques to aid mental focus to enable us to ride harder and faster for longer, and recover quicker.
I look forward to sharing my findings with you. Watch this space…. 😉