5 Reasons To Add Cycling To Your Training Regime

by | Jul 26, 2018

Any woman who cycles on the reg will likely wax lyrical about it.

Not only does it boast a heap of health benefits (both physical and mental,) it’s epic for the planet (and bank balance) too. And with the 2018 Tour De France officially underway, there’s never been a better time mix up your workout. Here, 2XU ambassador and three-time IRONMAN world champion, Craig Alexander, breaks down all the reasons you should get behind the handlebars.

1. It covers you for cardio

Whether it be on a stationary bike in spin class or making your way through the Australian landscape, cycling is great for cardiovascular fitness. Pedaling increases your heart rate and gets the blood pumping through your veins, which when done regularly, reduces the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes. These physiological benefits can be further multiplied if you invest in the right gear. 2XU compression increases blood flow to the quadriceps by up to 18% and boosts peak power by up to 5%, meaning you can pedal harder for longer. Plus, the recovery benefits of 2XU’s graduated compression mean you won’t pull up sore the next day.

2. Everything gets worked

Few forms of exercise deliver multiple benefits at one time, but cycling improves strength, balance and endurance. As well as being great for cardiovascular fitness, cycling improves bone strength and reduces the risk of falls and fractures. It also engages all major muscle groups as you pedal and steer, building strength throughout the whole body rather than in one select muscle group.

RELATED: Why You Should Seriously Consider Cycling To Work

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3. Low impact = less pain

Cycling causes significantly less strain and injury than many other forms of exercise. It’s the perfect cross-training activity because you get an intense workout without too much impact on the muscles and joints. Being low impact also means that cycling is great for recovery and for maintaining fitness through rehabilitation. Maximise recovery benefits by incorporating techniques such as foam rolling and wearing 2XU Recovery compression tights after your workout to reduce swelling and soreness as fast as possible.

4. You can roll with the homies

Think you’re too busy socialising on a Sunday morning to exercise? Combine coffee with a workout by cycling to your local cafe to meet friends or organise to meet friends and cycle around your local park instead of going for a walk. Joining a cycling group is also a great way to get out and meet people with similar interests and to stay motivated.

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5. Going green

Australia has some of the most beautiful natural environments in the world, so it makes sense to take your workout outdoors whenever possible. A leisurely cycle through your local park provides both physical and mental health benefits and is a fun way to explore new locations right on your doorstep.

RELATED: The Amazing Benefits Of Cycling For Fitness

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Your First Look At The Tour de France Femmes 2022 Route

For decades now, cyclists and their fans have been clambering for a women’s Tour de France. While the sport offers numerous events in the realm of road to gravel racing for female cyclists, they all tend to fall short to the kind of European stage race that has continued to attract the best competitors in the men’s field and, for those watching at home, left them inspired to purchase a bike and get outdoors. It’s safe to say that for many who aren’t even familiar with cycling, the Tour de France is well known. The event is bigger than the sport itself, having produced some of the most well known names in sport, even if controversy continues to surround them and the race itself which has long been plagued by doping scandals. Even so, the fact remains that few races possess the same kind of frantic energy, prestige and wonder as the Tour and not surprisingly, the sport’s female stars have fought for years to see a lasting, prestigious women’s stage race run alongside the men’s Tour. 

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that a women’s edition of the race will go ahead in 2022 that closely follows after the men’s race. According to Tour de France organiser, Christian Prudhomme, the women’s race will begin after the men’s Tour. As Prudhomme told The Guardian, “It will take place next year, that’s certain. It would have happened this year if it had not been for the Covid-19 pandemic, obviously, and above all if the Tokyo Olympics had not been after the [men’s] Tour, so the best riders may not be available. But the decision has been taken. There will be a Tour de France femmes in 2022 following closely after the [men’s] Tour.”

Now, the sport’s female athletes have been granted their first look at the 2022 race route which was recently unveiled in the Palais des Congres in Paris by newly appointed race director Marion Rousse. Even the unveiling was significant, with the elite women sitting alongside the peloton’s elite men in the Paris auditorium for the first time. It marks a shift in the landscape of cycling, one that puts women on an equal playing field as their male counterparts and signals a long-awaited leap in the profile of women’s cycling. Rousse described the “honour” of being the director of the women’s Tour de France, adding that: “The women’s races we have now are jewels to cherish.”

As the unveiling depicts, the women will begin on the Champs-Elysees before the route then zigzags east towards the Vosges Mountains and the Haut-Rhin, taking in sprint stages, gravel tracks that wind through the vineyards of Champagne, before ascending to high-altitudes in the final weekend. It will culminate in the 24 per cent gravel climb to Super Planche des Belles Filles. 

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“We wanted to start from Paris,” Rousse said of the women’s Tour. “With only eight stages, we couldn’t go down to the Alps or the Pyrenees, the transfers would be too long.” It was also announced that the women’s Tour de France champion would pocket a staggering 50,000 euro (approximately $78,190 AUD), with a further pot of $312,760 for Tour stage winners. 

Lizzie Deignan, winner of the inaugural women’s Paris-Roubaix this month, spoke of the announcement as being “an important day for cycling, not just women’s cycling.”

“It is a key indicator that the sport is still progressing as we are now able to compete in the most well-known bike race in the world. I think the organisers have done a really good job preparing the route for this edition.”

Deignan went on to add: “It will showcase the best that women’s cycling has to offer with a stage suited to every type of rider, something I was really hoping for. The route has been designed to offer entertaining racing from start to finish, but also to reach a crescendo with the final stage finishing on the Super Planche des Belles Filles, one of the hardest climbs in professional cycling.”