Summer training doesn’t have to be all about cycling. Summer is a perfect time to start with cross training. You don’t really need to schedule regular gym visits. You can just go along with what summer has to offer. Maybe it’s swimming in the sea or lake on holiday, maybe it’s hiking up a mountain, or running some trails. Let’s take a closer look at how these activities can help you keep in shape for cycling and how to safely add them to your routine.

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Running

The best thing about running is that you can do it anywhere. It comes in handy especially on holidays when you’re travelling without your bike. Running uses the same muscle groups as cycling, even though a bit differently, so it keeps your legs in shape. Running is also a weight-bearing exercise, so it stimulates your bones to get stronger, which is something that cycling doesn’t do nearly as well. If you’re starting out with running, it’s best to do short laps so that you can stop at any point. Going for a big out-and-back run can turn into a nightmare if unexpected pains from an unusual kind of movement appear. It also helps to stay off-road because the softer surface of trails is easier on your feet and joints. If you enjoy running in the summer and want to keep it up, it’s enough to do a run about once a week to keep your legs used to the movement till summer comes around again.

Chris Froome knows his cross training. © Profimedia

Swimming

Swimming is especially useful because people spend a lot of time near water during the summer. Whether it’s a river, lake, or the ocean going for a swim is a great way to boost cardiovascular fitness and lung capacity without having to touch a bicycle. Another plus is that swimming is a whole-body workout that keeps your upper body, core, and even your hip flexors in shape. If you want to keep swimming regularly, the best thing you can do is hire a coach. Swimming is all about technique and a few sessions with a professional trainer can save you years of trial and error.

Rowing

Many rowers cycle alongside their training, using the bike to build endurance, and vice versa, cyclists complement with rowing to boost their sprinting ability. That’s because rowing and cycling are quite similar even though they look very different. Both sports use hips and legs to generate power. Summer is the best time of the year to be in a boat, so if you can, give rowing a try. If you like the movement or want to try it without a boat, most gyms have a rowing machine.

Hiking

Chances are you will spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer, so hiking, especially uphill, is an easy thing you can do to maintain your fitness. Hiking helps build up your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, core, and hip muscles, all of which are essential for cycling. Plus, it helps with bone density, just like running, because it’s a weight-bearing exercise. You might also get to visit the top of the mountain that’s not accessible on a bicycle.

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