29th December 2016. What's the most fun part of riding a bike? Ask anyone, even a child who loves their bike, and the answer is likely going to be something similar to "going fast." Pedalling hard and picking up a lot of speed not only feels great, but it's also an accomplishment of which you can be proud. After all, it was your body that generated all that speed! As you grow older, speed becomes about more than just having fun on a bike. Do you like to cycle for fun, fitness, and competition? Many people do; it can be a tough training schedule, but it's often worthwhile based on the results. Not only is focusing on cycling this way exciting, but it's immensely good for your body. At a certain point, though, "pedal harder" simply doesn't net you the same gains in speed. What can you do to make yourself faster? The good news is there are many tips you can try to boost your ability to reach high top speeds. For those who want to win their next race or just beat their friends in a casual time trial, you'll want to take notes throughout our article. With diligence and practice, you can see an increased top speed as a result. To begin with, let's discuss ways you can change up the way you actually ride to go faster. Afterwards, we'll discuss exercises that are effective as well. Mix and match between the two groups to find the ideal combination for your cycling style.

How Form, Function, and Your Body Affects Speed

The first step you can take is relatively simple. One of the biggest roadblocks to gaining speed is drag. The human body generates a significant amount of air resistance; we didn't exactly evolve to be aerodynamic. Therefore, what you can do is make the surface area of your body exposed to the wind smaller. The less area you present to the wind, the less drag you'll create. For those using road bikes, this will be an easy adjustment to make. You simply need to tuck your elbows in so they're in line with your knees from the front. At the same time, bend them as well so you can lower your body and create a lower profile. Finally, try to keep your back as flat as possible in this position. As you do this, you should almost immediately begin to feel a difference in the way you ride. Reducing drag can have a dramatic effect on your overall speed. Riding position isn't the only way you can decrease your air resistance, either. You can also change up the way you dress. It's true, have you ever given thought to how much your clothing could reduce your speed? Loose fitting clothing might seem more comfortable, but it's going to catch the breeze constantly. Switch to clothes specially designed for cycling and which fit tightly to your body. Not only do you get to take advantage of the fact that they're designed to keep you cool, but they'll also extract sweat from your skin. You'll be more comfortable and faster all at once.

Changing Up Your Bicycle for Speed

Okay, so let's discuss how you can improve your bike in addition to the way you ride. Changing or altering some things about it can help get you a little bit of a speed boost. First, consider switching to a more lightweight cycle designed for going faster. A heavy bike isn't going to allow you to speed things up much. Next, check the pressure of your tyres. Under-inflated tyres will be "mushy" and unable to properly grip the road. Make sure you inflate them to the correct pressure at all times. The firmer they are, the better they'll be able to complete revolutions as you pedal. On the whole, this won't net you a tonne of speed, but it's a smart move to improve your handling and reduce the need to brake unnecessarily. Finally, there's one other area where you can make reductions to see improvements in your speed: your own body. If you're not as slim as you could be, losing weight could be an excellent way to help boost your speed. If you're already cycling to help burn calories, then you're killing two birds with one stone every time you saddle up on your bike. Your weight is a major limiting factor regarding how fast you can ride. You already made an effort to reduce the weight of the cycle itself; it's only fair to apply that same effort to your own body. Shedding some weight can help you achieve that extra acceleration you want. It might take time, but as with many other personal efforts, it's worthwhile in the end. Now, what about actually doing some physical training to boost your velocity?

Fine Tuning Your Body So It's Built for Speed

When thinking about ways to exercise for speed, the number one thing you should focus on is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. Interval training involves pushing yourself to the limit for a short period, interspersed with periods of less intense exercise. The result is the development of both fast and slow-twitch muscle fibres. Well developed muscle fibres provide you with plenty of endurance as well as reserves of power to use. The best way to approach interval training is to use a stationary bike or spin machine at the gym. These allow you to elevate your heart rate quickly as well as to simulate uphill riding. With plenty of HIIT, you'll have more power to use for going faster. While you're in the gym, why not dedicate a few days of the week to strength training? First, there are many kinds of basic exerciseswhich you can use to boost your leg muscles. In combination with regular interval training, it's one way to add more muscle mass and power. Traditional strength training with weights is also advantageous. Consider adding squats or leg presses to your gym routine. By developing the muscles in your legs like your quads, you'll be able to convert more of your energy into actual power on the bicycle. It also helps to increase your muscular tolerance for long periods of activity, while keeping you from tiring out during a hardcore acceleration phase. Through all this additional exercise, it's important to keep healthy habits in mind. You can't work out every single day.

The Importance of Diet and Rest

With all this heavy physical activity, your body's going to be taking quite a toll. Remember that your body needs time to recuperate between strenuous workout sessions. Otherwise, you aren't gaining anything ? tips-for-improving-your-cycling-speed-dietyou're just putting your body at risk for injury. Again, increasing your speed is not itself a speedy process. Assess your level of fitness and how much energy you have remaining after a long workout session. Plan for your rest days accordingly. In time, this is how you lock in the gains you're making. Meanwhile, be mindful of the enormous number of calories you're burning in a routine like this. Your caloric needs as a cyclist are already high. Consider the additional need for muscle building protein and all-important vitamins and minerals. Eating a healthy diet that's balanced for muscle growth during this period will give you the platform from which to build your ability. If you're trying to lose weight at the same time, that should play a part as well. Carefully weigh your dietary choices with your activity level, and you'll be on the road going faster in no time.

Accelerate your efforts for more speed with the right choices

Whether you choose to change up the style you use to ride, or you end up spending more time pumping iron in the gym, a faster top speed is now within your grasp. Remember, however, that it takes time, patience, and practice to see those improvements. Nothing happens overnight, especially not when it comes to your body. Rest and diet will play a vital part in this process as we've mentioned. Develop a plan of attack, stick to it, and enjoy the results. When your friends start struggling to keep up with you during friendly meets, you'll know you're on the right track. How fast can you go when all is said and done? It's time to find out for yourself!