Want to perform better at gran fondos in Summer? Loose weight now – in Winter.
Unless you are already at 10% or less body fat, losing body weight yields huge gains in performance for gran fondo riders and makes cycling more fun.
Let’s face it though, loosing some pounds is not easy, but focusing on it now, in winter off-season, allows riders to concentrate on training for Spring/Summer gran fondos when the weather is nice.
5 Reasons to Loose Winter Weight
1. Climb Faster
With less mass to move, your power-to-weight ratio will go up and you too will go up climbs faster. On long climbs this can save you many minutes of suffering. Dropping from 165 to 145 pounds is the equivalent of a 15% improvement in power for an average fondo rider.
2. Be Cool
During hot weather overheating can be a major performance inhibitor, telling your body to slow down, rest, recover and cool off. With less body fat cyclists can more easily dissipate heat on those hot summer days during long gran fondos. Keeping the body cooler allows higher performance and faster riding.
3. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration sucks – the water out of you. It lowers the body’s ability to perform at peak levels. Fat contains only 9% water, whereas muscle is 77% water and blood 74%. Gran fondo riders with less fat in their body have more water available for sweating and cooling, thus delaying the onset of dehydration.
4. Great Investment
Having a high power to weight ratio is critical for peak cycling performance. Rather than buying a pair of uber lightweight carbon fiber wheels, it is much cheaper, healthier and more beneficial to loose 10 pounds of belly fat. Yes, it takes more work than just pulling out a credit card, but you can do it!
5. More Comfort
Spending 6 hours in the saddle at a gran fondo adds up to a lot of pressure on your hands, feet and bum. Less weight means fewer saddle sores, less chafing and only minor hand numbness when you cross the finish line. This may not make you ride a lot faster, but it will significantly make gran fondo riding a more enjoyable experience.