8 Things You Need To Know If You Want To Get Into Cycling
Fitness buffs have always been creative in changing up their workout routines for maximum results. If you’re looking for an exercise regime that will give holistic health benefits and burn your fats a lot faster, cycling may be a good bet.
Today, more and more Filipinos are getting into cycling not just because of its health benefits, but because it is a smart choice for a mode of transport. Even some of the country’s well-loved celebrities and athletes have been transformed into passionate cyclists.
Pru Life UK, the British life insurer, has seen this interest that in 2016, it had staged the largest cycling festival in the Philippines—PRURide PH. Inspired by the iconic and world-renowned Prudential RideLondon, among the event’s goals are to engage the growing cycling community in the country and raise awareness on cycling as a sustainable alternative mode of transportation..
This year, PRURide PH welcomed celebrities Zoren Legaspi, Gretchen Ho, and Kim Atienza into its family as ambassadors of the cycling event. During the event’s break, Metro.Style had a chat with the three celebrities and we learned about their individual cycling journeys, and their tips on the things you should know before you ride the bike and pedal your way into a healthier lifestyle:
1. Get inspired and motivated.
Umagang Kay Ganda host and volleyball star Gretchen Ho shared that she started her cycling journey when she was highly inspired by Team Sunweb’s Coryn Rivera, an Filipino-American cyclist who is now one of the top women racing cyclists in the.
“I’ve been covering the Prudential RideLondon for two years as a reporter. I watched Coryn Rivera win the Prudential Ride London Classique title I thought to myself, ‘She’s a 5-foot-1 Pinay, and she can win this?’ It was so inspiring. Right after that, I got into cycling.”
Motivation came to Kuya Kim from a totally different life experience. In 2010, Kuya Kim suffered from a life-threatening attack of stroke, and from that life event, he vowed to get into a healthier lifestyle.
“Before my stroke, I was passionate about my work and other stuff except my health. When I had stroke, I prayed to the Lord that if he would heal me, I will be the best fitness and health advocate I could be. I said to myself, I want to be into biking and swimming. It has been 9 years of Ironman marathons, fitness and organic nutrition since, and I’ve really focused into having a healthier lifestyle,” Kuya Kim shared.
2. Know that cycling is one of the enjoyable and more beenficial exercise options.
Actor Zoren Legaspi had been into tennis for 12 years, until he suffered from a bad knee injury. He had to look for a new sport that he could see himself getting committed to.
“I chose between swimming and cycling and decided to go with cycling because it’s a low-impact sport. I could get enjoy it more while I burn a lot of calories,” he said.
“When you are a hardcore cyclist, you can eat pretty much anything you want because you can burn a lot of calories already. But when you’re just cycling for fun, then you should still watch your diet.”
Just like Zoren, Gretchen shared that she loves that cycling is a sport that she can really enjoy.
“I feel like cycling is a sport that you can be intense at but still enjoy at the same time. When you ride a bike, you travel and go to different places. When I was a kid, I really liked the wind on my face when our car’s window is open and the wind just blows on my face. Cycling gives me the same feeling,” she said.
“You can scale up your cycling if you want an intense workout or just enjoy it with a slower pacing. It changed my life because I have brought my workout life to a whole different level. When I run, I get bored sometimes because it feels the same way every time you run and listen to music. When I am cycling, I see different people and it is really like travelling while working out.“
3. When just getting started, don’t fall for buying expensive bikes right away.
Zoren explained why some of the newbie cyclists tend to have a lot of bikes.
“Some of the newbies tend to fall for fancy bicycles right away, which is not really a smart move,” he said. “Invest in second-hand, affordable bikes at first, one that you can use for trainings, kasi sa umpisa marami ka pa semplang niyan.”
4. Know what kind of a cyclist you are before investing on an expensive bike.
Another reason why Zoren advised to not fall for expensive bikes right away is because there are various kinds of bikes with different purposes.
“When I began cycling, I didn’t know that there are many types of bikes. There’s a bike for climbing, road bike, fondo bike. There’s a gravel bike, mountain bike, aero bike.”
“Know first what kind of a cyclist you are through lots of training. Once you know what kind of a cyclist you are, train, and train and train until you get stronger. After that, that is when you invest in an expensive bike, because you’ll save a lot of money by properly choosing the perfect kind of bike for you. You would appreciate it more because you’ve gone through rigorous trainings already to become the strong cyclist that you are.”
5. Set one goal at a time.
Gretchen shared the value of not pressuring yourself into learning everything at once.
“I do not pressure myself to learn everything right away because I also want to enjoy the entire process of learning. And I feel like there are more achievements that way because I always go back to the sport aspect of it.”
Gretchen said that learning one thing at a time also helps in terms of safety. “I avoid injury and accidents that way for safety reasons. I am also not pressuring myself because I want cycling to be a sport that I really enjoy. My advice is to set one goal at a time. Do not be afraid. And the fear of semplang and all the seemingly uncontrollable factors, it is actually manageable if you do it one step at a time.”
6. Challenge yourself and celebrate your milestones.
“My motto for myself is to improve every single time I am out there. So I always add something new to my training. For example for this one, I trained to do cleats. After that, ideally I should know how to do it with one hand. I need to do hand signs, and then eventually, I need to do faster,” Gretchen said.
Gretchen values the importance of celebrating her milestones. “It’s my first time to do criterium and with my PRURide family pa, and also this year is my first time to ride with cleats,” she said.
Gretchen joined PRURide PH Gran Fondo 60K last year, her farthest distance then and only in her rubber shoes. For 2019, she challenged herself to level up by learning how to do cleats.
“I am proud of myself kasi takot ako sa cleats dahil sumemplang na ako dati. Now I realized that my fear is not there anymore even on my first ride, at ‘di pa ako nagsemplang since then. Little by little, I am getting better and I am getting more mileage. And I am proud that I am able to do cleats, finally!”
7. Be flexible in terms of adjustments when changing up your fitness routines.
Kuya Kim has been a triathlete all these years. He noted that he had to do some changes in his trainings when he decided to do criterium.
“Criterium is very much opposite with triathlon. With triathlon, you train to reserve your energy and do low heart rate trainings. With cycling, I needed to do speed trainings and criterium is a high heart rate exercise. You also bike alone in a triathlon, compared to criterium that you have to learn to bike shoulder to shoulder with other people in a peloton.”
8. Enjoy your pace.
Kuya Kim shared that more than anything else, just enjoy cycling. “I told myself I will enjoy my own pace, so I can enjoy this.”
Gretchen echoed the same thing. “As I’ve said, cycling is a sport that I get to enjoy and with my own pacing, I can celebrate my milestones more.”
Ride with the PRURide PH ambassadors at the Gran Fondo on May 26 in Subic. To register or to know more about the events and activities the whole family can enjoy, visit www.pruride.ph.