Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Best Parks for Cycling in Bangkok

The largest park in Bangkok, and the 2nd most visited, although visited more by locals than foreigners, Rot Fai is a great place to jump in the saddle of your bike and cycle a few laps. Parts of Rot Fai Park barely seem like it’s in a city at all, with large trees, ponds and large grassy areas, adjoining the park is the Queen Sirikit botanical garden as well as the world famous Jatujak Park and market.

A lap of Rot Fai Park is around 3km (there are several variations of the route around the park) and for those cycling in the evening, most areas are lit, although some areas remain in the dark so lights are recommended. There are a number of popular restaurants in the parking area of Rot Fai park, and if you do not have your own bike, you can rent a basic bicycle for 20THB for as long as you like. This is arguably the best park in Bangkok for cycling and cycling groups are often seen here in the evenings timing each other for laps. It is also very popular among recreational cyclists as there are no time limits as for other parks.

Cycling in Bangkok can also be enjoyed in Lumpini Park, which is the 2nd largest park in Bangkok, and the most visited, thanks to it’s proximity in downtown Bangkok. Surrounded by the main business districts of Bangkok, the backdrop of gleaming offices and hotels is impressive, and the park is well maintained. A number of activities are popular in Lumpini Park, in particular running, aerobics and fitness. As a result of the large number of people, cycling times are limited to ‘off peak’ times to avoid accidents, and is prohibited in the evenings. Despite this, the 3km circuit in this great park is recommended for cycling fans.

Another park in downtown Bangkok, located near Asok BTS and MRT station is the Queen Sirikit Park or Wachira Benchathat Park as it is formally known. This park is smaller than Rot Fai and Lumpini Parks, with a circuit of 2km, however what makes this park interesting is that there is a little known elevated path running from Lumpini to Queen Sirikit Park so cyclists can combine the two parks without having to navigate the Bangkok traffic. The park is very scenic and well maintained, and like the others has a lake in the centre, with rowing boats available for rent.

Reasons To Start Cycling

Cycling is one of the most enjoyable ways of getting fit – and enjoyment means you are more likely to stay at it and therefore keep fit! Cycling is a social sport it can be enjoyed when you are on your own or if you take the whole family along – it is as easy as riding a bike.

Cycling is a fantastic way to explore what is on your doorstep – I bet that you find something new in your area after only a weeks cycling! Each town and city has its own attractions, if you venture outside of these towns, there is sure to be some of the most spectacular views and expanses that look different from the unusual angle that your bike offers!

Cycling gets you outdoors in the fresh air and lets you feel re-energized. You can cover a lot of distance or just go a little journey if you wish to and no petrol is required!

If it is an individual sport and you can choose to cycle alone. You can also set your own pace and go fast or slowly, as well as choose the distance you wish to cycle.

Cycling has a low risk of injury as it is low impact and is non-weight-bearing exercise. It will get your body up to a good level of fitness as well as be a god fun sport. Cycling can be enjoyed by all ages too, so many generations of the family can enjoy a nice Sunday afternoon cycle!

Tips For Enhancing Cycling

As with any sport, cycling skill is determined by a combination of factors-physical conditioning, technique, and the quality and quantity of training ranking chief amongst them. But the most important determinant of one’s cycling skills, say experts, is the amount of time spent “in the saddle.” For if one rides often enough, far enough, and fast enough, all of the skills necessary to enhance cycling performance will develop naturally.

Riding to Victory

According to Peak Performance, professional cyclists ride between 20,000 and 40,000km per year. This translates into a 4 to 6 hour ride-per day-365 days of the year. They are not only professionals; they are experienced professionals who know the value of practicing their sport-often.

Most people certainly do not have the same amount of time to devote to riding as do these elite cyclists. However, there is no substitute for practice and, according to Peak Performance, “…there’s no shortcut…[y]ou can’t skirt around the need for time in the saddle and just hammer intervals three or four days a week…[t]here are no quick fixes, no shortcut secrets, no miracle riding intensities allowing you to get by with hardly any “in-the-saddle-hours’ being banked into your ‘riding fitness bank account’ – period.”

But just riding haphazardly is not enough. To be successful at perfecting technique, form, and physical conditioning (which will enhance cycling performance) one must utilize a focused training program that combines training intensity, training endurance, and training frequency with the goal of strengthening one’s aerobic capacity.

Value of Increased Aerobic Capacity

The intensity of a cyclist’s training sessions is important in increasing his/her aerobic capacity, which will ultimately increase the speed and endurance level of the athlete. When the heart muscle is regularly stressed by intense exercise, it becomes more efficient at pumping blood. Consequently, fewer heartbeats are required to perform the same activity. When an athlete achieves this “training effect,” the heartbeat will generally be lower as compared with an untrained individual, even though the physical activities may be the same.

The importance of strengthening aerobic capacity cannot be overemphasized. It is what provides an athlete with the speed and the endurance to successfully compete in a specific sport. As such, it is one of the most important factors necessary to enhance cycling performance.

Calculating your Maximum Heart Rate

The maximum heart rate (MHR) is considered to be the fastest rate that a particular individual’s hear can beat. In order to develop aerobic capacity, one must bring the heart rate into the “training zone” of approximately 80 to 90 percent of his or her MHR. (It is estimated that everyone starts out with a heartbeat of 220 beats per minute and that this heart rate decreases with every year of life. Therefore, the MHR is calculated by deducting current age from 220). While this measurement is an approximation, and a specialist’s evaluation is recommended for serious athletes or those who wish to achieve peak performance for their own personal goals, it is a useful approximation upon which to structure an effective training routine.

Achieving the “Training Effect”

Most athletes know that they must exercise within their “training zone” to increase their aerobic capacity, but many are unsure of what type of exercise intensity will bring them the desired results, and ultimately enhance cycling performance. Consequently, many have chosen interval training (whereby they increase the intensity of the exercise to near maximum heart rate several times during the workout) believing that these short-but very intense-bursts of energy will increase aerobic capacity. But does this really work better than-say-a steady (but substantial) rate of intensity for an extended period of time? Researchers in Denmark say “no,” and point to recent studies.

At Odense University, the researchers selected 16 cyclists to participate in their study. Eight of these research subjects were instructed to ride exercise bikes at an intensity level of 88 to 95 percent MHR for thirty minutes three times a week. The other eight cyclists were instructed to engage in interval training wherein they increased the intensity of their cycling to well above the training zone for 10 seconds and then rested for 50 seconds. In their sessions, they performed 20 intervals per session, 3 sessions per week.

After 5 weeks, the cyclists who had ridden within the training zone for 30 minutes showed a 6 percent increase in aerobic capacity. The cyclists who engaged in interval training, however, failed to increase aerobic capacity, even though their energy use was substantially greater than that of the control group. The results of this study prove that a workout of modest intensity can substantially increase aerobic capacity, albeit the study group was quite small and additional follow-up research is required.

But interval training is hardly worthless. (Indeed, the study focused only upon the effect of extremely short-10 second-intervals) Experts have found that there is a place for interval training-if done correctly.

Interval Training

An excellent way to raise aerobic capacity with interval training, say experts, is to choose the MHR zone that one could sustain for an entire 15-20 minutes of cycling. Then exercise at 5-minute intervals within that MHR zone.This technique has been proven to increase aerobic capacity which, in turn, increases one’s speed and endurance-and hence will enhance cycling performance.

A Training Program to Enhance Cycling Performance

Keeping the goal of increasing aerobic capacity always in mind, a number of experts recommend that recreational cyclists can enhance cycling performance by only spending a minimum of 10 hours per week actually riding a bike-if these 10 hours include a mixture of speed, distance, and endurance riding drills.

That said, a recommended weekly training program should include:

· Three days of high intensity cycling. Two of these days may include interval cycling workouts.

· One day that is considered a “training” ride, where one rides under the same type of conditions as the upcoming riding competition. (These training rides will frequently include all three elements of speed, distance, and endurance and should mimic the same duration and intensity of the competition).

Sports May Help Shape Your Surfing Skills

Surfing is one of the extreme water sports developed by mankind through the years. It is an exciting, exhilarating, and stimulating sport that many people around the globe love. Moreover, to surf is to enjoy one of the gifts of nature – the waves, making it as one of the pleasures in life that is considered priceless.

But surfing is not just about riding the waves and going to different surf countries. The sport itself is a very complicated lesson to learn and requires you enough time to prepare yourself. Some of the groundwork that you need to pass are the physical and mental programs for conditioning for surfing.

But have you ever thought of how other sports can help you prepare yourself for surfing? Athletics, swimming, and cycling are only some of the sports performed in dry land that can help boost your ability to ride the waves.

If you haven’t noticed some secrets about them, here are some eye openers for you.

Athletics. This sport requires running around the oval, maybe five to ten times. It is a simple sport, but it is very exhausting that it can deprive your body with sugar, fluids, and other vital nutrients that can be lost through excessive sweating. But running is an ideal exercise to tone the muscles of your legs, which is a big plus in surfing. Your leg muscles should be strong enough to counteract the force that the waves are producing.

Swimming. It is a water sport just like surfing, but the obvious difference is that the player is not on top of the surf board. If you are a good swimmer then you should be thankful enough since you can save much from physical conditioning for surfing programs offered by some surfing agencies. This sport allows you to feel the water and helps strengthen almost all your muscles that are involved in the sport.

Cycling. Just like athletics, cycling is one tough land sport that can increase the power and stamina of your leg muscles. Once you are on top of the wave, you can ride on top on it like a pro since you have accustomed your calf and thigh muscles to neutralize the increased levels of pressure applied on them through cycling.

Soccer. Everyone’s favorite ball game can also be a training ground for surfers-to-be. Just try to look at how soccer players swing from side to side to avoid the approaching opponent or to pivot the ball around the clustering foes. Playing soccer will give you many benefits for you to surf well. And one of those is how to help your body curl, bend and turn.

There are some sports that you may have played since high school that can help you in your physical conditioning for surfing. If you don’t believe these, why don’t you try riding the waves and apply the principles you learned from your favorite sport?