Enduring Advice
Cycling Plus|April 2017

We’ve been offering advice for the last 25 years, and a look back through the archives reveals the top tips that have stood the test of time.

Rob Spedding

#1 NUTRITION

The 1990s are recognised as the decade where we started to care more about our diets, especially those of us interested in exercise and training. We started drinking more skimmed milk than full fat in the ’90s and bagged salads were introduced to supermarkets. On the flip side it was also the decade of Sunny Delight… In 1992, Cycling Plus was reasonably light on nutritional knowhow. So much so in fact the Fast Food nutrition regular introduced in issue one lasted, erm, one issue. It did include eggcellent advice though!

THAT’S SO 1992...

Eggs are an easy way to get protein into your diet. They also provide an excellent range of amino acids to help regulate the metabolic processes and muscle structure. Eggs contain vitamin B, which is important to working muscles as it helps release energy from carbohydrates and fat. Eggs will also provide you with iron, folate and vitamin B12, which assist in the formation of the red blood cells that transport oxygen. Don’t worry about the cholesterol in eggs – it’s saturated fat you should restrict while keeping fat below 35 per cent of your energy intake.

TIMELESS ADVICE?

Absolutely, 25 years on and we’re still egging you on to eat eggs. Sports nutritionist Will Girling wrote in issue 322: “With a protein digestibility score of 97 per cent, eggs also provide all nine of the amino acids needed to promote muscle recovery and the building of lean tissue.” Will agreed with our ’90s take on eggs and cholesterol. “The American Heart Association has announced that consuming eggs has no ties to increased cholesterol or cardiac consequences.”

#2 CYCLO-CROSS

Issue one started a recurring theme – the exhortation that you, dear reader, really should embrace the wacky ways of cyclo-cross. We’re not alone – apparently there are other cycling titles out there and they, we’ve heard, also encourage the take up of ’cross (just not as well as us, of course). Men’s magazines and broadsheets frequently promote what’s regularly referred to as “the fastest growing cycling discipline” too. A quarter of century on and it’s finally sinking in…

THAT’S SO 1992...

Cyclo-cross provides a psychological boost during the winter as simply training on the road and cross training can become boring while the summer season is a long way off [CP’s training advice in ’92 was geared towards racing cyclists]. Cyclo-cross gives you the chance to enjoy some low-key weekend racing with no pressure. You’ll be able to find cyclo-cross races close by and they don’t last too long – an hour of cyclo-cross racing is worth three hours of training on the road. They’re the perfect way to keep you motivated, and you’ll lose less of your fitness over winter, which will help come the summer racing season.

TIMELESS ADVICE?

We certainly think so and, obviously, still run features about what is a truly fun and friendly sport. More importantly we feel that cyclo-cross is a perfect introduction to bike racing – a huge amount of dirty fun, no cars, a soft landing if you crash – a short but effective workout and an excellent way to improve your bike handling skills. “I rode my first cyclo-cross race late last year,” says CP editor Rob. “And I’m not sure why I hadn’t tried it earlier. It was hard work but incredibly rewarding and, best of all, it was all done and dusted in just under an hour.” The traditional ’cross season has ended but summer cyclo-cross and CX sportives are very 2017, so give it a go.

#3 TRAINING ZONES

In 1992 a 23-year-old carpenter from the Wirral and his coach changed British cycling (and British Cycling…) forever. The carpenter was Chris Boardman, whose stunning performance in the individual pursuit at the Barcelona Olympics won Britain’s first Olympic cycling gold for 72 years, and could be argued to have laid the foundations for today’s astonishing success of our athletes. How? The coach was Peter Keen who became performance director at British Cycling (BC) from 1997 to 2003 and employed a chap called David Brailsford…

Boardman was known as ‘The Professor’ because of his scientific approach to cycling. At the time the cutting-edge Mike Burrowsdesigned Lotus bike got most of the press but Boardman and Keen applied the latest knowhow to training too. Keen’s use of four levels of training intensity based on maximum heart rate was integral and later became BC’s accepted standard for training cyclists and the basis for much of our training advice.

THAT’S SO 1992...

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