5 Tips to Maximize MapMyRide on the Bike

Peter Glassford
by Peter Glassford
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5 Tips to Maximize MapMyRide on the Bike

MapMyRide is a powerful tool that’ll give your training a boost. There are numerous functions on the app that you can leverage to save time, stay safe, find the best routes, maximize each workout and gain insight into your fitness. Here are five ways MapMyRide can help your workout.

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1. Plan Your Routes

Many years ago, I was introduced to MapMyRide as a way to, well, literally map. my. ride. It was a huge boost to my training, and I never looked back. The major benefit was that it saved me from having to write out route maps, and I no longer had to guess at the best roads on a map. With MMR, I can see which roads other users take, and I can even optimize my ride for elevation — something a paper map can’t do. Whether you print a map and directions, output a .GPX or .TCX file onto your training device or use your smartphone to navigate, this is an amazing way to explore new places, ride the best route for your daily training objectives and ultimately focus your attention on riding.


2. Stay Safe When BIking Alone

In addition to planning out your route, the premium MVP version of MapMyRide offers live-tracking. With this feature you can share your run or ride with loved ones in real time to ensure you stay safe out on your route — or give them a heads-up about when you’ll likely be home for dinner.

3. Train on the Best Routes in a New City

As a frequent traveler, I would spend hours, or even days, getting oriented in a new training location. While exploration is a big reason why I like to ride my bike, there’s a limited amount of time to explore when traveling without cutting into a workout. Being able to get straight to the good routes and avoid busy roads is a huge advantage. Recently, I used MapMyRide on a solo trip to Sedona, Arizona, a mountain bike mecca. I used routes that other MapMyRide users had posted simply by searching “Sedona” and selecting a distance and description that looked appealing. It was a snap, and I was able to do three long rides on many of the area’s best trails.


4. Maximize Your Rides

To improve your fitness on the bike, it’s important to change up your rides by making them longer or more intense. The MapMyRide app will give you audible splits to help you track whether you’re pushing hard enough. Before a ride, use the app to design a challenging loop. I recently used MapMyRide to help a client figure out how to find more than 3,000 feet of climbing in his flat city as he prepared for a hilly mountain bike race. We were able to find the categorized climbs and link them together for a fun and challenging loop. Getting enough elevation gain can be hard in some areas, so planning out the route to see if there are a few hill repeats to boost the amount of climbing and difficulty before you go out the door is a huge win.


5. Track Your Workout

If you aren’t a data-driven person, you might not need to have a bike computer on your handlebars. But you still might want to have your routes and metrics like heart rate in your back pocket. MapMyRide is one of few apps that pairs easily with many external devices for cadence and heart rate. Aggregating this data over time helps you see trends in your fitness — and avoid plateaus or fatigue due to redundancy or an imbalance of really hard and really easy rides. Seeing your data from races or big rides can also help you match your workouts to prepare you for the next one. If you know there are 20 one-minute efforts over threshold in your mountain bike race, you might design a workout to mimic that demand using a local hill or loop.  

Check out MapMyRide on your computer, on Android and in the iTunes App Store


> The Many Benefits of Training with a Plan
> 3 Reasons Working Out At Night Can Make You a Better Athlete
> Get Your Heart Going With This 5 Minute Full Body Workout

About the Author

Peter Glassford
Peter Glassford

Peter is a cycling coach and registered kinesiologist from Ontario, Canada. He travels frequently to work with athletes at races, camps and clinics. He also races mountain bikes for Trek Canada and pursues adventure in all types of movement. Follow @peterglassford on Twitter, or check out his online and in-person coaching at www.smartathlete.ca.


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