Whether you will be cycling alone for a long distance or you will be part of a team that goes on a cycling tour, it is always a good thing to prepare well in advance. The last thing you want is to have to call a taxi to take you home simply because the muscle cramps can’t allow you to go any further. This post takes a look at the key things you need to do when getting ready for a cycling event.
Two weeks before the event
You cannot get up one day and decide to cycle for hundreds of miles. Your body needs to be flexed well in advance. That is why your training for the upcoming event must start at least 2 months in advance. You need to start with base training which focuses on steady, moderate cycling which is aimed at training endurance. The goal here is for you to be comfortable when cycling. You should be able to talk while biking and your heartbeat should be between 60 and 70% of its maximum rate.
During training, you must also include short bursts of tempo training. This should be done at least two times a week. During this time, you need to breathe fast but not feel any aching or burning muscles. Start with short bursts of 15 minutes and gradually increase that to 40 minutes.
Other things you should consider doing during this time include:
- Lactate threshold training
- Practice sprints with high intensity intervals
- Only resting one or two days a week
- Cycling uphill
- Learning to ride within a group
One week before the event
A week before the planned cycling holidays, consider racing in a group. This should be done the weekend before the event. Ask your group to push themselves as far as they can go in the racing conditions. Joining a racing group a week prior to the event will also boost your confidence.
A week before the event is not the time to push to the limit. You need to take things easy. Taper your workout to shorter single sessions. You want to be completely relaxed and fresh for the big event. Taking short easy rides will not hurt. On the evening before the event, you should relax. Get a massage. It will help you relax both physically and mentally. You should also get enough rest by going to bed early.
Pack and prepare
Making sure your bike is in good condition is something you need to do before the big event. Consider the following checklist:
- Integrity of the tires.
- Wheels should spin smoothly
- The brake pads should not be worn out
- The handlebars need to be tight enough
- Ensure the gears shift smoothly
- Replace worn chains
In addition to making sure that the above are in perfect condition, you also need to make sure that you pack a repair kit. The pack should include 2 bicycle tubes, tire levers, CO2 cartridges and inflator and mini-bike multi-tool. Don’t forget to pack some snacks and water for the event. On the morning before the race, check your bike once more to ensure everything is in good condition.