Guest post by David@biketrainerworld.com
Challenges make life more interesting. As a bike riding enthusiast, aimless cycling gets boring fast and so does biking with your buddies in the neighborhood. A time will come when you will want to go big—like try a century ride.
This is no small ride. You will be cycling a whole 100 miles(160.9 kilometers) in one day. As a first-timer, your main concern is makingsure you finish the race. Save the breaking-records agenda for another time.
When getting ready for something as big as this, it is easyto get nervous and confused. This article is like a checklist. It will help youknow what and how to prepare.
Draw aTraining Plan
Without a plan, anything goes and your training may not be effective. This is crucial and it is something that you should start months before the race. Your body needs to get used to the pressure. The exercises for a ride like this one are brutal and doing them wrongly can be dangerous. Lucky for you, the internet is saturated with training plans created by people who know what they are doing.
The plans are carefully drafted and some even give detailsof the kind of exercises you will do. When you pick a plan, be sure to stick toit religiously. If there is a resting day, rest. Your body needs to recover.While still on this, avoid overtraining. This is common among eager riders.
Tell YourLoved Ones
Do not wait until the race is a week away. As soon as youare sure you want to do this, let them know. The training process requires alot of time. Your spouse, family and friends will, therefore, be affected.
Share the plan with them so they can offer support. On dayswhen you have to ride long distances, someone may offer to come with you andkeep you company. They will also be your greatest motivators when you want tobail out.
Here is what you need to do.
Most cyclists have the right gear stashed somewhere. If youhaven’t worn any of the pieces in a while, try wearing them during yourexercises to see if they still fit. Make sure it is the right gear for cyclingtoo.
Sitting on a saddle for hours can be uncomfortable. Add tothat the sweat and fatigue—the last thing you want is a shirt or short that isjust awkward. The best gear may be a little costly, but the for comfort thatyou will enjoy is worth it.
Note: Train in the new clothes before the ride so your bodycan get used to them.
Learn Howto Handle Bike Issues
It is easy to assume that all cyclists can repair bikes butnot everyone likes to fix things. For some, taking it to a shop is moreconvenient.
Take some time to understand the technical parts of thebicycle and what to do if anything breaks down.
Century rides usually have professionals to do this job butit does not hurt to learn a few things. Situations can be unpredictable. Itwould be unfortunate if a small bike problem kept you from finishing the ride.
How well do you know your body? Long rides can bedifficult. They involve pushing your body, sometimes beyond its limits. If youare not careful, this may result in serious health issues. During the trainingperiod, pay close attention to your body. Try to understand how it reacts whenyou are doing intense activities and riding over great distances. Every smallsignal counts.
Be especially more careful if you have a medical condition.It is advisable to see your doctor and get cleared. Even though you have neverhad a problem, just talk to them. Better safe than sorry.
Choose aCentury Ride
This is simple. Go on the internet and find century ridesnear you or somewhere you like. The ride details are usually included so youcan pick one that is suitable for you. Since this is your first one, go with aneasy one (the difficulty levels are indicated).
After you pick a ride, do some research on the geographicallocation. Gather information about the terrain as well as the weather. Thisway, you can simulate the terrain on training apps and buy appropriate clothesfor the weather.
Make Use ofYour Bike Trainer
The best place to prepare for a century ride is outside, nodoubt. However, bike trainers are very resourceful. They are not limited byweather conditions and you can still put in some miles when there is a storm.
Trainers are not what they used to be. Today, you can trackyour numbers and regulate the exercises perfectly—heart zone training has neverbeen easier. Smart trainers and apps replicate different terrains to give youall the practice you need. The most exciting aspect is being able to joinvirtual races and see how you would do.
If you already have a great bike, there is no need to buyanother one. All you have to do is make adjustments for your comfort. Manycyclists ride bikes that are not well fitted for them. Bike fitting issomething you can do on your own—only if you know what you are doing.
It is wise to go to a shop and have the experts look at it.A comfortable bike should never strain you or leave you sore. You should beable to pedal a smooth pedal stroke without trying too hard.
On the day of the ride, make sure you bring the followingwith you:
- Food and drinks
- Extra clothing
- Insurance card
- Credit card
- Cue sheet
It is okay to be a little scared. But do not lose yourconfidence. There is always a first time for everything. The best thing you cando is to make sure you are fully prepared. Find a training plan and start theexercises early enough. Inform your family in advance and buy the right gear.If you have not yet learned how to fix your bike, now is the time. On the dayof the event, carry all the necessities and get there on time.