Road biking pro
Endurance cycling is something that anyone can try and it gives you an amazing sense of achievement, whether you’re a beginner or a cycling pro. However, to cycle those big numbers a certain amount of training and preparation is required. This week we have come up with a few ways to help you train and prepare for a long bike ride…
1. Where do I start when preparing for a long bike ride?
When preparing to cycle long distances, it’s important that you gradually rack up your miles and don’t go all out at the start. It might take longer however, it is so worth it and you’ll be able to see a huge difference in your cycling and how long you can ride. It’s important to start building your base fitness and gradually up the miles to train your body to handle those longer rides. This way you’ll avoid any injuries as well.
It’s a great idea to also set yourself a training plan, maybe 8- 10 weeks long (as below), to ensure you are upping your intensity every week in order to train your body. As well as this, a good plan will keep you motivated as you are setting yourself targets and once you’ve accomplished one week of training, you can tick it off. This will be a great feeling!
2. How do I set realistic goals?
Coming back to setting goals, this is a great way to keep you motivated and keep you on track to building your endurance. Make sure that you set goals that are realistic in order to keep you motivated. Once you have completed that goal, you can tick that off and set yourself a new one!
Using the SMART goal strategy is a great way to ensure your goals are achievable and keeping you on track. Making sure your goals are specific to you, measurable, achievable, realistic and within an appropriate time frame is important and by simply following these steps, you’ll be smashing your goals left, right and centre!
For example, you might plan to ride 50 miles within a time frame of 8 weeks based on your riding level and fitness. This is therefore realistic and achievable for you individually, as well as in a time frame which is also reachable. This is also specific to your overall goal of being able to comfortably ride long distances and once you have hit the milestone of riding 50 miles, you can then set a new goal to ride 100 miles. You can measure this goal by creating the plan that we’ve mentioned, in order to keep track of how many miles you’re riding a week to ensure you are on track for your goal.
3. Switch up your cycling routes
Switching up your cycling routes is a great way to keep things fresh and prevent you becoming bored. Cycling the same route 3 – 4 times a week can become tedious and this can lead to you becoming unmotivated. Perhaps popping your bike on your bike rack and heading further out is a good idea if you feel like you need to switch up your route. Not only will this keep you motivated, you’ll also be venturing to new places. You might come across a hidden gem!
4. What should I eat before and during a long bike ride?
Food is fuel and this is an essential part of your training. Before a long bike ride, make sure you eat a hearty breakfast, ideally with lots of carbohydrates and a bit of protein. This will ensure you have energy before and throughout your ride. During your ride, eating simple carbohydrates such as bananas or sweets will keep your energy stores up. Ensure you have a good meal after a long bike ride, again focusing on protein and carbohydrates is a good idea to make sure you are replenishing energy stores and repairing any damaged muscles.
In addition to this, make sure you drink plenty of water. Whether this is during your bike ride or not, make sure you are hydrated!
5. Look after your bike and it’ll look after you!
Your bike will become your best friend during your training weeks, you’ll go through highs and lows together so it’s important to make sure you look after it. Firstly, for this kind of distance we recommend investing in a road bike as you are cycling for long periods of time and they are built for it. We have a range of road bikes which are perfect for covering high mileage, you can check them out here.
Doing some general bike maintenance is important, for example cleaning your bike to ensure that no mud or dirt has got caught up in the wheels or cables. Check your chain for any rust as well and you can always grease it up to help prevent rust. Check the condition of your tyres as well, check for wear and tear and ensure they are pumped up to the correct PSI. We have a full blog on bike maintenance which you can check out here.
With the right training and preparation you will be able to ride long distances which you never dreamt you could ride before. It’s extremely fulfilling and the sense of achievement when you hit those long miles will be amazing! Go out and get the miles in today…