- Get a decent bike. Hybrid or road. Doing a big distance on a £100 Halfords special is hard work. The Boardman Hybrid is good value at £499 if you can stretch to it.
- Carb up for the week before. Eat as many carbohydrates as you can relative to your overall diet, 65% is a good percentage.
- Increase your fluid intake well before the ride. I've been drinking 3-4 litres a day of water for the past month. Plays havoc with your bladder, but good for hydration.
- Work on your aerobic capacity for at least three months before. Cycling, jogging, star jumps, spin classes, aerobics, whatever works for you. But do something.
- Eat a whopping carbohydrate packed breakfast at least 2 hours before setting off. Typically I would eat Porridge, a couple of bananas and two slices of toast with peanut butter plus a litre of Isotonic drink, like Lucozade or Gatorade.
- Cycle with friends when training, it's far easier to motivate yourself to get out.
- Buy some Lycra. Seriously, do it. It's much more comfortable and make sure you get some with the padding in the bum. It also helps disperse heat more quickly.
- Buy a decent cycle computer. Mine measures Cadence (revolution speed), Heart Rate ( to see how hard your working), Distance and Speed. It makes much more sense of understanding how your training is actually working.
- Take a regular break. On our 100 miler, we took 20 mins at 50 miles and again at 75 miles. It freshens up the legs.
- Stretch, then stretch again. The more you do post-ride, the better it will be the next day.
Monday, 7 September 2009
Ten Top Tips for a Novice Distance Rider
So, today has been a day of very stiff legs. Feel like I've been battered a thousand times, don't think I did enough stretching post-ride, only got myself to blame. Ten things I would recommend to anyone thinking about their first distance ride are:-