Here we are, nine weeks away from the start of Bike Out Hunger. If you are already signed up, I hope you are getting as excited about it as I am. If you aren’t, what’s holding you back? Really, let me know and maybe I can help. Being nine weeks away can make some who haven’t been training much during the past few months a little nervous. Don’t be, it’s plenty of time to get ready to ride.
To help with training, below are a some tips, steps and ideas on helping you feel more prepared for the ride. (Notice I didn’t call it a training plan…I’d have to know you better to recommend a plan.)
There are several main categories to consider in preparing for a long ride.
- Cardio – Even though this is not a race, your cardio exertion will increase during the ride. Get rides in. Get longer rides in. The best thing to do between now and Bike Out Hunger is to ride.
- Muscle strength and endurance (more tips are on this blog in various posts like “Hill Climbing Techniques” from August 18). Also, several upcoming posts will address strength and endurance.
- Your seat – I’m not referring to a part of your bike… Spending several hours on a bike for six straight days will impact your bum – so get it in shape too. The first thing is to make sure you have good riding shorts see the post “The Shorts of it” from February 3. The more time you spend in the saddle, the more accustomed you will become to extended time in the saddle during the ride. If it gets uncomfortable while riding, stand out of the saddle and pedal for 10-15 seconds then get back down.
- Flexibility – One of the key aspects to avoiding injury and improving muscle performance is to properly warm your muscles up by doing light exercise before a work out and properly “coming down” off of a workout by slowing your workout then doing good, long stretches. This keeps muscle fatigue down and helps them recover from the workout. Other post-ride recovery tactics on “Fresh Legs Fast” post from September 19. One of the best post-ride and daily things you can do is roll (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJLxruO3su0).
- Nutrition – To fuel up before a long workout, hydrate and eat some carbs…not like a Snickers carbs, but more in line of toast and peanut butter. After your workout, hydrate and it is important to get some good, lean protein in your body within 45 minutes to help rebuild the muscle fibers. FYI – turkey is one of the best high-protein / low-fat foods around. Another good after-workout food is chocolate milk. My suggestion on the chocolate milk is to make sure your body has rehydrated and cooled before slowly drinking it.