Preseason Endurance Race Strategies: Start slow, Build Mental Toughness

April 14, 2016

12748011_968167059887388_245329798008628208_oFor those of you preparing for endurance trail races, we know that you are getting ready to ride long, get dirty, and have the time of your life. And while some you may have trained through the winter months, many have not. So we warn you winter sofa spuds that the alluring call of gorgeous spring days will tantalize you to ride too hard, too fast. This could lead to injuries, poor performances, and an overall unhappy 2016 cycling season.

Here are some ways not to meet that unfortunately end:

Endurance trail cyclists are on the cusp of some of the most favored mountain bike races in Colorado and the American west — races like Rocky Mountain Endurance Series, Thaw Massacre, 18 Hours of Fruita, Desert RATS Classic, 12 Hours of Mesa Verde, and The Half/Original Growler. And being success in these races requires you to closely monitor early season training. 

Key points to keep in mind include training intensity, duration, and frequency.  There are coaches and coaching plans to assist with specific and customized training.  Or, you can create your own training program.

Regardless of your approach, for precise bio feedback to align your training plan, you’ll need to use cycling accessories available to you – such as power meters, GPS computers, and/or heart rate monitors.  Early season training lends itself to “false” feedback.  Meaning, because you may be fresh, your perceived effort on the bike may be low causing you to push too hard, too soon. As a result, your training suffers later due to increased recovery time or even injury.  By monitoring your efforts with specific data, you objectively know when you are pushing beyond your targeted indictors, as well as when you aren’t pushing hard enough.  This allows your body to adjust to increased training load over time and in a manner that meets your 2016 cycling season goals.

Now, just because you can’t go all-out in your early training, doesn’t mean that you can’t build the mental toughness and focus that you will need during an endurance race. As described in the post, Developing Mental Toughness: Are you Tough Enough?, “mental toughness is your ability to persevere in the face of challenges, to keep going even when things get hard, and to have an unrelenting commitment to your goals. When you develop your mental toughness, obstacles are only temporary and one bad performance doesn’t shake your belief in your ability.”

For more information, don’t hesitate to visit our website or stop into our store – Peak Cycles in Golden, Colorado. We have tons of advice, as well as bikesbike partscycling accessories, and cycling apparel.

Advertisements

How to Survive or Thrive Your First Century

June 5, 2014

Century RideFor many cyclists, a century ride (100 miles) is a goal that is equivalent to running a marathon. It seems like a crazy long distance but whether you’re pushing your limits to cover 100 miles as fast as you can or you are riding 100 miles for the first time, you can finish fresh and feeling good by planning appropriately. 

Set a Date
The most important step is to set a date and sign up. You will be more motivated to train once you pay an entry fee and have a date on your calendar. Knowing when the big ride is will also help you set your training schedule appropriately. There are several citizen road rides and competitive 100 mile endurance mountain bike races to select your event.  Discovering which one inspires you the most is the easy part!  With so many locations, routes, and rides to choose from, you can opt for a flatter course or one that offers more challenges. Pick one, get it on your calendar and begin your preparations. 

Prep Your Bike Gear 
Is your bike ready for the ride? Should you use a particular bike for the century? If you’re not sure, now is the time to stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop.  We’ll help you identify your needs and confirm you’re on the right road bike or MTB for you. Presuming you have your bike and your bike does fit, get it and your cycling accessories ready.  It is not a good idea to make major modifications to the bike the day before the ride.  As you train for your century, it’s important to dial in all of your personal and bike requirements.  This includes your bike parts, helmet, cycling apparel, and bicycle tools for quick fixes.  If you don’t know how to change a flat, you might want to build that, along with performing bike inspections on a routine basis, into your gear preparations as well.  

Train, Train, and Train some more!
Do you know the right way to trainHaving a strategic approach and structured training means every workout has a purpose.  Every step, pedal and stroke is being performed with the confidence it’s the right thing to do and performed the right way.  The post, The Right Way to Train, shares four essential components of deliberate practice.  You may also consider How to Dial in Your Race Day Nutrition Needs. If you are considered about stomach issues and performance, preparing well and listening to your body during training can significantly improve your enjoyment level during your century. 

Ride and Celebrate!
Embark on your century ride and enjoy the experience!  Remember to pace yourself and savor the experience.  Consider breaking the course into sections or have a goal to get to the next aid station.  Smaller goals are little victories aiming you towards the final big one at the finish line. 

Finally – Repeat!  Congratulate yourself on a well deserved accomplishment and sign up for another one!