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! 

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How to Dial in Your Race Day Nutrition Needs

April 24, 2014

Preparing for the upcoming Gran Fondo Moab, the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Weekend, Ride the Rockies, Triple Bypass or Colorado’s Endurance Mountain bike series, takes methodical planning in terms of training, recovery, appropriate bike parts selection.  Yet, just as important as daily training is to get you to the start line, every day nutrition plays a critical role too.  The season is just beginning are you race ready?  Here’s what you need to know to dial in your daily, weekly, and race day nutrition for optimal performance.

You get a glimpse of the importance of monthly nutritional preparation in the post, Race Day Nutrition for Cyclist.  Overall it is a guide for monthly, weekly, and race week nutrition preparation with a focus on how viewing nutrition in terms of how it can support your physical training cycles rather than just eating for pleasure.  As many cyclist are already lining up on the start line, preparing nutritionally for weeks in advance isn’t an option.

As you approach your first race of the season, you may want to read the post, A Guide to Race Day Nutrition.  Many cyclist have different preferences as to how they prefer to get their fuel – whether that is in nutrition bars, gels, and liquids. However, oftentimes, the course may dictate other options.  As in, for mountain bike riders, a technical course may present obstacles in taking solid food while riding versus taking fluids.  Furthermore, as the post suggest, “having all of these different (nutrition) options can tend to create confusion and challenges for athletes as to which is ideal and which is best for them. In addition, choosing the right type of fuel depends on many factors such as duration, intensity and what type of activities such as cycling, running or multisport.” The end result: experimentation during training and early season races will aid in dialing in proper race day nutrition for your “A” races and events.

But what happens when you have stomach issues while racing?  How do you know what the cause is and what to do about it? As noted in, Stomach Issues while racing – Possible causes and solutions, poor pacing can easily lead to stomach issues, ingesting too many carbohydrates and or too much protein can be another possible cause for stomach issues, as well as too many surges within a long duration race can lead to a shutdown or at the least a slowdown of digestive ability.  Ultimately, it’s about utilizing the early season races to dial in your nutrition.  Preparing well and listening to your body is the key to preventing stomach issues during competition.

Next up?  Dial in your race day strategies!  Remember to set your goals, recon the route or course, practice race day rituals, and define your success parameters.