Some words of wisdom from the FitScience crew.
1) Do enough training & practice group riding
So you’ve picked your event, now it’s time to get on the bike and put the training miles in.
This shouldn’t be underestimated – there would be nothing worse than looking forward to an event for months only to come unstuck because of a lack of fitness.
Always aim to ride two thirds of the distance of your chosen event in training beforehand. The combination of adrenalin and the energy saved by riding in a group will see you round the rest of the course on the day. Also, make sure your training is tailored to the demands of the event – flat or hilly – study the route profile and train accordingly.
On the subject of group riding, it’s worth gaining some experience of this in advance. The majority of your training will be done solo, or with one or two training partners. You can save a large amount of energy on the day if you’re confident enough to ride in groups. The best way to experience this prior to the event is by joining your local club or practicing with friends.
Don’t forget to only ride in a group that’s doing a pace you’re comfortable with.
Perhaps consider entering a smaller event in the build up to the main sportive – this will be useful for training, but will also allow you to get used to what to expect on the day.
2) Pace yourself
You’ve picked your event and you’ve done your training. Finally the day has arrived and you’re lined up at the start ready for the off… Whatever you do, don’t set off like you’re Mark Cavendish on the Champs Elysees…
Remember the tortoise and the hare!
It’s very easy to go too hard, too early and the pay the price later. This is another reason why it’s important to study the route in advance, so you can measure your effort over the entire day, knowing when climbs and tough sections are coming up.
Start slow, finish fast.
It’s not a race, you’ve paid to be there, so don’t get too stressed out. Just relax, have fun and enjoy the challenge.
Smooth roads from the Fitscience Crew.