A long distance bike ride is a journey that pits the body and mind to conquer massive obstacles in pursuit of a goal. For this reason, it is crucial to prepare for such a trial. These tips provide insight on how to strengthen, fuel, and repair the body, while exercising the mind in order to make your goals more attainable.
1. Mix Up Workout Intensity
Though your focus is long-distance, it is important to achieve well-rounded athletic abilities. After all, the trails will not be just flat and they will not be just hills. To prepare for these variations, include both high intensity workouts and interval training. High intensity workouts challenge your muscles and buiId overall strength. Interval training, where you switch between hard, fast pedaling and slow, easy pedaling, will build your stamina. Mixing it up with both of these workout intensities will equip you with both the strength and stamina that you need to conquer the roads.
2. Strategically Plan Peak Training Rides
Your peak training ride is your hardest training session. In preparation for your final journey, tackle the peak training ride at minimum two weekends before. Once you accomplish your hardest and most important training step, your body will need time to recover. You can then spend the rest of your time maintaining your fitness level with shorter rides while your muscles recover.
3. Maintain Proper Nutrition
To ensure your body has sufficient energy to complete a long ride, eat plenty of carbohydrates and eat them often. Grains, fruits, sports bars, and other carbohydrates provide your body with glycogen, which is essential for keeping the body fueled and the mind alert on a bike journey. Be sure to eat as often as every hour to maintain a consistent energy intake, and always keep track of what you eat during training. This will allow your body to adjust to your nutrition routine so food will not hinder performance on the big day.
4. Make Recovery A Priority
Improvement is pivotal in long distance biking, and allowing the body to recover after a workout increases the workout’s effectiveness. Some key steps for recovery include hydrating, eating enough calories and proteins, and lastly, getting enough sleep so your muscles can recover. Drink plenty of water and sports drinks, but avoid alcohol. Eat complex carbohydrates and proteins to repair muscles and revive energy levels. Stretch thoroughly after a workout and elevate legs to take the pressure off your overworked limbs. Treat your body with care and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish over time.
5. Pace Yourself
Fight the urge to push yourself to the limit during the middle of a ride. You want to maintain consistent energy levels throughout to avoid burning out. Practice regular, rhythmic breathing and even talking as a way of measuring how much effort you are exerting. For example, if maintaining your rhythmic breathing is getting difficult, it is a sign for you to reflect on your pace.
6. Get Used To Your Bike and Gear
Comfort is key on long distance rides. Your body and the bike act as one, so be sure to have your bike professionally fitted for a long distance journey. Pay attention to how your hands connect with the handlebars. They should rest comfortably, but you must have strong enough core muscles to hold your body up and keep pressure off your palms. Also ensure the seat of your bike does not cause any pain on long rides, and keep the pedals loose enough around your feet that you still have some flexibility and range of movement.
Your gear should also be specific to cycling. You will be wearing one outfit for an entire long distance ride so it is important for it to be comfortable. Get high quality cycling apparel that is breathable, that can you keep warm, performs well in inclement weather or that is optimized for your specific long distance ride.
7. Remain Calm
Of all the muscles used during exercise, the brain is the most powerful. Physical training alone will not accomplish your goals, and you need the right mindset to persevere when the journey gets rough. Steep inclines, difficult turns, bike malfunctions, and inclement weather can cause stress and deter focus, but learning how to calm the mind and stay positive makes for a successful and enjoyable ride.