Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Last Week Training & Maintenance

Some last minute tips

For the last week before the ride, I'm doing three or four 10 mile training rides (these videos cover some of the route). I've been doing this for a few weeks in the hope that it'll help me get over the main uphill sections and keep me going during the longer days. There are some good general pointers about cycle training with this blog, although it is aimed at longer distance riders.

I'm not riding on Saturday or Sunday to preserve conditioning and return some blood sugar. I'm pretty much eating what I like right now, although not too much and a more protein-based diet. I'm typically with my "winter fat" which is never caused by Christmas (far too active!) but more by January with it's unerring bleakness.

I hope some of our younger riders will find it a bit easier than I do right now. Of course, I do have to shift a considerably bigger weight up those hills! Luckily we should get most of those out of the way in the first 24 hours of the trip.

Winter riding is always just a bit harder than Summer riding. Even Summer riding in the wet is usually nice. It's the ambient temperature that does it for me. Something about my legs feeling warmer that makes them work harder for less effort.

Getting the bike into proper working order is important. Cycling with even slightly flat tyres takes up to 20% more energy. That usually means it's more of a drag and slower to do everything. Ensuring the bike will stand 6 hours of pummelling means that the chain, cables, brakes, gears, wheels, and seat can all do with a check. For those of you who can't remember the camp last year was a good template.

A local bike shop should be able to do this well, but also there are some good self-help video sites now (including BicycleTutor).

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