Ten tips to you need to ride your first 100 mile Cycle Race.
Training is number one. Pretty darn obvious but if you don’t put the miles into your training you are going to make life hell for yourself on race day. Depending on you level of fitness you need to do at least six to 8 weeks training building up to a distance close to 100 miles two weeks out from the race then taper down the distance. Practice riding in groups, become familiar with bunch riding rules.
Lose some weight:
You’ve got it. You can buy the lightest bike and accessories but that spare tire around your waist will will cost you dearly on race day if its still there. Training should help you lose those kilos but not if you overeat to compensate.You can check out a training plan here to help shed some weight.
Plan what you need for the race. Spare tubes, tools, clothing ( what sort of weather will you encounter). Money, (notes are great to cover a small split in your tire). Sheets of newspaper are great to stuff down your top if the temperature is cold at the start or you could wear an old sweatshirt and ditch it at the start. If you don’t retrieve it your wife will probably thank you.
Make sure your bike is setup by an expert before you start your training. This could save you aching muscles and stop giving you ideas of flagging the race away. Get the bike checked out two weeks before the ride. This will give you time to make sure everything is still working correctly. Don’t carry any items on the bike you don’t need on the race.
It goes without saying, if you don’t eat properly before and during the race your performance will suffer. What you eat off the bike leading up to the race is just as important as what you eat on the day. Wholesome meals with plenty of protein and complex carbohydrates are very important. On race day have a meal 4 hours before the race. During the race you will need to eat snacks and or energy drinks or gels at regular intervals to maintain your effort. Hydration is essential, one bottle of water per hour is a rough guide to your fluid requirements. If you wait till you are thirsty to drink its too late. Check out what you should eat and drink during the race here .
Before the Start.:
Arrive at the start with plenty of time in hand so you don’t have to rush. Do a warm up ride. This will help you relax and stretch those muscles. Make sure you are warm enough. Standing around at the start can cause you to cool down quickly. Go to the toilet
Pace yourself in the early stages of the race. The temptation is to go out hard and keep up with riders faster than yourself. This will only cause you to burn out in the later stages of the race.
100 miles is a long way. Get into a comfortable position. Stretch on the bike frequently, neck shoulders and arms especially. Find a group whose pace is comfortable for you. Draft as much as you can.
Water and toilet stops should be as brief as possible. Spending too much time at the break will make it harder to get started again, muscle will stiffen.
Drink plenty of water at the end of your race. Have a good feed as soon as possible. This will help with your recovery. Do some stretching exercises when you get off your bike. Thank your bike and your body for the awesome job they’ve done getting you to the finish.
The 100 mile cycle race can be quite daunting for beginners, but with sufficient training and following some of the basics, you can be rewarded by finishing in a respectable time, with your body in a reasonable state. For more information on road bike racing check this link.
Watch this video for more 100 mile cycle tips