How To Fuel For A Long Bike Ride | Cycling Nutrition Tips
How to prepare for a bike race: 6 things everyone should consider
It's one thing to ride a bike in a local park, and another thing to participate in a bicycle race.
On September 2, the largest road cycling race in Russia Gran Fondo Russia will take place in Volokolamsk. There are three distances to choose from: 30 km, 60 km and 95 km.
If you want to reach a new level and try your hand at the track, then you need to take into account some nuances. We talked to Matvey Zubov - international master of sports, world and European champion on the track in 2009 and 2012, about how to prepare for the bike ride, choose the right distance and avoid mistakes.
Photo: Gran Fondo Press
When to start preparing?
It's very individual - it all depends on the initial basic skills. Someone spent his entire childhood riding a bicycle under the frame and, having sat down on a road bike, will ride right away and well, 3-4 trainings for technique are enough for him, and you can go into battle. And someone's first bike in life is a road bike, and then you need to start from the very basics: how to keep balance, how to enter the turns, and how to pedal correctly. In this case, I would start talking about a few months of regular training.
Photo: Gran Fondo Press
How to choose a distance?
Of course, you shouldn't just aim at long distances and difficult tracks. Usually on race sites there is always a track relief or climb - for beginners, you should try to choose the minimum so that the first race is a pleasure and not die, twisting on the ascents, or screwing up your eyes in fear on descents. The first races should be more educational: how is it to ride a group cycling race? And then, after gaining some experience, you can complicate your life.
Photo: Gran Fondo Press
If we talk about a person who will go for the first time, then it is worth taking the minimum distance - 30 km. And it will not even be about the bike ride, but more about the atmosphere and understanding of how everything happens. Usually, for 30 km, the participants do not even gather in groups very much, which is just in the hands of a beginner.
Further, as self-confidence increases - 60 km, everything is more serious there, and in time the first times it will take at least two hours. And you can get together in a group and understand that eating and drinking skills are needed.
А already experienced riders let them choose the longest distance (they vary depending on the starts - from 90 to 120 km). If you just want to test your strength at a long distance, then choose a bike rider, and if you have been in the saddle for several years and want to measure your strength with the same experienced guys, then we'll seeI'm in the race!
What should you do in preparation?
The most important thing is cycling. Because for the duration of the race, the bike is your friend, comrade and brother, and you need to understand how it will behave when laying in a turn, or when changing gears uphill. If we talk about additional workouts, then everything is like everywhere else: add GPP to strengthen the core muscles, which will help increase endurance.
If you are a beginner, you should not go into an intense heart rate zone. For quality growth, you need a foundation (the so-called aerobic cushion), and most importantly, it must be safe. It's like building a house, if the foundation is prepared with high quality, then the house will stand for a long time - the same is here.
What to do on the eve of the race?
What is definitely not necessary is to do a hard workout the day before ... There are amateurs who, out of fear, want to check and ride along the entire race track, then I can say for sure: the next day the race will be very difficult. The day before, you can easily ride, shake your legs and, of course, try to get a good sleep.
Mistakes in preparing for the race
The most important thing in training in all sports is not only training days, but also days of recovery. For beginners, they want everything at once, and they begin to train every day, as if they want to fill the gaps in their entire lives, and the race calendar is such that every weekend starts. And since the body adjusts gradually, it is imperative to give it the opportunity to recover, not to overdo it at the very beginning.
Problems and mistakes on the track: how to avoid them?
Probably the most important thing is the fear of driving in a group. Because you have to control not only your ride and your bike, but also try to calculate the behavior of the surrounding race participants, and at the initial stages it is very difficult. I also often notice that guys forget to eat at a distance, after several hours of active work, energy reserves are depleted, and if you do not feed on time, the body goes into energy saving mode, the person ceases to control what is happening around. There is only one task - to get to the finish line. It is precisely at such moments that massive blockages occur.
The ability to ride in a group, of course, is gained only by experience, and it is better that this experience is gained precisely in group trainings, and not only in mass races or races. For example, on weekends we often go to voluminous workouts with a large team in order to learn how to make shifts, to be patient somewhere so as not to fall out of the group. And just on such long training sessions the second problem is solved - this is nutrition. You learn to eat correctly, you already begin to understand when it is better to have time to eat, so as not to cover,Again, there is an opportunity to try different things: someone likes to chew on bars, while someone finds it easier to squeeze the gel into themselves - it's all very individual.
The main mistake is probably the loss of concentration. You need to be attentive to everything: who is around you, what kind of road surface, what route of the highway, when turns and turns. And especially at the end of the race, when the participant is already tired, hungry, he literally looks at his feet and cannot fully concentrate on the road.
Secrets of a professional
The secret is simple: you need to be first!
To do this, you must always remain the freshest, always hide from the wind. The challenge is to be not only stronger, but also smarter: rivals must work harder.
The most important thing is to be patient. It never works out all at once: both physical fitness is gained gradually, and the technique of owning a bicycle is not given immediately. Step by step. Cycling will not work in a snap.