Health And Wellness Tips

6 Tips for Conquering A Long-Distance Bike Race

Jens Voigt at Dirt Kanza, an endurance race

It’s been just a little greater than two months since I finished the 206-mile (330-kilometer) endurance race often known as Dirty Kanza. The identify was becoming: dirty as a result of it was all on gravel roads; Kanza as a result of it befell in the state of Kansas. At almost 14 hours13 hours and 38 minutes to be actual—it was one of many longest days I’ve ever had on a motorcycle. So how did I put together for it? That’s a trick question.

The fact is you’ll never be absolutely ready for a race like that. Who trains by driving their bike for 12 hours straight? Nobody, proper? No matter how arduous you practice, long-distance bike races will all the time be challenging—that’s why we do them. Still, correctly getting ready to one of the best of your capability can make all of the distinction. Here’s what I recommend you do for your subsequent endurance race or journey:

Hold A Steady Pace

Let me inform you from my own painful experience: Starting too fast is an absolute killer that may depart you paying a worth (ache!) later in the race. During the peak of my profession, I once found myself among a gaggle of 25 riders leading at the halfway point of a race. But I had pushed too onerous, and earlier than I knew it I hit a wall (not literally, nevertheless it felt that approach!) that left me going at a snail’s tempo for the subsequent 15 miles. People might have walked quicker than I was driving. Believe me, you don’t need that. In a long-distance cycling occasion, it’s all about endurance (and then extra endurance) so decide a cushty tempo—and keep it up.

Hydrate and Fuel

You’ve probably heard this earlier than, however I can’t drive house the purpose sufficient. Hydration is very important. For Dirty Kanza, I carried three giant water bottles. One had a sports drink (for a quick source of carbs and power), one had mineral salts (to keep my electrolytes balanced), and a third had plain water. I additionally carried just sufficient food to make it between rest stops; there’s no cause to hold extra.

If you’re brief on assets or don’t have the help of a group, contact the race to see if they are going to be providing rest stops with food choices alongside the route, or in the event that they know of a service that can assist you to refuel. Ask about bike help as properly. Some events have bike mechanics on website to help with things like flat tires and skipping gears.

Invest in Proper Equipment

One factor that helped for my current race was the handlebar extensions (what triathletes use to make themselves more aerodynamic) I installed on my bike. While the aero component helped, I principally used it for comfort, to rest my arms and shoulders. In complete, I spent round three hours leaning on them, which helped immensely.

Another must-have piece of kit is a water-proof bag to carry some money, a bank card, an ID card, and your health insurance card. I additionally put some rest room paper in there. If you’re taking any medicine, be certain you’ve sufficient with you. Two different things I all the time carry with me: an extra battery or power supply for my telephone and a bottle of chain lube. A dry, noisy chain could make you are feeling anxious and kill your motivation.

Pack a Change Of Clothing

Depending on the climate and the way lengthy you’ll be driving, it may be good to have an additional set of clothing to vary into at the midway point. Stash it in a light-weight backpack or small pack that attaches to your bike.

Know When to Rest  

Don’t be shy about stopping. Whether it’s to catch your breath or take a quick photograph of the panorama, it’s more than ok. After 10 hours on the bike throughout this yr’s Dirty Kanza, I found this rare area of green grass beneath a tree and laid down for 5 minutes. The break was a lot wanted and felt so good on my again, neck, and shoulders. Afterwards, I felt refreshed and ready to forge onward.

Think of the Finish

There are occasions throughout an extended experience or race when your motivation goes to wane; that’s normal. The secret is understanding tips on how to keep invested. I visualize myself crossing the finish and being welcomed by tons of of individuals displaying their love and respect. I imagine myself swelling with joy and delight. This is what makes placing up with all of the ache, suffering, and self-doubt I’d experience on the journey worthwhile.


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