It’s the time of year where resolutions have been made, events are being picked and you’re considering going long. Whether it’s your first ever long distance ride – or you do them regularly and have just decided to step it up, these top tips will line you up to tackle the endurance event.
1. Be ready for anything.
It’s on these long distance rides that you learn just everything that can go wrong. Whether it’s something simple like a puncture, or something slightly more out there like a snapped chain. You’ll need to have contingency plans in place to react. You may thank yourself for carrying a bit more than the bare essentials.
And it’s not just your bike that can let you down, it could also be your body. You may run out of energy and need to pick yourself up a quick snack on the way home. Just because you’ve ridden the distance in the past doesn’t mean it’ll be easy again this time round! A first aid kit can also come in very handy in case you acquire any bumps or bruises.
Carrying a bit of extra cash can come in very handy in endurance rides/events. Whether you stop at the local bike shop for them to give the bike a quick look over, or the local convenience store for a chocolate bar – you never know when you’ll need it.
2. Keep Supple.
Stretching and rolling after rides can make a huge difference to performance. This will help you get into a good position on the bike and maintain it for the duration of the ride. Mixed with a good strength & conditioning programme – this can come in very handy for any hill climbs or headwinds. Carrying extra gear will require extra strength!
3. Keep Your Mind Active.
This is important for you to stay focused and keep you going. Something to keep your pedals turning when you’re really struggling through the mid section. Riding with friends can be a great way to keep morale up, but if you’re out by yourself it can get lonely.
Checking in to social media on your food break or playing little games with yourself can be a great way to keep you going. If other people are tracking your progress you’re less likely to take your foot off the gas.
4. Perfect Your Set Up.
Getting comfortable with your bike is very important. If you complete a long ride “straight from the box” – it’s likely you’ll sustain an injury. A bike fit can be a fantastic way to prevent this. Also lots of training rides can help you to find a comfortable and efficient position for endurance events. This will also allow you to learn how your bike feels and handles, if you take care of your bike, it’ll take care of you.
5. Dress Appropriate.
This is very important throughout the year, not just in the winter months. Wearing warm enough gear in the winter is great – but in the summer you may need to make sure you don’t take too much sun. Yes, there is such a thing. The sun is one of the fastest ways to drain your energy, so arm or leg sleeves can be a great addition on endurance rides.
As well as this, make sure you’re visible at all times. Reflective gear all year round can save your life. This extra visibility will allow cars to swerve you in low levels of light – keeping you safe and allowing you to complete the full journey!
Whatever your long distance goals are this year, hopefully these tips will get you through from start to finish in one piece.