|Sagan winning Tour of Oman. (Image Credit.)|
I've made 32 posts about training. The important ones to absorb at this stage are:
- The essential elements of a training program.
- Planning for a successful ride.
- Riding with groups.
- The importance of training rides.
- Driving a positive feedback loop in training.
I'm not a professional, but these articles all contain my observations about what makes for a successful training season with citations to authority where it was available. In a nutshell, here is what you need to remember:
- Hydrate. On a 30+ mile ride, make sure you're draining both water bottles.
- Eat. You need to be fueled up before, during, and after your rides.
- Train. Time on the bike is probably the only thing which will improve your riding.
- Work your way up to 60 miles. If you can do this, you can ride the ALC.
- Work your way up to back-to-back days of 30+ miles each. Ditto.
- Rest at stops, but don't dwaddle. You get sore; you get hungry; you get irritable.
- Ride with mates. Sometimes you'll need to ride alone, but friends make the ride rock.
- Be safe. Listen to the safety speech and follow the rules on every ride.
- Dress in layers and in bike clothing. Street clothes are not up to the task, are bulky, and detract from your ride.
- Keep your bike in good working order. Get a bike fit! Bring your bike into the shop or learn how to clean and maintain it.
But above all: ASK your Training Ride Leader if you have any questions. If you've not already done so, see your doctor if you are embarking on this from level 0.
Over the next couple months, I'm going to write a few articles with the lead-in title "Absolute Beginners," explaining some of the basic principles of cycling. Most of the information is stuff I've learned from other cyclists, bike shop mechanics, classes I've taken, and Google searches. Please help me out and comment with corrections, additions, or supplements which will help my readers learn about how to operate their bikes!