TRAINING FOR CHALLENGE
|+ Pre-Ride Checklist|
|+ Training Tips|
Although the Dempsey Challenge is a non-competitive event, it's important to prepare your body properly for the distance you choose. Read below for some helpful tips to ensure you ride your best ride on Challenge weekend!
Has it been a while since you've been on your bike?
- Tires: Check the condition of your tires by giving them a squeeze. Look for cracks on the rubber or any damage.
- Air: Look on the tire wall and find the recommended tire pressure (PSI) and pump it up to the mid-range of the recommendation.
- Helmet: Make sure your helmet fits snug and level on your head. It should cover most of the forehead and feel comfortable without much movement.
- Chain: Look at the condition of your chain. It should not have rust or any damage. If it looks dry, lube it up.
- Brakes: Try your brakes and make sure they are engaging and stopping.
- Tighten: Look around your bike and tighten any loose bolts. Make sure your wheel and seat post quick releases are engaged.
Make sure you have the right equipment
- Trying to ride a bicycle that is not set up correctly is like walking two steps forward and one step back. Everyone is different with respect to leg, arm, and torso length, so visiting a bike shop where you have your saddle, stem, and handlebar positions adjusted so that the bike is effectively tailored to your body is an extremely worthwhile exercise.
- Wearing a well-fitting helmet is an absolute must. Modern cycling helmets are lightweight and well ventilated and can literally save your life in an accident.
- Seamless and chafe-free cycling shorts will limit soreness from repeated rubbing and should be a key item in your cycling wardrobe.
- Sunglasses are actually very useful for cyclists; they will keep dirt, dust, flies, and other debris out of your eyes. Some options come with interchangeable lenses that can sharpen your vision in low light conditions, as well as cut out glare and reflections.
- Clipless pedals enable you to pull up as well as push down, which makes a big difference in your pedaling efficiency. If you’ve not tried them before, start with toe-clips, which are easier to get used to and then progress to trying clipless shoes.
Fuel up for energy
- Running low on energy will reduce your ability to keep going! Cycling increases your energy requirements, so aim to eat small, frequent meals, and snacks on the go to maintain energy levels. Carbohydrate drinks will keep you well fueled, or you could try taking a couple of energy bars or gels, which are easy to eat in the saddle.
- No matter the weather conditions your fluid requirements will increase significantly when cycling. By the time you feel thirsty you will already be dehydrated so try to drink small, frequent quantities of water or a sports energy drink throughout the ride.
Make a plan to get in shape
- Vary your training between long rides, building towards your target goal, and shorter, high-paced rides. Long rides need to be upwards of one-hour, at least once every two-weeks, to build endurance. During your shorter, face-paced rides you want to push yourself for at least 10-minutes, followed by a recovery period, and repeat. Always include a good warm-up and cool-down before and after your sessions.
- Strengthening is a great way to support your efforts on the bike. The three main areas to focus are legs, arms and back. Flexibility in your chest will make those long rides more comfortable for you, so be sure to stretch frequently.
- Be careful not to over-extend yourself, and train at the right pace for your ability. Avoid too many miles or too high intensity too soon, make sure you get good rest, and focus on a well-rounded training regimen.