Driving solo is a lot of fun. But the only way to really put your skills to the test is to move into a more competitive environment. You will be competing against other riders, which requires both skill and strategy.
Plus, registering for your first cycling race is an easy way to meet people who share your interests.
But these races can take their toll on the body. They require stamina and stamina to
maintain high speed over long distances. So before applying, make sure you’re ready for the challenge.
Below are some ways you can prepare for the first cycling race.
A bike race is an endurance challenge and can seem intimidating at first. Scroll down for tips on how to prepare for your first cycling race.
#1 Get the right gear
Before you start training, it’s important to make sure you have the right equipment for a bike race. Besides the obvious ones (helmet, shoes and clothes), make sure you have a spare tire and equipment to replace it. Unless you drive with tubeless tires of course. It is also a good idea to purchase safety glasses.
However, the most important thing to consider is the type of bike you will be using. There are a few ways you can find the right one for you. Consider the type of races you plan to participate in. Do you want to ride road races or are you planning to hit the gravel? Either way, look for something with a strong frame and lightweight. Check out this list of versatile gravel bikes to help you find the right bike.
#2 Getting used to cycling
The first thing to do is get used to riding a bike. If you’re just starting out, try taking a half-hour ride once a day. You can easily achieve this goal if you make it part of your daily routine.
Try to increase the distance you cycle on the weekends. Some top riders ride three to four hours every weekend. This allows you to build an aerobic base and the resilience needed to tackle a race. Plus, you’ll feel comfortable behind the wheel and learn more about the way your bike handles.
If you’re having trouble getting this distance, that’s okay. Just focus on setting small goals and seeing consistent improvement. If you can only run ten miles in the first month, build up enough strength and stamina to ride 15 miles.
Training heart rate zone
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#3 Increase the intensity
While riding, it is a good idea to apply some intense training techniques. This way you build strong legs and increase your stamina. In addition, it is quite simple. Increase the tempo every 20 minutes. You don’t want to feel like you’re overexerting yourself, but it should be a challenge to keep it up. Try holding it for 15 minutes, then return to a more comfortable speed.
Try to repeat this three or four times during your ride. Over time, you should notice your maximum intensity increasing. You should also find that you can maintain the top tempo for longer.
Also read: Heart Rate Training Zones – Complete Guide to Endurance
#4 Vary the ride
To keep making progress, you have to keep challenging yourself. There are plenty of ways you can do this. Try to set a goal to beat for yourself or try to drive the path faster every time. You can also try tackling more challenging terrain.
The good news is that there are plenty of bike paths to explore in almost every place in the world. This article lists some of the best tracks in the US if you’re looking for your next challenge.
#5 Ride with a group
Cycling can become a solitary activity. Much of the time you train alone. To break the monotony, you can join a cycling group. They will be able to help you with some motivation so that you can keep training hard.
Other athletes can also give you some training tips or share upcoming competitions you might want to participate in.
#6 Start simple
Finally, after you’ve done the training, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Participating in your first cycling race can be a nerve-wracking test. Although you have the physical skills to make it to the finish line, there is still a lot to learn about the way these competitions run. That’s why it’s a good idea to start with some simpler challenges. Take part in fun rides and other charitable events. After you’ve done a few, you’re ready to take on the bigger, more serious races.
At the end of the day, cycling races should be a fun experience so that you can meet a lot of interesting people and have fun. For the same reason, you don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself and work too hard during training. If you’re new to riding, it may take a few months to cover the entire distance. But as long as you keep practicing, you’ll soon be hitting the trails and winning races. So grab a bike and start training today.
Nathan got his first bike when he was five. Since then he has been an avid rider and has competed in several races. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and encouraging more people to get involved in the cycling world.
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