So I hosted the Gravel Between the Lakes ride yesterday, passed out early and am not up at 3:20 sunday am, yay. More ride details about that soon...
but anyway, I've been perusing the internets reading blogs, earthriders and mtbr, searching for new fun things. But anyway, I've noticed some things reading around, and this thread in particular: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=678665 It got me thinking about writing this post.
I can't believe the regimented training that some people have for still mediocre results. I think this guy has the best training plan.
Go ride your bike, a lot. And if it doesn't feel tough, go harder. If you're about to explode back off a little. Listen to your body. People make long events out to be something crazy...well ya they are cause those unexperienced people start out like damn fools and cramp up 1.5 hours into a 6 hour race. I learned that the hard way thoughout the last couple years. I now think I have plenty of 3/6/12 hour and gravel metric century(+) racing/riding experience to offer these tips for anyone who thinks they want advice.
1) Seriously go ride your bike a lot. Road, MTB, Gravel, long, short, whatever you can do, go do it. Kind of leads in to the second point:
2) Commute. You don't realize (and I still don't consciously a lot of times) how good of a base that commuting will give you. Plus it gives you experience at having to ride at different times of the day, when fresh and when tired, with/without lights, etc. I don't even think of it as riding anymore, but I bet on an average week I commute at least 50 miles a week just going to/from classes, getting groceries, going to the bike shop, doing laundry, etc. Add this into my actual "riding" and there's lots of weeks I'm pushing 200+ miles a week. However, this leads into the third point:
3) Listen to your body. If your thirsty, drink (you should be drinking 3-5 oz of water every 15-20 minutes anyway) If you're hungry eat. If you're tired back off the gas a little (unless you're almost finished). If you do do 200+ mile weeks, give your body a rest day or two. There was one time this past summer I realized I had ridden about 900 miles (end of August) that past 4-5 weeks during a lot of good weather and a 12 hour and 5 hour mtb races thrown in. I consciously took a few days off the bike (other than to/from class of course) to let my legs recharge. This is huge and I think helped me big time at the last 3 hour race at swope where I got 2nd.
4) Ride with people faster than you. It really does make you a better rider, they're faster for a reason.
5) Vary your rides. I can't believe how many people go out and ride the exact same thing every time they go out to ride. I vary my intensity from 20 minute dirt track race pace to 1.5 hour cross country race pace to 12 hour race pace. They're all very different and make a good cyclist. Don't ride the same loops on the trails or roads. Explore a new gravel or "b" road if you're out in rural America.
6) If you are riding single speed/fixie on longer rides, gear easier than you normally would. Sure pushing a 34-18 on singletrack is ok for an hour or two...try it for 12.
7) and the biggest thing, HAVE FUN ON YOUR BIKE. If it's not fun, why are you doing it? Personally I have fun on my bike, period. I do plenty of things to try and make myself suffer, but I still always come out having a smile and a good time.
oh yea...and I'm doing dirty kanza this year in the duo class with my boy clay wells...100 miles of flint hills gravel in kansas summer, you bet.
clay and I doing some trail work at swope last spring...
peace and riding!!!!!
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