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Planning Your Cycling Season

It’s that time of year when you are thinking about planning your season – whether it being a race calendar a sportive calendar, fundraising events or simply some challenges you have set yourself. It can even be aiming to get up a certain hill in your area or do a 10 mile Time Trail in a certain time. It can be anything; your goals are you own. Whatever it may be, it’s a good time of year to sit down and plan the year ahead, this will not only get you organised but will also help you stick to your goals and keep you motivated.

Plan in Advance

A lot of races throughout the year need to be planned in advance as they sell out quite quickly, this includes some of the popular sportives, road races and 24 hour of road races. They can all be found and entered on the main cycling bodies’ websites and in other various places – Facebook groups are a good thing to join as these will recommend and remind you of upcoming local events.

If you already have some big races planned in the spring, it’s a good idea to try and set yourself up for these or you are going to get a big shock come race day otherwise! There is no other effort like racing to put you into the red this way. It’s always harder than you think it’s going to be, so be prepared!

 

Reliability Rides

At this time of year there are a lot of reliability rides that your local clubs hold weekly. These are good to get to as they tend to be a bit faster than the local club run and often bring new riders to the area to ride with, this sets you up for not only a quicker pace but to experience how differently people ride and how unpredictable some riders can be.

Remember if your first race is a month away you need to plan it right; there is no point ruining yourself right up to the week before. Plan it so you have put the hard work in 2 to 3 weeks before and started to taper for it come the end of your 4 week block.

Easily to Forget!

Now a big mistake is to think “Okay I’ve entered the first race – done” and then forget about the week or month after that and miss the entry, so make sure that you book a few races in advance. The first few are bound to not go your way so get it in the calendar before it’s too late, plus, you may not even get into some of them so top tip is to over enter.

Sportives are similar, only you will have set yourself a goal, for example a distance or time you want to finish it. Make sure you are comfortable with the mileage before you throw yourself in at the deep end as these can take quite a bit out of you. Don’t forget to take plenty of fuel with you.

Fundraising Events

These can be something that often puts you out of your comfort zone and are quite difficult to train for. London to Paris for instance can be 5 days or more on the bike including 100 mile days. Whilst this is hard to replicate in training it is advisable to have put some hours in before the big day; ensure you are going out on consecutive days to replicate that sore bum and tight leg feeling. A good pair of shorts and Chamios creams are good to help with this. Make sure you have ridden with the buddies that you are taking with you to make sure you are a similar ability and are both working together the best you can. Last thing you want to happen is for you or your mate to be miles ahead or behind. It’s a lonely place on your own and becomes much harder than it needs to be and sometimes demoralising.

 

Not Sure How Many to Enter?

This is completely up to you and everyone is very different when it comes to this. One per month is very achievable and can help you build some form if that’s what you are trying to get out of it. Time trailing can be different as there are many more of these events around, for example mid-week and at weekends. So you may consider doing more of these. If you are chasing points and looking to rank in a series, then you will be looking to enter a few more.

 

Where to Enter

Again this is fairly generic. It’s up to you in terms of how far you want to travel and what races/sportives etc you want to enter. Some of the races that may suit you may not be local so you may be more inclined to travel for these. Again if you are wanting to feature in a series this may involve some traveling. Having said that there are lots of local races but again make sure you book in advance.

In addition to all of the above, make sure that you are well prepared with all of your racing gear – from cycling clothing to the maintenance of your bike. We have all of the products that you need here at ProBikeKit – happy racing!



Elizabeth Demetriou

Elizabeth Demetriou

Editor

I'm a runner at heart but since shin splints became a big part of my life, I turned to cycling as a form of cross training. I love riding track and am a regular on the Manchester velodrome; on the road I ride a Trek Lexa and I call it Toby.


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