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!
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.