As you approach your first distance ride, ever or perhaps of the season, you’re probably excited, maybe even nervous. Getting ready for the ride involves a so many different details, from what to pack to ensuring your ride is in good shape. And then, of course, you start to think about the miles. 10, no problem. 20, you’re good. 40, fine. But when it’s 100 miles or maybe several days on end, things start to seem a little dicier.
But you know what, we’ll tell you something: You’ve got this.
In fact, we’re not even going to call it training from here on out. In fact, you’re just getting ride ready.
1. Start with your mindset
The mind is a powerful force. You’ve got this. Tell yourself that every day. Psyche yourself up for success. Dread makes everything seem heavier, and makes you more sluggish. Slight aches are big pains. But when you think positively, you’re well your your way to a glorious ride.
2. Set realistic expectations
If you haven’t been riding much lately, don’t try to make up for it by going all out on your first ride. Set yourself up for success by starting at a reasonable rate. Maybe a little 20 miler on the weekend. Start as many months out as you can so you can slowly, and realistically, ease into the ride.
3. Mark your calendar, carve out time
Don’t leave this to chance. Don’t just hope you’ll find some magic extra hours in the week and then jump on a ride. You have to make time for this. Your body will thank you – after every single ride, and when it comes time for the Big Event. Set up a regular riding schedule and stick with it.
4. Reward yourself
Here are ORbike, we’re huge fans of rewards for riding. That’s what life is all about! Ride to eat! Even if all you did was a little spin around the lake, you got stronger. You deserve that burger.
Ending a ride on a positive note with friends, socialization and down time is an important part of the recovery process, and the community around why we ride. Plan time for this, and make that time an integral component of your ride day.
5. Be accountable: invite friends
When it’s just you out there, you can slow down. You can quit. You can opt not to go. But once you’ve declared the ride and invited friends who are counting on you, you’re locked in. This is a good thing! You’re much more likely to follow through with a ride if there’s some accountability in there.
So make a routine of it. Invite friends. Form your own little riding club. Heck, you can even give yourselves a name. Feel the bond and the love – comrades on pedals.
6. Go the extra mile
If 20 feels good, next time go more. And if the ride is feeling great, take the steeper route home. And you’re rockin all of that, next time opt for more of a challenge. Do an extra loop. Go down the hill jsut to go back up. Trust us: you will feel victorious.
7. Aim for 80%
If you don’t have enough time to work your way up to 100% of the miles you plan to do in a day on your ride, try to get to at least 80%. If you’re riding a century, it can be quite a time commitment to train up to 100 miles. But if you can at least get to 80% and feel strong about that, you’ll be just fine on the day of the ride.
And if you’re a regular rider who has successfully accomplished century rides in the past, you should have no problem being ride ready with just a few 30 mile spins leading up to the ride.